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Music Business

How To Make Money As A Music Producer

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Do you want to be a music producer and want to make a good living whilst doing it? Then we have all the answers for you right here. How much money can a music producer make per year and what are the steps you need to take to get the job and what does the job actually entail? 

What Is A Music Producer? 

As a producer you will assist an artist in recording their music, and enhance it to match their vision, guiding them in this process. 

A music producer will be the technical and creative lead in the process, so in order to achieve a  good music producer salary, you definitely need to be able to communicate very well and have a knowledge of the hardware you use. Being a people person will serve you well in the long run. 

The significant difference between making music 10 years ago and today is that you really can just make music from home and you don’t have to physically be in a studio

You will be using a Digital Audio Workstation – DAW, which can be built into your laptop and make sure you do your research into the best DAW for you, since this will be vital for you to produce the best music. Hardware synths can be used as well, as well as soft synths but nowadays all you really need is an efficient DAW and a laptop and you are ready to go. 

You will be constantly talking with others in this job, whether that be audio technicians, artists, musicians, A&R executives or other studio staff. You need to be a natural leader and have great negotiating skills to create the best music. Clarity in what you are trying to communicate with others is only going to propel you further in your career.

What Skills Do I Need To Become A Music Producer?

  • Knowledge of music theory – a musical theory background will ground you in producing music, as you will have a prior knowledge of tones, how to mix, chords etc. In short, even a basic understanding of music is essential as you need to know what works and what doesn’t. 
  • A passion for technology – you need to have a wealth of experience in working with built in plugins on your laptop or using a hardware synth or soft synths. Knowledge of the technological side of producing music is essential, so you really need to dig deep and invest your time in understanding all the best tricks to use to create the best music. If you are asking how to make money being a music producer, this is your answer. The more tech-savvy you are, the more people will trust in what you can do and work with you again. 
  • A passion for the industry – you really have to love the industry as it may be hard starting out at first and it can be quite competitive but if people see that you have a passion for it and you want to truly collaborate with people to make the best music, then you will go far. Authenticity in all that you do and genuine enthusiasm for the job is what people need to see when they work with you. Also, if you are an artist, a musician yourself and you are able to produce your own music and release it, this is a huge advantage. 
  • Resilience – it can be a tough game to produce your own music, and the more you practice, the better you will become. Producing music is a technical game, so keep trying things out, use different software and constantly work away at it. You can ask people around you to listen, and give you feedback too. 
  • Excellent Communicator – communication is essential to this career. If you want to become a record producer and earn a decent amount of money, then you need to be able to fully understand what the client wants to portray through their music and then give them the best advice on how to achieve this.

How Do Music Producers Get Paid? 

Ok so you may be a beginner to being a producer or a more established pro, making your mark in the industry. Either way, you need to know how to get paid, and get paid well. If you want to know how much does the average music producer make, they are likely to earn $32,379 per year. But of course this depends on a number of things; how many people you have worked with and who they are, education, location etc. You can earn anything from $18,391 to $57,468. So a record producer salary can vary hugely but these are the top tips you can follow to get to that top pay packet. 

Working For Other Artists 

This is one of the ways that you can build up your experience and your contacts, as collaboration is the best way to showcase those tech skills. Especially if you work with emerging artists, as they may not have these technical skills of recording and production just yet. This role is very tech-heavy, so if you can demonstrate you have a wealth of knowledge and you can be efficient working to produce their music, it creates more exposure for you as a producer

Use Your Mixing & Mastering Skills To The Max

These skills are very sought after in the music industry, so if you are competent in this area, people will hire you again and again. This will considerably help your finances and you can charge a high rate because of this high demand. How do producers make money? They practice these skills over and over again and really hone in on them to ensure they keep working, and it just becomes natural for them. 

Streaming Royalties 

We all know how royalties work, so why not use them to your advantage. Have you produced music that you want people to listen to? If the answer is yes, then make sure it is streaming on all of the largest digital streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Apple Music etc. and also on social media too and see the dollars come in. At Music Gateway, we can help you organize everything to publish your music online with no fuss and increase those listeners, as well as that money in the bank. So sign up now, to start collecting money from those digital streams.

Create Your Own YouTube Channel

In an evermore visual world, you can grow your fanbase online and put yourself out there as a master of your craft. This is a great strategy in terms of branding. So if you upload content consistently and have 1,000 followers and over 4,000 watch hours on your site, then you can start monetizing your account. It will grow your portfolio and your business at the same time. If you have your own website, then link this social media account to this YouTube account, so future clients can see it. It’s all about being visible and approachable in this industry.   

Selling Your Music Or Beats Online 

In addition to this, if you have already published your music online, then what is stopping you from selling your music and beats to a wider audience? There are external websites such as Airbit, Splice Sounds, Bandcamp, Fiverr, ADSR Sounds and you name the price. This can be hard at first, but if you look at what other producers charge this will give you a good idea of what you can set your fee. In terms of sampling and beats, the price will depend on the quality of the beat, sample, loops and how well known you are as a record producer etc. 


This is a great way to gain more experience and find a work pattern that suits you. There are plenty of clients that need musical assistance when it comes to producing a track, so this is where you come in and you can then build up your portfolio. 

There are apps – like Fiverr, SoundBetter, Melody Nest and AirGigs all are very popular for freelance music producers trying to find paid work. You can download the app for each one and since technology has developed so much that it is easy to work from your own studio, you will be able to find plenty of jobs online that you can do from the comfort of your own home. 

If you have any skills in; songwriting, studio recording, beat making, remixing, sound design, editing, mixing, as well as mastering then you can charge a considerable rate to your clients. You’re in charge of your hours and the fee so there is so much flexibility to being a freelancer. 

Sync Licensing

Sync licensing contracts are one of the best ways to make money from being a music producer, since you earn a sizable amount of money. Sync placements are whereby your music is used in tv, films, adverts, video games etc. Your music essentially supports the visual content. 

At Music Gateway we can assist you with sync placements and take you through the process, as we are experts in this. The more exposure as an artist this gives you, the higher wage as a music producer will be available to you. 

How Much Do Music Producers Make Per Song?

This really does once again depend on the experience and knowledge you have, but you can expect anywhere from $0 to $3,500 per song. If you are considered a mid-level producer, your range can increase to $3,500 to $7,000 per song. Finally, if your name carries weight in the music industry, you can receive up to $10,000 to $15,000 per song. 

Closing Thoughts 

So there you have it, how much money does a producer make? It can be a lot if you play your cards right and follow our advice. Now it is up to you to make your own way and decide which avenue works best for you. It is certainly easier than it was to make a full-time living as a music producer


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