How Do Musicians Make Money - 5 ways

 How Musicians Make Money

How Musicians Make Money

The role of a musician is a unique career in the arts and has many ways of making money. Even if they choose not to perform music, alternatives such as music management, music promotion and music journalism exist. In this article, we define what a musician is, explain how they make money and list the average salary of musicians in every state.

What is a musician?

A musician is an individual who plays a musical instrument, has talent in musical arts, composes music or conducts music. Additionally, a musician who specifically plays an instrument is often known as an instrumentalist. Examples of musical skills include singing, producing, performing and arranging.

What does a musician do?

The roles and functions of musicians differ depending on their talent and the place in which they work. This list explains some of the common duties of a musician:

  • Perform for live audiences
  • Perform for musical recordings
  • Audition for positions within bands, orchestras or other music groups
  • Rehearse new music and performances before live shows
  • Scout locations for concerts
  • Travel to perform at venues across the state, nation and world
  • Promote themselves through a website, social media platform and other forms of public relations

How do musicians make money?

Making money as an artist is not always as simple as negotiating a paycheck. Pay for musicians depends on the type of job, whether it's freelance or part of a deal. The following list outlines several methods in which musicians earn an income:

1. Managers

Some musicians find themselves in music management in which they handle the affairs of other musicians. In this role, managers earn an agreed-upon percentage of the artist's income. The more the artist makes, the more the manager makes. In some cases, the manager receives a salary depending on the overall success of their artist client or if the client wants the manager to only work with them.

2. Promoters

Some musicians become promoters for other artists or venues, making money on ticket sales. Promoters either take a percentage of proceeds from the show or agree on a fixed payment with the musician. All other money earned goes directly to the musician they promote.

3. Agents

Agents work in a similar capacity to managers, earning an agreed-upon percentage of show income. Agents often negotiate a fee for themselves, specifying a number they want to receive for their efforts. For example, an agent and a client might agree upon $1,000. If the client attracts enough of an audience to make $2,000 in ticket sales, the agent takes half.

4. Public relations

Those who enjoy both music and advertising find themselves in music public relations (PR) roles in which they earn income on a campaign basis. PR companies negotiate a flat fee for advertising a particular album release or music tour. Companies also receive bonuses for successful campaigns as they reach certain earnings milestones for the client. For example, they might make an additional $10,000 if the client sells a certain number of albums online.

5. Sound engineers

Musicians who enjoy the science of sound and altering its effects often become sound engineers. They help mix songs for artists and earn income on a per-project basis. Sound engineers who work specifically with music artists either make a one-night deal for a show or go on tour with the artist, earning income from the full tour and per diems. Those engineers who work exclusively with a venue, such as a bar or a club, receive an hourly wage.

6. Journalists

Musicians who enjoy writing often become music journalists working on a freelance, contract or per-project basis. Those who work for a publication earn a salary or hourly wage. They write about current events in the music industry and cover news pertaining to artists and the industry as a whole.

7. Record labels

Some musicians start their own label or work for one. A record label's primary income comes from selling records. Those who own their own label make money as long as they earn decent record sales. If they work for the label, they either make a salary or hourly wage. The amount of income they make depends primarily on the size of the label and their role.

8. Musicians

Artists who remain musicians earn money from advances, merchandise, royalties, licensing fees and playing live music. Unless the artist remains independent, they pay a share of their money to others involved, such as managers, agents, promoters, PR teams and sound engineers.

Source: indeed.com

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