Know The Different Sources Of Income You Can Generate As An Indie Musician

Indie musicians of today are getting paid in a lot of ways. They have access to a large number of avenues to generate money. Here are some popular and obvious sources of income you must know in order to benefit from them.

Source of Income


When your music is streamed from platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Deezer, these channels owe you money also called the streaming license fee.


If you are a label or an artist, you are entitled for a share of the charges collected by the online sources when your music is downloaded.

Social Video Monetization

When your music is used for content that is posted on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, you will have to be compensated adequately. Usually, these channels create a sonic fingerprint of your recording. Whenever your music appears in their domain, it is monetized for you.

YouTube Partner Program

YouTube offers a partner program to all the eligible channels, and this is a great way to earn revenue on your videos when you post your videos on YouTube.


You can make money by selling physical music in different kinds of formats including CD, vinyl, cassette, USB flash drive and others. In this case, you can fix a wholesale price and you will get paid whenever there is a sale. You can also think of creating your own online store on Shopify or Bandcamp to generate sales and income.

Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical royalties are a publishing royalty you are entitled to claim when any of your original composition is used for some products like CDs or vinyl records. The other forms of this can be streams and downloads also.

Performance Royalties

Performance royalties are another publishing royalty that indie musicians are entitled to get when their music is performed in public or played on the radio. You must not forget to file your set lists while performing live since you also own songwriter royalties for your shows.

Non-interactive Streaming Royalties

These kinds of royalties are those that are generated on the internet and satellite radio services through non-interactive streaming. Unlike the case of publishing royalties that are owed to publishers and songwriters for using their composition, non-interactive streaming royalties are paid for using their sound recording.

Charges For Session, Arranging, Production and Remixing

Many indie musicians like you might do some other works outside your music production. You may choose to play on your friend’s record or create a track for someone else in your scene. Sometimes, you might do some remixing on any project and all such efforts will have to be paid.

Income From Live Performances

This is the income you will generate by performing live. This could also be the door charge or ticket sales. Deducting the expenses towards catering, house expenses, incidental expenses and promotion, you get to earn the surplus on your live performances. In this way, you get paid for your talents even before the gig.