The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has put together a great list of 32 ways musicians can make money.
A. If you are a composer or songwriter, here are possible revenue streams from your musical compositions..
1. Retail sales: Mechanical royalties from physical sales of recordings of your songs at stores, concerts or via mail order.
2. Digital sales: Mechanical royalties from digital sales via online services (CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody, MySpace Music)
3. Sheet music sales.
4. PRO Royalties: Royalties for the public performance of your work (airplay on radio, TV, movies, jukeboxes, live performance and foreign royalties, and home recording and foreign levy payments) as distributed to you by ASCAP/BMI/SESAC.
5. Advances from publishing companies during a publishing deal.
6. Payments from publishers for litigation settlements.
7. Commissions for works.
B. If you are a performer (think Patsy Cline), possible revenue from sound recordings…
8. Digital performance royalties: Royalties for the digital performance of your recordings — airplay on satellite radio, webcast stations, cable TV stations — distributed to you by SoundExchange.
9. Advances from record labels that are not just reimbursement of recording or touring expenses.
10. Label payments for tour support or recording expenses.
11. Payments from labels for litigation settlements.
12. AARC royalties: collected for digital recording of your songs, foreign private copying levies, and foreign record rental royalties, distributed to US artists by AARC.
13. AFM Payments (TV, Film): Payments from the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund to performers on recordings used in TV and other secondary uses.
14. AFM Payments (Recordings): Sound Recording Special Payments Fund to performers for the sales of recorded music
15. AFM/AFTRA Payments: Payments from the AFM/AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (distributes recording and performance royalties to the non-featured artists)
C. Possible revenue from licensing your musical composition or your sound recording…
16. Ringtone Sales: Mechanical revenue from ringtone sales
17. Synch Licenses: Synchronization royalties based on master rights licensing your song to TV/movies/video games/commercials
18. Sampling Licenses: Licensing fees from other musicians sampling your songs.
D. If you’re a performer, possible revenue from live performances…
19. Touring and shows: compensation for playing live shows or performances, including busking.
E. Revenue from a performer’s brand…
20. Merchandise sales: t-shirts, posters, etc.
21. Sponsorship: of tour or of a band/artist.
22. Direct financial support from fans/patrons.
23. Ad revenue or other miscellaneous income from your website properties (click-throughs, commissions on Amazon sales, etc.)
24. Acting in television, movies, commercials.
25. Product endorsements.
26. Other licensing of your persona (to video games, comic books, etc.)
F. Revenue from an artist’s knowledge of the craft…
27. Work for hire/hired as a studio or live musician or composer
28. Work as a music teacher.
29. AFM/AFTRA session payments: Session payments for recording sessions, TV appearances, and performances flowing from synch licenses
30. Producer: income from producing or music direction
G. Other ways a musicians’ work can be funded:
31. Government grants.
32. Nonprofit/foundation grants.