Make money with music

Gustav Holst said that “Music making as a means of getting money is hell”. But he said that like a hundred years ago. Making money today does not need to be difficult if you have talent and the right strategy. Let’s see how you can make money through your love of music. Get ready to discover the stairway to money-making heaven.

Now before we jump into it, if you are a super talent don’t give up the hope of becoming a world-wide phenomenon. According to Forbes, Katy Perry and those dudes from One Direction both made more than $130 million over the past year. Their main income was from their concerts where they attracted thousands of ticket-buying fans. But if you don't hit stardom, there are still plenty of ways to make some cash through your love

Listen to music

Now, you are probably used to paying loads of cash to see your favorite bands in concert or b.uying their album on iTunes. It’s about time someone paid you for listening.

Now listen to this - Slicethepie and Music XRAY pay you for listening to and reviewing music. So, you may be asking, “Why the heck would someone pay me for this?”. Well, it is their way to identify the best up and coming artists. The amount you earn for each song reviewed is understandably low although these amounts can add up quite quickly if you love listening to music and are able to review many songs each day. Don’t expect to quit your job to listen to music all day, but this is a nice way to earn a little money on the side.

Produce music

SoundBetter is an online marketplace. It helps musicians find and hire recording studios, mixing and mastering engineers and professional Session Musicians. 

You can assist artists with their songs or projects. If you are a music production professional, SoundBetter gives you the option to work with musicians all around the world.


Now, I am sure that if I set up a spot on a busy street, put out an empty hat and start singing at the top of my voice, I would be able to make loads of cash. People would simply throw their money at me and beg me to stop singing.

If you have a far better voice than me, there are many options available to you.

The toughest period for any performer is when they first start out. Word of mouth is extremely important when you're a performer. Each live performance is also an audition for future performances. You have to get some initial gigs to create a degree of virality for your act. You need to be strategic about where and how much you charge for initial gigs. 

One strategy to get started is to play a handful of free Gigs for local establishments or at local functions. This can be the start for spreading the word about your Gig.

  • You should also join appropriate online marketplaces for musicians and bands. GigSalad is a good example in the US. People use GigSalad for booking bands, DJs, individual singers and other musical entertainment. This can help you gain more exposure and get more gigs for events. Your profile on Gigsalad will display a description of the entertainment you provide. It will also show your price range, website link, phone number and ratings and reviews from previous clients.

Now what if you already have a strong following?

  • Stageit is an online platform where artists perform live, interactive, monetized shows for their fans directly from a laptop. These are unique experiences that are never archived. If you have a strong following, you can use this platform to make some extra money.
  • Bandcamp is an online platform that allows your fans to connect with and support you. They can listen to your music, decide if they like it, and if so, pay you directly for it. 

Sell music

You can make extra money through your music by joining the big boys of the music world like iTunes and Spotify.

  • On average, artists earn between $6.00 and $7.00 per album sold on iTunes and between 60 and 70 US cents per song.
  • Spotify has a different revenue model. According to the popularity of your music, you can earn royalties for your music. Once Spotify has paid a rights owner the total royalties due for their accumulated streams, that label or publisher pays each artist according to that artist’s contractual royalty rates.

There are also many other large players outside of iTunes and Spotify. Now, the process of managing your digital music strategy can be a lot of work. To make this easier, you can use approved aggregators like Tunecore. You don’t need a label to share your music with the world. TuneCore has the expertise to get your music into iTunes, Spotify, and over 150 other digital music stores. You will keep 100% of your rights and 100% of the money you earn. There is however an annual fee that you will need to pay to Tunecore.

Here are some other options that you can explore if you are not ready to launch a full digital strategy.

  • You have probably heard of stock photography websites like 123RF and iStock photo. What you might not know is that you can also submit stock audio files. These usually do not contain vocals. They are usually instrumental and are used as backing tracks for corporate training videos, movies or adverts.
  • Through Fiverr, you can sell jingles or songs to earn $5 at a time. You will be able to charge extra for longer or more complex songs. I have actually bought many jingles through Fiverr.

Two cool jingles for $10 was great value for me. It was probably also well worth the time taken to produce. It most likely took no more than a few minutes of their time and they both receive requests on a regular basis.

Teach music

You are able to teach music on online educational platforms such as Udemy or Skillshare. You will earn money each time someone decides to buy your course. Your course can teach someone how to play an instrument, DJ, read music, write a song, etc. The student should be able to learn practical skills from the online course.

Your course does not need to be purely online though.

  • Experitus (in Europe) is an example of  a platform that facilitates learning by doing workshops for groups.
  • For more private one-on-one classes find students on marketplaces like Wyzant (in the US).

If you are a bit of a wordsmith, consider writing an instructional eBook through Kindle Self Publishing. It is a way to monetize your knowledge and create a source of passive income.

Sell old musical equipment

Do you have musical instruments and gear that you don't use anymore. Musical-Money is a website that buys used musical instruments, sound gear and recording equipment and re-sells it through their online shop. Another option is to list your stuff on Craigslist or on eBay or similar marketplaces in your country.

Maybe you have equipment that you no longer use but do not want to sell. Check if you are able to rent it out to those in your community through ZilokRentnotbuy or similar platoforms. 


I hope this blog has changed your tune about the ability to make money with Music. Get out their make beautiful music, make people happy and make some money.

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