6 Ways of Making Money From Your Music
You’ve just finished the final mix and master on your latest track, clicked the “save” button 5 times (just to be sure), and have uploaded it to your favorite streaming service, positive that this song will be “the one”! The one to get you noticed, the one that will be a hit, the one that everyone will call the song of the summer.
And that is one method of having your music make money. But are you leaving money on the table by just uploading it to streaming sites? You already know about recording songs, selling albums at shows, and to stream your songs for the masses. I’m not here to talk about those today. Let’s think outside the box in terms of ways to have your music work for you, which is why I’m so happy you clicked on this article today! The strategies I’m about to share with you are going to help you crack the code and have your music start working for you in some new ways.
Today, I want to talk about 6 different ways your music can really start working for you, which I’ve put into 3 groups.
Are you ready to dive in? Alright! Turn on your favorite playlist and let’s get going!
These are the online version of a meet and greet between your songs and someone to purchase them. What is nice about these places is that it is a passive activity for you once your upload is complete. A music supervisor or placer will search out types of music based on tags and discover your song. These are the first 3 ways to make more money!
Do you love YouTube videos? Do you know where most vloggers get their music from? And did you know you can submit your music to the same database? Epidemic Sound was created to be the go-to spot for vloggers and content creators of YouTube. You create an account, submit your work that fits what is trending, and Epidemic Sound will purchase your tracks from you. Then, content creators will be able to search the database and if they like your song, purchase a license to use it in their videos. What’s really exciting is that others in the business have started to use this as a place to find tracks for TV commercials, broadcast TV, films, and more.
As one of the most successful placement companies out there, Taxi is a leading company that places music in films, TV shows, commercials, broadcast TV, and so much more. For the majority of music placement services, you need to become a member in order to take advantage of every opportunity. You get a year’s worth of ability to submit music when purchasing a membership. However, a quick trip through their success stories makes this one of the best to bookmark for placement.
Select Music Library
Finally, we have Select Music Library, a bit of a combination of Taxi and Epidemic Sound. This was created by musicians who wanted an easy way to license their music for use in videos, commercials, TV shows, films, video games, and so much more! What I love about this place is they specialize in unknown songwriters, making it one of the most accessible for beginning musicians and music producers!
How did musicians and artists make money in ye olden days before Spotify? They got commissions, of course! People hired them to use their creative work in films, commercials, and so much more. We can use those same techniques today as another way to make some money from music in the next 3 ways.
Student filmmakers & Indie filmmakers
Composing original works for filmmakers is so much fun! Send an email to your local university’s film department and say that you are a songwriter who would be open to writing original scores or theme songs for their students. If you offer a student discount, all the better. You can search out local filmmakers on Facebook groups or local meet ups and offer to work with them on future projects. Make sure to mention that you work with indie films on your website (if you have one) so that you can optimize your SEO when local filmmakers are searching out composers.
Are love songs your jam? This might be the best tip for you! As weddings grow in scale, more and more couples are looking for personalized songs for their first dance. Reach out to a local wedding planner and offer a special rate where you will write a personalized song for couples. Include a meeting with the couple to get details on their romance, as well as one revision per song included in your rate.
Different from the generalized scope of Epidemic Sound, if you love watching a specific vlogger on YouTube, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! Send them a free track and offer to compose originals for them. I have a friend who vlogs daily and is always searching for new songs. She isn’t alone! Stuck on what to say? Use this as a jumping off point:
How are you? I saw your recent vlog about (about) and had to reach out! The song you used from (time stamp to time stamp) was so great!
My name is (name) and I’m a songwriter who plays (what you play). I think that my song (song name) would be something you’d love so click this link for a free download (link to your private Soundcloud, drop box, etc with the song). If you love it, I’d love to work with you on writing more originals for your channel!
Hope to hear from you soon!
(links to your tracks to download)
(link to your socials or website or other songs)
For the 6th and final way we’ll cover today I want to touch on a point that doesn’t immediately relate to sales, but it should. How searchable is your music? When looking on places like Epidemic Sound, Spotify, or YouTube, if I were to type in “dance pop songs about night” would your music appear? People find music through a strange combination of searching out directly what they want AND having the computer algorithm decide what they should listen to next. Make it easier for both person and computer.
Start by making sure you place your music in the right category. Is it pop, country, dance, trap, etc. Do this for every streaming site and video site you upload your song to.
By tagging your music with all the possible things you can think of. Include not only the style and genre, but also the mood, similar artists who you sound like, and feelings that are evoked while listening.
For example, if I have a new dance-pop song, I would tag it as:
Dance, pop, song, single, night time, going out, happy, workout, music, drum, song, vocals, female vocalist, singer-songwriter, etc.
So there you are! 6 new ways of having your music work for you. Try one or two this afternoon and see where it takes you. Leave a comment below for other things that you do in your career!