How Music Artists Make Money in 2023

In the era of streaming and digital music platforms, the traditional ways artists make money have drastically changed. Yet, the question remains: How music artists make money in the digital age? Let’s delve into the income streams for artists in this new era of music consumption.

Streaming Revenue: How Music Artists Make Money from Platforms

With the rise of platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, music streaming has become the norm. These platforms pay artists for each stream of their songs, although the exact amount can vary.

The Power of Playlists

Placement on popular playlists can significantly increase an artist’s streams and thus their income. Artists, or their representatives, often pitch their songs to playlist curators to secure these valuable spots.

Subscription Revenue

Premium subscriptions contribute significantly to how music artists make money. Higher-tier subscribers generate more income per stream for artists than free-tier users.

Merchandise and Touring: Traditional Income Streams

Even in the digital age, traditional income streams like touring and merchandise remain crucial to how music artists make money.

Live Performances

Live performances, including concerts and festivals, provide substantial income. Artists earn money through ticket sales and also from performance royalties if their original songs are performed.


Selling merchandise like t-shirts, posters, and vinyl records both online and at live shows can be a significant revenue source. Exclusive or limited edition merchandise can particularly attract fans, adding to an artist’s income.

Online Presence: How Music Artists Make Money through Fan Engagement

Engaging with fans online through social media and fan club memberships can also generate income.

Social Media and YouTube

Artists can earn ad revenue from YouTube through views of their music videos. Sponsorships on social media platforms can also add to an artist’s income.

Patreon and Fan Clubs

Many artists have Patreon accounts or fan clubs where fans can subscribe for exclusive content. These subscriptions provide a regular income source.

Conclusion: How Music Artists Make Money is Evolving

In conclusion, the ways in which music artists make money have evolved significantly with the advent of the digital age. While traditional income streams like touring and merchandise sales remain essential, digital platforms and online fan engagement have become increasingly crucial. This change highlights the importance for artists to adapt and diversify their income streams in this ever-changing music industry landscape.