There are many ways to make it in the music business. It does have to include becoming famous, it can also mean turning your hobby into a career in other ways. For instance, many performers will also teach to earn extra money. Since the development of social media platforms, it has been possible to make money online through music, too.
Streaming and Royalties
Various streaming apps might mean that less CDs are being bought but artists will be paid for each stream. It is also more lucrative to have written a song as well as performed it, as there are then two sets of royalties due. For example, Noddy Holder who wrote and performed with Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody, is said to earn £500,000 in royalties per year for it. The song was the band’s sixth and final number one in the UK. Undoubtedly, it is their most successful, having been re-released several times since 1973. So, that might be a tip for any writer of music, to consider Christmas as a theme. Although Christmas songs that are penned are only played at Christmas time, if they are good enough, they will re-emerge every year thereafter and then be played on radio stations and streamed a multiple of times.
Some of the main music streaming apps include Apple Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and SoundCloud. There are many more to choose from.
Many fans will want to see their artists or groups perform live. This need not be in large stadiums, it can also be locally in pubs, clubs, and other venues. It is where artists will start to acquire a name for themselves. The Beatles, for instance, were known for their performances at The Cavern club in Liverpool, before being noticed by Brian Epstein, who extended their career into the big time, as they hit the pop charts and were one of a handful of British bands at that time to make it in America. Gigs, apart from the ticket prices charged, are also an opportunity to sell fans merchandise, such as CDs and t-shirts. Interestingly, the phrase “Been there, done that (and got the t-shirt)” originates as a line from a song. In fact, a 1979 tribute song to an Australian cricket commentator named Alan McGilvray (1909-1996).
Another way for the musician to earn money is to teach others their musical skills, in the form of vocal coaching or the teaching of a musical instrument. From someone even relatively famous that can be considered something of a “master class”. From a lesser-known performer, a technical lesson and perhaps one in performance, too. Teaching can take place inside an artist’s own home or as a contract with a school. In that case, there will be many regular pupils wanting lessons, and perhaps even after leaving school. Both practical and theory examinations can be taken in music. To study and excel at music college it is useful to be able to already play piano to a reasonable standard and your main instrument to a high standard.
So, with a few ways to make money, music must be thought of as a business. It can be a very lucrative one for those that make it big. Nonetheless, it is an industry that offers different careers in addition to lead vocalist and their accompanying musicians, such as for backing singers, session musicians, and the production crew that erect stadiums and handle the lighting. There are, in addition, composers that never perform, who write the music for others. If their tune is accepted by an established artist, the money that can be made from the tune and its lyrics can be quite substantial. Copyright in the UK and Europe ends 70 years following the author’s death, when the work finds itself in the public domain. This is true of many famous classical tunes and hymns, which are no longer copyrighted.