Get 2022 off to a good start by adjusting your music career goals and plans. Use these resources to get the ideas flowing and help you decide where to put your time and energy.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to review and set your goals and plans for your music career. With vaccines continuing to roll out, it’s possible this is the year we begin to “return to normal.” To help you take charge and build momentum, we’ve come up with a few suggestions as to where to put your time and energy in your music career.
Consider integrating some of these ideas into your 2022 music marketing and business plan.
Drop multiple releases this year
Planning on releasing an album this year? That’s terrific, but don’t release it all at once! The Internet and streaming services are designed to recommend posts and videos from channels that make consistent and regular releases, and your fans love seeing new things regularly too. So, give the world what it wants and boost your chances to grow your audience and get discovered.
As we wrote in our article, “A Release Strategy To Fill Your Yearly Calendar,” instead of releasing one album the old-fashioned way, create a release schedule and drop music throughout the year by breaking up the music on your album into single releases and EPs. Release these tracks at different times during the year, eventually culminating in your big album release that pulls it all together.
By the way, that Disc Makers post is also available here as a video. Of course, for more detailed instructions on how to create a robust release strategy and plan, check out our book, Making Money With Music.
Unlock multiple revenue streams from each song you release
We’re big believers in getting multiple benefits from doing something once. For example, songs you write and record can do this for you. If you plan ahead in the studio while you’re recording, your songs won’t simply generate streams, sales, and royalties, they can generate multiple other revenue streams. Each track you make is composed of many components which make up the final track, including:
- individual instrument tracks
- tweaked virtual synth sounds and effect chains
- original beats
- original samples you created specifically for the song
Almost every aspect of the production process can be sold or licensed to increase more music income. But there’s more than that. There are other ways you can make money from songwriting and recording in the studio. To start boosting your revenue, check out our detailed articles which include how to make money from songwriting, studio recordings, behind-the-scenes, the final formats and versions you release, stems, and more.
Collect all the royalties you deserve
One way to squeeze more revenue out of your music is to do a music registration tune-up this year. Review all your song and sound recordings and make sure they’re registered and are collecting all the money your music can earn.
Every time your music is broadcasted, performed, streamed, or covered by someone else, a royalty is generated for its use. The only way for you to collect these royalties is by signing up with organizations and services that work to identify your music, track how many times it’s played, collect royalties on your behalf, and write you a check. If you don’t sign up with these organizations, you won’t get a cut of the income they’re collecting — even if your music is performed and is technically owed a royalty payment! So, don’t miss out: you need to participate to get paid.
There are quite a lot of different organizations to sign up with, such as a performance royalty organization (ASCAP, BMI, SEASAC), a sound recording performance organization (SoundExchange), services like CD Baby Pro Publishing, and others. There’s a brand new organization that now collects for composition mechanical royalties — learn about it in our article, New Music Royalties: The Mechanical Licensing Collective And What It Means For You.
For more information about the 14 Registrations and the steps to ensure you tap them all, check out our book, Making Money With Music.
Keep playing online shows
The global pandemic, while devastating to live music venues, has pushed many musicians into streaming video concerts. Technology tools (many of them free) have helped musicians make this shift. To help, there are ten techniques we shared that you can use to make the most out of your online shows. Check out our two-part series: “Maximizing Your Revenue When Streaming Live Shows” (Part 1 and Part 2), which includes ways to make money.
We also released a series of deeper dive articles on key aspects of live streaming so you can up your quality and maximize the amount of money you can make. These include how to produce a compelling show for live streaming and how to improve your lighting and audio.
Make data-driven decisions (don’t go with your gut)
Too many musicians run their careers by “going with their gut” to determine if something is working or not. But unless you track metrics, you can’t be sure if your decisions are good ones. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Take some time to make sure you’ve got the foundational pieces of your music career management in place. This includes ways to measure key aspects of your music income and performance by tapping data sources. That way you can keep track of how things are actually going. What metrics should you be tracking? Check out our article, Measure Your Metrics To Make More Money With Music, for five key areas you should focus on so you can start making data-driven decisions and make more money with music.
Target new places to get your music heard
Each year we encourage musicians to try to get their music heard in at least one new place. This year, you might want to try getting your music on commercial or college radio. And yes, while every musician can get played on college radio, getting on commercial radio costs money. That said, there are some clever ways you can try to get played.
Boost your patronage promotion to create more revenue
Patronage, which helps create a consistent revenue stream for your music business, is becoming an even more important revenue stream for musicians than ever before. Taking the time now to perform a patronage tune-up can help boost your revenue. If you don’t know where to start, check out our article, “8 Steps To Making Money With Patreon.”
If you already have patronage up and running, review your rewards to maximize sign-ups and upsells. Having the right rewards can boost subscriptions and entice more supporters. And make sure you promote your page with everything you do. Check out “How To Promote Your Patronage Platform And Boost Monthly Music Revenue” for new ideas.
Make more music
Oh yeah, and make more music! That goes without saying.
Don’t feel you need to do everything we suggested above. Do the things you’re comfortable with, but do know that everything we’ve outlined is achievable and well within your reach. Plus, the related articles will give you the practical info you need to start turning them into reality. Putting in some planning now will go far towards creating, distributing, promoting, and generating revenue from your music in 2022!
Also, keep in mind that you’re not alone: we’re here every step of the way — we’re here to help with our articles here on the Disc Makers Blog as well as our free Making Money With Music newsletter.
Here’s to a bright and beautiful 2022!
Authors of the critically-acclaimed modern classic, The Indie Band Survival Guide, Billboard Magazine called Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan “the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” Their latest book, Making Money With Music (Macmillan) and free Making Money With Music Newsletter, help all musicians — from startups to pros — build a sustainable music business so you can make money in today’s tech-driven music environment.
A release strategy to fill your yearly calendar
Making money from songwriting
Collect everything your recorded music can earn: Pt. I
Easy fixes to improve the lighting in your videos
Measure your metrics to make more money with music