How can I monetize my music?

I’ve got a lot of music sitting on my hard drive. Most of this music doesn’t fit under my artist brand so I’m not sure what to do with it. Should I create multiple different brands and release this music to streaming services? Is there anything else I can do with it instead?

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Hi Greg,
Is there any feedback from this excellent question.
I am interested to know some answers.

@ReneAsologuitar I don’t recommend creating additional brands unless you’re going to spend time and money marketing the additional artist projects.

One option is to sell your tracks to other artists, handing over the rights and allowing them to release the music as their own (ghost production). You’ll need to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) if you go this route. This is a pretty poor portfolio builder because you need to erase your name from each project, but it’s potentially decent revenue.

Another option is to hang onto the rights and find yourself a music publisher. They can help you lock down licensing deals, placing your music in films, television shows, and video games. Publishers usually take a pretty large cut of the profits (50%+), but this depends on various factors.

Some publishers require you to sign an exclusive deal with them (usually on a track-by-track basis), while others allow you to sign a non-exclusive deal. The difference is that you can also place non-exclusive songs with other publishers, but you can only place exclusive deals with one publisher. Your publisher’s cut is usually smaller if you agree to an exclusive deal.

These are the main money-makers that come to mind. I hope these ideas help!

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Thanks Charles!
I have signed up with Distrokid.
What do you think of this organization?

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Distrokid is great, and I use it myself. However, it’s a music distributor — not a full-service music publisher. ASCAP has a nice little article that summarizes the traditional role of a music publisher:

It’s common for music publishers to approach artists when they identify them as up-and-coming talent. Although, there’s nothing stopping you from approaching publishers yourself.

Working with a well-established publisher with a huge portfolio may not be in your best interest as a smaller artist. The publisher can likely make more money off their big artists, meaning there’s little incentive to push your music heavily.

Look for small independent publishers and try to “wow” them with your music. If they’re willing to work with you, they’ll likely work hard for you. That being said, they won’t have as many industry connections as a large publisher so there is a trade-off.