How To Make Money As A Musician In 2019

In today’s music industry, you don’t have any excuses to not be making money as a musician. And neither do I.

Whether you prefer to play live shows or stay in the studio, there are ways moola can come streaming in.

So here’s how to make money as a musician in 2019 (16 ways!).

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LANDR Review: Can An Algorithm Really Master Your Songs?

The difference between a pro-level recording and an amateur-level recording: mastering. 

And when it comes to this final (but crucial) last step before releasing a song, lots of people choose a free online mastering service like LANDR.

But many mastering engineers are not totally sold on this idea.

So I thought I’d review LANDR myself. The big question here: is LANDR any good?

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3 Big Things Happening In The Music Industry In 2018

As DIY musicians, it’s important you and I keep up with what’s going on in the industry. 

iTunes

So as we welcome the new year, here are three important things happening in the music industry in 2018.

iTunes Is Removing Digital Music Downloads

As of 2016, iTunes started phasing out digital music downloads. And the plan is to finalize the whole process by 2019.

According to Digital Music News, there will be a “complete termination by 2019, shortly after the 2018 Christmas season.” And this is happening “as music downloads continue to collapse.”

If you didn’t know by now, you should — streaming is the new way of doing things. So if you’ve released music, you should get it to places like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, and Amazon.

You can use this guide to get you started: How To Sell Your Music Online (A Guide For Beginners).

Things Will Get Better For Songwriters

In a landmark deal, the songwriting industry and music streaming companies partnered to cut a deal with the federal government, reports The Tennessean.

Without getting too much into the legal jargon, here’s what the new deal means: streaming companies will now be able to easily license songs, while songwriters and publishers should see an increase in their own digital rates.

Here’s a little more detail on what the deal will lead to:

  • “Songwriters and publishers could be identified more accurately and paid more promptly,” thanks to a soon-to-be mechanical digital rights organization run by music publishers and funded by streaming companies
  • Boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to rate courts being able to look at sound recording royalty rates as a factor when they set rates for songwriters and publishers
  • More boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to us being able to present as evidence for more royalties the sync licensing deals (our music in TV/film) we get.
  • ASCAP and BMI can take their rate-setting disputes to any of the federal judges for the Southern District of New York, instead of being assigned to one federal judge

The DIY Music Train Will Keep Chugging — Hop On

Now is one of the best times to be a DIY musician.

Anyone can record music in their bedroom and make it sound professional (check out the Audio Recording category for more on that). It’s so easy and affordable to distribute your music worldwide.

There are plenty of ways to make money as a musician, sometimes without even leaving home. And tools for musicians abound, like CD Baby, Patreon, and LANDR.

If you’ve been on the fence about pursuing music as your passion, as your source of income, now is the best time to jump off that fence on the right side.

Is My Patreon Page Just A Cash Grab?

Patreon is a website that gives music lovers a direct way to support artists they love. And it’s been catching on.

Patreon page

Right now, Patreon has 50,000 creators (musicians and other types of artists) and 1 million patrons (art fans who support creators).

So why did I decide to join the masses?

Was it a cash grab? No.

Did I choose to do this on a whim? Nope.

Am I just going with the flow of whatever’s hip nowadays? Heck no.

I started my Patreon page for the people who enjoy my music.

What Is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows music fans to support their favorite artist financially on a regular basis. Depending on how the artist sets up their page, fans will support either monthly or on a per-creation basis.

In exchange, fans get exclusive content, VIP treatment, and other goodies from the artist.

The Pros And Cons Of Patreon

It’s hard for me to find cons with Patreon, but here’s a quick little pros-and-cons list.

Pros:

  • The artist gets paid on a regular basis
  • The fans get early or exclusive access to music
  • Account connects to your bank or PayPal for easy funds transfer
  • Fans can spend as little as $1/mo

Cons:

  • Some fans may feel intimidated by the commitment (although it’s easy to cancel)
  • Patreon takes a percentage from the artist’s funds (but that’s expected as there’s no monthly charge or membership fee for the creator)

Patreon Exists Because Of Supply And Demand

If no one listens to my music, I’d probably be void of excitement to release it to the public. I’d still be making music, I’d just keep it to myself and my computer.

But because people have shown an interest, I want to keep delivering.

And Patreon is a great way for me to do that regularly while getting support from my super fans.