Table of contents
In the world of music production, success stories like that of Jack Antonoff, the top producer of 2022, inspire aspiring artists. After his time in a band, Antonoff saw success as a freelance music producer by following these two principles: collaboration and self-marketing. However, this advice only adds value if you apply it to the right platform.
The platform you select to sell your music can make all the difference in reaching a wider audience and maximizing your profits. Some platforms allow you to sell directly to your fans, while others require you to work with a distributor. If you're new to selling beats, this can be unclear.
We'll break down the top platforms that cater to freelance music producers like yourself. Keep reading to learn how to make money from your beats while avoiding high commission fees or low royalties.
With over one hundred billion active daily users, YouTube offers a tremendous opportunity to reach new listeners while earning money from your music. Ad revenue is the most popular choice for monetization.
📇 Earning Money Through Ad Revenue
With YouTube, you can earn a percentage of the income generated from the ads on your content. But before you can do this, you need to meet their eligibility requirements:
- Four thousand watch hours in the past twelve months
- One thousand subscribers
Your videos should also adhere to YouTube's policies regarding suitable and brand-safe content. Besides this, creators must follow the guidelines related to content ownership and community guidelines violations.
🎞️ YouTube Music Streaming Revenue
If you don't want to deal with YouTube's strict ad guidelines, you can monetize your music by joining YouTube Music's partner program.
The typical payout for a YouTube Music stream is between $0.001 and $0.003. If millions of people hear your music, the earnings can add up to thousands of dollars per year.
You'll get paid every time someone listens to or uses your songs. The Content ID system on YouTube notes when another creator uses your beats in their videos, so you don't have to worry about collecting royalties yourself.
👉 Important Considerations for Uploading Music on YouTube
Before you monetize music online, be mindful of copyright infringement.
Let's say you used a song snippet in your beat. If the owner of that song comes across your work, they can issue a copyright claim against you. This will lead to YouTube removing your video and deleting any associated earnings.
If you sample music for your projects, it should be royalty-free or cleared by the original rights holders.
Familiarize yourself with YouTube's licensing requirements. This will ensure you're in compliance and can profit from your music.
🌎 Monetization Alternatives for Non-Monetized Regions
YouTube monetization is available in several countries around the world. However, the list of eligible countries changes regularly. It depends on local laws, regulations, user demand, and advertiser interests.
You can use your video descriptions to sell merchandise and freelancing services if your country isn't eligible.
On average, artists earn up to $0.005 per stream on Spotify. About seventy percent of this is personal revenue, and thirty percent goes to Spotify.
✍️ Sign up for Spotify for Artists
As a first step, create a Spotify for Artists account. This account allows you to manage and promote your music on Spotify. You can claim your artist profile, personalize it with images and a bio, and even submit your unreleased music for playlist placement.
🚛 Distribute Your Music to Spotify
Music distributors handle licensing, distribution, and payment of royalties to artists. Spotify lists trusted distributors, including EmoBands, DistroKid, CD Baby, and Vydia.
It's important to note that not all distributors offer the same services or pricing options. For example, DistroKid lets you keep all your streaming royalties, while CD Baby enables you to hold on to about ninety-one percent.
🎵 Promote Your Music
While Spotify is a powerful platform, relying solely on organic discovery is not enough. Leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with your audience and promote your music.
Seek out curators specializing in playlists that feature similar music to yours. Offering your tracks for consideration can improve your chances of landing on high-traffic playlists and gaining exposure.
SoundCloud Pro is a subscription plan that offers artists additional tools to promote and monetize their music. With a Pro subscription, artists can:
- Unlock advanced statistics about their tracks
- Customize their profile with a header image
- Schedule track releases in advance
Additionally, you can make money as a producer by enabling advertisements on your tracks. The revenue will be based on the number of plays and ad impressions.
👩💻 Sellfy Integration
Sellfy is a platform that allows artists to sell their digital products directly instead of going through an intermediary like Apple or Amazon. SoundCloud offers integration with Sellfy. With this feature, music producers can set up their online store and embed it directly on their SoundCloud profile.
You can sell your music, merchandise, and even exclusive content to fans. This provides an additional revenue stream beyond traditional streaming royalties.
🔗 Buy Links
Artists can add Buy links to their tracks, directing listeners to online stores where they can purchase their music.
To add Buy links to your SoundCloud tracks, simply edit the track information and input the appropriate URLs. You can direct listeners to platforms like Bandcamp, iTunes, or your website.
Apple Music offers an average per-play rate of up to $0.01, much higher than Spotify and other platforms. Streaming royalties are the primary way producers earn revenue on Apple Music.
💰 iTunes Sales
Besides streaming royalties, artists can upload their songs to iTunes and sell them as downloads. The usual $1 per song rate is an excellent place to start when selling music.
The cost should be revised if your songs are popular or longer than most other tracks.
Having variable price choices on sites like Bandcamp may help increase earnings. In most cases, this method results in donations from supporters.
While setting prices, charge less for demos. Alternatively, you can offer these for free as a gift to your fans. The idea is to entice people into buying the whole album and other music.
👑 Factors that Affect Royalty Rates
Royalty rates on Apple Music vary by country, as different markets have different licensing agreements and rates.
For example, you'll likely get a higher rate for plays from the US than you will from India. This doesn't mean you should focus on the US over other countries. Instead, consider offering discounted rates in developing markets and higher rates in developed ones.
Apple Music has free and paid subscription options. Artists generally earn higher royalty rates from paid subscribers than free users, as subscription fees contribute to the overall revenue pool.
Longer songs may result in higher royalties. This is due to increased playtime.
The Importance of Verification
Verification provides credibility to your artist profile. Getting verified also makes it easier for fans to find and follow you. Because you'll stand out from the crowd, it can potentially lead to more streams and revenue.
Airbit's free plan allows you to upload and display up to 20 beats in their marketplace. Here, you can gain exposure and connect with potential buyers.
With the free plan, you won't pay seller commission or buyer fees. That means you keep all of your earnings.
Additionally, gaining access to the global artist community via BandLab expands your reach and provides valuable networking opportunities.
🏰 Airbit Premium
For those looking for even more opportunities, Airbit's paid plan lets you upload and sell unlimited beats and sound packs. Using this platform to expand your catalogue and attract a more extensive customer base is the best choice.
Just like the free plan, there are no seller commissions or buyer fees.
Furthermore, you gain access to HTML5 stores without commission. With their new designs and innovations, producers can create digital stores that reflect your brand.
You'll also be eligible for YouTube Content ID monetization. So, you can earn money when your music is played on YouTube.
💸 Custom Licenses and Payment Flexibility
Airbit's customizable licenses and e-signature functionality make it easy to ensure transparent customer sales. You can customize the terms of your license, including:
- Duration (lifetime, limited license)
- Number of projects (1 or unlimited)
- Royalty rate
They also offer flexible payment options, including bank transfers and wire transfers. You can even receive money via PayPal or by check.
BeatStars offers both free and paid plans for users to choose from.
With the free subscription, BeatStars takes a thirty percent commission from your sales revenue. While this may seem like a drawback, it provides new producers with a risk-free entry point to monetize their beats.
The paid plans eliminate commission fees, allowing you to keep all your revenue.
🤝 Collaboration Features
BeatStars is a dynamic social platform where users can successfully network with other producers. This creates a supportive community that encourages joint productions.
👕 Merchandise Sales Potential
Producers can effortlessly create and sell their branded merchandise with its seamless integration with Printful, a leading print-on-demand company. From t-shirts and hoodies to mugs and phone cases, you can expand your brand's presence and monetize your loyal fanbase directly through BeatStars.
⏯️ Customizable HTML Player
The HTML player on BeatStars offers a wide range of customization options to help you create an immersive experience for your audience. With the ability to tailor the player's appearance, layout, and functionality, you can showcase your beats in a visually appealing and user-friendly way. This enhances the listener's experience and helps establish a professional and distinct brand identity.
🤑 Monetization on Other Platforms
Beyond its marketplace, BeatStars extends its reach by providing monetization options on prominent platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, and Audiomack. This means your beats can generate revenue even when they're uploaded elsewhere.
By tapping into these additional monetization channels, BeatStars amplifies your earning potential more than other platforms. It also increases your exposure to a larger audience.
With over a billion dollars in payouts to artists, Bandcamp has established itself as a platform that rewards talent. While it's not as famous as Spotify or SoundCloud, it's one of the few music production platforms that allows direct sales. There's a fifteen percent fee on digital sales and a ten percent fee on physical sales.
🎚️ Sound Quality
If you're an artist who takes pride in the sonic fidelity of your work, Bandcamp delivers. It supports high-resolution audio and lossless compression, ensuring your music is presented with the utmost clarity and precision.
🔌 Direct Connection
Bandcamp allows artists to communicate directly with their fans, receive feedback, and build a loyal fanbase. This direct line of communication creates a sense of intimacy, enhancing the buying experience for fans.
🚧 Less Restrictive
Unlike other streaming platforms, Bandcamp has a comparatively liberal content policy. It allows artists to express themselves and explore various artistic styles without fear of being demonetized. This gives creators more options when learning how to produce music.
📉 Variable Pricing
While artists can choose the prices of their beats on Bandcamp, fans also have the option to pay more if they so choose. This unique approach allows fans to support artists they admire while allowing producers to receive additional income. It's a win-win situation that fosters a sense of community and dedication between artists and fans.
Your Gateway to Success as a Freelance Music Producer
With the help of Airbit, SoundCloud, YouTube, or Spotify, you can turn your passion into profit by selling beats. On these music production platforms, the commissions are low and, in some cases, nonexistent.
You can easily earn a living from your beats thanks to low fees. However, success as a freelance music producer takes dedication, consistent self-promotion, and an ever-evolving skill set. To stay ahead in this competitive industry, subscribe to Craft Your Sound's newsletter and equip yourself with the latest resources.