From the days of MTV to the present, music videos have always been a crucial part of promoting musicians and their work. But how do they make money?

There are various ways that music videos generate revenue, and we’re going to take a look at some of them in this blog post.

Do Music Videos Make Money?

If you’re not familiar with the music industry, it can be challenging to understand how videos can be lucrative for production companies and artists.

There are some direct revenue opportunities available, but indirect revenue can produce the most significant ROI.

Any musician will tell you that their music videos generate more exposure, which might not result in an immediate profit. Still, there will be more opportunities to make money by attracting fans.

Direct Revenue

Direct Revenue

Advertising is probably the most effective way to generate direct revenue. When a music video is uploaded to a site like YouTube, people will see selected adverts on the channel. If they click on these adverts, there will be a small royalty for the channel.

While this amount is usually small, it can be lucrative if an artist is solely based on YouTube to monetise their channel.

Alternatively, artists can also choose other platforms that offer small incentives when a video reaches a certain number of views.


Product placements are another way for artists to generate more revenue, and it’s common to see subtle advertising in music videos.

For example, Sean Paul’s ‘Got to Love You’ video featured nightclubs and cars. It was highly monetised through product placements.

Other examples include Drake, who regularly features brands such as Nike in his videos. While product placements don’t necessarily bring in vast amounts of money, they’re still beneficial and can raise an artist’s profile.

Digital Downloads

When it comes to generating revenue, digital downloads can be highly profitable for artists – but videos are more subjective. If you love a song and want to listen to it on your iPod, you’d download the audio file – but most consumers won’t pay to download a video.

However, some fans will, although artists are probably more likely to sell audio files than videos.


Sponsorships are another way for artists to make money, and it’s an agreement where a company pays the production cost of a video in exchange for promotional opportunities.

For example, Red Bull has been involved in many music videos because they want to target the 18-25 demographic. The company gets its branding in front of a relevant audience, and the artist gets some financial assistance.

Indirect Revenue

Indirect Revenue

There are plenty of indirect revenue streams, and artists usually benefit from these more than direct revenue opportunities. Let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Streaming Royalties & Digital Downloads

Streaming royalties and digital downloads are two of the most common ways music videos make money. Whenever a song is streamed on services like Spotify or Apple Music, the artist will earn a royalty.

The amount an artist earns from streaming royalties varies depending on how popular their song is. If they have a lot of streams, they can expect to make more money – but nobody will get rich off of these platforms.

We consider digital downloads as an indirect revenue because people might watch a music video then decide to download the song, giving the artist a healthy share of the royalties.

Affiliate Commission

If an artist has a merchandise store, they can make money by referring customers to affiliated sites. For example, an artist might direct their fans to a site like TeePublic, which will give the artist a commission on any sales.

There can also be affiliate links promoting the equipment used to make the video, which differs from product placements, but both have the same principle.

Touring & Live Performances

One of the most common ways for artists to make money is through live performances. If an artist has a successful tour, they can make a lot of money – and music videos are often used to promote these tours.

If someone likes an artist’s music videos, they might want to see them on tour, resulting in more money for the artist and record company.

For example, if a DJ performs at one of the biggest musical festivals, they’ll receive anything from $100,000 to $400,000, so live performances make up a significant chunk of an artists wealth.

Merchandise Sales

Most artists will also sell merchandise at their shows, which is another way for them to make money.

Fans can purchase items like t-shirts, hats, and posters, often having the artist’s logo or name on them.

Sometimes this merchandise is also available to purchase online, which gives fans who couldn’t attend a show the opportunity to buy something.

Licensing & Sync Fees

A sync fee is when a music video is used in an advertisement, and the artist will earn a royalty from this.

For example, if you’ve ever seen an ad for Apple with a song playing in the background, then the artist will have received a sync fee.

This can be a lucrative source of income for artists, as it doesn’t require them to do anything other than have their song featured in an advertisement.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to making money from music videos, there are various ways that artists can make a profit. While some methods are more lucrative than others, it’s important to remember that indirect revenue is often the most consistent and reliable way for an artist to make money.

If you want to increase your revenue and create more opportunities, a great music video is essential to connect with your audience. It can be highly beneficial to use music video production services because a professional will deliver a high-quality video.

There are so many artists out there competing for attention. But, if a music video is immersive, relevant to the song and showcases the artist, it’s possible to use it as a platform for more opportunities.