“The hustle will pay”, one of the most used slang statements by up and coming music enthusiasts. This article is to enlighten you on the various sources from which the hustle plays. For those of you who are under record labels, let your labels know you are going to make enough money for them. For those who are self-funding your music career, I want you to know that you have chosen a great cause.
Below are thirteen (13) ways you can monetize your music career with their respective contributing percentages indicated.
BRAND CAUSE (9%)
By cause of brand, I am talking about what people identify you with aside your mainstream music career. Some artists are able to achieve some level of brand associations like becoming a Model, a football enthusiast, an advocate to a cause, etc. Some of these things pay off even when their music careers take a nosedive. Assuming you plan to advocate for the mounting of street lights in dangerous communities when you “blow” – you are sure to harvest enough money even if your career gets diluted. So, go ahead and find a cause for your brand; even if it’s your sense of fashion.
COURT FINES (4%)
Seeking legal justice doesn’t make you a devil. Besides, it’s not all cases that result in a defendant in prison. What I’m saying is, take legal actions against anyone, anything that tries to sabotage your profession or tarnish your image in any way. For instance, if you hear your song on a TV or Radio Ad, without your knowledge, act. That’s a lot of money. Likewise, be the voice of the voiceless. That is, if an institution, for example, fails to perform its obligations as they promise and you happen to be their customer or a patron, initiate legal action.
YOUTUBE MUSIC (2%)
Google Play Music has now been converted into YouTube Music (YouTube for Artists). After hitting 1000 Subscribers and uploading a minimum of 3 Music Videos, you would have the opportunity to monetize your music with Google’s AdSense. Better still, you could have an agent do things on your behalf. You may only have to split revenues. YouTube will place ads on your Music Videos and directly share the money they make with you forever. There are instances where you even make more money when different YouTube Channels use your song as a soundtrack for their content.
USSD PLATFORMS (3%)
Certainly, I’m talking about the RBT (Caller Ring Back Tones) and Voice Note Subscription Services. Many Musicians and other Content creators like Comedians, Poets, Fashionistas, Counsellors, Pastors, etc. make enough revenues from these platforms. One of them is Kofi King Arthur. With the RBT, you only need to create a code so your fans can dial when they want your song to play to their callers. The Voice Note Subscription Service often takes the form of a (“+251”) number calling your phone. Upon answering, the Celebrity asks you to subscribe to something at a very minimal amount say 10pesewas. Assuming you have 10,000 Subscriptions… Please do the horrible maths.
MUSIC STREAMING PLATFORMS (14%)
Obviously, I’m talking Aftown Music, Spotify, Apple Music, BoomPlay, Amazon Music, Deezer, Audio Mark, SoundCloud, Tidal, Amazon Music, among several others. Don’t underestimate these Platforms. This is the only means your fans abroad can get access to your songs, especially those who use the above-mentioned platforms. There are Agencies that could help you with the distributions.
In recent years, the proliferation of Social Media Influencers seems to like dilute the possibility and fortunes that come with being an Artist. However, you sure can garner a lot of brand ambassadorship roles if you are good at engaging your fans. It doesn’t matter your style or brand. For a lively and playful brand like Shatta Wale who poses as a Teacher on Twitter, he sure is having a lot of corporate entities knocking on his door. Equally, for luxury and serious brand like Sarkodie, there’s the likelihood of he getting a lot of hits as most of his fans are regarded elites. Absolutely, sounds good as right. I will write on how to secure Endorsements as an upcoming artist. For now, this is one of the ways you can make money.
EVENTS & CONCERTS (3%)
You guessed right. The likes of Rappaholic, Reign Concert, etc. are all artist cantered or better still, Intellectual activities that come from the Camps of artists. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a typical performance show. You can try something educational or a combination of both. Lap it on and let your fans pay anything they can as entry fees; make money!
WEBSITE DONATIONS (5%)
Indeed! Another intellectual asset. This is way simpler. Upload your media on your website and give your fans the options of paying anything they want. Similarly, if you are already pursuing a cause, you can create the awareness that a certain percentage of whatever they support you through your personal Website is extended to the cause. Maybe just like Stonebwoy, you are working on buying wheelchairs for the disabled… I don’t know; anything. Or even if you want your village to have street lights? Anything, though. Just get it together.
This consists of both local and abroad. Mostly, when your talent (amongst other things) is needed for an occasion, you get acquired. Sounds good as right! That’s how things are traditionally done everywhere. One thing though, is that, as an upcoming artist, you may not be paid enough. Plus, Event Promoters may even try to cheat you. But just remain focused and build yourself.
EXTRA SKILLS or INTERESTS (4%)
A solid example is, Pope Skinny, Trigmatic, etc. are presenting on radio alongside their mainstream Musical Careers. Lil-wyn does serious acting but couples that with music, (and almost turning into an educationist soon). Maybe you like sports, then go ahead and organize a sports competition for or with your fans, and solicit for sponsorship on your Social Media Handles. You could as well ply the route of John Dumelo if you are politically inclined. Don’t wait until your brand is about winding up.
BUSINESS OR INVEST (16%)
Showbiz is a chain. From Content (song) Production to Music Video Production to Promotions; you can try any of these. Other related aspects are fashion, photography, Stage logistics hiring, hairstyle, makeup, etc. For instance, artists spend so much money to produce music videos. How about a side hustle of Music Video Production house? Or you want to become a photo store for your colleague celebrities? You can choose to fund an entrepreneur to help you operate and manage such initiatives or you can build one and employ others.
If you are able to be indispensable with your brand, you would have a lot of proposals from your colleague artists who would like to acquire your craft in their songs. Obviously, there are those you’d do it for free but your expenses for fuel, refreshments, etc. are assured.
DIVERSIFIED BUSINESS or INVESTMENTS (13%)
When feel you have made enough money from your craft; and you would want to go mainstream entrepreneurship, you may want to look into real estate (just like Shatta Wale), Luxury Car dealership, Oil & Gas, Airline Business, etc. Or just own shares in popular companies and Start-ups. Whichever side you take, don’t forget to encapsulate your brand (fame) to making your fans and your Goodwill influence patronage; just like Sarkodie did for UT Bank.
Mostly artists get gifts from their very diehard fans (and it has to be reciprocal) in the form of cash or kind or both. Yes, it comes with it; some of the unforeseen fortunes that may come your way in your music career. It doesn’t matter what your brand represents. otherwise, you would only enjoy royalties when you become a member of Ghana Music Right Organization (GHAMRO). So, don’t forget to register as a member. Don’t listen to anything otherwise; especially if you want to make money with your music career.
You are green! Go ahead and (re)build your confidence in the industry. It may not be easy, but what on this ugly ball of soil is, anyway? For what it’s worth, you would succeed and reap from your hustle. The hustle always pays. You are the best! I remain Hollys. Thanks for reading this article.
BY: Richard Macwoods Owusu (AKA Hollys)
Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Ultra_rrich