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Top 10 Ways to Make Money as a Musician – How To Sell Your Songs


Top 10 Ways to Make Money as a Musician – How To Sell Your Songs

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Ways to Make Money as a Musician
Ways to Make Money as a Musician

In this article we’ll be looking at the Top 10 Ways To Make Money as a Musician, I know most musicians are very talented and it’s everyone’s dream to make money off their craft, up and coming musicians often face the challenges of been discouraged about the hustle, when you are not signed to a big label, and you don’t have the money to push yourself out their, it become very tedious to even earn from the songs you make.

Out of hundreds of industries out there, entertainment industry happens to be one of the largest in the world after technology, health and agricultural industries.

But, the issue has always been how to commercialize or monetize this songs if you are not signed to any record label.

Don’t be discouraged as there is a way you can make money with your songs both as an up and coming musician or an already blown musician.

Ways to Make Money as a Musician

  1. Through Streaming Platforms
  2. Through Distribution Deals
  3. Through Facebook and Instagram Music
  4. Through Paid Appearance
  5. Through YouTube
  6. Through Collaborations
  7. Through Events Tickets Sales
  8. Online Live Shows
  9. Through Government Sponsored Events
  10. Through Performance Royalties

The above mentions are the top 10 ways to make money as a musician that I will be talking about, though their are other ways you can still make money, but let’s focus on these ones.

Make Money Through Streaming Platforms.

Since we are in a digital space with the availability of digital content. Musicians can now make money from their music through certain platforms like Spotify, Audiomack, and many more.

How it works is that the higher the number of streams, the higher profit you make.

Although for platforms like Apple Music, the algorithm behind it is that the higher the number of streams you get from a particular region, you earn more from that region.

The procedure to get started is by uploading the music to these platforms except for premium platforms you will need the help of distribution companies like Bandcamp, Distrokid, Tunecore, etc to upload your music.

Make Money Through Distribution Deals

This strategy puts you in charge as it bridges the gap between the artiste and the record label. It is more favourable to independent musicians to make money through this means you will either have a record label of your own or you let the distribution company take care of it.

Their are two ways to go about distribution deals:

  1. You submit the digital or physical content of your music to a distribution company to help promote and market the music.
  2. The second option is that you take care of the production, marketing, and distribution of the music. This option is risky and so I will advise you to opt for the first option.

Note: Distribution deals are different from record deals.

In record deals, the company takes charge of all your expenses from the moment you sign a contract with the record label.

All your expenses are being taken care of from the cost of recording, your events, marketing, promotion, and distribution of music.

Some even go to the extent of taking care of your basic needs like accommodation but it’s not free as you think.

Now, the pattern of payment comes in two ways, which are:


Here, the artist is not entitled to have a part of the percentage of the profit that returns after a hit song. But rather the artiste is paid monthly which may be a loss to the artist. That is why most artists tend to run away from this option.

Percentage Payment

This is pretty fair and many musicians have made money through these options.

For instance, the likes of Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, and more have been made through this means.

Here, the percentage of the profit made after all expenses is been shared between the artist and record label.

Regardless, the distribution deals pay more than the record deals, and distribution companies like Bandcamp, and Reverbnation are always available to help with the distribution of music.

Make Money Through Facebook Music and Instagram Music.

For many that are not aware, you can monetize the music on your Facebook and Instagram.

How you may ask? Well, Facebook collaborates with certain record labels and distribution companies to monetize your music on Facebook which covers Instagram.

How this is done is that with the help of a record label or distributor, your music will be uploaded on Facebook’s database for people to scan through and choose according to our preferences and it is being monitored and tracked to avoid people violating their policy or rules. The areas for the inclusion of music are:

Instagram and Facebook Stories: Aside from passing emojis and stickers. There is an available placement for music to be added according to your stories that family and friends can watch or share with others.

Live Videos: You can select music too if you want to go live on any of these platforms. And guess what? When you are living, your audience can see the artists of the music you are playing.

The beautiful thing about all these is that your music is being tracked and it is allowed to be shared by followers within and outside your region and at the end of the month, you get paid.

Note: The digital content that you will submit should be your content that you have the authority right to or a third party content you still have authorization to.

Through Paid Appearances

Although music industries are not making much from record sales.

Musicians have figured out another way they can make money which is through paid appearances.

Where you are invited to show up at clubs, events, and tours and still get paid for showing up.

Through YouTube

This is one of the known means of making money from musicians.

Creating content on Youtube is pretty easy these days all thanks to advanced technology.

There are several means to make money through YouTube. Which are:

First, you can record a beat and create a cover page before uploading it to Youtube.

Second, you can get paid when your music is used as ads on YouTube. So ensure you create a YouTube today!

I have written a step by step guide on how to make money on YouTube go check it out. Read: Full Guide on How To Make Money From YouTube in Nigeria

Through Collaborations

The more you build an online brand for yourself and gradually climb the limelight, many brands and musicians will begin to take note of you.

Aside from the notice, if you happen to know your skills(music) very well.

You will begin to get recommendations not only from your producer but also from other musicians who might have listened to your song and loved it.

For instance, who could have imagined that Johnny Drille and Teni could feature as a duo to remix “Denge Pose”. This is what happens with collaboration.

Top 10 Ways to Make Money as a Musician - How To Sell Your Songs
Top 10 Ways to Make Money as a Musician – How To Sell Your Songs

Through Performance Royalties

Yes, there is a possibility of making money from performance royalties.

There is no doubt that many musicians have made money from this means either by featuring them in a song or using their music to act in a movie or when their music is being interpolated or sampled.

What is music interpolation?

Music interpolation happens when a piece of existing music by an artist is being transformed with related sounds, patterns or melody, etc from the existing music.

While music sampling is when part of an existing song is being merged with a present song. So, for every song that is interpolated or sampled. The owner of the song gets royalties from the act.

For instance, the known song of Burna Boy Ye samples the late Fela Kuti.

He may have paid royalties to the family of the deceased before bringing it on air.

So, even if the owner of the music is alive or not when the song is used in a movie or it is interpolated or sampled.

There is a percentage of royalties that goes to the original owner of the music and it is a lifelong process for musicians to make money from music.


Being a musician is one thing and making money from music is another thing.

Yes, it might take a while but it is worth it. All you have to focus on is being consistent and keep adding value.

If you have other ways one can make money from music please feel free to share in the comment section below.

Top 10 Ways to Make Money as a Musician – How To Sell Your Songs