Music Earnings NOW!
The Business of Expression Can Equal Serious Cash – Examples One rapper-kid I spoke with never sells less than 300 CDs per night at $5 each. His following has grown to the point that anything he puts for sale on MySpace sells at least 900 units! ( Online his CDs go for $12 each. I'll let YOU do the math. SERIOUSLY! Get out your calculator now. ) People in his home region meet him in the street and ask for autographs. This guy lives in a relatively RURAL area. Not in a big city where performance options abound. Other local musicians now come to him for production help and he gives them exposure by including their material in his own recordings.
A performer who I worked with was talented vocally, as well as on sax and guitar. He would show up at local shopping centers and play his own style of fusion jazz to the office lunch crowd and weekend shoppers. He simply pulled the backing tracks from his albums and streamed them from an MP3 player into a single powered speaker. He then joined in with his instrumental solos, and vocals. Occasionally he invited a bongo player to sit with him and add a little extra personality to the performance. A couple of times the mall management would ask him to turn it down a bit. But that didn't discourage him! On weekends when he played by himself he would typically sell between $400-$600 dollars worth of CDs in 3 hours. If his guest percussionist joined in, it would jump to almost a thousand dollars. His guest musician was happy to get an extra $60 and have fun at the same time! Occasionally he would also hire one of the cute girls who followed him around to handle the sales table. ( If you try this make sure she is friendly – not stuck up. This makes a BIG difference! ) Lunch hour performances brought him about $150-$300. He also liked to provide entertainment at large format record stores in the bigger malls. They put his product right out in front and rung it up at the register.
Another Performer that I read about provides live entertainment at dance clubs. He's a one man band who follows a similar strategy of pre-recording his backing tracks. The club pays him for providing something special compared to the others which only offer canned dance music – in addition club goers crowd around to buy his CDs between sets.
In Hollywood I attended a VIP cellphone product roll out party. The promoters booked a couple of musical acts to set the tone: including a solo DJ-drummer who spun the records and joined with his innovative drum action.
Another time I was walking on the weekend at a crowded outdoor shopping center where literally 20 different musical acts compete for attention. I actually bought a CD from an extremely talented classical guitarist. The cost was about $12. These were units he duplicated himself at home. Even in such a venue with lots of other competitors he was able to turn $180 with just 15 sales!
What Does it Take? In order to create a modest part-time income of $60,000 per year you must perform 3-4 times per week and sell an average of 20 to 40 CD's at each performance for about $10-$12 each. If you will read our analysis called Your Own CD Factory, you will start to understand just how lucrative this little venture can become. This does not include additional revenue from web sales that result from word of mouth and friends sharing your music with other friends. It also doesn't include payment for your appearances, from venue owners, once your demand and crowd-pulling value starts to grow. Even if you were only to play once every other week, alternating between two favorable locations – you could be well on your way to having a small side business for your music. An average of 10 units sold per event at $12 each – would put an extra $3000 per year into your budget.