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Make Money as a Spotify Musician

By Madison Hess, J.D. | Last updated on

Ready to start your music career? Independent artists (artists without a record label) are releasing their music into the world through Spotify. If you want to break into the music industry and make money off of your music, Spotify could be the tool you're looking for.

Get Your Music on Spotify

Getting your music on Spotify is not as simple as uploading a YouTube video. First you will need to find a distributor. You will upload your music to the distributor of your choosing, and the distributor will administer it to music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

Spotify has a provider directory that you can read through for distributor options. It contains a long list of providers such as DistroKid, CD Baby, and Next Plus/Next Pro by SoundCloud. These providers do generally have subscription fees, so review several to find a price that works for you.

Be prepared to supply your provider with images to be displayed with your songs on music streaming platforms. These images can be artwork of your own creation, or photos of you and/or your band. Think carefully about what image you want your listeners to associate with your music.

Profit From Your Music on Spotify

Business Insider reports that Spotify will pay you between $.003 and $.005 per play of your song. To make money off of your music, you're going to need a lot of listeners and a large number of streams. As of today, a few of the most streamed artists on Spotify include:

To maximize your streaming payouts, you need to grow your fanbase. To achieve this goal, release new music consistently and promote your music on social media. Market yourself as a song writer on every platform and encourage people to use Spotify to listen to your music. If you're playing live gigs, direct people to your Spotify page. Use Spotify for Artists to improve your artist profile and view the statistics regarding the stream rate of your music. To increase your payout, you need subscribers. You need a crowd of music lovers following your music, and adding it to their Spotify playlists.

Profit From Merchandise on Spotify

Another way that artists make money on Spotify is by selling merchandise. Through Spotify for Artists, you can sell merch to increase your income. This is an opportunity to further explore your creativity as an artist, connect with your fans, and boost your earnings.

Keep your merchandise basic to lower production costs thereby increasing your revenue. A well-designed original logo slapped onto t-shirts and sweatshirts will go a long way. Or instead of a logo; you can incorporate your own song lyrics into your merchandise.

Update your merchandise seasonally to grab your listeners' attention. You don't have to spend time generating new ideas each season. Just use the same logo for t-shirts in the summer, long-sleeved shirts in the fall, and hats or blankets in the winter.

Form a Business to Protect Yourself

As a professional musician who is profiting from your work, consider setting up a business entity. There are a few different business structures to choose from, each offering their own benefits when it comes to taxes and liability protection. Some of your options include the following:

Selling music may not feel like a business, but it can be. Before opening yourself up to potential tax or legal liability, get your ducks in a row. Determine which business structure is best for you and form your business with FindLaw's online business formation service.

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