Have you ever been told that making money from music is really difficult, and that only a small fraction of musicians can achieve it? Let’s be clear here - in 2021, there are more ways to make money from producing music than ever before. In this article I’m going to list the possible options to see what the best way of making an income as a music producer is.
But first, an important distinction. Popular music producers who are signed to major labels or have placements with big artists often have completely different income sources than underground producers. That’s because their names attract big amounts of people, which affects how they earn money. But that doesn’t mean that popularity is required to make money in the music industry.
For instance, popular producers are often able to make money from monetization and merch. Their music is listened by big amounts of people, which gives them a consistent income from streaming services alone. Similarly, by being popular, they are able to sell merchandise. However, in most cases these options do not provide sufficient income for underground music producers.
Here are the top 5 ways for every music producer to make money in 2021:
5. Live gigs
One of the biggest sources of income of the music industry are live shows. The same applies for music producers and DJs, who often rely on gigs to earn a living. However, 2020 reversed the situation completely. Musicians were suddenly unable to perform in front of people and were forced to look for other sources of revenue. That’s why live gigs might not be the most stable source of income.
Instead of relying on streaming service monetization, try licensing. Music producers earn money every time someone purchases a license for their music. It might be used by artists or in media. Hip hop producers often sell their beats on platforms like BeatStars, which allow artists to purchase beat licenses. Other genres of music might be uploaded to music marketplaces like Songtradr, where they can be purchased by various media brands, advertisers and filmmakers.
3. Music services
As a music producer, you might have skills which you can offer as a freelance service. For instance, most producers who mix and master their own music might offer mixing and mastering for other artists. If you’re an expert on audio recording, you might also be able to work in studio recording. Another option is composing - you might be able to compose music for specific media purposes.
A great way of making money for music producers is teaching others the craft. It could be in the form of 1 on 1 sessions or by recording courses for platforms like Skillshare - or our PML Academy. The demand for good music production tutorials is very high. Every producer has a unique skillset which they can share with others. Plenty of producers make free YouTube tutorials as well, and promote their courses and 1 on 1 sessions there.
1. Selling producer packs
For music producers, selling their samples, presets and templates is one of the best ways to earn money. Here are a few reasons:
It’s passive income
First of all, it’s a great way of generating passive income. Simply put, when you create a sample pack you work on it only once, and you’re able to sell it as long as you want. As long as the pack is relevant and needed by other producers, you can enjoy the additional revenue each month. Creating sample packs has become a life-changer for some artists. Karra, the vocalist behind the popular “KARRA Vocal Sample Pack” states:
“It’s provided financial stability in my life. Being that I write songs every day, I never know where my next check is coming from. [With sample packs] it’s so nice to have a quarterly payout. That’s a really significant amount of money — life-changing money, in my instance.” [Source]
Sample packs shape the sound of genres
By making packs, you are able to directly influence the community of producers. There are plenty of examples of packs which shaped the sound of entire genres. In EDM, some of the most influential packs were made by KSHMR. On the other hand, modern hip-hop was shaped by the sound of the Lex Luger drumkit, and lately by the sounds of PVLACE. Similarly, our Deep Premium Drums sample pack series, which became well-known amongst house and techno producers.
You have the skills to do it
As a music producer, you most likely have the required knowledge to start making packs. If you’re already designing synth patches and know the basics of audio effects, you are definitely ready to start making your own samples. In fact, every track you make is a unique collection of samples, and a lot of these can be useful to other producers. Sometimes all you need is to save the sounds you have already!
It’s a way of gaining new followers
Quality sample packs are something a lot of producers search for. If you can get their attention by supplying them with what they need, you will likely gain new followers. This can mean more and more traction for your music, which leads to getting recognized by new audiences.
Creating sample packs helps you grow
Making sample packs is a great exercise for developing your own sound. By focusing on sound design, you can find ways of making original samples. And as you make more and more samples, the library of your own production-ready sounds gets bigger, which impacts your production.
Learn How To Make High Quality Sample Packs Today
Step by Step Instructions For Creating Original Sound Packs You Can Sell Online
About this Course
You'll learn everything you need to know about making a professional sample pack: From making a plan, learning about copyright, making drum and melody samples to exporting and renaming samples properly and more!
Your tutor Julian from Bound to Divide gives you an exclusive look into his production process, shares his tips & tricks, and guides you from your first kick sample to a complete sample pack - as if you were sitting side by side in the studio.
What You Get
- 4h+ Full Start to Finish Course
- 21 In Depth Sessions from the First Idea to a Ready to Sell Sample Pack
- Lifetime Access
Who is this course for?
If you’re serious about building up an income stream in the music business, this course is an absolute no brainer.
You will learn everything you need to produce and market a sample pack and you’ll break even with the cost of this course in no time after selling roughly 4-6 sample pack copies.