Posted in K-Pop News

Top 5 on how to make a living in the music industry

Hello Royals!

It is global audition season for many korean labels and many of you will be applying. You are probably well trained in singing, dancing, acting or modeling, but are you prepared financially??? The next few tips will help you prepare better and make money!

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With the purchase of physical albums in serious decline, streaming platforms offering free music, many artist doing things by themselves and the how hard it is to actually get signed to a label it could be overwhelming at the start of your career, especially if you lack knowledge. Even if you have a manager or people around you, lack of knowledge will lead you to take or accept bad decisions. Why would people buy your album when they can download it for free?
Ya, labels will pay for your apartment, food, training, production, clothes and transport, but it is all to be paid back.

‘…While groups and artists from the “Big 3” companies (SM, YG, and JYP) will be paid immediately when they debut, it works differently with almost all other K-pop companies.’’         Prince Mak (former KPop star)

These companies have a ‘’break-even’’ system where ALL the money earned by the idols to goes towards paying back all the money that was invested prior to debut. An average rookie idol earns 4 000$ USD per show, where 90% is for the company and 10% for the artist (or all the members of the group). This is how the debt is paid back.

Top 5 on how to make a living in the music industry

Conquer streaming platforms

Streaming is the new technology that is changing the music industry, services like Spotify are now becoming one of the big money earners but are hurting the music sales. Many people are changing over to streaming as their main source of music. But this is exactly where you can reach millions of fans around the world and get the attention to begin with. Since it’s online, it is also cheap enough to invest as an artist but efficient enough to boost your career.

Other methods to earn money

Live performances will be your best friend. It includes many possibilities to make money in one single event! With live performances, people will see you actually perform and you can give them a unique experience and hopefully earn new active fans. You may even sell physical goods and merchandise so people can bring back a souvenir from your show, adding money in your pocket. You could also add some exclusive songs, content or special event during your live performances to add excitement and quality for your fans. They will definitly want to be one of the lucky ones to benefit from those exclusives!


Use social media to promote yourself and your brand. Even when posting random things you should always have a link or a connection to your music. Post often and with interesting content. Open a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or any other app that you think will reach your fans or that you feel more comfortable with. Global artist? Then you should include something related to the fans or cities you have seen. Not that big yet? The using streaming sites to upload your music!

Be proactive

You were not able to be signed to the label your were auditioning for? Then there are many other ways to earn a little cash money to keep you going. You can sell your music or compositions! You could be hire as a musician or recording sessions while you prepare your own album, you will get money as well as experience! You could compose music for theaters, Youtube intros/outros or even create sound files!

Put yourself out there

Trying working as a DJ. Seriously. It will make you listen to a variety of music, you will see people’s reactions to different beats and you will gain important contacts! You will get more experience, money and will be widening your network!

In summary, don’t let yourself be used and know all the tools you have. Auditions are great to get to know the process, analyzing and learning from other artists, and getting signed. But you shouldn’t let your guards down and start getting information. You will be able to protect your craft which is vital!

Please leave your comments below and share your tips on how to make a living in the music industry!

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