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How to Make Money as a Music Artist


The music industry is an interesting place: digital downloads and the whole of internet technology has already made the world of music performance and audio production a different place, at least for the recording and distribution companies. The music artists themselves are still unsure: does the ubiquity of online music make things better or worse for them? Even before the internet came along, many music artists were used to getting the short end of the stick. Now that the revolution has occurred, many are realizing that although the record companies are losing money, the world might be a better place for the artists themselves. If you are looking for ways to make money in the music industry or are a music student making plans for success, then there are several ideas to consider thanks to the remixed of audio production.



Free What Now?


You should become used to embracing free downloads. Really. As much as the music industry feared their coming, free downloads are here to stay and can actually, especially help new music artists who are not used to make millions (or even tens) by selling CDs. If you are an independent artist or a group who wants to try a new way of making money, aim for free downloads. Give away your music for your own website, hand it out on your blog, post easy-to-use links on your social networking sites. Use a good quality bit-rate, make sure the audio files are good enough to impress even you. Then make sure you offer additional downloads for free–at a higher bit rate and better sound quality. Let your fans pay for bonus songs, music videos, and extras that are worth their while.


If you are not even indie yet and still trying to figure out how to get out of the dorm room and onto the stage, then give away both music and concerts for free. Name recognition is the game, and if you play it well you will soon be moving up in the world. Do not be picky about venues if you are not signed yet. There will be time to make money when you are famous.



It's All in the Merch


The digital download revolution has also placed a great deal of added weight on merchandise and concerts. The two often go together, so prepare to hit the road and encourage fans to buy the extras. Stuff that was once thought of as additional marketing items such as t-shirts, posters, art, bumper stickers or DVDs is now a tremendously important source of income for both the record companies and artists. Work with your label to offer a great package of merchandise, and make sure it is easily available on your online store with links posted everywhere else. Offer special deals and unique items to keep people coming back for more.


If you are just beginning, do not attempt to sell anything too big. Focus more on the small collectibles. Band-made EPs can be worth some money to new fans, and even ordering a few T-shirts with the logo you designed on your computer can bring in a little profit.

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