Music Business Ideas – 9 Unique Ideas for Musicians

For years, the music industry has been known for its glitz and glamour–we all know a handful of musicians making headlines on Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks.

Live performances are always invigorating and when you pay to experience the adrenaline rush of catching your favorite artist in action, alongside a sea of other passionate fans – it’s truly unforgettable. The music industry is no doubt an amazing realm where you can enjoy such a lifestyle if that’s what you desire!

It’s no wonder why so many people yearn to be part of the music industry, as it appears highly appealing from the outside looking in. However, is that really true? Are there truly lucrative Music Business Ideas? If you examine current superstar musicians like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Drake, and countless other successful artists; their success seems too good to be true!

While that’s desirable, the ultimate question is; what are your chances of becoming that successful as a musician?

What if you’re currently struggling with your music career, is there any hope for you? We have dedicated the rest of this article to providing suggestions on things you can do to stay afloat. But first, let’s look at answers to these crucial questions. 

  •  What is the chance of success in the music industry? 
  •  Characteristics of successful musicians 
  •  Profitable Music Business Ideas for Musicians

What Is The Chance of Success In The Music Industry? 

The truth is that many musicians measure success by how much glamour they can show to the world. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the reality is that there are several other ways to measure a musician’s success.

Success in the music industry is subjective.

It is to get signed to a major record label for some musicians, have millions of dedicated fan-base, get sponsorship deals from top brands, etc. For many, it is to become rich and famous.

What’s your definition, and what are your chances of attaining your definition of success?

Remember that the music industry is extremely competitive. If you’re going to be this successful, you will need to develop a tough skin against the things the industry will throw at you and an ability to thrive using your artistic talents and business acumen.

There are thousands of aspiring musicians in the music industry and the big names we hear today are only a tiny fraction of this number.

Statistics have shown that a rookie in the music industry has only about a 0.000002% chance of becoming the next Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, or Kanye West. In other words, you have a higher chance of becoming rich and famous if you started playing the lottery today than becoming a “successful musician.”

But, do these statistics mean you can’t break through? Of course not!

Let’s look at some of the things successful musicians do. 

Characteristics of Successful Musicians 

The competition in the music industry is cutthroat! An average rookie will not survive nor make headway eventually. However, some qualities can set you apart from those who want it dearly and take you beyond average. They are the things many don’t see behind the glamorous lifestyle of prominent musicians. You may have to look closer to learn these things, but not to worry, I’ll tell you some.

They Have No Other Choice. 

Most musicians have an idea of how challenging it can be to make headway in today’s music industry. As a result, they create a backup plan and an attitude of “If this (music) doesn’t work, this (Plan B) should.

Know this and let it help you; successful professional musicians are those who have no other options. Not because they don’t have options, but because they treated and are treating their music career as if it must work! When you don’t have plan B to fall back on, Plan A will be your only focus.

Listen to the stories of the musicians you cherish, and you’ll find something along the lines of them leaving their comfort zone—for some, it’s leaving home at a young age—to pursue their desired music career. Though this act solely does not guarantee success, the bottom line is, successful musicians are those who are confident and adventurous enough to go after various Music Business Ideas without distraction. 

Willingness to Educate Themselves and Work Hard

Things have changed and are still evolving. Musicians must be willing to educate themselves on the things needed for success in today’s world. Do your research, and you’ll find that most musicians—especially music bands—will usually have to share the roles of manager, booking agent, promoter, etc., within the group. Are you going solo? Then the stake becomes high. Enjoy the process of educating yourself along the lines of professional music-making. 

They Lived Modestly 

Yes, you read that right. Many of the musicians you know about their glamorous lifestyle today formerly lived a modest lifestyle–most are still living modestly compared to their income level. The truth—and you’ll most certainly confirm from your personal experience—is that the early days are most times rough. You may never experience a stable income, and if it’s stable, it may take a long time before it becomes large enough. It’s on days like that that you need discipline and self-control to live within your means and modestly. In summary, those days are when you choose to live the “easy life” or a “fulfilled life.”

Patiently and Persistently On their Craft Daily.

To be patient is to understand that career success does not happen overnight, and to be persistent is to keep doing it even when the going gets tough. Successful artists were formerly unknown to the world, but they broke through the resistance by staying true to their careers. They kept working on their craft, and they still do till this day. You will need to do the same to compete and succeed in the hyper-competitive music world. As long as you continue to make daily progress—patiently and persistently improving your skills—you will someday become one of the names to reckon with in the industry.

Creativity at Generating Income

Would you be surprised if I told you that there’s hardly any successful musician you know who isn’t keen on having multiple streams of income? Ok, let me put it this way, you will be deceiving yourself to think being a musician alone is enough to take care of you for life. While that’s true, you will have to be in the top echelon to live such a life. But, rather than risk it all in one basket, you can quickly diversify into various Music Business Ideas.

Profitable Music Business Ideas for Musicians

Don’t get me wrong, starting a business in the music industry is not an easy call, but “you’ve got to do what you have to do,” isn’t that right? Besides, when you have a ton of suggestions, the step becomes more effortless. Here are a few profitable music business ideas you can delve into;

Become a Local Event Artist

Restaurants, clubs, resorts, and similar places are always looking for artists of a different kind—especially musicians—to keep their guests entertained. You can be that musician! The life of a musician shouldn’t be limited to the studio, battling with musical instruments. It would help if you also were at places where people would hear you. It will do a whole lot for your career and your pocket because you can charge for the service you render at these local events. Since it’s in regional areas, it should not cost you much. You only need to deliver, and they will always call you to come back. That way, you would have created a steady source of income for yourself.

Ceremonial Event Artist

Another idea similar to playing at clubs, restaurants, etc., is performing at ceremonial events like weddings, birthday parties, homecoming, and several other gatherings. People are always looking for who to perform at their weddings and other ceremonies. You can make yourself available for the service at a cost to the organizers. It might require a little work to put up with this idea, like having a website to market your services and help your potential clients find you. However, that little trouble compared to the income it can generate for you.

Disc Jockey

Ok, you will need a little mastery for this one. However, this stage is where learning and improving your craft—one of the qualities of successful musicians—comes in. Yes, most mainstream musicians don’t know how to do this Disc Jockey thing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Besides, your focus is to earn a living while you’re on your way to the top chart, so you need to put in extra effort and do things differently. Clubs, Weddings, and other special events usually demand a DJ service, so; you can lay demands on this business niche and begin to book various gigs.

Touring Artist

Your career goal should be to have a fan base across the world. People should know you and get the opportunity to hear your songs around the world. Yes, the internet era has made that relatively easy where from your locale, people from different parts of the world can get to access your music, so going from place to place with your song might seem like an old–fashioned way of doing things. But, have you ever wondered why musicians in the past till date have used touring as a tool to promote their music? Why do mainstream artists still do it? That’s because touring is another way of making money in the music industry.

Therefore, you should start considering making money from this method as well. Do you know how much money sales of tickets and merchandise can give you in each location? Guess you’ll have to find out.

Songwriter and Lyricist

It’s a blessing to you if you can write songs—you can build a business around that. Not many musicians today know how to write songs. They may have a good voice to sing, but the songwriting is a special type of talent. Do you see those musicians that cannot write their songs? They are your “cash cow.” Write songs for them and let them pay for what you offer. You could also become a lyricist if you have ears for melodies. Lyricists write words that go with various melodies and rhythms. They could write multiple versions of wordings to go with a single melody, creating more than one version of a particular tune. People get paid to do this as well. Check if it’s something you can do and let it be a source of blessing to your financial capacity.

Session Musicians or Backup Singers

Not all musicians make the headline. Not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to. So, we see successful musicians and celebrate them for being so good at what they do, but those working behind the scenes make things work the way they do. They are the instrumentalist and the talented backup singers. They also get paid handsomely for their services. If you have a hand for instruments or have a good voice for backup and don’t mind playing or backing up for a headlining musician or in a band, this is a good business opportunity.

Composer : One of The Best Music Business Ideas For Songwriters

Ok, this one has similarities with songwriters and lyricists; however, it’s a little more than that. While songwriters create songs and lyricists write words to melodies, composers use their skill set to do all of that and then more by making sophisticated arrangements for every instrument. This one would require talent with skillset mastery, but if you have the talent to compose and arrange full music, don’t hesitate to learn what’s needed to take the business opportunities your talent has to offer.

Theme Song Creator or Jingle Writer

There’s hardly any advertisement or TV commercials today that doesn’t involve songs or musical tunes. Brands are always looking for who will help with their jingles and TV commercials. You can be that person. Also, movies and other related contents usually have theme songs that accompany them. Musicians create these theme songs in exchange for a price. These two areas are a good business opportunity for you if you can write quick and catchy tunes.

Music Teacher and Individual Tutor

Your music talent is transferable. You can share it with others by teaching. You can start your music school or create a music workshop for people looking to learn how to play instruments, make or write music on a large scale. However, you could also work on an individual level by dealing with clients directly. Don’t be surprised that most headline musicians require this service in various forms—most especially as a voice coach. Also, form people who play specific instruments.

Conclusion : Music Business Ideas

Without a doubt, the music industry can be challenging; many have joined and left out of frustration. Maybe you’re beginning to wonder if being a musician can pay the bills or put food on the table, or you should consider other options. Well, music can pay the bills if you know how to navigate your way around. I’ve suggested some Music Business Ideas and opportunities that are resident in the music industry for passionate people—especially if music is all that you know how to do best.