Making some form of money is key to maintaining a career as a musician, although the ways in which artists earn income have changed quite a bit over the past few years. In this excerpt from his recent eBook, Dave Cool outlines 23 different revenue streams artists can tap into in the modern music economy.
Guest post by Dave Cool, Director of Artist & Industry Outreach at musician website & marketing platform Bandzoogle.
Two years ago I wrote a blog post called 18 Ways Musicians Can Make Money. It quickly became (and still is) the most read blog post on Bandzoogle, ever. Apparently there are a lot of musicians looking for ways to make money for their career.
But a lot can change in two years, especially in the music industry. There are now even more opportunities for musicians and bands to make money. New tools and services are also available to help take advantage of these new revenue streams.
So I decided to update that blog post with new revenue streams, more tips, tools and resources, and publish it as a free eBook called “23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money”.
Here are 3 of the revenue streams featured in the eBook. You can read the rest by downloading the eBook free.
- VIP Fan Experiences
"Superfans. These are some of the most interesting men and women in the music industry right now and they’re particularly important to artists."
- Benji Rogers (Founder, PledgeMusic)
You should of course offer VIP fan experiences during your crowdfunding campaigns. But it doesn’t have to stop there.
For any gig you play, try offering your superfans a little something extra. A meet & greet after the show. VIP seating with drinks included. Maybe even a pre-show dinner with the band.
In the age of digital music, scarcity is valuable. So you'll be able to charge extra for these unique experiences. This will generate more revenue, and also further strengthen your connection to your superfans.
- More income for live shows
- Creates strong connection with your superfans
- There’s a limited amount of experiences you can offer at each show
- Can be time consuming to plan/organize/execute
- Live Shows - House Concerts
“In the ecosystem of gigs, house concerts are king!” - Joy Ike (Singer-songwriter/Founder of Grassrootsy)
House concerts can be a great way to fill gaps in your touring schedule, and can net you some impressive income.
While attendance for house concerts is limited by nature, ticket prices are often higher for these intimate events. Plus, the majority of the revenues (often 100%), goes to the performer.
- Great to fill gaps in touring schedule
- Majority of $ goes to the performer
- Potential for high merch sales
- Great way to connect with fans
- Can be challenging to find hosts
- Often need to educate music fans about what house concerts are
- Turnout can vary greatly depending on the host
If you’ve built up a fanbase, local businesses, music companies, and even major brands could sponsor you to reach those fans. You can offer valuable visibility with your live shows, on your website, social media, and through your mailing list.
Sponsorships are sometimes paid in cash, but it's more likely that it would be in the form of free products, services, and gear. This would help you cut costs, which still has value. Every dollar counts when it comes to running your music career as a business!
- Additional income to help pay for your expenses
- Free products & services can help save you money
- You must have a solid fan base/draw for companies to be interested
- Can be time consuming to finalize sponsorship deals
Dave Cool (yes, that’s his real name) is the Director of Artist & Industry Outreach at Bandzoogle. Built for musicians by musicians, Bandzoogle makes it easy to build a beautiful mobile-friendly website, and sell music, merch & tickets commission-free. Dave is a recovering punk rock drummer, comedy nerd, wine snob, and loves to connect on Twitter. Follow him at @dave_cool