In the serene realm of online music, a 26-year-old artist named Michael Turner, aka PLVTINUM, has discovered a unique avenue to turn passion into profit. Through his side hustle in producing ‘lo-fi’ music, Turner has unlocked a lucrative venture, reaping an additional $33,000 annually. In this blog post, we explore how he turned two minutes of music production into a thriving source of income, and how you can do the same.
Introduction: The Rise of Bonsai Beats
If you’ve ever delved into the world of “lo-fi beats to study or relax to” on YouTube, chances are you’ve encountered the musical magic of Michael Turner. The full-time musician, also known for his pop music under the moniker PLVTINUM, stumbled upon the realm of ‘lo-fi’ music production as a passive listening space, and the results have been extraordinary.
The Lucrative World of Lo-fi
Under the alias Bonsai Beats, a collaboration with guitarist Mike Bono, Turner has added an impressive $33,139 to his income in the past year. The charm of lo-fi, characterized by its low production value, lies in its ambient appeal—perfect for background listening during daily activities such as cooking, working, studying, or even sleeping.
Turner’s strategy revolves around quantity over quality. With a mere two-minute timer for each song, he and Bono have produced 85 tracks, accumulating almost $60,000 in total earnings. The simplicity and the therapeutic nature of lo-fi music production have proven to be a winning formula.
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The Accessibility of Lo-fi Music Production
At the age of 18, Turner witnessed the power of internet virality with a million views on a YouTube video showcasing his musical talents. Now, with Bonsai Beats boasting around 12,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Turner emphasizes that the production process is much simpler than perceived.
Using basic tools—a guitar, a keyboard, and Logic Pro, a music mixing software—Turner emphasizes the minimal cost involved. For those on a budget, he suggests alternatives like GarageBand, a free software for Apple users. The key is the democratization of music production, making it accessible to both casual and professional musicians.
Navigating the Streaming Landscape
To distribute their music, Turner employs TuneCore, an online service placing tracks on popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and TikTok. With subscription fees as low as $29.99, Turner highlights the importance of retaining sales revenue, a stark contrast to traditional distribution agencies that can claim up to 85%.
If it’s the correct offering, it will start making money almost soon after you put it on Spotify.
Democratizing the Music Industry
Despite the ongoing debate about low payouts from streaming platforms, Turner sees the democratization of music as a game-changer. His foray into entrepreneurship led him to establish Rebellion Records, a record label aiming to support emerging artists. Deviating from industry norms, the label retains only 25% of each artist’s royalties, fostering a more equitable environment.
Turner reflects on the current state of the music industry, stating, “This is a really exciting time in music. I’m optimistic.”
In conclusion, the story of Michael Turner exemplifies the potential that lies within the world of lo-fi music—a space where simplicity meets profitability, and where anyone with a passion for music can carve their niche and thrive.