The Top 6 Ways to Make Money
as a Music Producer in 2021

To understand why today music producers need to find other ways to make money, in addition to selling their music, we need to keep in mind the historical period that the music industry is going through.

About 20 years ago selling CDs was the most profitable activity in a musician’s career, but with the advent of music streaming services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer etc… that business has nearly disappeared. To understand why the CD sales era is ended, we need to think about what the music industry is offering to the average consumer at the moment.

Why someone has to buy an album for $12,99 if he or she can have all the music in the world right on the smartphone for just $9,99 a month?

This is the reason why the birth of the streaming services described above marked the end of the CDs era.

But now we have to ask ourselves: how much does a musician make from music streaming platforms?

The answer is that a musician makes very little money from online streaming. If you think about the fact that Spotify pays $0,0043/play, it means that with 1000 plays the musician will earn $4,30 dollars. With one million plays the fee will be $4300, which however will not go directly to the musician, because it will also have to be shared with the record label, which will collect about 70% of the royalties (as per standard contract) and the music producer will have 30% left, which will be divided between composers, authors, writers, producers etc… And don’t forget that you will also have to pay taxes on what remains.

From all this situation arises the need to find new ways to generate money by being a music producer. These are the 6 methods to make money as a music producer:

1) Offering Custom Beats Services

2) Selling Beats

3) Selling Samples, Presets and Projects

4) Doing Masterclasses and Courses

5) Offering Mixing and Mastering Services

6) Creating a Patreon Account

1. Offering Custom Beats Services

Spotify and all the other music streaming services have not led to an impoverishment of the music industry, they have made it richer actually. It’s undeniable that uploading your music and distributing it has never been as simple as it is now. This means that a lot more people are starting to make music in 2021 than they did 20 years ago. Simply because uploading music is really easy. This also means that there are many more singers and rappers looking for a producer who can give a boost to their music career.

The big question is: how do you find customers to sell custom beats to?

The best options are two:

  • Contact rappers and singers directly on Social Media.

    Write to at least 10-20 singers and rappers a day on Instagram telling them that you offer custom beats services that come with competitive prices. At that point they will go straight to hear your beats on Instagram, SoundCloud or your YouTube Channel.

Remember to use a nice profile picture, write a good bio saying who you are, what you do, what is the problem you are able to solve, insert a link to your music and make sure that you upload quality posts. Remember that it’s important to give the impression that you are a professional music producer and that you know what you’re talking about.

But keep in mind that the pitch will be successful only if you have good quality music. Becoming a good music producer takes a lot of time, patience and you also need great samples. If you want top-quality free samples to use in your music be sure to take a look at my Sample Packs Store here.

  • Be active in Facebook Groups.

Facebook is no longer what it used to be. Do you remember when we used Facebook Messenger to chat with friends? Those times unfortunately no longer exist, because Facebook has become a more “professional” social network and the most interesting part is undoubtedly the “groups” functionality.

There are a lot of singers and rappers groups. The key here is to join as many groups as possible, help people and be part of the community (essentially what you have to do is making new friends). And once you become well-known in the community you can easily sell your services. Remember to have a good Facebook profile, with links to your music.

To get paid for your service, you can use a simple money transfer with PayPal or rely on external Freelancing sites such as Fiverr.

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2. Selling Beats

The beat selling business is very flourishing at the moment. This is thanks to the popularity that Trap music has gained in recent years. Everyone want to sell beats nowadays, to the point that it has become a very saturated market. It’s still a good business, but the key here is diversification. Selling beats is a real business, infact you have to think of your beats catalog as a catalog of a clothing store.

What happens when you go to Hollister & Co. or to a Pull & Bear physical store? You enter the store and you see a lot of different articles such as t-shirts, jeans, jackets etc… with different prices. The same is for selling beats. Who enters your beat store should see a lot of different beats (different genres, tempo, vibes) and they need to see different prices.

Why different beats and different prices?

Because you need to give people a choice, and keep in mind that thanks to the prices diversification you can create beats for “elite” people ($500 for an exclusive license for example), beats for “normal” people (let’s say $200 for an exclusive license) and also free beats.

Where to sell beats?

There are specific sites for selling beats. The two most famous are Beatstars and Airbit. You can also create your own site, but it’s a more advanced thing. The advice is to use one of these two sites to get started because the good thing is that you can start selling for free on both.

Another smart thing to do is to post your beats on social media in order to reach more people. I’ve seen a lot of beats posted on Instagram, without even an artwork and description, generating a sale. Everything is possible.

Consider also the idea of ​​uploading free beats. They will be especially useful in the beginning of your business to make you known in the music world. They don’t have to be totally free, this means that you can request the name and email of the singer or rapper in order to download the beat and add them to your mailing list on services like Mailchimp or Hubspot.

Having the contacts of your fans is very useful, because it represents a direct way to reach them. This means that when you upload your paid beats, you can send them an email saying “Hey, this is my new weekly free beat, but this time I’ve also uploaded a new type of beat. Would you please have a listen and tell me what you think about it? “. This way the chances of selling your beats will go up by far.

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3. Selling Samples, Presets and Projects

This is by far the quickest option for making easy money with music production. Think about it, if you are a music producer, when you produce a song you will use samples and presets right? Why not capitalize on those too? Rather than leaving them on your pc forever, why not selling them?

You can decide to sell your sample packs and projects in 3 ways:

  • Through existing Sample Packs companies
  • Through Splice
  • Through your Website

The best companies for submitting your sample packs (in my opinion) are:

Another simple but very valuable option is to post them on social media and see who is interested.

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4. Doing Masterclasses and Courses

This is for more advanced Music Producers. In order to do this you need to be very sure about your level of production and also you have to feel very comfortable in talking to other people either live or through a recorded video.

Teaching music production is the most rewarding thing for a musician, because there are many people willing to pay to improve their skills. Remember that knowledge is the key to being successful in a field.

Also keep in mind that amateur producers want clarity. Think about it, you read it before. Making music today is within everyone’s reach, it means that it is simple, but not easy. The difficulties in becoming a successful producer have remained the same as 20 years ago, because at the base there is always the fact that you have to know how to make good music. Nowadays many people improvise themselves as self-taught producers. This means that they are blasted with information on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok. A music production course is what they need to solidify their foundations and prepare themselves for a successful career.

I also have created my first Private One-To-One Music Production Course. If you want to have an inside look click here.

Now let’s take a look at some sites that can help you. You can use sites like Livestorm, Demio, Bigmarker or GoBrunch to give paid masterclasses. For selling a pre-recorded course instead you can use Fiverr or Udemy. Always take into consideration the idea of ​​creating your own site.

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5. Offering Mix & Mastering Services

This is another skill you can capitalize on. If you are good at mixing and mastering, you can easily sell your services on freelancing sites like Fiverr.

But even here, you may be wondering: how can I find new customers?

And the answer is also the same as before, promoting yourself on social media.

The best way to promote yourself is not by spamming your music or pay $500 a month for a service that promises you to release music on Spinnin Records in a year.

The best way to promote yourself is by helping others.

Helping others is the key to become a successful person. Social media are an excellent way to do this. Helping means helping a producer who doesn’t understand why his music sounds bad or giving him feedback on one of his tracks to help him improving. And you have to do this without expecting anything in return. If these people see in you as a point of reference for their musical career then they will also buy your services, in this case the mix and mastering ones. Remember that it’s much easier to sell to people you know, than selling to strangers.

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6. Creating a Patreon Account

This one is a pure gem. Patreon is one of the most underrated social media platforms out there, no one seems to understand that it has a lot of advantages, because you can both sell useful services and create a strong community at the same time.

How Patreon works?

Patreon just works like any other social media, you can post photos and videos and people can interact and comment under your content. It’s a social network that will help you to create a niche of superfans in your community. Superfans are the people that deeply care about your music, your brand and they also support you economically.

Patreon becomes really unique when you are looking at its “Tier” feature. You can offer services and be paid monthly. That’s why you should offer exclusive content that you don’t release anywhere else.

Examples of interesting content can be:

  • Sneak Peeks of Your Music
  • Exclusive Sample Packs
  • Hangout Sessions With Your Fans
  • Live-Production-Sessions
  • Feedback Sessions

Keep in mind that Patreon can also be connected to a Server on Discord and people can get access to specific roles on your Discord server. One more way to convert your fans into superfans!

I’m actually on Patreon too. On my profile you can get access to exclusive content that I don’t release anywhere else, like for example gift cards for my sample packs store, samples that I use for my music, etc… Take a look at my Patreon here.

Conclusions

Making money as a music producer in 2021 isn’t easy. The last thing you need to do is to try to run all 6 methods of this article at the same time. The first method to become successful (and in this case to get an economical profit) is to do what you are good at and naturally talented.

If you don’t like making trap music, don’t start making beats just because they are easy to sell. If mixing bores you, don’t offer mixing and mastering services just because it’s easy money. It is always better to do only one of these 6 things and do it well, rather than all 6 in a mediocre way.

You may have also noticed that in order to follow even only one of these six methods, a basic knowledge of music production is still required. You have to know the right techniques, choose the right sounds and have your own style. This way you can make money as a music producer.

If you want to solidify your foundations as a producer on this site you can find a private one-to-one music production course with me, which can help you to learn how to improve in music production, how to mix and master your tracks and how to promote your own music. Take a look at the course here.

Thanks for reading this article!

– Boding

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