10 Ways Musicians Can Make Money

One of the many problems musicians face is making income. Gone are the days where you can rely solely to your music sales and touring.

But today, a combination of traditional and modern income streams can help musicians generate money. Here is a list of 10 ways musicians can make money.

Digital Sales

As a musician, you should be selling digital music with your own website to earn the most money. You can also partner with online retailers. However, you need to remember that they receive a percentage of your digital sales. (ex. iTunes (%30)).


While per-stream payments from streaming services are typically small, they can pile up as time passes by. You have to remember that these types of services help new fans and enthusiasts to discover your own music, and shouldn’t be just a source of your income.

Live Shows

The amount you get from having live shows differ greatly. However, it is still one of the best ways to earn money. You don’t just earn money by selling the tickets, it’s also one of the best methods to sell merchandise. You should read books about how to make money from live shows to get the most out of your shows.

Physical Merchandise

The money that you will earn from physical merchandise will depend greatly on how many live shows have you played. If you go on a tour, you should prepare t-shirts, and other souvenirs that you can sell to your fans every after your shows.

Digital Merchandise

Aside from t-shirts, mugs and pins, you can also sell digital merchandise such as PDFs, videos and photos to your fans. You can also sell things like lyric books, live concerts, sheet music, exclusive images and a lot more. There are so many things you can sell.


This method can be an amazing way to earn income from your music career. A well-managed crowdfunding campaign can aid you raise enough money to pay the costs of producing and advertising your album. A lot of musicians have used Crowdfunding, so we’re pretty much sure you will see a lot of Crowdfunding tips online.


On this video streaming website, every time your music is used in videos that are performing advertisements, YouTube pays a part of that advertising income to the rights holders of the song. Digital distributors such as TuneCore and CD Baby can help you gather what you’ve earned.


If you’ve already created a fan base, there are companies and organizations who will be willing to sponsor you to reach those fans. Sponsorships can vary, it can be money, free items, services and gear. There are many ways you can get sponsored.

Cover Gigs

Usually, musicians hate the idea of playing cover gigs at bars, restaurants, weddings and other private events. However, these types of shows can really pay you better than others. You can also get paid to play your instrument. There is no shame in these types of gigs.

Music Lessons

A lot of musicians teach other people how to play certain instruments to help gain income towards their own career. This can be a great way to add to your income, allowing you to perfect your craft at the same time.

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