How to Make Money as an Unsigned Artist

Notably and importantly, you need several quality, completed songs. So partial lyrics in your head or half-finished tracks on your hard drive don’t count. While there’s no set way to make money from your music as an unsigned artist, there are a few things you can do to get you on your way:

Get attention

Don’t keep those amazing tracks to yourself. Once you have a few finished top songs, share them and build connections via socials on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Doing this allows you to reach a broader audience and can potentially attract the attention of organisations willing to pay for featuring your music.

Distribute your music

Distribution is a crucial part of promoting your music.  iTunes, Spotify, Deezer are just some of the streaming platforms and digital music stores you can get on. Distributing your music and content on platforms like Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music can help attract attention from new fans and the music industry alike. You make money every time people stream, download or buy your music on these platforms.

At Spinnup, we specialise in helping artists like you release your music directly on platforms and online stores, while keeping 100% of your royalties.

Keep it real – get gigs

A healthy digital presence, social media love and soaring Spotify plays is always good. But every successful artist also needs to exist IRL too.

Touring is still a reliable way to make money, especially if you’re an all-star performer. The best singers and rappers know how to put on amazing shows for fans – no matter the size of the crowd. Great shows create buzz, get people talking and make big industry players take notice. Read our guide to live performing here. 

Touring and merch go together and are other viable ways to ramp up your revenue. 

Making money from streaming

The amount of money you can make from streaming varies according to how often your music is streamed each month, the number of subscriptions and ad revenue. When someone streams your music you’ll be paid a proportionate share of either the subscription revenue – or in the case of Spotify’s free-tier, a proportion of the monthly ad revenue.

Find out more about how Spotify pay artists on their artist site. 

Remember Spinnup doesn’t take anything from your royalties – you simply pay a single upload fee. So why not sign up now.

Earn additional money as a songwriter

There are several ways you can make money as an independent songwriter including:

Sync Licensing (Synchronisation)

We all know great music can completely make a film or TV show. Savvy producers know this too and like to also use less expensive up-and-coming artists.

If a film or TV studio, production company or content creator wants to use the music you’ve composed in their show, ad or YouTube channel, they need to pay you for the synchronisation license. The license fee you receive is usually based on things like how your music will be used, for how long and the format.

Not only can a good sync be profitable, but it can skyrocket a previously unknown artist’s profile and popularity. But the world of music licensing and syncing is complex – so get advice from your lawyer and manager to ensure you understand your rights, the regulations and what you should be paid. 


When you collaborate with another artist, producer or songwriter, you are entitled to a portion of the royalties made from that music.

Regardless of whether your writing style leans more towards, indie, electronic or anything in between, social media is a great way to find and connect with potential collaborators and co-write on their tracks.

Need more?

We’ve got you. Head over to the Spinnup blog or download one of our free guides for even more info and advice about taking your music career further.