How Recording Studios Make Money: The Business Of Music Production

There's more to the music industry than just the musicians and the fans. Behind the scenes, there's a whole business of music production that is responsible for making sure that songs get recorded and distributed to the world. And, it all begins in the recording studio. But, how do recording studios make money? Let's take a look!

How Recording Studios Make Money: The Business Of Music Production

How Do Recording Studios Make Money?

A recording studio is a business that makes money by offering services to musicians. The independent musician or the label a musician is signed to pays for studio time, either per hour or in packages, in order to have their music recorded.

What Services Do They Offer to Musicians and Clients?

How Recording Studios Make Money

Most studios offer a variety of services including:

  • recording
  • mixing to mastering
  • they also often have a library of instruments and machines that you can use in your music
  • most music studios also have staff and engineers who can help you write and produce your music as well as in house producers
  • additionally, many studios offer session musicians and vocalists if you need them for your track

Some recording studios also have;

  • podcast services
  • rehearsal space
  • music video production
  • and more

How Much Does It Cost to Record a Song in A Studio?

Prices vary greatly, depending on what the studio has to offer, how long it has been in business and how reputable it is. Many music studios that have had big names record there can charge even more and often can be visited as a musical museum of sorts.

The cost to record a song can also depend on how long the song is, how many tracks need to be recorded, and if any additional musicians are needed.

Typically, you will be paying an hourly fee or for a block of time.

Some studios will also require a down payment or deposit before you start recording. You will get the raw recording unless also paying for mixing and mastering services.

What Does the Recording Studio Get in Return?

The studio gets paid for their time and services by the musician, which can range from $50 to $250 per hour.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Professional Recording Studio?

There are many benefits to using a professional recording studio, including:

  • A professional studio has a better acoustic environment, which leads to a better-sounding final product.
  • A professional studio has better quality equipment than most home studios, which leads to a higher quality recording.
  • A professional studio is staffed by engineers who have years of experience and know-how to get the best sound from your music.
  • A professional studio can provide you with a mix and master that will make your music sound more polished and radio-ready.
  • A professional studio can provide you with additional services, such as session musicians, vocalists, and music video production.

These are just some of the reasons why it is often a better idea to use a professional recording studio rather than trying to record your music at home. When it comes to making your music sound its best, nothing beats the experience and expertise of a professional studio!

Are Recording Studios Profitable?

Now that you know how recording studios make money, you might be wondering how profitable the business model actually is.

Afterall, we have mentioned many overheads, from other singers and engineers that may need to be paid, the rental cost of the studio itself, and then all of the equipment needed along with wear and tear and utilities (and the list goes on!)

So, are recording studios profitable?

The answer is: it depends.

Like any business, there are a number of factors that will affect profitability, such as the location of the studio, the type of clients it attracts, and how well-run the studio is.

However, with careful planning and management, a recording studio can be a very profitable business!

Recording studios that focus on their branding and attracting the right clientele in addition to doing a phenomenal job and offering a positive experience, can make a very healthy profit.

How Can Someone Start Their Own Recording Studio Business?

How can someone start their own recording studio business

If this all sounds good to you, you are probably wondering how you can start your own recording studio business.

The first step is to develop a business plan. This will help you determine the costs of starting and running a studio, as well as the potential revenue streams.

Next, you need to find the right location for your studio. It should be centrally located and easily accessible for your clients.

You will also need to invest in quality equipment, which can be expensive. However, there are a number of companies that offer to finance for studio owners.

Finally, you will need to staff your studio with experienced engineers and musicians who can help make your clients' recordings sound their best.

If you have the passion and drive to start your own recording studio, it is definitely a business worth considering! Just make sure to do your research and plan accordingly to ensure its success.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Recording Studio?

This will vary from person to person, but once you draw up your business plan, you will be able to see exactly what it will cost and what things are an absolute necessity vs. what would be nice to have.

A few things that are always an essential cost for a studio are:

  • the monthly rent
  • utilities
  • insurance
  • equipment

Studios also typically have costs associated with hiring an engineer or two at the very least unless you are going to be the engineer.

It is important to remember that in order to make a profit, you will need to be charging your clients more than it costs you to produce the recording. So, make sure to factor in all of these expenses and set your rates accordingly!

Of course, you will not recoup your investment immediately so don't go overboard with your pricing – plan this all into your business plan and ensure you have enough money to run until you begin to break even.

Ways to Make Money For A Music Studio Owner

Ways to make money for a music studio owner

Mixing & Mastering Services

There are a few ways to make money by offering mixing and mastering services. The most common way is to charge a per-song rate. Other ways include charging by the hour or by the project.

It's important to remember that good mixing and mastering can take a lot of time, so you'll need to price your services accordingly. It's also important to have a good portfolio of work to show potential clients in order to land projects.

Finally, it's important to be able to deliver high-quality results in a timely manner, as clients will expect their songs back within a reasonable timeframe. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success as a Mixing & Mastering Engineer.

Music Production

If you have an in-house music producer, they can generate income for the studio by charging for their services. Producers typically charge by the hour, day, or project.

It's important to have a good understanding of the music industry and what goes into producing a song before offering your services. It's also important to be able to work with a variety of different artists and genres in order to appeal to a wide range of clients.

You can agree on a cut between you and your music producer as you are the middle-person and connection and it is being carried out in your studio.

Recording Services

The most common way for recording studios to make money is by charging for recording services.

This is not limited to music. You can record podcasts, adverts and anything you can think of. Set your rates according to the project, how long it will take and what is included in the package.

You could also look at ways to increase your revenue by offering additional services such as mixing and mastering, or by renting out your studio for other purposes such as photoshoots or events.

Rent Out The Studio Space

Rent Out The Studio Space

Other ways to make money with a recording studio include renting out the space. This can be done by the hour, day, or week.

It's important to consider who you want to rent your space to and what kind of activities they'll be using it for. For example, if you're renting to a band, you'll need to make sure your studio can accommodate their needs (e.g., rehearsal space, equipment rental, etc.).

By renting out your studio space, you can bring in some extra cash while also promoting your studio to potential clients.

Likewise, people recording their podcast and visuals for their podcast are very good clients these days for recording studios. If you are able to offer a full package for podcast audio and video – you can market monthly packages which can be very attractive to podcasters.

Professional Photography & Photoshoots

A lot of studios will bring in professional photographers to do photoshoots in their space. This is a great way to make some extra money, as you can charge by the hour or day.

It's a great way to market your studio to potential clients. If you have the space and the equipment, offer this service to your clients!

Music Licensing

Studios can also make money by licensing their music. This can be done in a few different ways: through a publishing company, syncing songs to TV or film, or selling licenses for commercials. If you have a lot of great music in your catalogue, this could be a great way to make some extra money!

Demo Tracking

Demo tracking involves recording a band or artist's demo in your studio. This is a great way to get new business, as bands will often book time in your studio if you've recorded their demos in the past.

It's also a great way to build up your portfolio and show potential clients what you're capable of.

Setting Up A Home Recording Studio

Setting up a home recording studio

If you have a spare room or garage and want to set up your own home studio, this will cut your costs significantly. Keep in mind, your earning potential will also be slashed down significantly, too.

Setting up a home recording studio entails a lot of the same costs as setting up a professional studio, but on a smaller scale.

You will need to purchase recording equipment, an audio interface, soundproofing materials, and acoustical treatments for your space.

The main difference is that you likely won't need to hire any staff or pay rent for commercial space – although if you live in an apartment, you may need to factor in the cost of soundproofing your own walls and ceiling!

If you're serious about making money from music production, it will take time and money but, we recommend going the professional route. However, if you're just starting out or doing it for fun, then a home studio could be a great option for you.

How Can One Educate Themselves About Music Production and The Business of Music Production?

There are countless books that go into music production in much greater detail than we have here.

Here are some of our top recommended books:

[amazon box=”1119049652, 1544341202, B082MPSL2G, 0998503304, 0415716705″ template=”list”]


We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how recording studios make money. While it is a complex business, with many different moving parts, it can be very profitable if done correctly.

If you are considering starting your own studio, be sure to do your research and develop a strong business plan. And finally, educate yourself on the topic as much as possible – there are many great resources out there!

Do you own a recording studio? How do you make money? Let us know in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle