How To Make Money As A Musician Online

In today’s digital age, musicians have more opportunities than ever before to share their talents with a global audience and, in turn, generate income from their craft.

Gone are the days when aspiring musicians were solely reliant on record deals and live performances to make a living. With the power of the internet, social media, streaming platforms, and a myriad of online tools, independent musicians can carve out lucrative careers right from the comfort of their homes.

In this blog post, we will explore the exciting and ever-evolving world of making money as a musician online. Whether you’re a singer-songwriter, a producer, a composer, or a member of a band, you’ll discover a multitude of strategies and platforms to monetize your musical talents.

Key Takeaways

  1. Musicians now have a plethora of opportunities to earn money online. Diversifying income through avenues like music sales, streaming, merchandise, licensing, crowdfunding, and even non-traditional methods like NFTs ensures stability and growth in earnings.
  2. Understanding the music business landscape is vital. Educate yourself on industry norms, copyright, royalties, and marketing. Knowledge empowers you to navigate contracts wisely and uncover untapped revenue streams.
  3. The power of the internet is immense. Utilize social media, streaming platforms, and e-commerce to directly engage with your audience, sell music, merchandise, and offer exclusive content. The digital landscape is a gateway to global reach.
  4. Collaborating with other musicians, industry professionals, and brands expands your reach and opens up new opportunities. Networking can lead to sponsorships, partnerships, and exposure to wider audiences.
  5. Monitoring streaming data, sales figures, and audience engagement metrics provides crucial insights. Adapt your strategies based on this data to capitalize on successful trends and refine your approach for maximum earning potential.

The Music Industry

To successfully make money online as a musician, you need to have a solid understanding of the music industry. This includes knowing the role of record labels and the importance of music business knowledge.

Role of Record Labels

Record labels play a significant role in the music business. They are responsible for discovering, signing, and promoting artists. They also handle the distribution and marketing of music.

How To Make Money As A Musician Online

In exchange for these services, record labels take a percentage of the artist’s earnings.

While record labels can provide valuable resources and connections, they also have a reputation for taking advantage of artists.

Many artists have signed unfavorable contracts that limit their creative control and earning potential. It is important to carefully read and negotiate any record label contract before signing.

Importance of Music Business Knowledge

To navigate the industry successfully, you need to have a solid understanding of music business principles. This includes understanding copyright law, licensing, royalties, and marketing. Without this knowledge, you may miss out on potential revenue streams or get taken advantage of by industry professionals.

One way to gain music business knowledge is to take courses or attend workshops specifically focused on the music industry. You can also network with other musicians and industry professionals to learn from their experiences.

In summary, understanding the music business is crucial for making money as a musician online. This includes knowing the role of record labels and the importance of music business knowledge.

By educating yourself and carefully navigating the industry, you can maximize your earning potential, protect your creative control, and build a successful music career.

Ways to Make Money as a Musician Online

Musicians today have a wealth of opportunities to make money online, thanks to the digital revolution of the music industry and the power of the internet.

Here are some effective ways to turn your passion for music into a sustainable income stream.

1. Sell music through your website

Selling music directly from your website can be a powerful income source for musicians. It provides control over pricing, presents all your musical works in one place, and strengthens fan engagement.

You can create a music blog to help market your creations and get more engagement which will drive sales.

This strategy bypasses intermediaries, giving you 100% of the earnings. Your fans also have an easy way to support you as they can purchase albums or singles digitally straight from the source.

Physical sales like CDs and vinyl records remain popular among music fans; offering these options on your site can boost income too! With e-commerce platforms making online transactions smooth, setting up a music store on your own website is simpler than ever before.

Notably, digital downloads are immediate – enthralled listeners can get their hands on new tracks minutes after release!

2. Stream your music on various platforms

One of the most common ways for musicians to make money is via streaming revenue.

Streaming your music on various platforms helps to broaden your audience reach and increase potential earnings. Music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, are popular among listeners worldwide, serving as effective channels for musicians to share their work with a global fan base.

Apple Music

To maximize your earnings from streaming services, it’s important to promote your music and increase your streaming numbers. You can do this by sharing your music on social media, collaborating with other artists, and getting your music featured on playlists.

Diversifying the online mediums where you host your music lets you appeal to more fans who have different platform preferences. Each stream on Spotify or play of an uploaded video on YouTube might seem small in terms of revenue generation individually; however, accumulated over time, they may lead to significant earnings.

This strategy also enables independent artists without a record label deal to make money from their musical talents by connecting directly with listeners around the world.

3. Sell beats online

Selling beats online can be a quick way for musicians to earn some cash, ranging from $100 to even $1000 or more per month.

Websites like BeatStars and Airbit make it easy for producers to sell their beats online. They handle payments, legal paperwork, and delivering the files, so you don’t need to worry about building a website or other upfront costs. This is a growing industry, too.

Sell beats online

According to Urban Masterclass, the beat-selling industry brings in over $30 million each year. If you can grab just 0.1 percent of that, you’re looking at $30,000 a year. So, why not give it a shot?

You don’t need a whole team, like a manager or booking agent, to kick things off. You can offer your music with either exclusive or non-exclusive licenses. Non-exclusive licenses allow you to sell a track to as many artists as you like, while exclusive licenses limit it to just one buyer.

Exclusive licenses usually come with a higher price tag and often involve direct negotiations between the seller and the buyer. Most online beat marketplaces pay out your earnings right after a sale. You won’t have to wait for royalty checks to see the money in your bank account.

4. Sell Digital Downloads

Another way to make money from your music online is by selling digital downloads. Digital music downloads allow fans to purchase your music and download it directly to their computer or mobile device.

Sell Digital Downloads

You can sell digital downloads through your own website or through third-party platforms like Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon.

When selling digital downloads, you have control over the pricing and distribution of your music. You can set your own prices and choose which platforms to sell your music on. However, it’s important to keep in mind that digital downloads are subject to piracy and illegal file sharing.

To protect your music from piracy, you can use digital rights management (DRM) software to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution. You can also offer exclusive content and bonuses to fans who purchase your music, such as access to behind-the-scenes footage or early access to new releases.

5. Sell band merchandise online

Musicians often tap into the power of band merchandise to boost their revenue. These range from traditional items like CDs, t-shirts, and posters to more unique offerings such as autographed memorabilia or limited-edition vinyl records.

Sell band merchandise online

Selling band merchandise online allows you to reach a global audience, highlighting your brand while providing music fans with tangible mementos of their favorite music.

Popular platforms for this purpose include the artist’s own website or social media profiles where exclusive content can be marketed directly to the most loyal fans.

Physical sales like these remain significant in the digital age and are a fantastic way for musicians to make money alongside other methods such as streaming services and live performances.

6. Production Music Libraries

In a nutshell, production music libraries let individuals or businesses use your music in various projects like TV shows, ads, and films, all in exchange for payment.

If you’re starting in the music industry and your network is limited, getting your music into a production music library is a smart first move.

These libraries offer stability to new creators, though it might take time to see substantial returns. Some buy your music outright with upfront fees and royalties, while others share future profits. Below, you’ll find a list of music libraries to explore.

The main goal of these libraries is to license your tracks to potential clients like ad agencies and indie filmmakers, regardless of your fan base size. The more tracks you have, the better your chances of getting placements. For quicker track production, consider the Arcade plugin with a vast array of royalty-free sounds.

With many music library options, pick the one that suits you best. Consider factors like licensing terms (exclusive or non-exclusive), commission rates, and their track record aligning with your style.

7. Offer live-stream concerts with a tip jar

Musicians can boost their online earnings by offering live-stream music performances with a tip jar. This allows fans to enjoy the experience of live music from the comfort of their own homes while supporting their favorite artists directly.

By setting up a virtual tip jar, musicians can receive donations from viewers who appreciate their performances. It’s an interactive way for musicians to engage with their audience and make money online.

With the rise in popularity of streaming platforms, live-stream concerts have become an effective way for musicians to generate income and connect with fans around the world.

8. Crowdfunding for your next project

Crowdfunding has become a popular method for musicians to fund their next project online. By utilizing crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, musicians can directly engage with their fans and ask for financial support.


This allows them to cover the costs of recording new music, producing an album, or even financing a music video. Crowdfunding offers a unique opportunity for artists to connect with their most loyal supporters and involve them in the creative process.

With the help of crowdfunding, independent musicians can bring their projects to life and continue making music that resonates with their audience.

9. Music licensing and sync licensing

Musicians can also make money online through music licensing and sync licensing. Music licensing involves granting permission to others to use your music in various media, such as TV shows, films, commercials, and video games.

When your songs are licensed, you receive payment for the use of your music. Sync licensing specifically refers to the synchronization of songs with visual content, such as a scene in a movie or an advertisement.

This type of licensing can be a great opportunity for musicians to showcase their work and earn income from it. By exploring these avenues, musicians have the potential to reach wider audiences and expand their revenue streams beyond traditional album sales or live performances.

10. Collect Royalties from Live Stream Shows

When the world faced widespread lockdowns, musicians turned to live-stream performances. During this shift, performing rights organizations (PROs) like ASCAP in the US, PRS For Music in the UK, and SOCAN in Canada partnered with platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

This collaboration allowed artists to earn royalties from their free live-stream gigs. If you’re playing your own music during a live stream, it’s a good idea to check with your PRO. They can help you submit the show’s details to ensure you receive the royalties you deserve.

11. Monetize your YouTube channel

To monetize your YouTube channel, start by uploading all of your music to your channel. After that, you’ll need to configure YouTube monetization in your account settings. This can be an additional revenue stream.

Monetize your YouTube channel

Furthermore, whenever your music is featured in a YouTube video, whether it’s on your own channel or someone else’s, you have the right to receive your portion of the ad revenue generated.

To make sure you receive all the royalties owed to you, consider partnering with a digital distribution company like CD Baby. They can assist you in collecting your earnings.

12. Teach music lessons online

You can also make money by offering online music lessons. With the increasing popularity of distance learning, many people are seeking online music lessons from qualified instructors.

By offering private or group lessons through video conferencing platforms, musicians can share their expertise and generate additional income.

Teaching music online allows musicians to reach a wider audience beyond their local area, expand their client base, and provide valuable education to aspiring musicians.

It is a convenient and flexible way for musicians to supplement their earnings while sharing their passion for music with others.

13. Patreon and fan subscriptions

Patreon and fan subscriptions are increasingly popular ways for musicians to generate income online. By offering exclusive content, behind-the-scenes access, and special perks to their most loyal fans, musicians can create a sense of community and provide value in exchange for monthly or yearly subscription fees.

This direct relationship with fans allows artists to earn a steady stream of revenue while also building a dedicated support system. Many musicians use platforms like Patreon to offer tiered membership levels, each with its own set of benefits.

This not only provides a consistent source of income but also fosters a stronger connection between the artist and their fans.

14. Sound Design for Video Games

The video game industry is undeniably one of the most lucrative sectors in the entertainment world.

With the continuous advancement of technology in the gaming sphere and the soaring sales figures, game production companies often boast substantial budgets for enhancing the gaming experience. This includes investment in music and sound. If you happen to be both a gamer and a musician, you have a distinctive opportunity to generate income by crafting immersive soundscapes for video games, making it a truly rewarding endeavor.

15. NFTs (non-fungible tokens)

Musicians can explore new avenues for monetization by delving into the world of NFTs or non-fungible tokens. These digital assets are unique and cannot be copied, making them highly valuable in the online marketplace.

Musicians can create and sell NFTs that represent rare music compositions, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, or even virtual concert experiences. By leveraging blockchain technology, artists can establish ownership and authenticity for their work while earning income from collectors who are willing to purchase these one-of-a-kind items.

With the rising popularity of NFTs across various industries, musicians have an opportunity to tap into this innovative revenue stream and connect with fans in a whole new way.

16. Do Voiceover

If you possess a marketable speaking voice, have access to a good microphone, and some basic speech editing skills, you can tap into the world of online voiceover work to earn money.

Various entities, including companies and influencers, are willing to pay for high-quality voiceover services delivered promptly. To get started, consider platforms like Revolancer and explore freelancing websites to efficiently offer your voiceover services.

Tips for Maximizing Your Online Earnings

Build a strong online presence, engage with fans on social media, collaborate with industry professionals, seek sponsorship opportunities, and analyze streaming and sales data to maximize your online earnings.

Build a strong online presence

To maximize your online earnings as a musician, it is crucial to build a strong online presence. Here are some key strategies to help you achieve this:

  • Create and maintain an interactive website that showcases your music, merchandise, and upcoming events.
  • Engage with your fans on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by regularly posting updates, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and responding to comments and messages.
  • Collaborate with other musicians and industry professionals to expand your reach and gain exposure to new audiences.
  • Seek out sponsorship and partnership opportunities with brands that align with your musical style or image.
  • Monitor and analyze your streaming and sales data using tools like Spotify for Artists or Apple Music for Artists to identify trends and make informed decisions about promoting your music.

Engage with fans and leveraging social media

Engaging with fans and leveraging social media is crucial for musicians looking to make money online. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Interacting regularly on social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to build relationships with fans.
  2. Sharing behind-the-scenes content, such as rehearsal footage or studio sessions, to give fans an exclusive look into your music career.
  3. Responding to comments and messages promptly to show your appreciation for fan support.
  4. Running contests and giveaways on social media as a way to engage with followers and gain new ones.
  5. Collaborating with other musicians and influencers in your genre to expand your reach and attract new fans.
  6. Using social media ads strategically to promote upcoming releases or merchandise sales.
  7. Creating engaging and visually appealing content, such as music videos or lyric videos, that can be easily shared across different social platforms.
  8. Utilizing live streaming features on platforms like Instagram Live or YouTube Live to connect with your audience in real time.

Collaborate with other musicians and industry professionals

Collaborating with other musicians and industry professionals can open up new opportunities for musicians to expand their reach and increase their online earnings.

Here are some ways to collaborate effectively:

  1. Joint Performances: Partnering with other musicians for live shows or virtual concerts can attract a larger audience and boost ticket sales.
  2. Cross-Promotion: Collaborate with other artists to promote each other’s music on social media platforms, reaching a broader fan base and increasing exposure.
  3. Remixes and Features: Work with other musicians by providing vocals or instrumentals for their songs, or by remixing each other’s tracks, creating fresh content that appeals to both fan bases.
  4. Songwriting Partnerships: Co-writing songs with other artists can result in unique collaborations and help diversify your music catalog, attracting more listeners and potential revenue.
  5. Industry Connections: Collaborating with producers, managers, and music supervisors can lead to opportunities for placements in TV shows, movies, commercials, and video games.
  6. Collective Projects: Join forces with fellow musicians to create compilation albums or themed playlists that showcase everyone’s talent while pooling resources for marketing and distribution.
  7. Guest Appearances: Make guest appearances on podcasts, YouTube channels, or music blogs hosted by industry professionals to gain exposure among their followers and establish credibility in the industry.

Seek out sponsorship and partnership opportunities

To maximize your online earnings as a musician, it’s important to seek out sponsorship and partnership opportunities. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Collaborate with brands that align with your music style or message.
  • Reach out to local businesses and offer to promote their products or services in exchange for financial support.
  • Look for opportunities to perform at sponsored events or festivals.
  • Connect with other musicians and industry professionals who may be able to introduce you to potential sponsors or partners.
  • Utilize social media platforms to showcase your music and attract the attention of sponsors.

Monitor and analyze your streaming and sales data

Monitoring and analyzing your streaming and sales data is crucial for musicians who want to make money online. By keeping a close eye on these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into how well your music is performing and where your revenue streams are coming from.

This data allows you to make informed decisions about marketing strategies, content creation, and potential collaborations. Are your songs getting more plays on specific streaming platforms? Is there a particular genre or album that is resonating with your audience? Do live performances generate higher sales of merchandise or digital downloads? By digging into the numbers, you can identify trends, capitalize on opportunities, and maximize your online earnings.


Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of how to make money as a musician online. While traditional music venues have been a staple for musicians, the digital space offers a wide range of opportunities for artists to make money online.

By utilizing the various revenue streams available to you, you can turn your passion for music into a profitable career.

Remember that making money as a musician online takes time and effort. You need to consistently create high-quality content, engage with your audience, and promote your brand across multiple platforms.

However, with dedication and persistence, you can build a loyal fan base and earn a sustainable income from your music.