How do Music Composers make money?

Stan T.Leave a Comment

Answered by:
Orville Wright
Music Composer
Read about what my job is like

Music composers generate revenue through direct sales, indirect sales, distribution, and intellectual property.

Direct sales

Direct sales can be contracts (Film, gigs, speaking functions) and also leases, where the buyer is legally bound to abide by certain regulations of usage.

Indirect sales

Indirect sales can be royalties for placements on distribution platforms like TuneCore, SoundCloud, CD Baby, Amazon, and more from streaming and radio stations (Paid per play is the main concept). They may even include samples of compositions. Composers still own copyrights so they are paid for features by percentage.


Distribution itself, depending on labels and deals, can land music composers a lump sum upfront but this is often risky as sales for most musicians is not guaranteed.

Intellectual property

The intellectual property can be sales through books, composition kits for other composers, and additional merchandise like clothing or branded content exclusively sold through the composer’s preferred platform.

Question: Which of these are the most lucrative ones?

The indirect sales are the most lucrative and then intellectual property.

Question: Which of these do you make most of your sales from?

Currently, I make the most from direct sales but my indirect are starting to give me more returns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.