The era of information and technology in which we find ourselves is simply unprecedented. The internet changed the world a couple of decades ago, and the technology that it enabled continues to change society each and every year. Social media was one of the next major evolutions in the internet which brought with it its own series of revolutions. Now, social media is not just a social platform to connect with friends, it’s also one of the most influential and powerful marketing machines in the world.
The swift societal changes that the internet and smart technology allow, are more obvious than ever in these last few years. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, more and more businesses were forced into remote operations. Without the internet, smart technology, and other technological advances, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. It wasn’t just business that the internet, smart technology, social media, and the pandemic permanently changed though, the arts felt a very similar impact.
This is especially the case for musicians. For years, independent musicians have had access to streaming platforms like Soundcloud, Spotify, and even lesser-known platforms like Tidal or Qobuz. Between the birth of social media, and the ability to make a whole career creating content on YouTube, there was suddenly a plethora of viable avenues for musicians to start making real revenue. Then, throw the pandemic in the mix, and online media became one of the most valuable assets out there.
Here are just a few examples of how the modern-day musician is making money online in 2022.
Getting Creative With Streaming
So getting on music-streaming platforms like Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music is one thing, but these platforms are typically set up to highlight and feature existing artists, rather than promote new ones. While this isn’t necessarily always the case and all of these platforms are working on better initiatives to help the young budding artists of our generation, some artists have found it easier to craft their own audience elsewhere.
Sereda, for example, spent a few years walking in circles in the L.A. music executive circuit without much luck at all. It took her some time to figure out how to bring her songwriting and producing talent to an audience that would appreciate it, but eventually – through the suggestion of a friend – the young music-maker started streaming her music-making process on Twitch.
Twitch is generally well-known as a video game streaming platform, but creators can essentially put whatever they want on their channels (within the community guidelines, of course). Sereda quickly found a following on Twitch and now has over 275,000 followers on her channel. She’s successfully been able to monetize her channel and has certainly found a place for herself as a musician in our digitally-inclined world.
Taking Talent to the Digital Marketplace
The digital marketplace has something to offer anyone and everyone, even if you’re an aspiring musician. While many high-budget filmmakers, YouTubers, influencers, companies, and other creators have the means to purchase high-profile sounds from well-known artists, that isn’t the case with the majority of creators.
The majority of creators are operating within the confines of a rather strict budget. As such, they’re looking to purchase sounds, clips, and even full tracks from lesser-known artists, albeit at a much more attractive price. However, this still offers a very real revenue stream for aspiring musicians.
If you’re into producing music, you can make use of a platform like Fiverr to pick up production gigs for DJs, filmmakers, YouTube creators, production companies, and anyone else looking for something unique they can use.
Believe it or not, not every artist is as gifted of a songwriter or rapper as they’d have you think they are. Ghostwriting has been happening in the music industry for decades and probably longer. However, this has helped plenty of musicians make a viable career for themselves, even if they aren’t necessarily the next Kendrick Lamar.
Rappers, singers, and artists of all sorts need new material, and more often than not, they’re willing to pay for it if it’s good enough. Not only that, but other productions need new and unique songs for things like TV shows, films, and even plays. If you have a knack for song and rap writing, you can find a whole audience of people willing to buy yours on platforms like Fiverr.
YouTube and Social Media
YouTube and social media platforms have come up more than once already throughout this piece. It’s because they play a very major role in the majority of successful modern marketing campaigns. Not only that, but they have also made it possible for independent artists of all varieties to launch their own careers, build a following, and eventually monetize their channel.
Lil Dicky is just one example of a YouTube rapper who eventually climbed the ladder and not only signed with a label, but also got a show produced on Hulu.
Finally, streaming music is one of the most traditional ways for artists and musicians to make money with their music online in 2022. If you know how to upload music to Spotify you can build a following, and get paid royalties when users listen to your music.