You can get signed to a label and get paid for your releases when people buy it. However I've been told that the money you earn from this is rather minimal ( except when you are really big). You can also sign for physical copies (getting vinyl made with a record label) , but I had a conversation with a label guy today , who told me that vinyl releases aren't really profitable at all unless you're a really well known artist. Another option is to go indie , and sell your music on bandcamp/vibedeck. I've done this with all my old music that was too bad to sign. Don't expect big profits of this either though , 50$ is probably the maximum you'll ever earn off of it
The best option is often to go dj'ing , this seems to earn most people I know some money
Horace is spot on. Unless you're signed as an exclusive artist to a label with a long-term deal (which usually coincides with some upfront $) your best bet is to gig as much as you can.
As far as DJing not being as easy as you hoped...well, if it was everyone would be doing it. Just take the time to perfect your craft before throwing demos out to promoters. And, perhaps most important and ignored by many neophyte DJ's, learn how to properly beatmatch before gunning for a sync button.
We've made a decent wedge off of digital sales over the years. Enough to pay for studio equipment, monitors, PC's, headphones, soundcards, vsts etc...
Though the main bulk of our cash has come through remix and DJ work. And recently royalties. I.e plays on radio tv etc that is an incredibly lucrative area in music. So the more popular you are and the more Dj's you have supporting you on radio etc the more money you can make.
And just to clarify, a release on a label (digital) will get you a max of 1-200quid over the space of like a year depending on the popularity of the track.... if its not successful expect nearer to £50 over the same amount of time.
This particular sector of underground music is very shit in terms of seeing a profit over the amount of hours you work. So if money is your objective I'd suggest switching to a more commercial genre. If not then keep at it for the love of music and not money cause you're in the wrong genre for that! lol
Forget about money if you are not popular.
Organise yourself on a way or the other to play your tunes out on gigs.
As producer, you are not necessarily expected to play on decks. What is important is that you play good music, you flow a good mix and create a certain kind of interesting show.
I use to play my livesets by bringing shit load of machines live, 3 synthesiser, pad kontrols, kaoss pads, mixers, laptops, keyboards laptop and tons of cables... It was a wow for the crowd! Now I just go with laptop, APC40 and jazzmutant Lemur (the original one, not iPad) and the people it's still wowing... That's the hard decision. Take the road, shrink your brain how to get yourself out with the skills you have. If you sit at your desk waiting that money and popularity will comes to you, that's never gonna happen. Even if you become famous, you gotta go gigging around at certain point. People still want to see for real artistes (luckily).
It's hard to make them pay £1 for a download of your tune.
But if you offer them your live skills, they even pay £5/10 to be at your live act.
Invest on yourself and your skills, buy hardware, try new and old machines, find your instruments to play live and go on the road bro!
You'll see that why is not only about the money!!!
It's a fucking jungle! You gotta fight even for gigs... But there is the real popularity and real most of enjoying your hard studio work...
Money they'll come afterwards.
The only money I've seen in my life with music are coming from gigs...
I used to be in punk bands but never made any "real" money off it; we were pleased to get paid at all, usually we got the door or split it with another band playing clubs and pubs and that was it, sometimes we'd do benefit things and got paid - literally - in cheeseburgers and Snickers bars, sometimes we'd make a few hundred quid on one night.
Now that I DJ I mostly get paid in beer down the local underground pub where I play regularly, but I've gotten 200 quid + beer, food, transportation and a place to stay the night once, I sent those guys an E-mail right away saying I'd gladly come back - any time! Thinking of doing the pub / club thing again at student places where they enjoy bone rattling b-lines and loud music that they have to shout over, got to pay a sound guy, might be able to bring in my own guy though and I'll get whatever they charge at the door.
money is hard. which is why people switch to electro house and media instead of music.
the sources of revenue i've had any first hand experience with are direct royalties, remix fees, library music fees and selling instrumentals.
Royalties can be decent with a decent label. The sales need to be there, that's about the thick of it - digital download I've earned probably £30 a track through other labels, which is pretty low for the time spent. CD compilations about £50 a track but they wanted exclusives. the more material you can get onto a compilation, the better. that's why it's good to know the right people. when they're putting something together, they'll come to you. Incidentally, if a new label message you and immediately start talking about royalty agreements and you a) havn't heard of them and b) don't have any decent artists on their label, don't confuse "royalty agreements" with "actual money."
remix fees come from your reputation and you need to be a name that will sell to get them in the first place, I used to charge £50 for a remix, probably more like £100 now if I was asked. I know some bigger artists can easily charge £1000, I dread to think what John B or High Contrast would charge. That was what my mate paid for a remix by Alphazone, same by Pervading Call but he never took it on.
Library music, it's worth putting everything you write on a lot of sites and waiting for the cash to come in, which can even take years. Tagging is very important. For tracks I didn't write for library purposes, I've probably earned £50 total without really doing anything from productiontrax. It's not a lot, but it's as good as free because it's making the most of stuff you've already written.
I know people who offer studio days and again, once you're established, you can make some decent money from them. With good kit you can be looking at £80-£100 a day for engineering. But again, it's reputation and popularity. People don't just want your abilities, they want you to bring them up from the low rungs and make them a name. And that's what you have to do. I would say an absolute majority of tracks written at studio days have either a) already been signed before they've been written or b) get signed to a label that's something to do with the engineer.
Selling hiphop beats was pretty easy. I did mine mostly through...I forget the site. But that often earned £30 a track, and with a good workflow you can knock a simple track together in a few hours, add some loudness on the master bus, done. Non exclusive rights worked well for me.
You can probably ignore things like youtube and adwords revenue too. Only places like UKF are going to be making anything even slightly considerable from advertising.
Gigging, I've never earned any money. But again - reputation. I'm not a known DJ at all. I'm sure even mid range DJ's earn a decent wedge! I hate travelling.
All I can say is, personal experience has taught me that you need to do things for free, and they will lead to things that are paid. Engineer for people, collaborate with people, send plenty of promo's out to DJ's and labels. People don't want to work with you if you havn't done anything for them.
That's about all I know, hope it's of use to somebody. I may be right or wrong about things, but that's just my experience of it all.
I just set up my own label last week, where I'm releasing my own tracks on together with two friends that I'm "signing". Got 50 euro's so far for one album I released nothing much just money from friends or friends from friends mainly its not really spreading so I guess I won't be selling a lot more either in the near future, maybe drag another 50 quid out of the next album, and I'm pretty happy with it though I never aimed at making money with it so every penny is a delight .
To be honest with you i think DJing sounds like the best way... Ive got a few older mates to DJ at parties and gigs, quite often getting like 200 quid a night on a good night!! I think Hip hop is a good genre to make money out of because it can be quite quick to make!
Depends on if you mean selling them, as in under your name with the accompaniment of a record label, then yes. If you mean, sell "beats" directly to a consumer that then owns and can do whatever he/she pleases with the track, then no.
one way to ensure that every penny your tracks generate is to cut out the middle man and sell yourselve from your website or bandcamp.....only thing with this is youll need to make sure your promotion is on point.....and youve got a track poeple will go out of there way to buy
i dont entirely agree there dubsta...you can sell your music yourself, but what's the point? if you generate half the sales that you would have using a "middle man" then you're still earning the same - probably less.
if you ask me the job of a label these days is to be a complete solution to you as an artist. that's tweaking your production if neccessary, mastering, promotion, getting you gigs, handling legal stuff, putting you in touch with people to collaborate with, everything. they need to take you away from being an amateur with some good tunes to a well known artist. they don't just print records these days, anybody can do it, anybody does do it, and they saturate up the internet with sub standard music and can't put their artists in touch with anybody who matters and can help them to develop.
i'm just saying, opportunity heavily outweighs what you will receive from selfishly wanting every penny from what you produce, in my opinion...and nobody wants to work with somebody that's just out for money.