How to make money as a music producer

How to make money as a music producer

Being a music producer is a valuable skill set in this era but it requires a lot of hard work and dedication to become successful.   If you are working in the music industry and are looking for ways to make money from your passion, ...

Being a music producer is a valuable skill set in this era but it requires a lot of hard work and dedication to become successful.  

If you are working in the music industry and are looking for ways to make money from your passion, then this article is just right for you. There are a lot of money-making opportunities in the music industry, you only have to figure out which will work best for you.  

Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out how to make good money as a music producer.

Making money as a music producer in 2020

The music industry has gone through drastic changes in recent years. These changes have consequently affected the type of content required in studios and radio. Traditional ways of making money as a music producer are also not practical anymore.

Below is a list of viable options of making money as a music producer in 2020;


This means that you register your work and get paid when third parties use it for example if the song is used on YouTube videos, on commercials or T.V shows or if it is played on air.  

Two of the most popular ways in which you can license your work include;

Registering with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO): once you sign up on this, you can make your songs public. The work of these organizations is to track how your songs are being used and ensure that you are paid. It is quite difficult for one to keep track of every time their song is used therefore this is quite a good option.  

Licensing via libraries and marketplaces: these are the platforms where content creators go to look for music or beats to use with their work. Every time a person buys your songs, beats or loops, you get paid.  

Examples of marketplaces that are popular among music producers include; Bandcamp, Sellfy and Songtradr.

Create a YouTube Channel

There is good money to be made from YouTube. With a good following and great content, you can be able to make a living off YouTube as a music producer.  

The secret is to create good and unique content then work on building your online community. How much you can make on YouTube is highly dependent on the number of subscribers you have. Having grown your platform, you can now monetize your channel. This can be through running ads, sponsorships, paid partnerships, affiliate programs and donations.  

Sell your Beats Online

You can be able to make anywhere from $10 to thousands of dollars just by selling your beats to independent musicians. There are two ways to go about this. You can either lease your music or sell it for exclusive rights.

Leasing means that you have given a client a limited amount of time to use the song, beats or loops. If they need to use it further than the agreed time, then they have to repurchase the lease.

Exclusive means that you give away all rights to the song, beats or loops. Once you sell it, you cannot sell it to another person.  

To make this a successful passive income opportunity, you need to ensure you have a wide selection of beats, aim at making at least two beats in a day. This helps you stand a better chance of making sales.  

You can choose to either sell your beats through your website or you can sign up on marketplaces that help producers buy and sell beats such as Beatstars and Airbit.

Teach music production

People are always eager to learn new skills especially if it something they are interested in. there are a lot of young aspiring music producers who would use your guidance.

The e-learning trend has picked up significantly and now people are more comfortable with taking classes online in their own free time.

If you are an experienced music producer, you can spare some time to teach others how to start and navigate the music industry. There are several ways in which you can go about this such as writing and selling ebooks, having courses on a platform such as Udemy or Skillshare or you can also create online courses on your website and have people pay to sign up for the courses.  

Playing live shows

Playing live shows and going on tours is one of the most lucrative ways of earning money as an artist. The latter however is for established and popular artists, quite popular with hip-hop and electronic music producers.

Anyone can play on live shows, even if you are a beginner however if you are only starting, be prepared to play a couple of free shows. You can however have someone record the performance for you then you can upload it on your YouTube channel, this will help you build your portfolio. You need to have patience, perseverance, a positive mindset, and effective work strategies as you climb up the ladder.  

Playing on a live show at your local bar or club is a good way to build your brand and earn a couple of bucks per night. This also helps you perfect your craft.  

Selling Merchandise

Artists with their brand of merchandise can make on average $300,000 – $400,000 or even more per year making this a very good avenue of making extra income as a music producer. Whether the merchandise is to help you push your brand or you are building a label, you need to develop a unique logo with trendy designs to get people to buy. Several artists have managed to successfully launch their brand in the fashion industry. An example is Jay Z with his Rocawear brand, Kanye West with the Yeezy brand and the famous Rolling Stones band with their signature branded merchandise.  

There are several items that you can brand and sell during tours or on your website such as T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, bags, keychains and jerseys. It is best to have different items in a different range of prices to cater for everyone.

Bottom Line

Other options to consider include ghost production, royalties, offering mixing and mastering services. There are so many avenues of making money as a music producer in this new era. Remember, you can utilize more than one of these options to open yourself to more opportunities.