Monday, January 18, 2010

Income $tream$

~ I grabbed this from

The artist music business model has been in flux for years. The record deal dream that most artists sought is no longer the viable alternative that it once was. The leveling of the music distribution playing field by the Internet is virtually complete. Terrestrial radio is on a path towards destruction that even the major labels can’t compete with. People now access and download music from multiple sources, usually for free. D.I. Y solutions are everywhere, but for many artists hard to integrate into their daily lives.

Where does this leave the average independent artist? At the beginning. Every artist wants to know how they can make music, make money and survive to write and play another day. Here, in no particular order, is a list of possible income streams.

• Publishing
• Mechanical royalties
• Performance Royalties from ASCAP and BMI
• Digital Performance Royalties from Sound Exchange
• Synch rights TV, Commercials, Movies, Video Games
• Digital sales – Individual or by combination
• Music (studio & live) Album – Physical & Digital, Single – Digital, • Ringtone, Ringback, Podcasts
• Instant Post Gig Live Recording via download, mobile streaming or flash drives
• Video – Live, concept, personal, – Physical & Digital
• Video and Internet Games featuring or about the artist
• Photographs
• Graphics and art work, screen savers, wall paper
• Lyrics
• Sheet music
• Compilations
• Merchandise – Clothes, USB packs, Posters, other things
• Live Performances
• Live Show – Gig
• Live Show – After Party
• Meet and Greet
• Personal Appearance
• Studio Session Work
• Sponsorships, and endorsements
• Advertising
• Artist newsletter emails
• Artist marketing and promotion materials
• Blog/Website
• Videos
• Music Player
• Fan Clubs
• YouTube Subscription channel for more popular artists
• Artist programmed internet radio station or specialty playlist.
• Financial Contributions of Support – Tip Jar or direct donations, Sellaband or Kickstarter
• Patronage Model – Artist Fan Exclusives – e.g. paying to sing on a song in studio or have artist write a song for you
• Mobile Apps
• Artist Specific Revenue Stream - unique streams customized to the specific artist, e.g Amanda Palmer
• Music Teaching – Lessons and Workshops
• Music Employment – orchestras, etc, choir directors, ministers of music, etc.
• Music Production – Studio and Live
• Any job available to survive and keep making music
• Getting Help From Other Artists and Helping Them - Whatever goes around come around. – e.g. gig swapping, songwriting, marketing and promotion


  1. Thanks for this, Blasko. I'm not an artist but I work with them. A lot of income streams are still there to be tapped into.

  2. ...very nice of you to post this for aspiring musicians. Every artist across the world should print this out and staple it where they can look at it every single day for inspiration. It's right on target, and comes with a valuable message.
    The old days are gone, and it's now literally about setting yourself up with as many 'streams' or sources of income that you can possibly dream up, or imagine.
    Whether you're a musician with a brilliant ear, or an artist of a different medium, we've all been hit hard. It now literally boils down to, '...adapt, to survive.' Period. It's a constant survival mode of trying to 'think outside the box' and refusing to fail...
    One small bit of wisdom I've learned as a small business owner is how important it is to 'never' show weakness. It really IS about presenting yourself in a way that shows that you are succeeding. You are unique, and worth looking at...even if you're one step away from the lights being turned off.
    My next project? I'm doing a big stained glass sign for my store so it looks like I'm really kicking ass.
    You rock...Blasko.