Lyrics & Songs > Music Career > How to Make Money As a Songwriter

How to Make Money As a Songwriter

(How much do songwriters get paid?)

Singer Songwriter Business. How artist make money.As a Singer / Songwriter you write lyrics, write and sing your melody, and look to find financial success as a live performer and music publisher.

This kind of music career is probably the most popular of all, but it also has been the most difficult to achieve partly because most aspiring music artists enter into the "record" business (as a recording artist) instead of properly entering into the "music publishing" business (as a singer / songwriter).

Click here to understand how singer / songwriters traditionally made their money.

Singer / Songwriter Income Signed as a Recording Artist

Record companies require that the cash advance (which covers all of the expenses of the song) be paid back in full before paying the recording artist any profit to guarantee the company's return on investment.

Expenses an artist must pay back can include:

These costs do not include the deal you make with your music producer, manager and band mates (if you're in a band).

After the above expenses are covered, the signed recording artist is paid in two ways:

Royalty Income from Just Writing The Song

There's a royalty agreement split between the songwriter and the publishing company. These guys are the ones who provides the song to the public (traditionally not to be confused with record companies):

So Let's Summarize...

So we've learned there are three ways a singer / songwriter earns a living in the music industry:

  1. As a singer (up to 70% profit), performing solo or with band mates for ticket sales
  2. As a songwriter (50% profit), working with a publishing company for royalty income
  3. As a recording artist (8-20% profit), working for a record company for record sales

important pointSinger/Performer Pros & Cons:

important pointSongwriter Pros & Cons:

important pointRecording Artist Pros & Cons:

Which options would you want to pursue most as a singer / songwriter?

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