Can You Make a Living as a Musician? One of the biggest challenges that a musician’s face is making enough money to survive. They can no longer rely on music sales and touring alone. Today an inspiring musician has to learn several techniques to earn an income. Music sales have plummeted in the recent years but other opportunities have opened up. There are 18 ways in which you can make money off of your music.

1. Sales from CD: This is great if you are playing live shows. People that come to your show are more likely to purchase your CD.

2. Sales of Vinyl: Vinyl sales have increased 30% since 2013. This is a good way to make some extra money.


3. Digital Music Sales: Selling music through your website and other online sources can make your some money. Online resellers do take a cut of the profits and you will need to pay sales tax.

4. Streaming: Money from streaming will add up over time. This will help fans discover your music.

5. Live Performances: This is one of the best ways to earn money as a musician. You can make money on ticket sales and merchandise.


6. Merchandise: If you are playing live shows or touring be sure you have t-shirts, buttons, stickers, and other merchandise to sell.

7. Digital Merchandise: This includes PDFs, videos, and other images you can sell to your fans. They can also pay for exclusive photos, sheet music, and a number of other digital items.

8. Crowdfunding: A good crowdfunding campaign can help you make enough money to produce your music and marketing your music as well.

9. Royalties from Publishing: You can get money from royalties from your music from television, radio, online sales, and sync royalties.

10. Digital Royalties: You can make money when your music is played on Sirius Radio webcasts, and other forms in online media.

11. Royalties from Live Performances: You can make money when performing live. Performance Rights Organizations will pay for your live performances.

12. Licensing: If your music is used on a commercial, film, or other source you will get a licensing fee. This will vary based on song and project.

13. Youtube: When your music is used on ads, Youtube will pay you for it. TuneCore and CD Baby will also help you collect money when your song is used.


14. Sponsorships: If you have a fan base some of your fans may be willing to sponsor you. They can give you cash or provide free products or services.

15. Session Work. You can market yourself as a session artist. You can sing or play music for other projects or even for advertisements.


16. Write Songs/ Compose Music: If you have this talent you can help other artists make music.

17. Covers: You can play covers at bars, clubs, weddings, and other venues. While some musicians may discourage this it is a good way to make some extra money.

18. Give Music Lessons: People are willing to pay if you can teach them how to play an instrument. This is a great way to supplement your income and share your love of music with others.