Any band that wants to make a living from their music will need to engage in some commercial activities. But not every band needs to go gung-ho commercial business to be successful. There are bands out there that only sell their music as a way to make money and avoid all of the ‘other’ ways to make money. So, how do they manage to be successful without going commercial all of the time?
How Do Indie Bands Go Commercial?
Selling your music is the primary way to commercialise your work and generate an income. Still, there are many other common ways to make money as an Indie band, such as selling merchandise on your tours and doing paid artist interviews and event appearances. One example is a band getting paid to go on a popular podcast.
Some of the more unique ways that groups generate commercial income is by selling royalties. They may sell their music to film producers or even sell their band name and songs to game developers to be included in games. Electric Six are a prime example. They sold the naming rights of Danger Danger High Voltage! to a gaming developer called Big Time Gaming. This company has produced the Danger High Voltage slot game which has become a big hit among online gamblers and enables Indie fans to enjoy gaming and music together.
How to Be Successful Without Going Commercial
If you are a young Indie band dreaming of success, you can make it without having to explore all the different commercial opportunities out there. In fact, by concentrating on the music and avoiding some of the additional opportunities, you can dedicate more time to honing your craft and making better music, which in turn could make you more successful.
Using Social Media to Power Your Music
Social media remains one of the most potent ways to get your name and music out there. You don’t need to use social media advertising to encourage people to check your band out (although you can always consider this), but simply engaging with fans regularly and building an audience can work. Moreover, Facebook recently added an option for musicians to charge social media users to watch their live performances on Facebook Live. This paid feature was added to help struggling bands during the events of 2020 when gigs had to be cancelled, and music venues remained empty.
Remote gigging can become a new commercial way to push your music and generate more income without having to consider selling naming rights to game developers or negotiating interview fees with podcasters. A comparable way to making money from your music alone is by starting a YouTube channel documenting your sessions and the creation process of your gigs. You could make money from vlogging these experiences without having to steer away from what you love doing the most.