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Music Monetisation in the 21st Century

Thanks to the exploding popularity of streaming music platforms, the music industry has experienced a major shift in the way we see music monetisation in today’s music business.

Gone are the days of signing to a major label. Currently, only 2250 artists get signed in a market of 8 million Music Artists searching for a record deal around the globe.

With access to a laptop, basic plugins, headphones, midi controller and an internet connection, musicians are now taking matters into their own hands and creating their own music to get started. However, recording and releasing good music requires the help of a music producer who can help you create high quality productions that stand out in a digital landscape.

Having your music widely accessible online on digital streaming platforms like Youtube, iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play and Spotify means just that – accessible. Youtube has 1.5 billion active users, followed by China’s NetEase at 400 million, followed by Spotify with 170 million active users. But getting your music heard isn’t as easy as having it uploaded and released to a music streaming site.

Digital Streaming Royalties (What you get paid per stream)

If you haven’t already discovered the revealing stats on digital streaming revenue, the following may upset some musicians. Thanks to the exploding popularity of streaming music platforms, music artists are earning less by having their music heard and distributed than any other means of income. According to the infographic below, artists need about 366,000 plays per month just to make minimum wage with platforms like Spotify paying only $0.00437 per play. To make matters worse, an unsigned artist on Youtube must produce over 700,000 plays/views per month just to meet this benchmark. As of September 2019, Pandora currently has the highest per-play royalty rate at $0.01682 per play.  An independent artist would need around 87,515 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,472 which approximates to $2175 AUD.

What is the best way forward?

Today, digital marketing has become the new means to create awareness for your music and for your brand. Designing effective marketing campaigns means creating good ad copy, using powerful call to actions and nurturing your database through email, messaging platforms and targeted advertising to a niche market or fan base that can be re-targeted over time.

Skills and Investment needed to succeed

If you’re aiming for professional musician status i.e. someone who gets paid for their music, be prepared to continually develop your marketing skills and use well-crafted stories, vlogs and blogs to create connection that inspires your audience. Once this connection and trust has been established, you are in an optimal position to offer your fans the opportunity to buy tickets to a show, support your latest crowd fund, sign up to your mailing list, fan club and purchase your latest merch.

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