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LoFi Music: The Business Model
August 21, 2023

LoFi Music: The Business Model

Everyone in the music business has certainly heard about LoFi Girl. LoFi music is not new to the industry. About ten years ago, this music genre dominated the music livestream industry of underground hip-hop music producers in prominent parts of America. 

However, sometime in 2020, in the heat of the pandemic, LoFi music blew up rapidly, making it one of the fastest-growing musical genres of this age. 

What spurred it?

The invasion of live streaming. 

When platforms like Spotify and YouTube became big, LoFi music became popular, catching the hearts of thousands of music lovers and becoming a huge source of artists' revenue.

In this article, we will discuss the business model of LoFi music. We will look at how it works for artists, how they get paid, and the model behind the 24/7 videos on YouTube.

What is LoFi music?

Let's begin with something simple; what is LoFi music, and how did it come up?

The next time you walk into a bookstore, try to pay attention to the background music playing. 95% of the time, it is LoFi music.

LoFi is short for low fidelity, which technically means low quality. What this means is that LoFi music has low-quality recordings. This means you can hear some background noise, the audio quality is imperfect, and if you listen carefully, you can hear some of the errors made by the performer. All the 'human' stuff that usually gets filtered in High Fidelity music is left the same in LoFi music. 

Contrary to expectations, this kind of music resonates with several music lovers. People find solace surrounded by music in its purest form. This is one of the major reasons behind the success of this genre of music.

Key Elements of LoFi Music

How do you know you're listening to LoFi music? Asides from the obvious lack of smoothness you will get from music that has been edited and filtered to perfection, here are some key elements to look out for in LoFi music;

  • It starts with a slow tempo and a simple beat
  • It has repeating drum beats
  • It has retro vibes. You will hear lots of vintage sounds and jazzy chords
  • Classical jazz chord progression 
  • Vocal samples.

One of the best parts of LoFi music is that there are not many rules guiding its production. Artists can make a good retro beat and release it in its purest form.

The LoFi Girl Business Model

Now with the advent of LoFi music, LoFi Records was founded in 2019 in France. This record label basically released LoFi hip hop music featured on LoFi Girl. LoFi Girl is a mascot showing a Japanese animation of a girl either studying or relaxing. This channel runs a 24/7 livestream of LoFi music, connecting music lovers from around the world.

Something calming about LoFi music spurs people to study or relax which has increased its popularity. 

There are several LoFi streaming channels on YouTube and other music livestream platforms. 

The idea is for artists to play continuous loops of LoFi music while displaying soothing animated visuals. One of the most popular LoFi music channels is called LoFi Girl. LoFi Girl was formerly known as Chilled Cow and was rebranded to LoFi Girl in 2021. This channel is owned by a French artist known as Dimitri. In 2020, the channel was suspended briefly by YouTube after it had live-streamed for over 13,000 hours and gained over 218 million views. After a public backlash, YouTube reinstated the channel, dimming the suspension as a mistake.

Currently, LoFi Girl has 13 million subscribers and runs 24/7 music livestreams playing relaxing LoFi music.

Making Money from LoFi Music

Following its success, several artists have jumped into studios to create calming LoFi music, and they have created channels for this music to be live-streamed. 

There are several ways to make money from LoFi music. The common ways include;

  • Music livestreaming revenue from platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
  • YouTube channel monetization 
  • Creating and selling merchandise using LoFi music branding.

YouTube Channel Monetization

The most common way for artists to make money using LoFi is YouTube. Here is a quick guide that shows how to create and grow your LoFi music YouTube channel;

  1. Start the YouTube channel: You can either decide to use an existing channel or create a new channel. It is important that you carry out your research first. Your audience is very important. You need a community that actually loves LoFi music. Also, research other LoFi channels and find out about their theme, logos, and channel names, and use similar ones.
  2. LoFi Animation: During your research, you will find out that most LoFi channels make good use of captivating animations. The LoFi Girl uses Japanese animes to capture the attention of viewers. Having animation creation skills is a plus, but this is not mandatory. With a few websites and software, you will easily create suitable animations.
  3. LoFi music: Of course, the music you upload is also important. As a LoFi music artist, you are advantaged. It is now up to you to create unique songs that are entertaining for your audience.

Even if you are not a LoFi music artist, you can choose to hire a LoFi music creator, or source suitable copy-right free LoFi music and upload them to your channel. There are also music-selling websites where you can purchase good LoFi music. 

  1. Edit, Upload, and SEO: Now that you have everything in place, you will need to edit the video. Software like Filmora and Priemere Pro can help you produce high-quality edited videos. 4K or Full-HD videos are recommended for better quality.

In the Upload stage, you would have to create attractive thumbnails. Optimizing metadata and analyzing keywords will enhance your channel's SEO strategy. This will give your video higher rank statistics, leading to increased visibility.

Growing Your LoFi Music YouTube Channel

What is the model behind the 24/7 LoFi music livestream on YouTube? With proper research, you will find out that several LoFi channels do 24/7 live streaming. This is because streaming for extended periods can help in channel growth. How does the extended live streaming work? Do the uploaders need to leave their computers on for weeks? No.

Channels that live stream for a long time use a Virtual Private Server (VPS). There are several live hosting companies that have plans that you can purchase. With these servers, you can host live streams for a long time without having to be present. 

Another thing you can do to grow your LoFi music YouTube channel is to utilize social media. Platforms like Facebook and Reddit have groups where you can find the appropriate audience for your channel.

Using these strategies, you can create and grow your LoFi music YouTube channel and start earning good money from it.

Creating and Selling Merchandise Using LoFi

Another way that artists can make money from LoFi music is by selling merchandise. Selling merch like branded T-shirts, hoodies, caps, bands, and other accessories on your online store can generate revenue for you.

It is clear that the LoFi community is growing massively. The LoFi Girl YouTube channel solely has 13 million subscribers and billions of amassed views. This should give you an insight into the amount of money that could be made by selling unique LoFi merchandise.

Streaming Revenue From Platforms Like Apple Music and Spotify

YouTube is just one platform that can give LoFi artists money. Other music streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify also yield money for artists. As the number of streams and subscribers increase on your channel, your music business thrives. 

How Much Money Can You Make From LoFi Music?

This is dependent on the size of the community you have built. The more you increase, the more money you can get.

For a pacesetting channel like LoFi Girl, according to reports from NaiBuzz, Dimitri the owner of the channel has generated over $6 million from the music business. A channel this large can get an average of 1.2 million views daily. On average, YouTube creators can get anywhere from $2 to $12 for 1000 monetized views. So for 1.2 million views, this channel can generate about $9600 daily, making about $3.5 million annually. This is a rough estimate for an established channel.

Now, in addition to community views and engagements, there is payment for ad views. The cost of an ad view varies depending on several factors, but advertisers bid a minimum of $0.01 per view. 

Then there are also YouTube premium viewers that pay a monthly fee to view premium content on YouTube. This is also another revenue source in the music business.

It is obvious that the LoFi music business model is a lucrative one. If you are an artist already into LoFi music, then you can monetize your journey with the steps listed above. Even non-artists that have a passion for music can find a way to monetize LoFi music. There is a devoted community waiting on you to provide great music for them and gain their support. 

In this era of AI, LoFi music creation and monetization is easier. AI can aid in several tasks like research, thumbnail creation, video editing, and animation creation.

Monetize Your Music Skills Today

Want to get started making money from your LoFi music skills? We can help you! At Reprtoir, we offer solutions that help you manage and grow your music business.

We have a secure software suite where professionals can manage playlists, catalogs, and other musical works.

We have a supportive team that is always available, and we can't wait to help you. Don't take our word for it. Try it out yourself! Sign up for a 14-day trial today and kick-start this journey.

We'll be waiting for you on the other side. 

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