Nine Ways Musicians Actually Make Money Today

With record sales plummeting to new lows, here's how top stars are helping pay their bills

Kickstarter

Amanda Palmer/Kickstarter
Jude Domski/Getty Images; Courtesy of Kickstarter

Ex-Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer took to her favorite crowd-funding website in May, bringing in far more than she expected in pledged donations – and making her a poster child for DIY revenue. Palmer will use the cash to fund an album, art book and tour.

Potential payday: $1.2 million

Downsides: Not everyone can pull this off – beyond Palmer, the highest Kickstarter fundraising rounds for musicians have been roughly $200,000 per project. It's especially hard for artists who don't already have a built-in fanbase assembled the old-fashioned way, as Palmer did.

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