Making Money with Music: Generate Over 100 Revenue Streams, Grow Your Fan Base, and Thrive in Today's Music Environment

Making Money with Music: Generate Over 100 Revenue Streams, Grow Your Fan Base, and Thrive in Today's Music Environment

by Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan


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“[Chertkow and Feehan] are the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” —Billboard Magazine

You can make a living with music today. The secret is to tap multiple income streams.

Making Money With Music gives you over 100 revenue streams and the knowledge on how to tap them. Whether you're a solo artist, band, DJ, EDM producer, or other musician, this book gives you strategies to generate revenue, grow your fan base, and thrive in today's technology-driven music environment. Plus, it lists hundreds of services, tools, and critical resources you need to run your business and maximize income.

Making Money With Music will show you:

How to tap over 100 income streams

7 business strategies you can implement immediately

How to start your music business for $0.

How to register your music to collect all of the royalties you are owed worldwide.

13 ways to compete with free and build experiences to drive fan loyalty and engagement into everything you do to increase your revenue.

45 categories of places to get your music heard and videos seen so you can get discovered, grow your fanbase, generate royalties, and boost licensing opportunities.

10 methods for raising money so you can fund your music production and projects.

...and more.

Written by the authors of the critically-acclaimed modern classic The Indie Band Survival Guide (1st & 2nd Editions), Making Money With Music is the third installment in The Indie Band Survival Guide series, and will help you build a sustainable music business no matter what kind of music you make, where you live, and whether you're a novice or professional musician. Improve your income by implementing these ideas for your music business today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250192080
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 354,142
Product dimensions: 5.55(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Billboard Magazine have called Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan “the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” Together, they’re musicians that are working on their 21st album, authors of The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual For The Do-It-Yourself Musician, creators of the 15-hour online course, Making Money With Music (CreativeLive), and regular contributors to Electronic Musician Magazine, including the free weekly web column, The DIY Advisor. They also teach and consult about music business.

Their band, Beatnik Turtle, is a horn-powered pop-rock band based in Chicago. They have recorded 20 albums, released over 500 songs, and successfully completed a song-of-the-day project where they released one song for every day of 2007. They’ve written music for TV, commercials, films, podcasts, theater (including Chicago’s world-famous Second City), and have licensed music to Disney/ABC Family and Viacom.

Read an Excerpt



Imagine you just clicked "Submit" for worldwide distribution on your next EP and scheduled it to come out in six weeks to give you time to send prerelease copies to music reviewers. You've been announcing it for a while to your fans via social media, which has generated good buzz. You also send a note to your top patronage funders that they will have access to the EP a week early, plus get bonus material, and tell the lower-tier funders they can do the same if they choose a higher tier to get the rewards. Your patronage is contributing enough of your monthly income to cover your rent.

Next, you log in to your performance rights organizations (PROs) and discover your streaming royalties are up this quarter; plus, you're getting more foreign royalties due to your last single catching on in the Netherlands. A DJ there loved one of your songs (you found him on the internet playing similar artists and you reached out to him), and thanks to him and his audience, it caught on in the region. You know this because you check your social media stats weekly and pay attention to where your fans are located. Plus, your social alert tools tell you when you are mentioned on websites or social media, and you saw a bunch of new posts about your music. According to the other stats sites, not only did your current song do well but there's more streaming of your back catalog too.

Taking a look at the video stats reminds you to also check your YouTube advertising revenue, which is doing well, but bonus income is coming from a fan-made animated music video that generated millions of views. Even though the fan used your music without asking you, you think the video is great; plus, because you registered your song with YouTube, you get the ad revenue from it.

After that, you check a licensing service you signed up for a couple of months ago and discover a TV show licensed one of your songs. The licensing fees will get deposited in your bank account, and yet all you did was upload a few of your tracks to their online music library. A TV music supervisor discovered it on her own and loved the track for her show, and the site handled the transaction and license for you. You check out another service you use and find out the beats, presets, and stems you created for the last release — the same one which took off in the Netherlands — is also selling. Turns out you have a dedicated set of musician fans who love buying what you created to use in their own music. You just uploaded them and announced they were available, and you can make more income off the same release.

Thinking about your last release reminds you to upload it to the vinyl crowdfunding site and announce it to your fans. The production run only gets made if the funding is reached, but once it does, you don't need to do anything — it automatically gets created and shipped to those who paid for it. Your fans funded the last two, so you think it's likely they'll fund this one too, and all you had to do was upload it and announce it.

Next, you take a look at the income you made from last night's live show. Not only did you sell out your show, your merch did well; you even sold two of your custom-decorated, high-quality, one-of-a-kind jackets for $250 each. There are always a few die-hard fans who love these custom items. You also see your pay-per-view income is up. The venue provided cameras and an audio feed from the soundboard, allowing you to sell access to a stream of your concert. Your fans on the internet, found all over the world (including the Netherlands), love watching your performances and chatting with one another on the feed even though they can't come to the show. In fact, some of the fans at the show bought the recording as well.

Then, before you head back to the studio to work on more music, you submit your set list to your PRO so you can get performance royalties out of the show as well.

You don't need to imagine this. You can do this for your music, today.

The example above, with its multiple, parallel income streams, shows just a fraction of what's possible today for your own music business. The power to get your music out to the world, find an audience, and make money is within your reach.

In fact, there are many advantages to today's music world you can use for your own music:

1. You have access to free or inexpensive music/video production technology to express and create your art.

Previously, only very expensive studios could record professional tracks or make video. But today, a smartphone has recording and editing capabilities that entire studios lacked before. Plus, many of the tools are inexpensive or even free. Musicians only need to decide they want to make music or videos: the technology is no longer a barrier.

2. You have a world hungry for fresh new music, content, and entertainment.

Nearly everyone is carrying a device that can let them experience your work, and they're spending most of their day using it to find new entertainment, news, and distractions. The addictions people have to their phones can work for you if you can give them what they want.

3. You have access to a universe of music and business services, tools, and other partners who want to help artists succeed.

Everything a label did for musicians is now available to you from free or inexpensive services you can tap into. This means you can handle music production, marketing, promotion, publicity, tour support, funding, and more. Plus, you'll get to retain the rights to your music and collect all the income your music generates. In fact, this book covers hundreds of services, sites, and tools that can help you succeed at every aspect of your music business. This will allow you to build a profitable business with just a small team, making signing to a label an optional choice.

4. You can distribute your music/videos worldwide in an instant.

Today, you can get your music and videos in streaming services, sales platforms, music and video sites, and stores more quickly and cheaply than ever before. And some of these options are free.

5. You have more places to get your music/videos discovered, heard, and seen by more people across the globe than ever before in history.

There are more audio and video options than ever to get your work in front of new audiences from sites like YouTube, TV stations, radio stations, internet forums, and more. And everyone in the world can access your work once they find out who you are.

6. You have the ability to collect all the royalties your music and videos generate worldwide.

Royalty collection agencies used to only be available to major artists and out of reach of most musicians. Today, services have popped up to let musicians access all these methods and collect all the royalties their music generates, worldwide. Because every artist is global from the moment they make their music available, musicians can make money from their popularity no matter where their music takes off.

7. You have access to powerful audience data to help you target people who want to hear your type of music.

Social media companies mine their databases of information about all their users in order to deliver ads. To encourage people to buy these ads, they often provide free info on your fans and followers, which used to be out of reach for artists in the past. This allows you to know exactly where your fans are located so you can tour in the right places or what their ages, genders, and interests are so you can get a deep understanding of who they are and what they want.

8. You have access to more opportunities to play live, including streaming your shows online, and powerful tools to know where to tour so you can pack venues.

Not only are there more places to perform live, but there are also many income streams available for each show (and many musicians aren't tapping all of them!). Also, video streaming is free, allowing artists to either let their worldwide fans watch the show for free or create pay-per-view events, providing yet another income stream for concerts you are already performing.

9. You have access to free publicity and real-time worldwide promotion for everything you do.

Each one of your fans has hundreds of followers, and if you can keep producing entertainment they want to talk about, you can spread your message instantly and organically. And due to the huge number of YouTube channels, blogs, and more, there are also more media targets than ever, and they are always hungry for something new or entertaining to cover.

10. You can create free and inexpensive products and merchandise for your music business, distribute them worldwide, and generate revenue.

Making merch is now free. With print-on-demand merchandise, you can now upload an image and offer to print it on nearly any type of merch imaginable: T-shirts, clothing, posters, and more. The fans pay for the production and shipping of each item, allowing you to make a profit on every sale. Or, if you dream up a new imaginative piece of merch, you can let manufacturers bid on it and mass-produce something that never existed before.

11. You can raise capital for your music business through more methods than ever before, including going directly to fans.

Today there are multiple opportunities to raise money from fans, businesses, banks, and other sources.

12. You have access to income based on your fame and the size of your fan base.

Once you have a fan base, you'll find companies will pay good money to reach them, and you get to decide which you'll accept or reject. This opens up new income streams to you, and they start generating income even if you have a small fan base.

13. You have more opportunities to license music than ever before.

Multimedia dominates today's world, which means music is a critical component in everything people are creating. This includes promotional videos, films, TV shows, advertising, movie trailers, apps, video games, and more. If you can connect with the people choosing the music, you'll find licensing opportunities for your music.

As exciting as all these changes are, they have had a profound effect on how musicians make money today. In fact, most musicians still only focus on generating money from traditional income streams, such as live music, music sales, and merchandise. But there are hundreds of income streams now available, and successful artists making a living off music today tap into and layer these sources to create a sustainable and profitable music business.

That's what Making Money with Music is about.

This book will help you build your music business and generate revenue in today's music environment. It provides strategies, frameworks, systems, hundreds of links and services, and how-to instructions. These are not only learnable, the basic skills are as easy to apply as following a recipe, and the advanced techniques are just the logical next steps once your basic business is in place.

If you are willing to put in what it takes to build your business, this book can show you:

1. Over one hundred income streams you can tap, seven business strategies you can implement right away, and a method to start your music business for $0.

2. Thirteen ways to compete for free and build experiences that drive fan loyalty and engagement into everything you do.

3. Ten qualities of an authentic, well-crafted persona that attracts fans, provides the basis for your products and merch, and opens up ten new income streams.

4. How to get distributed worldwide, even for free, so you can generate royalties, sales licensing opportunities, and grow your fan base globally.

5. How to register to collect all the royalties you are owed worldwide.

6. Forty-five categories of places to get your music heard and videos seen so you can get discovered, grow your fan base, generate revenue, and boost licensing opportunities.

7. How to leverage services and build a team so you can focus on the music or other activities.

8. A modern release strategy so you can stay on top of mind with fans throughout the year, grow your fan base, provide real reasons for people to cover you and your music, and generate revenue.

9. A marketing strategy that drives all promotion and publicity activities so you can reach new fans, generate more revenue, and drive press/media coverage worldwide. This includes fourteen $0 marketing strategies you can implement immediately and seven musician-focused marketing goals to focus your efforts.

10. A comprehensive online strategy that allows you to promote worldwide while minimizing the work so you can focus on the music or other revenue-generating activities.

11. Promotion campaigns to maximize exposure for your live shows, your music, your videos, and your patronage and crowdfunding.

12. Ten methods for raising money so you can fund your music production and projects.


This book is for every type of musician who wants to make money with music — no matter your genre or style and regardless if you're a solo artist, band, DJ, EDM producer, or any other. It also will help you whether you're just starting out, established, or even a professional. Contained in this book are the knowledge, strategies, frameworks, and how-to steps all musicians can apply to build, grow, and mature their music business and generate revenue with music.

For instance, if you're just starting out, there is a structured system to build your music business, including the initial sources of income you can tap into right away. There is even a way for you to build a music business for $0. If you're an established or professional musician, this book has tons of ideas, methods, and systems to boost your income; plus, the entire chapter "Advanced Income Techniques" has dozens of ideas to create more income streams.

This book is also an essential resource for everyone who works in the music business, including managers, bookers, labels, promoters, music business professionals, teachers, recording engineers, music video directors, filmmakers, and more, since it explains what each of these roles do and how to make income from each.

Also, because this book has revenue development built into every step of the musician's life cycle, it can be a critical resource for anyone striving to educate musicians, including music schools, music business schools, teachers, city music offices, cities, nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofits.


This book is meant to be a reference. You can jump to particular chapters or sections rather than read it cover to cover like other books, but if you do, take some time to first page through the book to get the idea of its organization so you can get an idea of all the music income possibilities. You don't have to do everything here, just like you don't need to cook every recipe in a cookbook, but you should be aware of what exists in today's music environment and decide which make sense for you when you're ready to tackle it. After all, there's no need to run a marketing campaign if you don't have an album for sale yet.

Each chapter is broken up to make it easy to navigate:

Book Sections

The chapters are organized into three sections that are in the order in which most musicians start their businesses: "Getting Prepared," "Getting Paid and Making Money," and "Releasing Your Music and Getting Noticed."


Some chapters are strategy or planning chapters, but most are how-to's focused on taking action.


Each chapter begins with a high-level summary outlining the purpose of the chapter.

Team Roles and Responsibilities

The most successful musicians build a team of people and services around their business so they can focus on the music. The top of each chapter lists who you can delegate to if you've built a team.

What You Get Out of This

Read this section for a list of topics this chapter will cover.

Money Map

Eleven chapters include illustrations outlining key income streams that chapter covers and unlocks for your music business.

Chapter Sections

Each chapter groups the information into sections. For instance, chapter 5, "Your Music," contains five sections: making your music, recording and mix-down, mastering, preparing your music for distribution and release.


Each subsection covers a specific topic. Most of the subsections explain "How to Do X." Other subsections may be titled "Understanding X" or "The Top X Thing(s) You Should Do." These subsections will explain key concepts or provide context for the topic.


Excerpted from "Making Money with Music"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


· Introduction

· Chapter 1: Making Money with Music

Getting Prepared

Chapter 2: Your Music Business Chapter

3: Your Team Chapter

4: Your Persona Chapter

5: Your Music Chapter

6: Your Videos Chapter

7: Your Online Presences Chapter

8: Your Rights

Getting Paid & Making Money

Chapter 9: Distribution & Streaming

Chapter 10: Products & Merchandise

Chapter 11: Patronage, Crowdfunding, & Raising Money

Chapter 12: Licensing & Royalties

Chapter 13: Advanced Income Techniques

Releasing Your Music & Getting Noticed

Chapter 14: Marketing

Chapter 15: Promotion & Publicity

Chapter 16: Get Gigs & Play Live

Chapter 17: Get Heard & Seen

Chapter 18: Your Release Strategy


Conclusion: Assistance for Musicians & Learning More

About the Authors Acknowledgements

Customer Reviews