How Much Money Can Musicians REALLY Make From Streaming?

How much can you make from streaming services
Image from Atlanta Black Star.

As you may or may not have noticed, here on Music Industry How To I haven't really put up too many guides on how to get your music on streaming website. This is mainly due to the fact that doing this doesn't earn you that much in terms of revenue. Furthermore, there are other websites which have already cover how to get that done.

That said, I have had emails asking how much can be made from getting plays on streaming music websites, so when I stumbled upon royalty statements (see the images below) by Grammy nominated musician Armen Chakmakian over on Digital Music News, I simply had to share them. I'll let you know what I think and alternatives after you've had a look. All numbers are from a three month period:

How much musicians earn from streaming royalties

Digital Performance Royalty Statement From Armen Chakmakian

What a Grammy nominated musician earns from streaming

In total, over the three month period with the payout month ending September 2013, Armen earned $35.09 from internet radio streaming royalties. Considering he's been played thousands of times on these stations, that's not a lot at all.

That said, while I don't know the ins and outs, I'm sure he earns a lot more money else where. He did mention that he now spends most of his time now focusing on writing for television, as he's not impressed with these royalty amounts.

So what do I think about this? Do I recommend you get your music on streaming services? And what are other ways should you aim to make money from your music other than getting played on internet radio? I'll tell you below.

First of all, let me say one thing: money is money! While $35.09 in three months isn't much at all, it still adds to the bottom line. Every stream of income you can add to your music career is a good thing, as long as it doesn't take too much time or money to set up.

That said, of course it's not anything that you support your music career with. Therefore I feel getting your music on streaming websites should still be done, but only if it doesn't cost you any money or much time to do.

Bare in mind that exposure on internet radio is an additional reason to not ignore it all together. People may hear you on there then look into more of your music. From there they might get on your mailing list, come see you at shows and the like.

Again though, when it comes to out and out making money from your music, there are better ways. For example, some things you can do to earn from your talents include:

  • Gigging. Many have had good success by not only getting a door fee paid to them, but by also combining that with merch sales on the night, as well as performance royalties. While these royalties aren't going to make you rich alone, they are bigger that streaming royalties, so worth going for.
  • Lessons. If you have a skill that others want to learn (e.g singing, guitar etc), you can charge people to teach it to them. This can add a good additional income for you, as many musicians have found out already. You can either teach others in person, or you can set up online lessons which are created once and can be bought over and over again. This is similar to the lessons and guides which I give to you here on Music Industry How To.

There are many other ways to effectively make money from your music career, I've listed some here, and even have an advanced guide for those who want more proven strategies to making money from their talents.

But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:

Free Ebook 5 Steps To A Profitable Youtube Music Career Ebook Sidebar

Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:


While having your music on streaming websites is good for additional exposure, don't expect to get rich from it. Yes it can make you some additional money if you get a lot of plays, but it isn't enough to support you full time.

So get your music on streaming sites, but also pursue other income streams if you want to do music full time.

So, what are your experiences with streaming music sites? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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