Forgotten Revenue Streams for Musicians & Record Labels

Being a musician in today’s music industry not only requires musical talent, but also a quick-thinking and creative mindset. There are many ways that musicians can earn money from exploiting their compositions, sound recordings, live performances, and brand. To solely focus on selling your music simply isn’t enough. There is a whole world of resources you should also be capitalizing on to reach your ultimate success. Here is a list of six revenue streams for musicians and record labels you should definitely be utilizing.

1. YouTube Monetization

Although most don’t usually consider YouTube to be a revenue-generating outlet, it has very quickly become one of the most popular outlets for discovering and listening to music in the world. Check out some of the crazy statistics they have on their site:

• More than 1.9 billion unique users visit YouTube every month
• Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
• 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
• We watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook video combined
• YouTube is localized in 91 countries and across 80 languages
• In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube
• On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day

(YouTube Statistics, 2019)
Not only do they have one of the largest user bases in the world, but they also get tons of exposure outside of the US. This allows you to expand your viewership and fan base internationally. If you are ready to start monetizing your YouTube channel, Symphonic Distribution can help you. We’ll make the whole process as easy as possible. Not to mention, we also have the most affordable pricing out there. We guarantee it. Start Monetizing and Protecting your Music!

2. Publishing Administration

Publishing Administration is an animal that has recently been tamed for the ease of the independent musician community. More musicians are now aware of this vital revenue stream, which a lot of people have been missing out on in past years. So what is Publishing Administration? In the music industry, publishing refers to the ownership, control and commercial exploitation of musical compositions. It further involves the collection of all royalties ensuing from the usage of musical compositions. Music publishing is the business of songwriters, composers, and lyricists. So how does all this help you make money?

Well, if your music is:

• Being streamed
• Performed live in medium to large scale public venues
• Played on the radio
• Played on TV

Guess what? Your songs have been generating publishing royalties (which include performance and mechanical royalties). If your songs aren’t registered with Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) or mechanical royalty collection agencies, you ARE NOT collecting all your mechanical or performance royalties from your music. Unless you register yourself AND your compositions, you will never see these royalties. It’s really important that you get yourself a Publishing Administrator that can do this on your behalf at an affordable cost. Most will charge you anywhere from $75-$100 and will register your works in collection societies around the world. Plus, most Publishing Administrators will keep anywhere from 10% to 20% of the royalties they collect.

Be weary though on how much control they will have over your music! Some companies bundle several services into one and will not only collect your publishing royalties, but will sometimes handle your Sync Licensing exclusively as well. (We’ll chat more in-depth on licensing in a bit.) If you’d like to get more information on how Publishing Administration works and the services Symphonic Publishing Administration offers, you can Start collecting your publishing royalties here.

Also, you’re in ASCAP or BMI, you can report your set lists to their “Live” programs and get payed for playing your music out at venues. Venues have to pay these entities anyway, and these programs allow little guys to get a cut!

3. Sync Licensing

Sync Licensing (short for “synchronization licensing”) refers to the making of your music available for opportunities in film, TV, commercials, video games, and any form of visual media. In this realm, the key decision makers are called music supervisors. Symphonic Distribution has partnered with strategic and key companies which allow for actual music supervisors to navigate and choose from the music in their platforms for opportunities they have available.

If you’d like to make your music available for licensing opportunities, partner with Symphonic Distribution and we can get it to the appropriate firms that can help expand your music’s reach.

If you’d like to learn more about the exciting field of Sync Licensing, check out these very useful posts we’ve done in the past:

What Makes Music “Licensable”?
Five Steps to Prepare for Licensing Your Music

4. Background Music Licensing

Similar to Symphonic’s Sync Licensing program, there are companies that we have partnered up with that accept music as background music. These companies’ clients, such as stores, hotels, restaurants and more, will use that music in their establishments. The largest companies that used to focus on this type of service were DMX and Muzak. Today these two companies have merged to form Mood. They house the industry’s biggest and best rights-included music collection for background music. Mood prides itself as a censorial media specialist, using music and video linked to brand personality. Symphonic’s licensing department works with Mood Music designers to hand-pick each track for submission to its channels. Want to offer your music for Background Music Licensing? Hit us up to see how we can help.

If you’d like to get more information on Background Music Licensing, check out our previous blog post on the subject.

How to Get Your Music in Stores, Restaurants, Hotels & More

5. Neighboring Rights

If you’re a record label/master rights owner, and your master recordings are being publicly performed and broadcasted, you’re earning neighboring rights royalties. This is completely separate from the field of music publishing. In this, songwriters and composers earn performance royalties from public broadcasts of their musical compositions. These types of royalties are collected when music is played on:

• Pandora
• BBC radio
• Sirius XM
• cable TV music channels
• terrestrial radio outside of the USA
• businesses as background music (restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc.)
• clubs / live performance venues
• any internet radio platform
• any satellite radio platform
• various new online medias

Due to the unique nature of this royalty type, Symphonic’s Neighboring Rights Administration Service is only available to eligible labels who are distribution clients and who are approved by our rights management team.

6. Merchandising

Selling merchandise is one of the best ways for generating income for your band, record label, or artist brand. As a matter of fact, it may be the only source of income that you as an artist can easily control. If you are a record label or musician, the most important thing you have, besides your talent of course, is your fans. Take care of them and come up with some cool options for branding your music, and have your merchandise available at all your shows and on your site. Not only will it be an awesome treat for your fans, but you also get a free walking advertisement out of it.

As you can see, there are several things that today’s musicians and/or record labels can do in order to maximize the revenue potential of their music. That is why we are committed to providing these outlets to our clients. We just want clients to be able to collect money that is already sitting out there AND to have creative ways to generate more money from their music.

Good luck!