How Much Does a Music Producer Get Paid?


Music producers' earnings vary considerably, but generally depend on their clients and track record. Independent-level producers may work for flat fees or form partnerships with artists for a set amount per song. If the independent producer has a name, he may sign and develop the talent himself, then license the results to major labels. As of 2010, most producers earn from $32,770 to $69,700, while a small handful of superstars reap $92,700 or more for their efforts.

Median Wages

  • Music producers are classed as sound engineering technicians by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May 2008, median annual wages for producers were $47,490, according to the bureau. Earnings for the middle 50 percent ranged from $32,770 to $69,700, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,790. The highest 10 percent earned more than $92,700. Median hourly wages were $22.29, with total employment peaking at 20,000 people, says the bureau.

Joint Ventures

  • Joint venture deals are common arrangements in the independent music world, where album budgets and fees are far lower than those of major labels. The artist funds the recording and pays the producer $300 to $500 per song, according to a summary posted on The Producer's Den website. The producer may also receive a 5 percent royalty, based on album sales. Recording budgets can range from $5,000 to $40,000.

Master Buyout and Licensing Agreements

  • Independent producers with track records may sign, develop and record the artist and then try selling the results to a major label. In the master buyout scenario, as of 2010, a major label buys the completed master for about $25,000 per song, according to The Producer's Den. The producer and artist also earn a 12 to 14 percent royalty off each record sold. In a licensing agreement, the label simply agrees to distribute the track for a set time period. Thus, the fees drop to $5,000 to $25,000 per song.

Superstar Producers

  • Superstar producers' pay is based on a combination of advances and royalties for their work, which are spelled out contractually. However, while advances are nonrecoupable, the producer does not begin to earn anything until the label recoups the record's production and promotion costs, according to Donald Passman, an entertainment lawyer writing for For example, if an album costs $120,000 to make --- yet recoups only $90,000 of its costs -- the producer could still get his advance, but no royalty.

Work-For-Hire Arrangements

  • In other cases, the producer may be asked to work for flat fees of $2,000 to $3,000 per track, on the condition that he gives up any future credit or compensation. These deals are known as work-for-hire arrangements, which professionals strive to avoid, according to the Producer's Den. The fees may often be restricted to a specific number of completed tracks. A 3 to 5 percent royalty may be offered, but not materialize --- due to claims of unrecouped costs.


Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How Much Do Executive Producers Get Paid?

    The term "executive producer" is commonly used in the entertainment industry, particularly in motion pictures and music. However, executive producers also work...

  • Music Producer Salary

    Get more information on a music producer's salary with tips from a professional music producer in this free music ... All producers...

  • Movie Producer Wages

    Be prepared to get paid on the back end of the movie, meaning that the producer only gets paid if the movie...

  • How Much Money Can I Make As a Record Producer?

    ... to those of an artist, offering creative direction to the musicians. ... For example, a producer may receive a percentage of...

  • What Are Normal Fees for a Contingent Lawyer?

    What Are Normal Fees for a Contingent Lawyer? X. ... as part of the "Master Settlement Agreement" reached between the parties, ......

  • Salaries of a Music Producer

    The salary of a music producer can vary greatly depending on whether the producer is getting paid a piece of the royalties,...

  • The Definition of Music Production

    Music production is the process of creating a recorded music project. A record producer usually handles music production, ... Three percent is...

Read Article

23 Deliciously Easy Lunches to Bring to Work

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!