Top Ways To Generate Recurring Revenue In Music
Generating predictable monthly income is the elusive holy grail for any musician or individual involved in music. The music industry relies on a heavily freelance workforce, known as gig work. While it has many benefits, it has significant drawbacks.
Musicians, sound engineers, and touring crew, forego the benefits that conventional jobs offer such as paid salaries, retirement plans, paid holidays, health insurance, and job security. Musicians and other freelance workers are required to complete regular on-going work to achieve financial security.
The current situation the world finds itself in is more than enough motivation for musicians and producers to seek out new opportunities. With such a huge number of tours and music events having been cancelled, professional musicians relying on touring as a primary source of income have suffered immensely. Relying on a single revenue stream is a very risky business indeed.
The good news is that individuals working in the music industry can adapt to changing circumstances through diversification. The key is to learn how to utilize skills in new ways, through leveraging your talents. Let’s take a look at some of the top ways musicians can generate recurring revenue in music.
Teaching & Mentorship
You were probably expecting me to kick off this list with something more glamorous or progressive. But teaching is a rewarding and highly consistent way for musicians to generate predictable monthly earnings.
During unprecedented periods of time such as this, online lessons over Zoom or Skype have proved to be immensely popular for both teachers and pupils. Online lessons allow you to connect with students from anywhere in the world at a mutually convenient time. Both parties benefit from being able to learn and teach from the comfort of their own homes.
Teaching is a great way for experienced musicians, producers, and any other type of industry professional to be rewarded for sharing their knowledge and expertise with those willing to learn.
There will always be room for more talented creators online, whether it’s on YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, or even a blog. The market is competitive, but if you can produce consistent and good quality content, then you can tap into one of the most rewarding passive income streams available.
You can benefit from numerous ways to monetize a platform with sufficient traffic, including adverts, affiliate links, sponsorships, and more. These monetization methods work seamlessly for digital platforms, and they are very hands-off, meaning you can focus more on producing quality content.
There are so many ways to get creative with producing engaging visual content online. Uploading new music, lesson tutorials, covers/remixes, gear reviews, or even a vlog are exciting ways you can build an online fan base.
Flexible Online Gig Work
Online there are some amazing platforms that you can use to your advantage when offering freelance services. Fiverr is just one example of a popular platform that has become a hit with freelancers and customers thanks to its streamlined platform and interface.
Freelance service marketplaces such as Fiverr have millions of potential buyers looking for bespoke songs, remote session recordings, design work, edits, mixes, and more. You have the flexibility of setting your own prices, and you will also receive more reviews over time, which will help you to secure more clients.
The payments are smooth and fast, meaning you won’t have to deal with chasing up late payments! And best of all, as long as you are self-sufficient, you have the means to earn as much as you like.
Subscription-based services are proving to be very popular amongst musicians and creators who have an existing following or fan base. Anyone can launch their own community hub offering exclusive content for those who are willing to receive it in exchange for a monthly fee.
There are various platforms that offer fan subscriptions, such as Bandcamp, Patreon, and more. They enable creative individuals to engage with their fans on a personal level, and this is what makes it so appealing for fans. Fans want to feel a part of an exclusive community and enjoy meaningful interactions.
Subscription-based services are a like-for-like exchange, and in order to incentivize your followers into parting ways with their cash, your rewards must be unique and substantial. The price of tiered reward packages will correlate to the value of the perks.
We are all well versed with the decline of the record industry. Although royalties are far less than in the past, they still make up a significant part of an artist’s revenue. The amount made depends on not only the number of streams played but also the volume of content you have available.
Explore new ways of producing and releasing music and audio for streaming-based services. Perhaps you want to release that B-side that never saw the light of day, or you might wish to start a new informative podcast. Both of these are great ways to generate additional income with little effort.
Diversifying your income as a musician is essential in order to sustain yourself whilst pursuing a creative lifestyle, doing what you love full time. It’s hard for musicians out there right now, and the music industry is continually changing at light-speed. Being flexible and agile, and exploring new ways to leverage your talent and experience will enable you to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Gideon Waxman is a London based drummer and music educator, who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Westminster. You can find more of his advice over at Drum Helper for the latest drum gear reviews, tips, news, guides, and more.