You've got the talent. You've got the skill. You've got the experience… and now you want to know how to make money as a music producer. How can you turn your passion into profit?
Making money as a music producer is not always easy, but it is definitely possible. In this blog post, we will list the 12 best ways to make money as a music producer and then explain exactly how you can go about them. Some of these methods are easier than others, but all of them can be successful if you put in the work. So let's get started!
You may have hear of some of these ideas before, while others will be brand new or may even jog your brain for some new possibilities. How you make money as a music producer will vary depending on your skills, talents, and what you're willing to offer. So let's take a closer look at each option!
- 1. Selling Your Beats
- 2. Creating & Selling Your Own Samples
- 3. Uploading Your Beats onto Royalty-Free Platforms
- 4. Make A Youtube Channel
- 5. Create An Online Course For Music Producers
- 6. Ghostwriting/Producing Service for Other Artists
- 7. Mixing, Mastering And Production Services
- 8. Producing For Brands
- 9. Start Your Own Record Label
- 10. Teach Producing and Mixing/Mastering Classes
- 11. Entering Competitions
- 12. Sell Exclusive Beats As An NFT
1. Selling Your Beats
One of the most common ways for producers to make money is by selling their beats. This is a great way to make money as a music producer because you can sell your beats and instrumentals directly to music artists and producers. There are a number of online marketplaces where you can sell your beats or, you can set up your own site and sell the digital downloads that way.
We recommend either;
- Setting up your own producer website
- Sellling your beats on BeatStars
Setting up your own site is easier than you might think, and WordPress has all the plugins you need for free to get your digital store set up. All you need is a host for your site. I recommend either Bluehost or Cloudways as they both offer great customer service for a beginner and affordable hosting packages.
You will need to have a library of beats you are willing to sell and outline the usage terms for each beat. You'll also want to create a pricing structure that is fair and profitable for you.
Most producers start out by selling their beats for $30-$100 per track, but you can charge more or less depending on the quality of your beats and how well they are marketed.
Tips For Selling Your Music On Your Own Site Safely
- Detail whether the purchase can be used for commercial or non-commercial use.
- Include a license agreement and/or terms of sale.
- Make sure to have a catchy and professional-looking website that represents your brand.
- A logo is optional, but a clean logo is always a good way to go. You can make your own on something like Canva or you can pay a designer to do it for you on Fiverr.
2. Creating & Selling Your Own Samples
Another great way to make money as a music producer is by creating and selling your own samples. This can be done in a number of ways, but, similar to selling your beats, the most common is by setting up your own online store.
You can create sample packs with all sorts of sounds from drums, synths, basslines etc.
They all need to be yours and original sounds, not a compilation of other people's sounds as you would risk copyright infringement.
Once you have a collection of samples, you can create a website and sell the packs for $15-30 per pack. You could even make exclusive packs for certain customers if they are willing to pay more.
Tips For Selling Your Samples & Sample Packs On Your Own Site
- Create genre-specific packs for different styles of music. Ie. Drill Drums Sample Pack, Hip Hop Synths
- Learn how to create your own plugins and VSTs and take this idea even further!
- Include demos of the sounds so people can hear what they're buying.
- Make sure your website looks professional and easy to navigate.
- Use a good graphics program to create custom covers and graphics for your sample packs or pay somebody to design them.
3. Uploading Your Beats onto Royalty-Free Platforms
Royalty-free doesn't mean you are giving your beats away for free. A common misconception! Uploading your beats onto royalty-free platforms is a great way to make some passive income as a music producer.
There are a number of these platforms online, and most of them work on a commission basis. That is, you get paid a commission for every track that uses your beat. The amount you earn will vary depending on the site, but it's generally a small percentage of the overall sale (usually around 20%).
You don't have to do anything once your beats are uploaded, and you continue to own the copyright to them. The site will take care of all the licensing and legal stuff for you.
People use these platforms to find backing music for their Youtube videos, for songs they are writing, and for all sorts of other creative purposes.
Premium services like Storyblocks Audio even offer a library of stock sounds and are very well-known. So it could be a way to both get paid and get some recognition if you have a distinctive sound.
Tips For Making Money With Royalty-Free Platforms
- Make sure your beats are high quality and professional sounding. If not, the best platforms won't even accept them.
- Be selective with what beats you upload and make sure they are in demand. Whatever you put out there represents your brand.
- Upload as many beats as possible to increase your chances of earning a commission.
- Create catchy and professional-sounding titles for your beats to help them stand out. These titles should also be genre-related so the algorithm can pick them up and offer them to the right people.
4. Make A Youtube Channel
I am seeing this more often nowadays. Producers have gotten on this hack and are making the most of it. It is still a pretty active wave to jump on! Make a Youtube channel and get recognition by remixing or remaking the most popular instrumentals out.
You can then monetize your channel by having ads running on it. You get paid every time someone watches the ad.
This is a great way to not only make some extra money, but also to build up your brand and get some recognition in the music industry. People will start to request beats similar to other artists' sounds or click through to your website to hear more of your stuff. This is why it pays to have your own site set up and waiting – if not, you are leaving money on the table.
Tips For Making Money With A Youtube Channel
- Make sure you have good-quality videos and beats. You do not need to be a master of Final Cut Pro to make good videos, but they should be of decent quality. Your name, brand or logo, name of the instrumental, contact details or website etc.
- Make sure you are regularly putting out content – at least one video per week. If not, people will lose interest and go elsewhere. Not only that, but the Youtube algorithm LOVES content creators who frequently upload so more people will find your music organically if you can set an upload schedule and commit to it.
- Stay on trend with the beats you make and try to tap into current popular sounds.
5. Create An Online Course For Music Producers
You can create a course teaching people how to produce music. This is a great way to make money as a music producer, and it can be done in a number of ways.
One way is to create a course teaching people how to use the software you use yourself. For example, if you are an Ableton Live user, you could create a course teaching people how to produce music with that. Likewise, if you are a Cubase user and have created your own VSTs , you could do the same whilst upselling your VSTs and sample packs.
Another way to create a course is to teach people about the production process itself – from start to finish. This could include tips on how to find inspiration, writing hooks and melodies, mixing and mastering, and more.
You can also create courses teaching people how to make beats in different genres or styles.
With courses, the possibilities are endless! The platforms already exist, too. So you do not need to worry about hosting the entire thing on your site. Udemy, Teachable and Skillshare are all excellent platforms to start with.
Tips For Creating A Course
- Keep your videos short and sweet – people have a shorter attention span when it comes to online learning and you want them to stick with it (especially if you have upsells throughout!)
- Use screenshots and images to help explain things visually. This is also great if you do not want to be on camera. Presentations and screen recordings actually work in your favor as a music producer.
- Break things down into easy, step-by-step tutorials.
- Promote the course on your social media!
6. Ghostwriting/Producing Service for Other Artists
One of the most common ways to make money as a music producer is by producing for other artists. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most common is by working with them one-on-one.
You need to have a good understanding of their style and what they are looking for and then produce a beat that fits their needs.
Once the beat is finished, you can send it to them and if they like it, they will usually pay you an upfront fee or royalties on future sales.
This type of work is often project-based, so it's important to be clear about what the terms are before starting anything.
Tips For Producing for Other Artists
- Make sure you have a good understanding of their style and what they are looking for.
- Produce a beat that fits their needs, not your own.
- Be clear about the terms before starting any project-based work.
- Have some beats of your own that you can use as a portfolio piece.
- Have your fee structure in place before starting work.
7. Mixing, Mastering And Production Services
Offering mixing and mastering services is another great way to make money as a music producer. This type of work often requires a good understanding of the production process, so it's something you can start doing once you have some experience under your belt.
If you are starting out, it might be a good idea to offer your services for a lower price until you have built up a good reputation. This will help you attract more clients in the long run.
Tips For Mixing And Mastering Services
- Make sure your mixes and masters are of high quality – this is what will make or break you as a producer.
- Use plugins to help shape the sound of your mix/master (i.e. EQ, compression, saturation etc.)
- Understand the client's needs and wants before starting work.
- Be clear about your fee structure and delivery timeframes.
- Make sure you can meet deadlines – this is key!
8. Producing For Brands
Producing for brands is easier said than done! But start small by approaching local businesses and see if they are interested in having a jingle or commercial produced.
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can start pitching to bigger brands. But be prepared to work for free at first – most of these jobs come with a lot of red tape and it can take a long time to get paid.
Tips For Producing for Brands
- Start small by approaching local businesses.
- If you are particularly business savvy, you could try offering the brand a full package including the fee for your music production, and outsource the video advert portion.
- Be flexible – this is a long-term strategy but can do wonders for your brand.
- Make sure you have a good understanding of the brand's aesthetic and what they are looking for musically.
- Pitch your ideas in an email – this is often the best way to do it.
- Include any previous work you have done for brands.
9. Start Your Own Record Label
We have written an entire post on how to start your own record label. But in a nutshell, starting your own record label is a great way to make money as a music producer but this is another long-term strategy that requires a lot of hard work, consistency and dedication.
You need to have a good understanding of the music industry, be able to market your artists and releases effectively.
By starting your own record label, you can produce for all of the artists you work with and discover new artists. This is a great way to craft your own sound and space in the industry.
10. Teach Producing and Mixing/Mastering Classes
You can teach physical classes on producing, mixing and mastering. This can be a great way to make money as a music producer and share your knowledge with others.
It's important to have a good understanding of the material before starting to teach – so being organised and having your own syllabus planned out is a must.
If you took the previous advice about creating an online course, you will be laughing to the bank – as you can repurpose that content for a live audience, and viola!
Tips For Teaching Music Production Classes
- Start small by teaching classes in your local community. Check with local schools or after school programs to see if they are interested in what you have to offer.
- Make sure your teaching style is engaging and interactive – this will keep the students' attention span high.
- Don't be afraid to use multimedia in your classes (i.e. videos, audio examples etc.)
- Be patient – it might take a while for students to start signing up for your classes.
11. Entering Competitions
Competitions are a great way to get your music heard by industry professionals.
There are all sorts of competitions out there, from remix contests to songwriting competitions.
Do some research and find the ones that are best suited for you and your music.
Enter as many competitions as possible – this will increase your chances of winning (or getting a placement).
Tips For Entering Music Competitions
- Enter as many competitions as possible.
- Check the eligibility criteria before entering – this will save you time and energy.
- Make sure your music is high quality and represents your sound well.
- Be professional in your approach – make sure you submit all the information they have requested – do not be lazy about it.
- Good competitions can be hard to find – be sure you sign up to any mailing list services so you can be informed about any new competitions as soon as they are announced.
12. Sell Exclusive Beats As An NFT
If you are not living under a rock, you will know that NFTs are all the rage right now.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital assets that are unique and cannot be replicated.
You can create your own exclusive NFTs for one-time projects. Learn all about how to sell your music as an NFT.
So, those are our 12 creative ways for how to make money as a music producer. We hope you found this article helpful and that it has given you some ideas on how to make money with your music production skills. Remember, the key is to be creative and think outside the box!
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below and don't forget to share this post with other producers, too!