45 Ways An Artist Can Make Money In 2017

This list was generated as part of Future of Music Coalition’s Artist Revenue Streams research project, a cross-genre multi-method examination of musicians’ revenue streams and published by Digital Music News yesterday.

More on this list and other reports here.  As you read this list, remember that every song has a recording and publishing component, each with different revenue possibilities.

Section I. Songwriter and Composer Revenue

1. Publisher Advance

Bulk payment to songwriter/composer as part of a publishing deal. Paid to songwriter/composer by publishing company.

2. Mechanical Royalties

Royalties generated through the reproduction of recordings of your songs – either physical or digital. Paid to songwriter/composer by publisher, label, Harry Fox, or digital aggregator like CD Baby/TuneCore.

3. Commissions

Typically, a request from an ensemble, presenter, orchestra or other entity for a composer to create an original work for them.

4. Public Performance (PRO) Royalties

Royalties generated when your songs are played on radio, TV, in clubs and restaurants. Paid to songwriter/composer/publisher by ASCAP/BMI/SESAC.

5. Streaming Mechanical Royalties

Royalties generated when your songs are streamed on on-demand services (Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio). Paid to publisher by Harry Fox or other mechanical licensing agent. Publisher then pays songwriter/composer.

6. Composing Original Works for Broadcast

Typically, a commercial request to compose an *original* jingle, soundtrack, score, or other musical work for a film, TV or cable show, or an ad agency. Paid to songwriter/composer by agency requesting the work.

7. Synch Licenses

Typically involves licensing an *existing* work for use in a movie, documentary, TV, video games, internet, or a commercial. Paid to songwriters/composers either via publisher or record label, or via a direct licensing deal with the licensee (movie studio, ad agency, etc.) if you are self-published.

8. Sheet Music Sales

Revenue generated by the sale or licensed reproduction of songs/compositions as sheet music. Paid to songwriter/composer by publisher, or directly from purchasers if you are selling it on your website or at performances.

9. Lyric Display

Revenue generated by the licensed display of song lyrics.  Online lyric sites pay publishers, which then pay songwriter/composer.

10. Ringtones

Revenue generated from licensing your songs/compositions for use as ringtones. Paid to songwriter/composer via your publisher, your label or Harry Fox.

11. Songwriter Awards Programs

Awards given by ASCAP and BMI Foundations to writer members of any genre whose performances are primarily in venues outside of broadcast media.

12. Publisher Settlement

Payment from publishers to writers for litigation settlements.

Section II: Recording Artist Revenue

13. Record Label Advance

Paid to recording artist as part of signing a deal.

14. Record Label Support

Money from label for recording or tour support.

– To continue reading, link to Digital Music News here, and the Future of Music Coalition’s Artist Revenue Streams research project here.

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