How to Make Money Selling Recorded Music
March 21, 2013
Musician Wages in Marketing Strategies, money, music sales, music sales

I’ll tell you the secret to selling music:

Being a musician who sells music is like being a restaurant that only serves sauce. Music is most valuable when paired with something else.

— Dave Hahn (@davidjhahn) March 17, 2013

The most valuable music is paired with something else. Possible pairings:

There are plenty of others. Furthermore, you’ll probably have the most success if you pair music with one of the seven deadly sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride. I can think of a successful band that exemplifies every one of those characteristics.

My most successful attempts at selling recorded music have been when I paired music with moviescell phones or mobile apps.

If you are only selling pure music, you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t get much traction. For example - look at the major U.S. symphonies. They are primarily selling pure music (although there is a little identity associated with their product). It’s no wonder they can’t find funding, and it’s no wonder they can’t fill the seats of their over-sized halls. They’d have a lot more success if they starting pairing their concerts with multimedia, apps, experiences, etc. Who wants to sit on one side of the room and watch people playing music on the other side of the room? Apparently 1.9% of the market in 2012, according to Nielsen Soundscan and

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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