#116 : Roundtable – Getting Paid at Gigs – What Should You Charge?

In the news: CD Baby pays you even more; YouTube adds a merch store; and artists wonder if Spottily is hurting or helping.

Kevin, Chris and the Bolt discuss getting paid at gigs: Should you demand a fair price? Are artists asking too little or too much? THese questions and more are addressed in this spine-tingling musician-helping episode of the CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast.

Articles Mentioned:
4 Lessons on How Much to Charge for Your Performance


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  • One thing I’ve tried is asking for (or demanding) different dollar amounts on certain nights of the week. For instance at some venues if they offer me a gig on a Wednesday, (without being specific on a price) I tell them that I charge more for a Wednesday night gig than I would for a Saturday. Then I am usually able to persuade¬† them to give me the Saturday night gig instead, and thus play for a larger crowd (and I’m usually able to get paid what I actually want). Or, I charge less for days earlier in the week and the price goes up as the week progresses. The best way to go is if you know you’re going to draw a good number, allow the venue to take a 10-15% of the door. Don’t play at venues that act like they are doing you a favor by letting you play there! They don’t respect you as a musician. Take your business somewhere else!

  • some dude

    so how much does Spotify pay for songs played? Because that’s gonna be a hard one to convince people to not listen to stuff for free.
    Have you guys seen “the story of Anvil”, I was wondering what your theory was that they didn’t make it big when all the other bands they were playing with did?

  • Loved that movie. I have no idea why they didn’t make it. Maybe they didn’t have the marketing savvy that some of the other bands did or the Labels were swayed by other heavy metal bands . . .

    Spotify just pays fraction of a penny for a play. Similar to how traditional radio pays, but I think the amount is much smaller.


  • There is only 1 good point here. Do not undercharge! As far as the rest, we ARE full-time musicians and this is simply not accurate. It assumes you are supposed to have one set price. We price gigs every day. All of our interviews with full-time musicians detail how we (full-time musicians) charge for gigs. As far as Gig Masters?! Terrible research for market pricing, I explain why on the Small Time Musician website, so I’m not going to do that here. Sorry dude, but it’s pretty obvious you don’t play music for a living.

  • Jan Vyt√°sek

    It’such a huge difference between playing corporate events,weddings as a coverband,where you put the price for the songs people know and for the high quality performance and trying to kick forward your own songs in the clubs… So,the question is how much can you charge for 70% of your own stuff… Being the coverband is totally different story…