As music production evolves throughout the years, the opportunities for music producers, musician and artists are also continuing to boom with endless possibilities.Back in the days, it was quite harder to make money unless you’re signed under a label or have big-time connections in the music industry. Things have changed drastically since then. The internet has now become a door to countless opportunities, with the entire world as the audience.
Sending out your demos to music labels while you wait for them to discover you is no longer a thing. Going bar to bar, begging owners to hire you play at their venues is also a practice that’s getting quite obsolete. It doesn’t work that way anymore and this time around, your success is at your fingertips.
Here are 12 smart ways on how to make money as a music producer:
1. Sell beats or royalty-free music
For the past few years, there has been a surge of music producers and beat makers who sell “type beats” to independent singers, artists and rappers. Most of them are making a killing selling instrumentals on their websites and other platforms while using social media to market their digital products.
Beat prices range from $19 and up, depending on the quality of the beat, how big the clientele is and how famous you are as a producer. Licensing types are also considered when it comes to pricing (non-exclusive lease vs. exclusive tiers)but there is no set rule for this.
Read more: What is royalty free music?
The great thing about selling beats is the perk of earning while you sleep – make a beat now, sell it on your website and move on. Repeat daily, weekly or monthly depending on your schedule. Passive income is the way to go!
The best way to start is to produce at least 10-20 beats to jump start your business.This number is ideal if you’re just beginning, as it won’t be too overwhelming to accomplish and manage. Next is to get a domain name for your website from an array of top domain registrars such as GoDaddy,Bluehostand Hostgator. Your domain name should be consistent with your brand.
Once you’re done with the first few steps, hire someone to do your beat store logo or make one on your own. You can outsource from freelancing websites such as Fiverr, where you can have your logo made starting at five dollars and up. However, if you decide to do it on your own, there are tons of graphic design tutorials on YouTube that you can check out.
The final step is to choose your website hosting service. Here are some of the top hosting services to pick from, made exclusively for beatmakers:
- TRAKTRAIN – The platform itself doesn’t take any money from your MP3 sales while charging 0% on paid membership. Definitely recommended.
- Beatstars – The most popular among producers, with free and paid account options.
- Airbit – Formerly known as myFlashStore, this online marketplace almost has the same features but you can maximize the forums where you get to interact with fellow producers.
2. Make a YouTube Channel
Ever wondered how PewDiePie, Logan Paul and Ryan ToysReview got so big in the YouTube space, earning billions of dollars?All of them started from the bottom, like everyone else. Churning out content day in, day out and being “everywhere” on social media, making names for themselves as they grow their fan base.
Uploading your beats on YouTube and running a channel with a consistent upload schedule will not only grow your portfolio but your business as well. On top of that,you can also do music producer vlogs or behind-the-scenes content which your followers might like. Plan out your branding strategy and be unique enough in order to stand out from the rest.
Start by regularly uploading content in order to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program. Your goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours before you can monetize your channel. Once you’ve reached these milestones, you will then be qualified to monetize.
Don’t forget to set up a Google AdSense account to withdraw your future AdSense income.
3. Use Patreon to increase your Income Streams
So, what is Patreon, you ask? Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or”patrons” (Conte, 2017).
This will be like a secret fans club. Your patrons will subscribe to you for a fee in exchange for exclusive content that other subscribers don’t have access to.
You can post anything that your subscribers might be interested in such as, behind-the-scenes videos, customized music or maybe even a personalized video chat – the list goes on. Be creative and figure out how you’ll be able to give that unique experience that your patrons will enjoy.
The most effective way to use Patreon is to advertise it on your YouTube channel.You can paste the link in your video description, but you can also give your followers a heads up through other social media platforms.
4. Sell sample packs
When it comes to music production, there are producers who can come up with their own synth riffs, tweak their drum sounds and effects. However, there are also others who can’t or don’t have the time to.
They desperately need you! If you’re that kind of producer who also has a knack for sound design, then this is the perfect way for you to make money.
Make customized drum kits, synth samples, as well as presets packs for VST’s like Serum, Massive, Sylenthand many more. Sell these samples on your website and don’t forget to add artwork to make it more visually appealing.
Another option is to sell these packs through sample libraries. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Splice Sounds – With over two million royalty-free samples,midi files and presets, this online catalog is very popular among music producers. Fill out this sounds provider submission form to submit your sample packs.
- ADSR Sounds – Not only does this website feature a wide variety of royalty-free samples, but it also sells music production video courses which definitely attracts the right target market. Try your luck and submit what you’ve got!
5. Offer Mixing and Mastering Services
Ah, yes! The most important step before releasing music – mixing and mastering. You might be wondering, “How many artists, singers, rappers are releasing music on a regular basis?” Tons of them, especially the independent ones.
Booking a high-end professional studio for this service might break the buck for most artists who are on a tight budget. If you have an ear for balancing mix and making it the best version it can be, take advantage of that and offer these services for a more affordable price, depending of course on the number of tracks, the level of your expertise, studio equipment and other factors that you’d like to consider.
There are mixing engineers out there who charge from $50-$200 per song, but this will change depending on individual preferences. Some professional studios charge higher and you can totally charge more if you’re in that caliber.
6. Offer your services to Freelancing websites
Freelancing websites are commonly perceived as platforms which are only good for administrative work and IT-related jobs. Although a majority of employers are looking for these services, there’s also a market that music producers can take advantage of.
There are clients who are in need of music for their short films, startup ads and independently released apps or games. If you’re versatile enough and is also willing to try other audio-related tasks, there are jobs like custom song production, nursery rhymes composition, podcast editing, music content writing and many more.
Here are some of the most popular websites among freelancers:
- Upwork– Formerly known as oDesk, this freelancing website is the biggest and fastest-growing marketplace which caters to millions of freelancers and clients around the globe. Due to an overwhelming number of applications, Upwork is very selective when it comes to welcoming freelancers onto their platform. In order to get your account approved, make sure to you create an impressive profile and portfolio. Take the required tests based on your skills to increase your chances of getting hired.
- Fiverr– One of the most popular sites for creative freelancers, Fiverr lets you offer services for as low as five dollars.When starting out, you can offer cheap services for basic music production gigs like creating a 30-second custom instrumental with 1-2 instruments. Later on, you can add extra fees for longer lengths and additional work, but make sure to offer your premium services for what it’s really worth.Don’t be afraid jack the price up when you need to.
7. Explore music licensing
One of the most lucrative field to add to your list is music licensing for TV and film.Awesome, right? But how does it work?Basically, you make instrumental cues or songs with vocals that could work for TV or film, pitch them to music libraries and wait until you get signed to be part of their catalog.
Your music has to be really good in order to succeed in this field. Networking and a little bit of people skills will come in handy as you deal with music supervisors and library owners who will help you get sync placements.
There are some libraries which offer upfront sync payments ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands. These fees are to be split equally between the library and the composer, but there are also some which don’t offer upfront payments.Despite that, the exciting thing about music licensing is the back-end income, which will start flourishing once you start getting royalties. Imagine making tons of tracks to be placed on international TV shows, with re-runs and worldwide broadcast.
Remember, it is also a numbers game – the more you make music and pitch to different libraries, the more you earn and expand your opportunities and connections.
Here are a couple of music licensing websites worth checking out:
- Crucial Music – Running their music catalog for almost a decade, Crucial Music connects artists, composers and songwriters to licensing opportunities for blockbuster films, Emmy winning shows and big brand spots. This library is very selective, so you have to make sure that what you’re submitting is at par with what you hear on TV, film and commercials. You can submit your music here but you’ll have to be patient because it usually takes them a month before you get a reply, probably due to a handful of applications they receive on a daily basis.
- Marmoset – Another library which meticulously curates music for licensing. This company prides itself in terms of selecting music from rare and emerging artists, bands and record labels.
8. Teach Music Lessons
Do you know how to play the piano? The guitar or drums, perhaps? Whatever your instrument may be, you can use your talent to teach other people and develop theirs.Depending on your preference, you can do it at your home studio, offer home service and go to your students’ homes or do it via Skype if you’re after the convenience.
Advertise online using your website or use Facebook ads, and target potential clients near you. As for Skype lessons, don’t limit yourself and try to teach students from different parts of the globe.
9. Sell online courses and tutorials
Apart from teaching one-on-one lessons, you can also up your passive income game by selling pre-recorded online courses and tutorials. Most online courses are done through video, but you may enhance the experience and make use of all media,including audio, texts and photos.
Even better if you can produce something more interactive, to make it more fun and immersive while your students learn at the same time.
You can do this on your website, but if you’re looking for a third party platform to help you sell these courses to the right target market, you can check out these websites:
- Udemy– With over 80,000 courses and 24 million students, this online learning platform is great for creative entrepreneurs and music producers who want to offer their courses in an organized and interactive way of learning.
- Lynda– This online learning platform offers a more flexible subscription model to students by charging monthly fees in exchange for unlimited access to all courses on their platform. This setup gives you more exposure to untapped market niches and students who might be interested in exploring music production courses.
10. Put your music in all streaming sites like Spotify, iTunes and Google Play
Another way to earn while you sleep – streaming royalties! If you’ve established your brand as a beat maker, you can double your income by also making music for a fan base. This time around, you’re no longer working behind the scenes but at the forefront – you are the main artist.
For starters, you can take advantage of these music distribution services depending on your needs:
- Distrokid – For only $19.99 a year, you can upload an unlimited number of songs and albums. Distrokid also features an automated system for royalty splits if you’re releasing music as a collaboration with other artists.
- Tunecore – Although this distribution company charges more, they are more transparent when it comes to your earnings, reports and analytics.
11. Sell your own merchandise
Yes, you read that right. Selling your own merchandise is another smart way to keep the money rolling in. You can sell anything from t-shirts and caps, to key chains and wristbands – it’s all up to you, the possibilities are endless.
This step will involve some graphic designs kills and you can either make your own designs or hire someone to do the job for you. These designs will have to be consistent with your brand. You’ll be using a logo for the most part, but feel free to throw in your tagline or some catchphrases that you made popular to your fan base. It can be anything that’s related to your brand, anything that represents you as a music producer, as an artist.
Build your fan base from the ground up by advertising on all social media platforms and nurture your community through online engagement.
In order to do that successfully, you will definitely need help from these merchandising services:
- Redbubble – A global online marketplace for print-on-demand products, Red bubble can make and distribute products from t-shirts to phone cases.
- Printful – This print-on-demand website has been around since 2000 and is popular among entrepreneurs who advertise products on their e-commerce website.
12. Make money using your other creative talents
Whether it be graphic design, video editing,photography or article writing, using your other creative talents will not only make you a well-rounded artist, but also a smart and strategical creative entrepreneur.
Most music producers are creative individuals who have many talents besides making music.By maximizing all of your skills, you are also maximizing your financial growth. Don’t be afraid to explore and step outside of your comfort zone.
These are just some of the smartest ways to make money as a music producer. It may be overwhelming for some, but hard work, perseverance and versatility will go a long way if you want to survive in this challenging industry.
You don’t have to be a starving artist forever; turn your life around and take action, pursue what you love to do and earn from it.
Now that I’ve given you some tips to make money as a music producer, it’s time for you to explore. Prior to what many people say, thanks to the internet it’s possible to make a full time living as a music producer.
Let me know which monetization method you decide to pursue? Or maybe you have one which I didn’t mention here. Let me know in the comment section below.
Can you make a living off producing music? ›
Lots of music producers make a substantial amount of money by selling their beats to hip-hop artists and other independent musicians. Music producers are able to sell their tracks anywhere from $10 dollars into the tens of thousands. Depending on how much hype you have, you can set your price accordingly.How much money can you make producing music? ›
How much do music producers make? According to figures published in 2022, music producers on average make around $32, 379 per year as a base salary. It's important to remember that this salary is an average.How much do beginner music producers make? ›
How much does an Entry Level Music Producer make? As of Nov 4, 2022, the average annual pay for an Entry Level Music Producer in the United States is $47,127 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $22.66 an hour.How can producers make the most profit? ›
Answer and Explanation: Producers can maximize their profit by ensuring that their incremental or marginal profit increases. The marginal profit is ascertained by deducting the marginal cost from the marginal revenue and hence, it can be increased by increasing the marginal revenue and decreasing the marginal costs.What is a ghost producer? ›
A ghost producer or ghostwriter is someone who creates tracks for other artists and is typically not credited for their contributions.Where do I start if I want to produce music? ›
- Train your ears. ...
- Learn an instrument. ...
- Get a digital audio workstation. ...
- Have a production and recording space. ...
- Learn how to use an audio mixer. ...
- Network with artists. ...
- Consider a degree in music. ...
- Take an internship.
The average Music Producer is likely a quick learner with strong creative skills, and may bounce around between many interests. The average Music Producer is most likely to be self-assured, expressive, and inventive. They might challenge old ways of thinking while in pursuit of new strategies and ideas.What skills does a music producer need? ›
- Playing an Instrument. Having a comprehensive understanding of music is a must. ...
- Sound Engineering. ...
- Music Theory & Composition (aka Song Writing) ...
- Managing People. ...
- Communication. ...
- Business + Finances + Contracts.
It ranges anywhere from $400 up to $2,000-3,000 per song. This price varies from producer to producer and from client to client. Here are some factors to consider when finding the right price to charge…How can I make money from audio? ›
- Recording Assistant.
- Recording Engineer.
- Mixing Engineer.
- Mastering Engineer.
- Audio Editor.
- Field Recorder.
- Boom Operator.
- Podcasting Audio Engineer.
How many music producers are successful? ›
According to Next Big Sound, 90.7% of all artists are undiscovered, 6.8% are developing, 1.4% are mid-sized, 0.9% are mainstream, and only 0.2% are considered megastars.How much should a beginner producer charge for a beat? ›
A typical non-exclusive instrumental beat might go for $25-100, while an exclusive beat may go for $300 or more.How many years does it take to become a good music producer? ›
On average it takes around 4-6 years to master music production to a level where you can produce to a professional standard. This time is dependent upon the hours you put in each day, and any relevant experience or skills you might already have.How many hours do music producers work? ›
Even with 60-80 hour work weeks, the music producer is likely playing catch-up on a daily basis.Why are producers so rich? ›
Producers are involved in the financial decisions of movies, television shows and theatrical productions. Producers raise money for a production by finding film investment companies to finance the production, or by funding it themselves. The funding goes to hire the director, cast and crew.What production is most profitable? ›
- Profitable Business of Magnesium Sulphate.
- Production Business of Zinc Sulphate.
- Business Industry of Grain Processing (Grading, Cleaning & Packaging of Rice & Pulses)
- Rising Demand in Spinning Mill.
- Setting a Profitable Business of Edible Oil Refinery (Soya & Palm)
These are the ways in which the producer trys to encourage singles,albumn, tour sales and promotion of the artist. they do this by using strategies such as the narrative,promotion and the image of the video and artist. Self produced Artist.What are 3 things that a music producer does? ›
A Music Producer, or Record Producer, manages the studio recording process for bands, Singers or other Musicians. Their main duties include directing recording sessions, managing recording budgets and providing clear directions and visions for Artists and Audio Engineers to follow for each project.How do producers get famous? ›
Online marketing and networking can increase your chances of getting noticed and recognized as a producer. Music and video site uploads, posts on fan or industry blogs, profiles on social media and business networking sites will establish your online presence, increase your exposure and drive traffic to your website.Do producers need to master their beats? ›
It really depends on the producer if they master their own tracks. Basic mixing and mastering is a skill most producers have in the bag. However for bigger official releases it's a great idea to let a mixing/mastering engineer have their go at it.
What are the five main responsibilities of a producer? ›
- Look after the finances and manage how the budget is spent.
- Negotiate and issue contracts.
- Organise and manage technical, stage management and workshop functions.
- Agreeing projects and financial backers.
- Agreeing production timelines.
There are producers who chop up loops in order to get the sound they're looking for. Though most famous producers try to steer clear drom using loops. Using loops is not all bad, it can be a great way to experiment with different arrangements or to easily create an idea for a track.What power does a producer have? ›
A producer is the person responsible for finding and launching a project; arranging financing financing; hiring writers, a director, and key members of the creative team; and overseeing all elements of pre-production, production and post-production, right up to release.What should I learn first in music production? ›
You Must Start Studying Music Theory
Without understanding the basics of music theory, you can't write chord progressions, melodies and bass lines, or even create a basic song structure. As you start learning techniques here, start listening as an active participant in music and try to listen for what you're learning.
- Soundtrack. This quasi-genre is ideal for beginners because you can essentially get away with playing one chord for minutes at a time. ...
- House. They say that to be able to DJ house you need to able to count up to four. ...
- Techno. ...
- Hip-hop. ...
It takes at least 3 years to become an established producer.
It takes a lot of time, practice, and experience to hone your craft. Generally, it takes anywhere from 3-5 years of music production before you're working with well-known music labels and making extra money from your music.
Look for a music producer that has actually worked on records with signed artists and record labels. Valuable and necessary music production skills are acquired only through years of hard work on professional recording sessions. You need to put this type of experience to work for you.What quality makes a good music producer? ›
- Connect with Musicians on a Deeper Level. As a music producer, it is your job to get musicians to bare their emotions and weave them into the music they are recording. ...
- Create an Inviting Space. ...
- Work Hard and Be Smart. ...
- Be Versatile. ...
- Become Business Savvy. ...
- Understand the Process of Music Production.
These qualities relate to different aspects of the sound, such as the volume or the duration. There are four sound qualities: pitch, duration, intensity and timbre.What is the goal of a music producer? ›
A music producer, or record producer, assists an artist with their recording project, bringing their vision to fruition and guiding their sound along the way.
How do music producers gain followers? ›
- Establish Your Artist Brand. Creating amazing music is not the only task you need to do to become a successful music producer. ...
- Diversify Your Posts. ...
- Plan Your Posts Ahead. ...
- Nail Your Hashtags. ...
- Follow The Trends. ...
- The Power of Images. ...
- Post at the Right Time. ...
- Find your Community.
Music production is hard because it demands a varied set of skills. Successful music producers need to be good at composing, mixing, and mastering music. They also need to know how to work with other musicians. Finally, they have to be business-savvy to make it in a highly competitive industry.How do you get noticed in music? ›
- Be an amazing singer or instrumentalist.
- Put yourself out there.
- Create a press pack (EPK)
- Play anywhere.
- Convey maturity.
- Practice well.
- Get yourself motivated.
- Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Again, there are no fixed percentage that composers charge but it may go from 5% to 15% of the film's budget. Going by the minute – This method usually works quite well too. You basically charge per minute of finished music composition. Rates usually run from $50 to $1000 per minute of finished music.How much does it cost to produce 1 song? ›
A fully produced song, for an indie artist typically ranges between $600 and $2500.Who is the highest paid producer? ›
|Rank||Name||Worldwide Box Office|
- Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution.
- Make money playing gigs.
- Sell band merchandise online.
- Collaborate with brands and other musicians.
- Sell beats and samples.
- Teach music classes and sell lessons.
- 🏆 Current Rewards.
- Playlist Push.
Interestingly enough, the average age of music producers is 40+ years old, which represents 48% of the population.How do I become a self taught producer? ›
- 6 Ways to Learn Music Production Faster. Are you interested in learning music production more quickly? ...
- Discover What You're Unfamiliar With. Here is where self-awareness comes into play. ...
- Watch Tutorials. ...
- Work with Other Producers/Songwriters. ...
- Study Everything. ...
- Produce Music Consistently. ...
- Attend a Music Production School.
Is being a Music Producer worth it? ›
There are various pros, cons, and challenges to being a music producer, but it's worth becoming one especially if we're passionate about working and getting valuable experience in the music industry. Any opportunity to make a living doing something we love is something worth giving a try.How much does a Music Producer make per beat? ›
For exclusive beats where the artist will have creative control of the beat, a producer will charge an average of $500 per beat. For non-exclusive beats where many different artists can lease the same track, a producer will charge $20 to $50 per track on average.How much does a normal Music Producer make? ›
How much does a Music Producer make? Music producers make $56,752 per year on average, or $27.28 per hour, in the United States. Music producers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $39,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $81,000.Why do most music producers fail? ›
The reasons music producers fail is because they allow themselves to quit. If you never quit, you technically can't fail. If that's not enough for you, think of this: Kaskade took 15 years before one of his songs made it to the Billboard charts.What makes a successful music producer? ›
Be Versatile. Music producers should know a lot about a lot. They gather ideas for projects, select songs to record, make improvements or changes to song arrangements, coach artists and musicians, manage recording sessions, engineer and master some of the final production, and more.Why is being a music producer hard? ›
Music production is hard because it demands a varied set of skills. Successful music producers need to be good at composing, mixing, and mastering music. They also need to know how to work with other musicians. Finally, they have to be business-savvy to make it in a highly competitive industry.Who is the best music producer? ›
- George Martin. George Martin has to be one of the most famous producers in rock history due to how much he contributed to The Beatles' success. ...
- Keigo Oyamada. ...
- Dr. ...
- Steve Albini. ...
- Jimmy Page. ...
- Quincy Jones. ...
- Kanye West. ...
- Aphex Twin.
Freelance Music Producer Salary. $31,500 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $73,000 is the 75th percentile.How do producers get paid? ›
Most of the time, a producer will get paid a flat fee for their work in addition to some royalties on the backend. Like, $1,500 fee to record the song plus 20% on the net royalties. For indie artist deals (self-released or small indie label) producers are typically getting 15-25% of net royalties.