Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy? As we share in this article, stacking revenue streams, or having multiple income streams, is a smart business move.

Is it possible to live on just one income stream in music?

For music creators to build out a sustainable income they typically have to piece together multiple income streams consistently that add up to a live-able income.

In fact, I think it’s a myth (or at least a rare exception) that a music creator is able to do one thing in music and make a sustainable financial living just from that.

Case and point, if you were a live, performing and touring musician, and that was your entire means of making a living, you probably were knocked on your behind when COVID hit and you, like many others, had to scramble and pivot to ensure you could maintain your current way of living and save your income.

When you save multiple income streams you don’t have to panic as much (at least financially) when unfortunate, and/or uncontrollable circumstances occur. Remember, it’s not a matter of IF these situations occur, but WHEN, so always be saving and preparing! This is even more true during prosperous times, when the money is flowing like water from a faucet. Be sure to keep putting some of that away and always plan for the worst!

Multiple income streams: What is revenue stacking and how does it work?

I think of revenue stacking as building multiple income streams on top of one another. The idea is to be efficient with your time, energy, and skills to maximize the income potential of the things you’re already doing. The end result is having multiple income streams that are related to or derivatives of your existing revenue streams.

Here’s just one example of how I use revenue stacking as an artist:

First, I write original songs and produce/record them. This is then monetized in several ways:

After recording the song I immediately register the song with my digital distributor to get it on all major streaming platforms, resulting in a small, ongoing income of streaming royalties.

Next, I register the song with my performing rights organization (PROs like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), Songtrust, and SoundExchange. These organizations can collect all royalties that result from my song being streamed, played, and performed across various media and live performance platforms. That’s another ongoing income stream.

Then, I make my songs available for sale on Bandcamp, making those album and track sales another income stream.

If you’re using Patreon, you may offer your new song plus some exclusive behind the scenes videos of you recording the song to monthly paid patrons/subscribers — Patreon backers are another income stream.

Once you’ve done the above with a collection of several songs, you may want to consider performing them via a livestream. You might do a weekly online livestream performance and collect online tips from a PayPal link (another revenue stream), and/or you may sell merch online from your website that you showcase in a livestream (yet another revenue stream).

You can also take those songs and perform them live at an in-person show. When you get paid for the gig from the venue that’s another income stream. You can also sell your merch at the show, and collect tips too (another income stream).

But wait, there’s one more thing: because you’ve registered your songs with your PRO you can submit your live music performance set list to your PRO and get paid performance royalties for performing your own songs live

Today’s Action: Plan Your Revenue Stack / Income Streams

Think about how you can stack revenue streams to create multiple income streams with your music, the skills you already have, and tasks you are already doing. This can also include offering services to other musicians like recording or selling beats you’ve produced. There are endless ways to string together income consistently, but it does take some knowledge of the music industry and innovation to recognize where those opportunities are.

Stack Even More Revenue and Manage Cash Flow Better

Stacking existing revenue streams may not be too difficult, but what about coming up with new income streams and dealing with cash flow? That may not be as much fun, and as fellow musicians, we understand that feeling!

Eleven Music Career Center is here to help. We offer an online course called “The Thriving Artist Profit System” as part of our Music Entrepreneur Academy. For less than the price of a cup of coffee per week, you’ll get access to video content and coaching events that help you make more money with music and ensure your cash flow is managed more efficiently, resulting in a healthier music business!

What’s even better is that you’ll never actually pay the full price of $250/year for these courses! Use the discount code EARLYBIRD2021 during checkout to get 50% OFF your first year + $50 OFF every year after that for life!

So which do you choose: one fancy coffee a week or the liveable music career you desire?

Get Access to Music Entrepreneur Academy to Become Future Proof