How Musicians can make extra money during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 Pandemic has had catastrophic economic effects all over the world, and some of the hardest hits are those in the entertainment industry, with independent musicians feeling the full impact.
So, the question now at the tip of every musicians tongue is “How can I make money during Coronavirus? Here are a few options:
What serious artist doesn’t have a Soundcloud? Not many I would assume, and this is the first low-effort high-impact step you can take. Monetize it!
Soundcloud have been helpful enough to add support links to artist pages, allowing followers to donate to you directly, via PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, Bandcamp, Shopify, Kickstarter, Patreon and Gofundme.
Furthermore, check the following to see if you qualify for Soundcloud Premier Monetization. To qualify:
- You must own 100% of the rights (publishing, master, distribution).
- You must have zero copyright strikes at the time you en-roll
- You must be a SoundCloud Pro or Pro Unlimited subscriber.
- You must have at least 500 eligible streams in the past month.
Make sure you get this set up ASAP to keep things ticking over.
The first Friday of each month is an excellent opportunity for any musician to take advantage of Bandcamp’s new scheme of waiving their revenue share for 24 hours, giving all proceeds to artists and labels throughout Coronavirus pandemic.
On March 20, 2020, the Bandcamp community showed up in a massive way, spending $4.3 million on music and merchandise—15x the amount of a normal Friday – and again on May 1 with an incredible $7.1 million
Make sure you don’t miss out and take advantage. The next dates is July 3.
Do you already have an existing audience that you are creating for? Fantastic, Patreon is a way of getting paid for the things you’re already creating! Fans will pay a set fee (decided by you) per month (or per release) to gain exclusive access to content; be that new music, VLOGS, works in progress, videos…it can be literally whatever you want.
As an example, if you charge $1 per video, and the releases 3 videos in a month, then each subscriber gets charged a total of $3 that month. If you offer a package for $5 per month, then your fans will be charged that flat fee for all the content.
The best part is is the content can be easily scalable, meaning that same content for 1000 fans will net you $3000 per month! (based on 3 videos per month at $1). Now we’re talking!
Getting paid to perform live, without even leaving your house? Sounds too good to be true, but thanks to the phenomenon of modern technology that’s no longer the case.
For starters, Facebook is now allowing users to add direct donation buttons to their live stream, allowing their followers, and any audience that may tune in via algorithm, to donate to your work. Not only can you use this to put on a show for people already following your music, but also to grab new fans in the process to both earn money and grow your profile.
To take this to the next level however, Twitch is the go to staple for monetization of streaming. Already incredibly popular amongst gamers and comedians, musicians can take advantage of the platform in a similar manner.
You can start earning money after acquiring 50 followers, having 8 hours of streams, seven unique days of broadcasting (within a 30-day period), and have an average of three viewers per stream.
It’s easy for musicians to forget that they typically possess an array of fantastic skills others aspire to. Use this to your advantage whilst giving back to the thousands of potential people out there. Here are some platforms that you should check out:
Soundbetter - a music-specific freelance marketplace, created to help people find professional collaborations for their projects, be it either songwriting, audio production, mixing, mastering or video editing. The potential with this is astronomical, both in terms of your usefulness to others and expanding your network with likeminded creators.
Fiverr is another freelance marketplace offering broader services than just music; but also providing a much larger user base. They keep it simple yet effective, with a system that can be adapted well to creative work. You pitch your services on 3 different packages (e.g. Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) with respective price points.
Upwork - a competitor of Fiverr, whose main difference is the job acquisition process. You apply for each role using a number of credits and bid on the contract based on your requested rate and past experience. It’s a particularly excellent service if your resume is already well established.
Never overlook the help that is right in front of your face. Depending on where you live there are a number of government incentives to help struggling musicians across the world. Below are links to a number of said support groups. Make sure you apply to those that you qualify for to obtain some immediate relief.
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund: https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund
Help Musicians - https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/news/latest-news/advice-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19
Musicians union - https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/Advice/covid-19/financial-support-musicians
ISM - https://www.ism.org/advice/funds-musicians-covid-19
PRS - https://www.prsformusic.com/c/help-through-covid-19
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