The music industry has been undergoing some major changes, through a digital transformation that has been so fast our heads are still spinning. The business model shifted from producing albums to engaging with fans on a deeper level. This change has enabled more creators to make money producing the work they love.
Direct-to-fans business models give musicians more revenue streams. Some of them keep selling concert tickets and selling their albums. However, a growing number of indie musicians incorporate an array of income streams. You no longer need to be a famous musician to produce music full-time.
This article will explore direct-to-fans business models you can use to make money with your music. The beauty of this strategy is that you don’t need millions of fans. You only need a small number of fans who deeply care about your work.
Create a Direct-to-fans content access
Creators can use platforms like Patreon to raise money for their music. Fans can be invited to pay a monthly subscription to support your music. Patreon and others let creators reward their subscribers for their support.
Let’s take an example. The band While She Sleeps created a Patreon Page during the pandemic, facing the lack of physical performances and the way too little revenue they’re making through streaming. Some bands rely on live performances to drive revenue and attract new fans. While celebrity singers can wait for live events to return, smaller bands did not have the same luxury.
While She Sleeps has attracted over 1,500 patrons. The band offers four memberships with $7.50/mo as the lowest tier. Depending on the membership level, patrons can access secret shows, merchandise discounts, Q&A live streams, and an exclusive t-shirt.
Some members happily pay each month to support the band. Others subscribe for the perks. While She Sleeps is now making enough money from their patrons to continue producing music and bypass the traditional business model.
Take Control with music NFTs
Cryptocurrencies present a significant opportunity for musicians; they command high prices in the market. Celebrity artists have made millions of dollars by selling NFTs.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital collectibles. You can find out all bout them right here on our blog.
Artists make residual income on every NFT transaction. If a fan buys your NFT, you make money at that moment. However, if that fan sells your NFT to another fan, you receive a small commission on that sale.
This direct-to-fans business model allows your fans to support you long after buying your NFT. The musician essentially becomes PayPal. You make a small cut on every transaction within your NFT. Even if the transactions are small, they add up over time.
Growing on new music business models
Offering your music on platforms like Spotify gives you an access to a new audience, when web placed (playlisted). Each of these platforms offers different perks, but there are some new platforms leaning towards direct-to-fans business models.
For instance, Twitch recently released a new incubator program called The Collective. Twitch is investing in musicians on its platform since its drastic rise during the pandemic. The streaming platform is investing proceeds and hands-on support into each musician in The Collective, to show that there are other options than paying royalties.
Growth Made Easy for Musicians
Many platforms and new digital strategies means that creators can access their communities from several places at a time. The focus has shifted from a sales-focused model to a people-focused model. This means more management on administrative tasks, whether its files to share with the rest of music services providers or royalty accounting for professionals.
Reprtoir is a software suite specifically designed for the music industry professionals. When in charge of music catalogs or musical works, it sometimes gets heavy when it comes to manage several types of assets, royalty accounting and various contracts. This is why we created a SaaS solution, a secure online workspace for professional teams. Manage music and works assets, releases, playlists and accounting in only one place. Find out more with us!