On a summer’s day last year, I had an assignment with a songwriter who had just signed a deal to record for my band.
He was going to write a song for us, and I wanted to know how much money he was going get.
I was looking at my salary on my personal account.
My salary was $30.30 an hour.
I thought, What?
I thought it was weird.
But I thought about it a lot later and realized it was a good thing to think about, because it could be very discouraging for a musician who’s just starting out to realize how much his or her music is going to cost.
That’s how I realized I needed to know my own salary before I could plan ahead.
As I wrote the song, I also wondered how much I would be paid.
I wanted the story to be about my band’s first album, so I didn’t want to get too hung up on my own paycheck.
But the thought of $30 million made me realize that I had a lot to consider about my life.
My first album was going a lot faster than I thought.
So what I did next was try to figure out how much it was going be.
My next question: How much money was it going to be?
How much did I have to earn?
How do I know how I’m going to make it?
What kind of job will I be in?
How would I have a chance of getting paid when I was in my mid-30s?
These were the questions I wanted answered as I made the record.
How much does a songwriting gig make?
How long does it take to record?
How does it affect your income?
The answers to these questions could help guide you in creating a career path that will support your artistic goals, whether you’re an artist or a freelance writer.
How Much Does It Cost to Record a Song?
A songwriter with an average hourly salary is usually paid a rate of $18.70 per hour.
This is about $10 per hour less than what a regular job would pay you.
A $20,000 songwriter might have to pay $21.50 to record a song, or $29.50 per hour to do a song as a full-time employee.
How Do I Know How Much It’s Going to Cost?
How can you figure out your own salary?
When a song is completed, it’s recorded for royalty-free distribution.
You have to file your tax return as soon as you finish it.
This means the song will be available for free download on Spotify, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the iTunes Store.
The songwriter gets paid a royalty rate of 5 percent for each song they write for you, and this rate includes everything from royalties on the album cover and other artwork to publishing royalties.
For instance, the first song recorded for my album is going for $3.5 million, while the final version is going $9.5,000.
So if I write the song “It’s My Way,” it will cost me $4,750.
The royalties for the song are being shared equally between me and my bandmates.
What’s the Final Rate?
There are a variety of ways you can determine how much you’ll get paid.
If you don’t have a recording studio, or if you can’t afford a studio, there are many other ways to determine your own income.
For example, I would have to write the first album for $6,000 to have a royalty-paying rate of 1 percent, so for my first album it’s going to take me $6.00 to record it for a royalty fee of $1.25.
I’d have to record at least five songs on a songbook or digital format before I get paid, so $2,500 per song.
The average hourly rate for this job is $15.00.
So for my record, I’d need to make about $8,000 for the first year to have the full 5 percent rate of royalty.
But if I record for a second time and get the same amount, my rate is $13.50.
So my first-year rate is still $9,500, so the second year would be $13,500.
So I’d earn $12,000 per year for my second album.
The first- and second-year rates are for the band members’ portion of the songwriting, so this first-time rate for a band member is the same as for the average band member.
So this second-album rate for me is $10,000, which works out to $14,500 in royalties.
But this rate will go up for every additional song I record.
So you could work your way up to an annual rate of 30 percent.
How long is the record?
When you finish a song it will be recorded for distribution on Spotify for one year.
So the songwriter must have at least 50,000 plays