Musicians! Here's how you can make some money off the internet

Posted on 27 February, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Musician-money-online We’ve all come across that post which reads, “Hi guys, I made 50 lac rupees online! You could too…” That definitely doesn’t sound legit, but as far as talent goes, learnt this - it is very rare, and if you manage to package your skill well you could just make a few bucks online.  

That brings us to the big question – how does one go about making money online?

The first thing you should do is work on being seen! Basically, set up your own website, or have an updated and active social media feed that shows you’re an alive active musician who is working on amazing tunes every day. Plus the pages should procure all information of that one would need to learn about your music, updated links, work-in-progress, etc. Then, you pick your digital distributor. Digital distributors mainly focus on making your music visible in online stores. The fee charged by online distributors is much lesser as compared to physical stores. And the reason it’s so - no physical inventory, no actual shipments and no copies to be pressed. When you partner with a distributor, you would be expected to sign a legal agreement granting the channel to sell and distribute your music to generate revenue. Distributors service numerous customers hence they enforce a ‘one size fits all’ contract. Make sure that your legal agreement with your distributor does not give them the right to collect royalties. Also, take note of the termination clauses and terms of the agreement. Learn more about Digital Distributors HERE!

Ads and partnerships

Consider the most popular platform- YouTube. Each YouTube account has a channel attached to it, create an account, upload content, gain an audience via subscriptions, and enable monetization which means you’re allowing YouTube to place ads in your video. This also means that you acknowledge that there is no copyrighted material in your video. Setup Google AdSense, via PayPal or a bank account where you gain money per ad click. Become a YouTube partner, as partners gain access to more content creation tools, and can win prizes for the number of viewers they have. Apply for partnership through the YouTube Partner page, but you’d need 15,000 cumulative watch hours for your channel over the last 90 days in order to gain access to the most powerful Partner programs. Simultaneously you must also, distribute it via digital distributors.

Insights from musicians who are already pros at this!

Vasuda Sharma’s act called ‘Vasuda Sharma Live’ has massively used digital distribution to generate sales, she says, “It (digital distribution) was extremely easy. I think it’s one of the best ways to put your music out there especially for an indie artist. OK Listen has a tie up with The Orchard which distributes music world wide.” Symphony Novel’s lead guitarist Rachit Sachdeva explained everything that he does to get his band noticed. “I use CDbaby and Bandcamp to get the word of my music out there. When it comes to sales, Bandcamp works better as the sales come straight to the artist. All the artist has to do is put up the song; design the page, set rates and you’re good to go. The artist can also opt for a pay anything you want option, the Bandcamp fee is the only deduction that the artist incurs. However it is not a distribution platform, so I use Cdbaby to put my band’s work on all stores like iTunes, SpotifyeMusicAmazon, and more. My band’s music is currently playing on Pandora Music Radio too, where we get streaming royalties.” When we asked him if he made any profits, he said, “Not yet, we need quite a lot of sales happening to get a substantial amount coming in. However, it’s more important to produce an album of excellent quality. Artists shouldn’t compromise during recording, mixing, mastering. These things matter a lot, that’s the first thing that’d drive people to buy, and finally marketing yourself.” Read more of what Rachit said HERE. Note:
  • Generating revenue from YouTube is challenging, as the clauses are pretty tricky (i.e. 15,000 views).
  • Musicians need to be well-known for generating traffic. Try podcasts and providing music lessons, like online tutorials of operating your gear.
If you do know of any other methods of generating revenue through the net, do let us know in the comments below.

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