Advice Clinic

6 Ways to Generate Music Income During Lockdown

6th April 2020


How can artists make money in isolating times like these? Take a look at our five ways to generate more income during lockdown – and help your music career throughout social distancing and COVID-19.

The most challenging part of being a musician today is the balancing act between growing an online presence and creating offline material. However, your focus does not have to be about growth on every platform. Instead, it’s about asking yourself what platforms work best for your style of music, and most importantly, your personality. Monetising your music has never been easier and there is a Youtube video for every step. Now is the time to get researching!

It may seem daunting, but studying the business side of the music industry will help your creative process in the long-term.

1) Radio play and royalties

Once you have a release date planned or have released your music commercially, sign up to as many royalty collector companies and distributors as possible. They monitor your plays and keep a record of them for up to two years, so it is always worth signing up. These platforms include Bandcamp, Breaking Tunes, R.A.A.P Ireland, Amazing Radio, IMRO, PRS and PPI in the UK.

2) Distribution

Companies like Distrokid, Tunecore and CD Baby allow you to release your music on every music platform for a very low membership fee. They cover every app from Spotify to Tiktok and also collect royalties from Youtube ads.

Companies like Distrokid also offer you a Spotify pre-save link, so you can share your track with as many people and get an automatic listen on official release day. The more content you can share about your release, the more cash you will make!

3) SoundBetter/Air Gigs

Are you a session musician and cannot access your band/are on the hunt for a new collaboration? Have you almost finished a project but need to find an expert producer, drummer, guitarist, mastering engineer? Spotify’s partner website SoundBetter is the perfect platform to search for new collaborations.

With tens of thousands of top Singers, Producers, Songwriters, Session Musicians and Mixing and  Mastering Engineers, including dozens of Grammy award winners, SoundBetter has the most comprehensive database of vetted music production pros for direct-hire in the world, and a member community spanning over 14,000 cities worldwide. Musicians can find and securely hire the right pro based on speciality, budget, genre, credits, reviews and sound samples.

Air Gigs: a similar platform to SoundBetter, but works with a smaller community. With members in over 160 countries working from their recording studios, the site gives music creators direct access to world-class studio talent – anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Songwriters, music producers, bands and creatives can hire talent to enhance their existing productions, or they can produce an entire song from composition to mastering completely online. The company was founded by musicians and engineers passionate about opening up new music production possibilities and opportunities via remote collaboration.

4) SubmitHub

This is an all in one website. You can send your music to labels, bloggers, Spotify playlisters and radio. It is a cheap and easy way to begin a press release and also get feedback on your music from industry professionals.

You can select feedback or for the person to listen to 90 seconds of your track or more. One great feature is that already released songs can still get submitted for reposting to blogs, playlisting and label consideration.

5) Sinéad O’Connor Scholarship

BIMM Institute Dublin is extremely proud to announce the launch of The Sinéad O’Connor Scholarship for the academic year 2020/2021. The Scholarship will offer one lucky student a coveted place on the college’s four-year BA (Hons) Commercial Modern Music undergraduate course. The deadline for applying for this scholarship is May.

6) Other Bursaries and Scholarships

Here is a list of all of the bursary awards and scholarships available from IMRO and the Arts Council of Ireland:

The Music Commissions Award is focused on partnerships. The primary purpose of this award is to facilitate partnerships between commissioners and artists that result in some form of creative output.

Max award: €12,000

Beyond Borders is a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Max award €15,000

The award supports professional individual artists at any stage of their career in the field of music to develop their art practice.

Max award €15,00

This award supports projects in the field of music commencing on or after 1 January 2020.

Max award €30,000

IMRO’s Sponsorship Programme is part of IMRO’s commitment to fostering and developing music creation in Ireland. Sponsorship falls within our overall annual Marketing and PR plan. All grants are assessed by the IMRO Marketing & PR Committee. There are four funding rounds each year, with deadlines as follows:

Application Deadline Timing of Project
15th January April – June
15th April July – September
15th July October – December
15th October January – March



For student tips on how to look after yourself during self-isolation and social distancing, read Olivia’s blog here


Naoise Fitzgerald