How Indie Musicians are Making Money

With record sales at a historical low, people are nervous about the music industry and disappearing financial opportunity. To this we say, balderdash! Truth is, with record labels looking for new ways to reach into artists’ pockets, musicians are using these strategies to revolutionize their approach to the music industry and keep their pockets full:

1) Getting creative with merchandise – With free, streamable albums all over the internet, fans have taken their thickening wads of cash to the merchandise stands. Thus, bands are diversifying band merchandise to please more body-types and fashion senses. Think outside the box and talk to fans to determine what they want to buy most.

2) Joining the YouTube community – Now that the Internet is the premier destination for observing pop culture, reading the news, and killing time, bands are getting finding ways to get in on the action. One major strategy is to offer music, appearances, and collaborations to YouTube celebrities for money or publicity. Some musicians are even becoming YouTube celebrities. An eye-catching v-log or music video can net $1,500 every one million views!

3) Finding steady live shows – A classic method for creating new fans and making side cash has always been the regular live gig. There are so many options: bars, bingo night, lunch spots, talk shows, sidewalks, public parks, train stations. Bands are striking deals with businesses to get paid for playing to citizens, and are essentially, promoting for free.

4) Taping live shows ­– Many bands are harnessing the potential in making live-shows available for die-hard fans, expecting to sell at least $2,000 in live recording purchases per show. Performances can also be uploaded to YouTube to help boost account views and expose more listeners to the music.

5) Kickstarter fundraising – Online services like Kickstarter and GoFundMe are allowing bands to directly ask supporters for financial support. For groups with large mailing lists and thousands of social media followers these campaigns can be a very efficient way to fund a tour, recording session, or promotion package.

It won’t be easy to make up for lost record sales but the above strategies will help. As time goes on more methods will arise and as artists mix and match for their own tastes and abilities the cash flow will return to its old form.

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