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How Do Indie Artists Make Money

How Do Indie Artists Make Money

indie artist make money

Becoming an artist is a difficult task. And as an indie artist trying to make money it can be even harder. As an up-and-coming artist, you need to be constantly working. Which begs you to wonder what options are there out there for you to use to make money.

But before the internet, making money as an indie artist was harder. Before the internet, you can sign to a record label and hope you can make it. But now, once you gain a following online and know what you are doing it is possible to make money independently. While signing a record deal is still a possibility there are now more options you can learn to do on your own. 

How Do Indie Artist Make Money

  1. Streaming Revenue 

With the rise of the internet putting your music online is vital if you also want to make revenue. While you promote your music on social media, you need to have a place that your followers can click and stream. With this, it means your music needs to be on Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube, etc… and when you post these you are entitled to revenue. 

With websites like TuneCore or CD Baby, you can start collecting revenue. These sites help you promote and distribute your music. Sites like this tend to take yearly payments that are based on either single, album, and even ringtone. They are very helpful in keeping your copyrights, licensing, monetization, and you get to keep your royalties.

2. Live Shows

Live shows are not only important for promotion but they are very helpful to gain revenue. Due to our current situation with COVID it can seem difficult to live stream, but now that things are opening up you can find a way to do live shows. There are various forms of live shows: venues, online, and doing covers. 

  • Venues: Venues can be available in many places. From school campuses to bars many of these places carry a type of stage or auditorium where you can get experience in performing. With touring companies or even doing it independently, most of these places have a site where you can book a date to perform. With an agency, they can help you with promotion as well as helping you sell tickets. And with these tickets is how you make revenue. 
  • House Concert: House concerts are more private events, but can gain an income as well as a live performance experience. With more intimate events it is possible to charge more and gain more revenue, 
  • Online Shows: With our current situation online shows are more probable as more options begin to open. With online shows, you can find sites to broadcast gaining revenue as well as worldwide fans. With this, you can sell virtual passes and tickets as you virtually perform from the comfort of your home.

3. Merchandise

The merchandise also plays a lot in making funds as an indie artist. Many merch items come as physical items. So once you have created a brand and a following you can decide or even let fans decided what they would like to purchase. From items you can wear to CDs or Vinyl fans tend to get excited to help support their favorite new artist. 

Merchandise can also mean it is digital. While not many are out there purchasing CDs anymore you can add a link where people can buy your digital album. Digital albums can be sold anywhere online and can rack revenue. Especially to those who only want to listen to music online. 

Having merchandise is important, by having these items at a Live show you can set up a merch table where you can sell your items. When selling it is important to note what is selling more. If a hoodie is selling more than a t-shirt then consider making hoodies more available or expand more into that style and market. 

4. Fan Experiences 

While having created a fan base it is important to make a connection with not just each other but make it personal. A fan experience does not always have to be in person or a VIP Pass during an event, but it can be online as well. 

To create these experiences you can create subscriptions for them to follow and pay for. With these subscriptions, you can do live performances, sneak peeks of new songs, discounts, or subscriber-only events. A very popular subscription site is Patreon, which allows you to promote this and many more. 

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With sites like this is also allows crowdfunding, which helps generate revenue to create and produce your music. As fans crowdfund it can be important to give them a shout-out, as it is their subscriptions and donations that can allow you to create and produce. 

5. YouTube, Ads, And More

While this may be the most obvious it can still be important to do and that is Youtube. Youtube has a rule that whenever your music is being used in any video that has advertisements you are allowed to receive compensation for it. This is a process with monetization. You can use digital distributors that can keep an eye out for any video that uses your music and that way revenue can be made. 

Once a Youtube and following have been created sponsorships can come along that help create revenue. This then can then lead to music grants and endorsements all types of things that can help you create music as well as make a personal income. 

There are still many other ways to make money as an indie artist. But these are the most common and useful tips given out. As you try out and grow your fanbase keep a note on what gains more attraction. Maybe memberships get more clicks than a digital download. Or perhaps a certain clothing item is selling more than another. Once you have set up what you want to sell and promote keep note of what is important. This way what you promote will get you the revenue you worked so hard for. 

You can also read this article here and learn about making money on TikTok.

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