This guy made $23,000 by releasing 14,000 songs on iTunes and Spotify


Say you’re searching Spotify for Lauryn Hill so that you can jam out to The Miseducation of… in the privacy of your own bedroom when you stumble across a song called “Lauryn Hill Is Like Awesome And Great”. You’re curious, so you stick it on. Matt Farley just earned $0.005.

Or maybe you’re bored and decide to stick in “Kurt Vonnegut” to see what comes up. Or “David Beckham” or “Ryan Gosling”. Or you’re really in need of a very specific apology song like “I’m Sorry I Forgot Our Anniversary”. Every time your curiosity gets the better of you, Matt Farley gets $0.005. More if you download it off iTunes.

Sure, the margins are so low that it would take an insane number of plays to add up to a substantial amount of money. It would take millions of plays and downloads, and that would require thousands of songs, on a ludicrous breadth of topics. It would take a superhuman amount of effort to make that numbers game work in your favour.

But last year, Matt Farley earned $23,500 (about £14k) from his music. He managed that because in the last six years Farley has written, recorded and released over 14,000 songs. He puts them out under a variety of assumed band names, so it’s not immediately apparent quite how prolific he is. He sells them and streams them on every available site, and all those $0.005s add up. Not to a fortune, admittedly, but enough that he can justify spending half his working week knocking out songs from his home in Danvers, just outside Boston in Massachusetts. I wanted to talk to Matt because although he might dream of being recognised as part of the “best pop/rock duo since Hall & Oates”, his absolute dedication to DIY music is probably the best thing since Lil B created 150 MySpace pages.

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