The future of music

How to Make Money as a Music Producer: Easy Guide

December 29, 2023
how to make money as a music producer

Are you thinking about starting a career in music production?

Luckily, there are many ways to earn money as a music producer nowadays.

Producers don’t have to rely on record labels anymore.

So in today’s article, we will tell you how to make money as a music producer.

More importantly, we will provide you with useful tips on how to get things started. 

How to Make Money as a Music Producer 

Starting a career in music production is not easy.

You’ll have to invest a lot of time and effort in it.

On the other hand, earning money as a music producer has never been easier.

With streaming platforms, social media, and music distribution services, you can, in fact, start earning money from your music right away.

However, things like that don’t happen overnight.

You’ll have to be patient and persistent.

And you’ll have to be sure you have all the necessary skills to be a music producer.

So, what does it take to be a music producer, and what skills and qualifications does earning money from producing music require?

What Do Music Producers Do?

Generally speaking, music producers create songs from start to finish.

Therefore, music production has many phases, including:

  • Songwriting
  • Recording
  • Mixing
  • Mastering

And there are many processes that happen in between.

For instance, before recording anything, you’ll have to go through arranging – this stage usually involves adding melodies, vocal tracks, instruments, or various details to your song. 

And in mixing, you’ll have to learn all about combining multitrack recordings, balancing sounds, and using different processors. 

Finally, mastering can include enhancing the overall sound, optimizing the sound quality, and generally getting your track ready for distribution.

But if you want to make money as a music producer, this is just the beginning.

You’ll have to think about the ways to distribute your music or sell your beats and samples.

Besides producing music for themselves, music producers collaborate with artists. 

They help artists to make music, manage and guide the whole process of producing a song, and advise musicians artistically.

But the exact things music producers have to do depend on the music genre; a music producer can have different roles in different genres. 

For example, in hip-hop and R&B, producers usually create the beat of the song, and in electronic dance music (EDM), artists usually create their own material.

Either way, music production usually encompasses the entire process of making music, and it involves the use of a variety of digital tools. 

It’s a multistage process that requires a lot of knowledge, patience, and an eye for detail.

laptop and music pad for producing music.

As a music producer, you’ll have to become familiar with music equipment.

The essential parts of a starter music production setup include:

Extra gear that will probably come in handy in your future projects includes synths, drum machines, groove boxes, and effects pedals. 

That said, producing music can be pricey, especially if you want to produce top-notch tracks.

But if you find a good way to distribute and promote your music, it will all be worth it in the end.

How Much Do Music Producers Make?

On average, make around $32,379 per year as a base salary.

Of course, there are many factors that can affect a music producer’s salary.

For instance, the more experienced you are, the higher your rate will get.

Other factors that might affect your hourly rate (or salary) include your education, previous collaborations, the type of music you’re producing, and so on.

But one thing is for sure – there are many ways to make money as a music producer.

And you need to find the one that fits your goals, abilities, and music style.

Best Ways to Make Money as a Music Producer

Here are the most popular and viable ways to make money as a music producer both for beginners as well as experienced producers.

1. Make money from streaming royalties

Earning from streaming royalties is one of the most common ways producers make money.

So, what are music royalties?

Well, music royalties are the payments generated from the usage of your songs. 

They are generated by having your music available on music streaming and social media platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

In other words, every time someone plays your track, you’ll generate money.

laptop on the table looking at Spotify.

This is arguably the easiest way to make money from your music.

You literally don’t have to do anything and you’ll be earning money.

However, there are certain steps you need to pass before that happens.

For starters, you need to distribute your music on large streaming platforms.

And although this seems easy, getting your music on all the popular streaming platforms can be challenging for indie artists.

If you want people to listen to your songs, you’ll have to create an effective music marketing plan. 

For instance, you should also reach out to playlist curators.

Playlist curators are individuals who build playlists, and they have an important role in digital music promotion. 

On platforms like Spotify, many listeners search for playlists based on a specific genre or mood., and that’s why getting your song on the right playlist is a great way to gain exposure.

Spotify usually employs music curators; you can become a Spotify playlist curator if you meet their requirements (if you have at least 1k followers, for example) and start earning money by building playlists.

Nevertheless, if you want to make a substantial amount of money from streaming royalties, you’ll have to think about the ways of promoting your music and getting it to playlists that have many listeners.

2. Sell your beats and samples

Another viable way to make money as a music producer is by selling your beats, loops, and samples online.

You can do it via your own music website, for example.

Despite AI production tools, there are many artists and companies looking for ‘real’ beats and samples.

woman sitting on the sofa using laptop

Alternatively, you can sell through external websites and libraries, such as Splice Sounds and ADSR Sounds.

You can start by setting an affordable price.

And when you gain more experience, you can start earning more profit.

But it all comes down to the quality of your beat.

Therefore, make sure you keep improving your skills and investing in your equipment. 

3. Start a YouTube channel

Many young music producers start their careers in music by starting a YouTube channel.

And some people even started to earn billions of dollars on YouTube…

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Nevertheless, whether you want to make it as an artist or as a music producer, starting a YouTube channel is a great idea

So, how can you start earning money on YouTube?

Firstly, you’ll have to think about the content you want to share.

There are several types of content you can focus on:

  • Gear and equipment recommendations
  • Mixing and mastering tutorials
  • Other production tutorials
  • Vlog style content 
  • Sharing your own music and beats

But you’ll have to be patient and persistent if you want to start making money on YouTube.

The thing is, you’ll only be able to monetize your YouTube channel once you’ve reached 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months.

But if you post regularly and consistently, it’s definitely possible to achieve that goal.

You can also try to qualify for a YouTube Partner Program – this program gives creators greater access to YouTube resources and monetization features, as well as access to their Creator Support teams.

If you’re patient and motivated, you’ll grow your audience and eventually start earning money from your YouTube channel.

4. Collaborate with artists

Besides putting your music out there or creating a powerful online presence to promote your music, you can also produce for other artists.

The thing is, producing music requires a lot of skills.

As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article, you have to be familiar with each and every stage of the song creation process, including arranging, mixing, and mastering.

And you need to know how to use the digital tools necessary to produce a song.

That said, many artists (singers, bands, and musicians) don’t have the necessary skills to make their own music.

So, independent artists and aspiring musicians might need your help in terms of mixing, mastering, and everything else.

In other words, they need you to create music either for them or with them.

Besides earning money for offering your music production services, collaborating with other artists will also help you build connections and meet relevant people from the music industry.

5. Become a ghost producer

Another option you have with your skills is to become a ghost producer.

Now, what does being a ghost producer actually mean?

Man producing music in his studio.

Just like ghostwriters, ghost producers make music for other producers anonymously.

So, although you won’t get credited, you’ll get money for your work.

That said, ghost production is not really the best way to go if you want to become a successful music producer.

But it could be an additional source of income for you, especially in the beginning.

6. Offer mixing and mastering services

When it comes to collaborating with other artists, you don’t have to create songs for them from start to finish.

You can also provide very specific services such as mixing or mastering.

Sound engineering is a vast field, so you can expand your knowledge and build your skills to offer the best service you can.

But even if you know the basics and you own music equipment, you’ll be eligible to provide mixing and mastering services.

You can even start lending out your home studio to earn some extra money.

7. Freelance

If you want to be a freelancer, you can offer your services on freelancing websites.

You can check out freelancing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, for example.

If you have versatile skills, you should definitely branch out and offer as many services as you can.

On sites like Upwork, people search for a variety of services, such as podcast editing, audio mastering, and even writing compositions or coming up with compelling rhymes.

You can also offer music production lessons and earn money as an online teacher. 

Selling online courses on sites like Udemy is another great option.

There are many people who want to learn how to produce music by taking online production classes, so this is your chance to monetize your skills and knowledge. 

Generally, to become a successful freelancer, you need to determine your skills and strengths. 

And then you can keep enhancing your skills and gaining experience. 

Trying your luck as a freelancer may come as a good additional source of money, but you also never know where it’s going to take you.

In fact, it’s possible to earn a living as a freelancer.

You just need to stay active and persistent.

8. Use Patreon

If you manage to build a fanbase as an artist or a music producer, you should consider creating a Patreon account.

In essence, Patreon is a membership platform that allows creators to run a subscription content service.

So, your patrons will subscribe to your account for a fee in exchange for exclusive content.

Keyboard and laptop in the living room

As a music producer, you can share production tutorials, behind-the-scenes vlogs, personalized video chats, and so on.

If you have a YouTube channel with many followers, using Patreon is a great way to increase your income streams.

9. Earn from sync licensing

Finally, if you want to know how to make money as a music producer, you should explore the world of music licensing.

Sync licensing includes music that is used in movies, TV shows, commercials, video games, music videos, vlogs, podcasts, audiobooks, and so on.

So, it basically involves any visual mixed media.

But how does earning from sync licensing really work?

First of all, you need to create high-quality tracks.

Then you can reach out to music libraries and pitch your track.

If they like what you offer, they will put your music in their catalog and use it in some kind of AV form. 

Many libraries offer upfront sync payments to producers, and this can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

That said, licensing your songs is a very profitable way to monetize your songs. 

But it all depends on what kind of deal you make – therefore, stay informed on what’s currently trending.

Video game music has been quite profitable for music producers for a while now, but there are always new opportunities to keep an eye out for. 

You can check out music licensing websites to get a better idea of how to generate money from sync licensing.

How to Make Money as A Music Producer – Final Thoughts 

We hope this article gave you a better idea of how to make money as a music producer.

As you can see, you have many viable options, including earning from streaming royalties, offering to master and mixing services, teaching, and sync licensing. 

You just need to find a way that suits your goals and abilities.

And if you stay motivated and persistent, you’ll start earning money as a music producer before you know it.

You may also like: How to Make Money From Music

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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