Pianists: A Guide to Generating a Solid Passive Income Online

Pianists have long been known as world class musicians and entertainers, but it is not often thought of that they can also generate a solid passive income online. With the growing popularity of streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, pianists are now able to reach audiences all over the world with their music and in turn, gain some financial stability through royalties from these digital platforms.

There are various methods available for pianists to get started on their journey toward earning a passive income online with minimal effort or cost. However, each platform has its own set of rules concerning artist payments which one must be aware of in order to maximize profits. This guide will provide an overview of how pianists can go about generating a solid passive income online.

Public Performance Rights (PPR)

Public performance rights refer to royalty payments made when your music is being used at live performances including radio airplay, broadcast television shows, film screenings etc., unless you’ve expressly noted otherwise prior or else agreed upon individual terms regarding usage rights with any potential licensee. To receive PPR payments you would need to register yourself with a PPR body such as ASCAP or BMI in the US who would then monitor broadcasts etc., collect fees due and distribute them accordingly among its members.

Streaming Revenue

As mentioned before, streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora offer a great way for pianists to earn passive income online. By uploading your material to these services you will be able to reach a larger audience and receive royalties when listeners stream your music. This can range from 0.005 cents per play on YouTube Music up to $0.008 in revenue per stream on Apple Music depending upon the specific platform you choose to upload with; however generally speaking industry standard tends towards around 50% of total net proceeds being paid out as royalties after all costs have been deducted (i.e. hosting expenses etc.).

It is worth noting that most of these platforms take a percentage fee for their service which needs to be factored into the overall equation when calculating potential profits made from streaming services alone; for example, this could equate approximately 8-12% of total sales of prerecorded works on iTunes or Amazon respectively).

YouTube Ad Revenues

Uploading videos featuring original piano compositions or covers onto sites like YouTube has become an increasingly popular way amongst musicians looking generate additional income streams beyond physical merchandise sales or live shows and concerts with revenues generated through advertising placements typically ranging between $3 -$5 CPM (Cost Per Thousand Views).

Although this may not seem like a high figure, if you are able to capture the attention of your viewers and rack up enough views it can add up quickly. Additionally, some content creators have found success in generating additional income through creating YouTube music channels which focus on producing tutorials or instructional videos for those looking to learn about piano playing; offering channel memberships or providing links to additional learning materials (for example e-books, sheet music etc.) from their own personal website/store front can be great way of supplementing potential revenue.

Merchandise Sales

Creating physical items such as t-shirts, hats and mugs featuring original designs based around particular piano pieces is another popular means used by musicians in general when attempting to generate an online passive income.

Sites such as Redbubble offer a fantastic platform allowing one’s artwork/designs to be printed onto various products with relative ease enabling them to quickly get their creations out into the marketplace with minimum fuss. Furthermore they also provide helpful analytics tools so that you can track how many items have been sold over what period of time which will help give you an idea as to whether your efforts are being rewarded financially or not.

Selling Piano Lessons on Fiverr

Another great way to make money online is by selling piano lessons on freelance sites such as Fiverr. If you have enough experience and knowledge in the field, then offering your services as a tutor could be a great way of generating additional income with relatively little effort; while it may take some time to build up a steady stream of customers (as with most things) once you’ve established yourself there is always potential for expansion by providing extra materials or more advanced tutorials aimed at those who are looking to refine their technique further.


Pianists can now generate passive incomes from streaming services, YouTube ads, merchandise sales and teaching private/group lessons all from the comfort of their own home. While many platforms require an artist register themselves in order to receive royalties due it is well worth the investment given that these payments often constitute for the majority of any musician’s income.

Additionally, utilizing creative outlets such as Redbubble or Fiverr can open up even more opportunities for profit making without having too large an initial outlay and will help cultivate fanbases which may lead onto producing physical albums later down the line if desired. All in all whilst it still takes hard work and dedication just like any other profession in life, digital advancements now allow for pianists to have greater control over their craft and be more financially secure in the process.

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