As an independent artist, we understand you’re wearing a million different hats at once. You’re making music, managing your schedule, touring, and so much more all at the same time. That being said, it’s important that you’re making as much money as possible to support your endeavors without burning yourself out. To do that, having passive sources of income can make a huge difference. In this post, we’ll give you 8 ways to earn passive income as an independent musician.
8 Ways To Earn Passive Income As An Independent MusicianAlways stay gracious... best revenge is your paper. 💸 - Beyoncé Click To Tweet
Income made from subscription based services is a great way to get more money on a consistent basis as an artist. This gives you income directly from fans who love to support your work. All this is is essential a monthly subscription to whatever you want to offer your fans, whether that be exclusive music, behind-the-scenes content, or whatever else you have to give.
There are a couple ways you can do this, but one of the most popular ways is through Patreon.
- With Patreon, you can host exclusive content just for your subscribers who pay a monthly fee for access to it. Patreon does take a 5 to 12 percent commission of monthly income from creators, and they also take a 2.9% plus $0.30 processing fee on donations over $3 and 5% plus $0.10 fee on donations of $3 or less, so definitely keep that in mind if you decide to use them.
When we talk about sync licensing in the music business, we’re referring to the act of synchronizing a piece of music with any form of visual media. This includes movies, TV episodes, commercials, video games, etc. When your music is features in any of these places, you get paid. Easy as that.
How does it work? — Once you get picked up for a placement, you may have an advance and backend royalties. Typically, advances are paidout directly while backend royalties are paid out to the societies you’re registered with, aka ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.
- You earn performance royalties every time your music is performed or played publicly. (TV and radio royalties fall under that category.) As long as your songs are registered with a performing rights organization (PRO) such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, you are eligible to collect performance royalties.
To make it easy for you, you can actually do this through us, too. With Symphonic, you can get started with sync licensing through our in-house sync licensing division, Bodega Sync. Once accepted, your music is pitched to supervisors and advertising agencies, we negotiate licensing deals, complete all the paperwork, and make sure you get paid properly.
YouTube’s Content ID
YouTube’s Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system that content creators (and musicians) like you can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube. When you do this through Symphonic, that means you would upload your music to us and we go ahead and upload it to YouTube’s Content ID system. When that happens, any song that is uploaded is compared against audio and video files that have been uploaded by many users all over the world.
How can this make you money? If a match is found, we will, by default, monetize that video that has been matched and claimed thus bringing you more royalties and ensuring that your works aren’t being illegally shared and monetized by others.
Instagram & Facebook
Similarly to Content ID with YouTube, our partnership with Facebook does the same thing on Instagram and Facebook. We upload content into Facebook’s systems in order to scan for anyone using that same content. Then, the content is available for use on Instagram and Lip Sync Live and Instagram Stories.
Then, we also deliver your content to Rights Manager for FB/IG allows us to monetize your sound recording catalogue through reels, music stickers, and ad-supported posts and more. (Click here to learn how to claim this content with Symphonic.)
Just like with the above two, you can do this on TikTok as well. Here at Symphonic, we have a partnership with TikTok that allows our clients to deliver their tracks onto TikTok for creators to use in their videos. That means whenever anyone uses your music in their videos, you get paid. To get this done with us, click here.
With SoundCloud, you have the benefit of a large community of like-minded artists to get insights from and to collaborate and connect with within a positive community of creatives. SoundCloud is notoriously “by musicians, for musicians” and it’s not a bad idea to use that to your advantage.
Symphonic can monetize your tracks and profile on SoundCloud and also deliver your catalogue to SoundCloud Go. To make sure you’re making money here, click here to sign up for Soundcloud Monetization.
Teach Online Courses
Don’t be humble… You’ve got skills. Mad skills, in fact. Teach others how to master your craft by teaching online courses through websites like Skillshare or Teachable. If you’ve got the time, this is a great way to not only improve yourself through the repetition of practice, but get paid and teach others how to better themselves. It’s a win-win.
Would we really be doing this post justice is we didn’t mention the OG here? Selling merch is a great way to make more money on the side without having to overexert yourself. Odds are you already have some merch available online. If that’s the case, it doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re driving as much traffic as possible here.
You can ensure this in a couple ways.
- Adds the link to your merch in the bio’s of all your socials.
- Add merch to your Spotify for Artists profile with Shopify.
- Set up your Instagram Merch Shop.
- Sell more merch during your live streams with these pro tips.
To wrap it all up…
Trust me, I understand it sucks to have to focus on anything other than just making great music. However, anyone who’s been in this game for a minute knows the hustle is a part of the process. Making more money on the side helps you support the things you need to move forward as an artist. Whether that be to buy better equipment, reinvest in yourself, step up your advertising, or whatever else, earning passive income is a great way to do so.