DJing and producing certainly aren’t simple professions to crack and there are plenty of easier ways to make money, but you wouldn’t have started down this route if you didn’t have a passion for music and you’ll need to grip tight to that passion if you’re going to navigate the minefield that is the music business. That said, there are options and there are probably even more options now than ever before. Here are the top twenty ways a DJ can make money in 2020.
Got some kit? Of course you have. Renting out your equipment from DJ Controllers to PA systems can be a great way of making a bit of easy cash. Sites such as Fat Llama are great for peer to peer renting. Costs are low and individuals can stand to make good money. Apparently some people are making proper big bucks this way.
Who does it well? Fat Lama are well worth a look at here.
E-Learning is set to boom with the industry expecting to grow to $325 billion by 2025. Use your skills to create and sell ‘how to DJ’ tutorials, providing video demonstrations of specific skills and techniques. This could also be about the type of software you recommend and the equipment that you believe to be most beneficial.
Who does it well? Udemy is a great learning platform. Sign up as a teacher here
Book a big name, get a venue, agree on the pay split and promote the hell out of it. What could go wrong? Well, plenty could and plenty does. But if you get the right talent and you strike a good deal with the club or bar owner then you could be onto a winner.
Who does it well? AJ and Dolan fill out the 5,000 capacity Printworks club in London with their night the Hydra. They started their journey putting on small parties in the back rooms of various East London pubs.
Weddings are big bucks and the right DJ is an essential part of the event – one that is unfortunately often overlooked. The plus side? There is space in this market as people are crying out for something different and something good.
Need to know more? Jason Jani is one of America’s most successful wedding DJs making the big bookings and with a team of DJs now working for him. He teamed up with Digital DJ Tips to show people the way forward check out their blueprint course which could really pave the way for future success.
If you’re happy to promote other people’s products and don’t mind churning out a few social posts then this could be a great way to rake in a bit of extra cash.
Need to know more? DJ Tech Tools sums up everything you need to know to get you on the right path.
Original music, remixes or even bootlegs are all fair game on industry stalwart Bandcamp. They take a commission at 15% on digital downloads which is considerably less than some of the bigger download sites. You can also set up a shop and sell directly from a SoundJam website with 0% commission giving you a viable option against the existing download sites, and giving yourself full control.
T-shirts, hats and hoodies are all popular merchandise products that are (relatively) cheap to produce. But the numbers can soon stack up and before you know it you’ve dropped a large sum of cash that you’ll have to sit on for some time until you see a return. There is an alternative way to tackle this dilemma by using a Print on Demand supplier. Printful is the leader of the pack on this front. Luckily SoundJam DJ website builder has a painless integration meaning any orders you take on your site are automatically sent to Printful and then printed and dispatched to your fans with zero upfront costs. Too easy…
Need to know more? Printful have a great range of products and printing locations across the globe meaning delivery times are fairly swift.
Corporate paying events have evolved. From marathons to the office party, new opportunities are rife as businesses look to align themselves with cool. Networking and getting your name out there are key factors to landing good corporate gigs.
Who does it well? Digital DJ Tips have the breakdown on how to nail this arena.
Stock music that can be licenced for use in YouTube videos, computer games and adverts is unsurprisingly a burgeoning industry. Shutterstock the stock image behemoth also has its fingers in music licensing head here to check out more.
Who does it well? BC’s finest export Stickybuds has recently made soundtrack music for the Cantina bar at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. Pretty damn cool.
Vinyl sales are on the rise. Meanwhile, the cost of pressing vinyl is dropping meaning short-run presses of around 50 or so pieces are now commercially viable.
Who does it well? DJ Woody launches production after production of his great Scratch Series. Short-run vinyl presses of cracking scratch samples that pretty much sell out every time.
Gigs are a DJ’s bread and butter. Land a decent residency and you can count on a regular income. Once again, networking and showing people what you have is the key to landing the decent gigs.
Who does it well? Craig Richards racked up 18 years+ as Fabric resident and while he has slowed down he still puts a shift in from time to time.
Love it or hate it (especially in the DJing world) streaming is here to stay. Margins are tight but streaming currently stands for 75% of all recorded music revenue. Plus getting yourself regularly streamed and your music exposed to millions of new listeners will increase your overall exposure meaning bigger gigs and better clients.
Who does it well? The usual suspects crop up here from Deadmau5 to Disclosure with millions of followers between them.
Get thousands of plays on YouTube and you could qualify for their ‘Partner Programme’. You have to spend the time building an engaged audience first, before ensuring every video you produce meets their guidelines and also receives stacks of views.
Who does it well? DJ TLM has 158,000 subscribers (at the time of writing) with hundreds of on point videos covering everything from scratch techniques to the latest kit.
Fundraising or crowdfunding has evolved as one of the better blessings of the internet age. From Kickstarter to Indiegogo or Crowdfunder. Products, music, DJs and bands have been launched with the help of these sites. Want to make an album and want it funded? Build a fundraising page and away you go.
Who does it well? Well, it doesn’t work for everyone as these two found out when trying to fundraise $100,000 for a world tour. Mixmag has it…
Repeat subscriptions are a great source of reliable steady income, platforms such as Patreon have been built to connect creatives with their fans through memberships. Sell exclusive mixes or downloads
If you can get enough visitors to your blog there is a possibility to monetise that traffic. Either direct relationships with product sellers so you can display their adverts or by utilising Google Adsense.
Need to know more? The easiest path is via Google Adsense. Any site that has visitors can start using serving Adsense ads from the off.
Passing on your skills in person is a simple way to make extra cash. Advertising on local sites like Gumtree or utilising your social following is the best way to find nearby clients, or contact your local DJ school for opportunities.
Who does it well? Check out Jimi Needles scratch lessons
Get a gig on commercial radio, start your own internet radio station or even launch pirate radio. Typical ways to make money on a radio station are selling ad space or by hooking in a headline sponsor.
Who does it well? The legendary Kurupt FM started life on broadcasting UK Garage from a high-rise flat in Brentford (ahem) but now share the stage with the likes of Stormzy and Craig David.
A recent(ish) update to Mixcloud – called Mixcloud Select – allows users to pay for a music subscription to a DJ’s channel. The aim is for fans to directly support the artists with a fair distribution model. In the words of the platform ‘Select is more than just a fan club. It’s a unique revenue share model where everyone involved in making the shows you listen to gets their cut.
Who does it well? House label Defected have a whopping 150,000 followers who get access to unique content and music long before anyone else.
We couldn’t leave this list without a shameless plug. SoundJam DJ website builder is a site builder for DJs, artists, producers, and anyone who sells or promotes electronic music. It’s an easy to use drag-and-drop interface that helps you create professional-looking websites with all multimedia players, social feeds and images in one place.
There’s an e-Commerce feature that allows you to sell your own music through your website (keeping ALL the proceeds!) AND create and sell branded merchandise with no upfront costs, no commission and no holding inventory all in just a few clicks – generating a secondary revenue stream to support creativity.
Our mission is to give power back to artists and support the music scene. Having a good looking website is ESSENTIAL to the career progression of every DJ, and enables you to network with the big players, get visible and get booked for more gigs, as well as growing your global fanbase.