monetize music

May 10, 2021

In 2021, there are more ways than ever before for musicians to make money. Streaming platforms like Spotify have become the “traditional” revenue source, as artists have become familiar with that process. 

However, streaming services are extremely competitive, as exemplified by Spotify’s Loud and Clear campaign. As an independent artist, you’re going to want to spread your wings further than just streaming so that you can monetize through newer, “non-traditional” channels. 

And in this article, we’re showing you how to do just that. We’ll take you through the possibilities for monetization on four key platforms:

  • Youtube
  • TikTok 
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 

Let’s discover some alternative cash flows for you!

Monetizing Music With Youtube

Youtube boasts the most robust user network on the internet when it comes to videos. Music and visual mediums have always had an intimate relationship; so you’ll want to make sure to take advantage. 

Here’s how you can monetize your music using the platform: 

  • Youtube Music: Upload your music through your preferred distribution platform and receive royalties through Youtube music streaming. Each song will appear as a “video” with your album art and other metadata. 
  • Advertisements: For all the content you upload to Youtube — whether that be music videos, artist Q & A’s, or jam sessions — you can link your Content ID to generate revenue for ad clicks that are placed over your videos. 
  • Premium Subscribers: When premium subscribers view your video, you get paid per view rather than per ad click — which generates more revenue. 

In order to drive all this activity, you’ll have to opt in to Social Video Monetization through your distributor and be sure to promote traffic through social media to get them landing on the video in the first place. 

Monetizing Music With TikTok 

The big opportunity with TikTok  comes in that users can select a song to enhance the content of their video. This creates a huge promotional opportunity, but also gives you the chance to monetize. 

You won’t have to opt in to Social Video Monetization to get money from TikTok. All you have to do is opt into streaming on the platform with your distributor, and every time someone uses your song overlaid on their video — you’ll earn money. 

To learn more about how to create content that is set to go viral on TikTok so that you can expand your brand and make more money, check out this article.

Monetizing Music With Facebook 

While Facebook isn’t necessarily the platform of choice for younger generations anymore, there is still a great opportunity for monetization. 

Much like TikTok, you can earn money every time someone chooses your song to overlay in a Facebook Video or Facebook Stories. Unlike TikTok (but in accordance with Youtube), you’ll have to opt into Social Video Monetization with your distributor. 

The best way to get someone to overlay your song is to do it yourself and encourage people to emulate your content. Additionally, you could recruit your other musician friends to use your song, and then return the favor. 

It’s hard to engineer virality. But all it takes is for one video — whether it’s yours, a friend’s, or a stranger’s — to get shared around. When that happens, people might choose to produce their own content with your song in the background. 

And that means money into your pocket! 

Monetizing Music With Instagram 

There are three different types of videos that people can upload on Instagram: 

  • Stories 
  • Reels 
  • IGTV 

While Instagram users can also add up-to 60 second videos on their regular feed, those aren’t eligible for monetization. 

When you opt in to Social Video Monetization, your music will be automatically eligible to be used in user’s videos. And just like Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, you’ll receive money each time they use your song in a Story or IGTV video. 

You can’t directly monetize off of Reels, but it’s still a great opportunity to gain more exposure for your music. 

Takeaways - Monetizing and Promoting Your Music 

When it comes to streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, it’s an uphill battle to get to the point where you can actually start making money off of streams. 

That’s why it’s so important for you to be tapping into these non-traditional platforms as a secondary means of generating some cash flow. As with any process in the industry, it takes time — but stick with it, promote overlays with your own content, and you’ll have a chance to see some results. 

Even if you don’t directly monetize from these platforms, it’s just another means for getting exposure for your music — which you should never shy away from.

Music Promotion Insiders
Music Promotion Insiders

About the author 

Jack Berning

Jack Berning is a lyricist and songwriter who specializes in helping up-and-coming artists reach their goals. He also currently works as a Marketing Advisor for Milestone Management and as a freelance writer specializing in the entertainment industry. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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