How do artists make so much money when today there are so many streaming services and we pay a very small amount to have access to a huge amount of songs?


How do artists make so much money when today there are so many streaming services and we pay a very small amount to have access to a huge amount of songs?

In: Other

One of the major problems of the music business nowadays maybe, most of them simply don’t. No space for artists to grow

The streaming services pay a fraction of a penny per stream. If you get millions of streams, you earn thousands of dollars. If you get thousands of streams, you get a couple bucks.

The top few acts that get *billions* of streams make lots of money. Everyone else makes less, down to “almost nothing” for the majority of artists. Money comes from touring and merchandise sales.

For most musical artists, streaming does little for their pocket. Tours are what pay the bills.

Even before streaming most of the money from album sales went to the recording studio/company. Money for artists was a little better than streaming but not much. Artists have always made the bulk of their money from performing, ticket sales and merchandise.

They dont.

No one pays for anything (movies, music, etc) anymore. Musicians must work harder. Playing live gigs, contract work for music to be included in commercial projects (like music in a video game), getting their songs into advertising, whatever it takes to make a buck.

The days of an artist releasing an album and receiving royalty cheques from album sales forever are long gone.

When did you last buy an album?


Today, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago, and more, Music artists made their money the same way they do now: Touring.

Selling music and radio plays (and now streaming plays) were and are really only ever a good source of income for the absolute top top artists. Everyone else, except the ultra top, never really made much money except by touring. Thats your profit source.

Music labels make plenty of money selling music and streaming, but not the artist.

The richest musicians make their money outside the music industry. Real estate, owning businesses, etc. looking at the richest musicians, only Celine Dion makes big money, purely from her music via concert ticket revenue

Streaming is merely a means of gaining exposure, and unless a musician is getting millions of plays a month, it usually doesn’t amount to much.

Most musicians make money on endorsement deals, merchandise, and live performances.

Artists make money off of concerts, licensing, and endorsements.

When it comes to concerts if an artist is on tour by themselves (in many cases) they get pretty much all the profits. The venue takes a portion of ticket sales (and some other things), then the artists pays all their expense and payroll, and everything left over, all the profit, goes to them. For established artists this can be quite a bit of money. For example it is estimated that when Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band play football stadiums they make $2.8 million a show. Major pop artists who are playing more normal venues, like Justin Bieber and Drake, can make around $1 million a show. In 2017 the headliners at Coachella made around $3 million each, and artists further down the lineup could still make around $10k. Touring can be very lucrative, and can be a source of income that continues long after an artist has stopped putting out chart topping hits. A great example of touring is [U2](; in 2017 U2 made $54 million, $52 million of that was from touring.

Licensing is also valuable. Artists can make a good deal of money for letting a company use their song in a movie, TV show, commercial, or video game. In addition artists are often given royalties for licensing a song, so when they play that movie on TV and it makes more money the artist gets paid. For example every time they play a re-run of Friends the band who wrote the theme song, The Rembrandts, get a check. This amount isn’t usually massive, but it can be a good source of income.

Endorsements are a major factor too. You can make good money for being in a commercial, but the really big bucks come from equity. If an artist (or any celebrity) is big enough they can get “paid in equity,” which means that instead of getting a paycheck for their endorsement they get a percentage of the profits or even part ownership in the company. For example Michael Jordan (not a musician, but a good example) gets a (roughly) 5% royalty for every pair of Air Jordan shoes sold. So if you buy a pair of Jordans for $100 he gets $5. Musical artists can make money in a similar way.

I’ll disagree with most of the people saying that they don’t but I’ll also say there’s varying degrees of money and most aren’t broke. That being said, a lot of these young artists are also influencers just by having a huge fan base. Besides streams, merch, and show/tour sales, a lot of them get brand deals, sponsors, paid photoshoots, etc. Pretty much influencer shit besides whatever they may do on the side

Musicians don’t really make any money from album sales, we’re almost entirely dependant on gigs and merch sales.

Unless you’re independent, 90% of album sales will go to the platform your buying from and the company that owns the copyright. In most cases, the producer will receive more money to record the album than the musicians who wrote it.

Buying a T-shirt at a gig is the best way to support musicians. If you don’t like the merch but enjoy the music, give ’em $5 as a thank you – you’ll make their entire tour

Imagine if artists could record their own music and everyone didn’t feel like music should be free. You could go buy their music for like a $1 per track and support them and they could make some money. Even if you are going to stream it why not just give them a dollar.

They diversify a lot more for one. Two bands I was in both made most of our money from merch. I know big bands who are in the same boat but it differs from artist to artist on the percentages.

Most don’t make much. Your big name and pop it types can, but the days of becoming a millionaire as a one hit radio wonder are long gone.

The 2 sides of the coin- Artists can now easily get their music out there, even if they don’t have a label, contract or whatever. The garage band, or bedroom pop singer can be heard anywhere in the world now, and that used to be impossible. As fans, we can listen to literally almost anything we choose instantly.

The flip side for the artist is the music isn’t worth as much as it was when even big towns had maybe 2-3 radio stations per age group/music type that so much of the population listened to. That marketing time was super valuable then (not now), and if you could get into rotation on the radio, there was big money to be made. And because the fans loved your stuff, the only way for them to hear it on their own terms was to spend 15 or 20 bucks to buy your album. Easy money if you could be one of the very few people who had access to people on a large scale.