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How to Make Money as a Music Producer

11 min read

For some people, music is a hobby. For others, it’s a way of life. And for a third group, a passion for music means opportunities to turn a pastime into a full-blown career, or at least a lucrative side hustle.

One of the most lucrative ways to do this is to go into music production. Of course, we all know the big names in production, from Rick Rubin to Dr. Dre. But you don’t have to achieve that level of success to have a career in production.

What differentiates an up-and-coming music producer from the top guns in the industry is their ability to sell their skills. In other words, the ability to commercialize every aspect of their expertise separates the successful music producer from the amateur. It also boils down to how well-versed they are with the potential available to them by looking to an ecommerce solution as a way to monetize.

The world has moved beyond the brick-and-mortar days of selling one’s skills. It’s moved beyond the four walls of a music studio. If you aren’t online, you probably aren’t getting your name out there in the way you should be. In this article, we’ll take a look at ways through which a producer can monetize his skills.

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21st Century Music Production

As a music producer in the modern world, it’s important to know where to look in terms of utilizing your skills and/or talent to make money. The world has grown past the era when some manager was there at hand to help you kick-start your career. Nowadays, your destiny lies in your own hands, and it’s a good idea to work towards a goal of setting yourself up to make money in music production, as well as just having a good time.

Besides, with the competitive nature of the music scene, your poise or talent alone might not deliver. You have to prepare to leverage new technologies to propel your career ahead and find monetary success along the way.

The Journey of Music Production as a Career

People have gone down many different paths in the past to see which works for them as far as music production is concerned. The quest to find the “right” or most profitable way is understandable, especially given the fiercely competitive nature of the crowded field of music production.

However, there are different ways to successfully monetize music production skills, and no one size fits all solution. You cannot understate the importance of soft skills including charisma, personal charm, and others like networking.  But the majority of the skills you will need to thrive are reliant on how versed you are with technology.

How To Make Money as a Music Producer

Streaming royalties and music sales

The first and most evident way to make money from music production is through streaming royalties and music sales. What does this mean? Just that: streaming royalties. You have to be a top artist or produce an intriguing style to make sales, but streaming royalties are a vastly profitable option. It is especially ideal for musicians or artists who want to make a career in music.

All you have to do as the producer is: make a song and get paid for the song. Meanwhile, you have to bear in mind that certain styles are favorably in line with streaming. For instance, heavier music is considered a core part of the club scene, but it does not sell well on Apple Music and Spotify.

On the other hand, pop-friendly styles/genres do well on streaming sites. To get started with this, make sure you produce music that attracts listeners. You will have a strong artist project that has a decent following and can stream your music. Then, check streaming sites like Spotify to find out what they can offer. In addition, you can increase the exposure for your music by connecting with a label.

That way, you can be assured of numerous connections to place your music on streaming sites. Another option under this category is to consider revenue splits. That is, there will be a splitting of the streaming royalties on any song you release on a label among managers, yourself, and collaborators. Revenue splitting is one of the ways to make the most from streaming royalties.

Use YouTube

Again, this seems like an obvious one. But surprisingly, many producers overlook the YouTube option, especially when they are about to start their music production business. Admittedly, there are some subtle elements of snobbery attached to this, which is why people often dismiss it. That is, many do not consider YouTube as a music platform for artistic expression due to its association with viral content and influencers hawking products.

Nevertheless, YouTube offers some great advantages. The potential audience for a YouTube video is massive—larger than you’re likely to reach with a dedicated music streaming platform. Thus, those supposedly casual music listeners could be your largest audience. Besides, apart from the high audience figures attributed to YouTube, there are other advantages of using the medium.

As an extremely democratized space, no “gatekeepers” will screen or limit your content. Besides, you are not obliged to convince any editor or publisher of how excellent your music is. All you have to do is post your music and leave the audience to make the ultimate decision. Consequently, this has birthed a revolutionized music production world, as many more amateur and independent music producers have begun to throw their hats in the ring.

Not only that, the medium has a low barrier to entry, and this is why it is a great tool to consider and incorporate into your music production business. It may not entirely be an incredible option for making quick bucks, but you can make large cheques in a few years by staying dedicated to the creation of suitable content.

Synchronization

Otherwise called the library, synchronization means negotiating with a broadcaster to have a deal to use your music. Such broadcasters will use your music in their network TV advert, computer games, internet adverts, music in shopping malls, or Hollywood blockbusters.

It is similar to streaming, and the entire value of synchronization is dependent on the audience size. A bigger audience means better deals. Just like we have in the musical landscape these days, the conventional methods of securing a sync deal are being modernized to accept new players to participate. In the past, a library used to be managed by record labels in-house. They got musicians directly, but the process is now available to independent artists. In addition, you do not have to be a virtuoso musician or music composer to make it with music production.

Take your services online

An independent music producer can make good money by selling his skills and services. These include composing, recording, editing, mastering, and mixing, among others. There are a plethora of ad creators, artists, and musicians who need help with production-related things, recording, audio editing, and a host of other things.

By taking your gig online, you will be able to meet the needs of people with the needs. A good example of what you can do is to register with an online freelance platform such as Upwork, Fiverr, or SoundBette. Then, let them know the services you offer through social media. You are highly likely to meet one or more persons who want your skill. You can also include a section of the services you offer and your contact in a section on your website.

Grow your brand

Going by the happenings in our daily lives, particularly with the wonders of social media, large corporations have begun co-opting social media stars and influencers to promote their brand. Put in perspective of music production, one of the best ways to be recognized and for people to do business with you is to maintain a strong brand.

Invest heavily in your image so that people can use your services. That way you can also produce for other artists, irrespective of how accessible music production has become. There is no denying the fact that many artists out there need someone to produce their music. It could be you- but you have to have some competitive advantage.

Conclusion

Whether you want to make extra money on the side or take music production on as a full-time career, there are infinite ways to make money from the music biz. It has also become a lot easier than it was twenty years ago to make money from music production, due to advancements in technology, and the ability to take your business to the internet.

There are a number of ways to make it in this business, some of which are tested and proven reliable, and others that are just emerging. Nevertheless, any way you go about it can potentially help to generate a tremendous amount of if applied correctly, and approached with perseverance. You can also maximize your opportunities for growth and traction by taking your music production business to a reputable ecommerce platform like Ecwid.

Do you want to learn more about ecommerce for musicians?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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