Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
If you want to make money in music production, you need to know the different ways of doing so. Here we cover How to Make Money as a Music Producer, including royalties, self-production, crowdfunding campaigns, and licensing.
We’ll get into each topic briefly so that hopefully this article can serve as a great introduction for newer producers who are interested in starting to make some money.
As many people would agree, modern society’s consumption habits have changed drastically over time with music being no exception. In the past, people would purchase a full cd of an artist that they liked. Now, thanks to the internet and the digital era, it is easier than ever for producers to have their music heard by more people.
It’s crazy to think that music producers are worth millions of dollars these days. But you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to start making waves in the industry. There are plenty of opportunities for people just like you who have some talent and drive, even if your skills aren’t always world-class.
It’s been proven time and time again that being a good producer is about finding your niche and reaching out to people who can help you get there.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on studio equipment and an army of engineers at your disposal.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities out there for producers who want to take shortcuts, and this article will go into some of the most important tips you can use to create a career.
How to Make Money as a Music Producer
If you are experienced enough, you can get a job at a recording studio as a freelance engineer or producer using the skills that you have. Some recording studios offer more flexible hours than others, so it is wise to work out which studios these are in your area.
Make sure you contact them beforehand and ask whether they are looking for freelance engineers or producers. A good place to start is the recording studios that you attended with an internship.
So be sure to send out high-quality demos that include all of your tracks, the producers’ names, and contact info. And once you get a gig…you’ll have some cash in the bank!
2. Make soundtracks
You can also start by making soundtracks for movies, series, or games. Your characters can be music heroes or heroines; it is up to you!
Yes, It is also possible to make money by creating soundtracks for movies and commercials. If you can compose original music, you can charge more than $1000 per song, whilst if you just have to write music and use existing tracks, the price will be lower.
Many film directors need good-quality music compositions to draw attention or the movie trailer will not turn out well.
Streaming services are the new way to make money as a music producer. These services allow the user to listen to music and make money off of it. A great example of a streaming service is Soundcloud. You must learn how to make money from SoundCloud.
To be successful with streaming, you need two things: a good ear, and patience. You’ll have to put out some quality tracks that have good sound design, instrumentation, and mixing. If you can do this, then you may be able to get your music on sites like Soundcloud that are known for royalties.
4. License your music to game developers and film producers
It is possible to earn a good amount of money by licensing the rights to use your music in movies and games. A song with a famous singer of your choice will cost you $10,000 to produce and if the video game company decides that they want to use your song in their game, then it will cost them $10,000 too.
Make sure that you profit from the money that you invest and make sure you negotiate the best price possible.
5. Teach people how to make music
If you have experience in songwriting, composing, and mixing then you can start your own business teaching people how to do it. You can teach people via a private lesson or online. If you want to make money as a producer this is a great option, and if you want to work from home this is perfect!
You can start an online course on Teachable and start earning.
If you are good at playing musical instruments then create a course. For example, teach people how to play the guitar.
6. Be a ghost producer for rappers
Rappers make a lot of money, but they are also known for being cheap when it comes to paying producers. It is not uncommon for a producer to work on an entire project that only gets credit as the “beat” or “instrumental.”
Well if you’re one of these producers, this can be another way to make money as a music producer. If you produce beats for cheap and take credit for it, you’ll get paid for the tracks anyway.
7. Sound Design
A producer that specializes in sound design will take on projects such as backgrounds and music beds. This is where a producer can make some serious cash.
These days, companies need quality audio for everything they produce. A bed or background track is the perfect thing for a product demo or anything else the company needs audio for. Your project has to be well done if you want to make money from it, so practice!
8. Release your own albums
You could release your own albums in order to make money. Indeed, the first time that you release an album is the most difficult, but it is not impossible either; it is a good idea to listen to other albums or songs in order that you can identify with them.
If there are many people who like your music, you will be able to make some money from this.
You would have to produce an album that will include all of your best songs. If you are a singer-songwriter who has been singing for a long time, this is something you should consider seriously.
If you think you’re a mix master, you may want to try remixing. A remix can be for a song, a video, or just about anything else. And if it’s a rap song…you’ll probably want to get paid!
Take the original track and put your spin on it. Since these are original tracks, no one will be able to say that your work is using someone else’s work.
If you love to spin records and make people dance, then being a DJ is the way to go! You’ll likely want to start off by learning to mix and then move on from there.
DJs can make a living by charging for their services, hosting an event, or doing it as a hobby and getting paid for it. So if you want to make money from spinning records, get out there and start showing off your skill.
10. Conduct research on the psychology of musical traits that are effective in different situations
You can also earn money by conducting different research studies. For example, you can work with a study that focuses on music in restaurants and other places where there is background music.
You could perform a research study on the effect of soothing music versus romantic music on the mood of people in a café where there is background music. The more people’s opinions you have, the more money you will earn.
11. Crowdfunding campaigns
With the help of some sites such as Kickstarter, it is possible for producers to make money from launching their own crowdfunding campaigns. This allows producers to raise large amounts of money from fans around the globe to help kick start their careers.
This is a great way for would-be producers to have an idea of what kind of budget they will need in order to make music that has a professional sound.
With this in mind, it is also possible for producers to put together a professional studio for their own personal use that can be used to record music. This can provide producers with the ability to make high-quality music and increase their credibility among both fans and industry artists.
One of the most common ways to make money as a music producer is through royalties. Royalties as we know them today started during the age of mechanical reproduction in which artists would get paid when records were manufactured and sold commercially.
This meant that the artist was paid for each unit sold (e.g. a full album) and also for each individual track, being paid by the label at a rate set by law.
Today, music producers would be paid in the same manner but through digital distributors such as Spotify, iTunes, or Amazon. The amount per stream of music on these services is typically paid out based on how many times someone listens to their music per month or week, with royalties usually being paid out in cash.
One of the most popular and widely used platforms for collecting royalty payments is the services Spotify provides. Spotify pays out around $0.006 for every 1,000 streams and all money is paid out in US dollars, even though music streaming services are offered in many different countries around the world.
How to be Successful as a Music Producer
1. Find Your Niche
There are a ton of music producers making waves in the industry, but they’re all doing it with different focuses. Many strive to be known as masterful engineers and are obsessed with finding the most interesting ways to manipulate sound.
This is where the bulk of the money goes. Other producers aren’t so much concerned with engineering and are just as happy spending their time making hit records.
Some producers are absolutely in love with the studio and want to create a name for themselves being the next Daft Punk. There’s no bad way to go about it.
As long as you find a passion that compels you, you can make a good living in this industry.
2. Do it for the love of the music and not just a paycheck
You’re probably not going to find a $5 million salary at your first record deal. When you start off in this industry, it’s important to know that your priority should be music and not money.
Make sure you understand why you want to make records and what you love about them before getting too attached to making money too quickly.
3. Pay it forward and learn from others
If you want to make this a career for yourself, paying it forward is extremely important. There are plenty of producers who are at the top of their game because they’re always willing to help other musicians in your position.
This includes reaching out on social media (and meeting them in person if possible) and offering your advice when asked. As you progress, you can also look to make an effort to reach out and help other producers find their niche.
4. Create a schedule and stick to it
The best way for a producer to see results is for them to be consistent in what they’re doing. This doesn’t have to mean sticking with the exact same tools or techniques from one day to the next, but it means doing what works for you and making a plan of action that works for your style.
You can always experiment with a new song or two every week, so long as you’re doing what you love and focusing on the elements that make you want to create.
5. Be original in your efforts
There’s no shortage of producers out there who will try to take credit for something they don’t deserve. It happens more than anyone would like to admit, especially when it comes to records that feature multiple artists or producers who aren’t known by the public yet.
You can always try to look out for the people trying to take credit for your work, and if you think the material is good enough, you should absolutely let them know it. The more people know about you, the easier it will be for them to turn you into a star.
6. Learn from your mistake and develop a thick skin
Everyone makes mistakes and fails at one time or another. In fact, it’s mostly people who fail a lot that becomes successful. The most important thing you can do is to learn from your mistakes and treat them like stepping-stones towards higher ground.
When you get knocked down, you need to get back up and try again while remembering what went wrong the first time. The real point is to never let it get you down too much. Learn from it, and brush it off before getting back to creating music as if nothing ever happened.
Those who are willing to learn and get back up when they’re knocked down stand a much better chance of making it than those who get torn down by their failures.
7. Don’t be afraid to start over
When you get stuck in a rut, it can be tempting to skip ahead and try something new. But more often than not, this can be a trap that leads you further back down the path of learning.
If you want to take your career seriously and develop into someone who’s working towards something greater, you’ll need to stick with things that work for you and create a sound that stands out from the rest.
If you decide to take a break and come back at a later time, you’ll find it much easier to move forward again.
8. Don’t be afraid to branch out with other forms of entertainment
If you want your music career to be successful, one thing you might want to think about is branching out. Not only can you start to get involved in other forms of entertainment, but it can also help your music career by giving you something to talk about beyond your musical creations.
This career path doesn’t have to be a guarantee for you. Many of the most successful artists have more than one offer on the table, so if you decide this is something you want to pursue, don’t be afraid to explore other interests and options.
9. Don’t get too attached to your success
It’s important to remember that success only comes when your hard work has paid off. Even if you find success right out of the gate, don’t get too attached—you still have a lot more work ahead of you if you want to become the next superstar in the industry. Nothing can replace hard work and a good mentality.
10. Give back to the industry
It’s important for every music artist to be supportive of their colleagues, both in terms of giving back to the industry and also offering their support outside of it.
It’s important to remember that you are part of a community; whether you’re in the same city, state, or country as your peers or creators, there are things you can do together on a personal level and in an official way as well.
You can help each other find agent representation, pay to enter music festivals, etc. This is a great way to establish yourself as a team player in the industry and an even greater way to get ahead.
Do music producers make a lot of money?
It’s not uncommon for music producers who do well to make millions of dollars annually, however, this is uncommon. The majority of music production jobs require the producer to take on several different roles. The producer will provide vocals (if required), mix, master the album, and also perform the instruments themselves (or hire other players). This means that if they are not hired as an exclusive specialist for one task or another, then they are likely to earn much less than those who focus on mastering or mixing for example.
Is there any way that I can get paid for my work as a producer?
Usually, the only place that producers are compensated is by having their work licensed by a record label. If you’re working on someone’s album, then you might get a piece of the royalties that the label will be paying out to their artists. That depends on what kind of music you’re working on and how much it’s worth.
What genre of music should I specialize in writing?
It doesn’t matter what genre of music you specialize in, but you should be sure to get a degree in the topic if you want to make money from it. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become successful in that career path. Many people start out by doing internships and getting work in entry-level positions. For example, someone who wants to write songs for rappers might start at a studio transcribing rappers’ lyrics and writing their verses until they can show enough experience and skill set.
Can I get paid for my music?
You’ll probably have to have some money invested in the production of the album before it becomes profitable. Many people produce a quality product before they take it to a major record label. If you’re the type of person who wants to release your music for free, then you might have to wait until some time has passed before it becomes profitable.
How much does a producer earn per song?
This depends on how good you are as a producer and how good your equipment is. In some careers, like music production, people don’t make much per song. In other careers, like graphic design or video editing, the amount of money you make is directly proportional to how good you are at that specific activity. The same is true in music production.
In this post, we have given you various ways to make money as a music producer. Now, it is up to you to choose the right one according to your skills and ability.
However, I highly recommend that instead of relying on this income source, you should focus on learning how to use music production software, produce amazing beats, and take your music career seriously.
If you do that, then the money will come with time. You can start earning money as a music producer today and you don’t have to be afraid of the future.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.