Music Royalties

Matt Farley – The Genius Musician Beating The Streaming System

Matt Farley

Matt Farley is an underappreciated genius. In a world where music streaming dominates, and the cost of releasing music to the world is cheaper than ever, one man has taken it upon himself to take the art of being prolific to a whole other level. Bar none, Matt Farley is possibly individually responsible for more songs on the internet than anyone else. Anyone.

Matt Farley is a dad and musician who runs Motern media. Matt figured out that there are a ton of evergreen topics to write songs on, under a bunch of different aliases. Some of his most popular song topics include songs about toilet related activities (the poop song is one of his biggest hits), birthdays, names, apologies and just about anything he thinks is worth making a song about. Matt has probably made a song about you! If you search for your name + “poop song”, chances are Matt has got you covered.

Matt Farley of Motern media has, to date, published well over 20,000 songs. Even Frank Zappa, a famously prolific icon and personal hero of mine, doesn’t have a discography this large. And Matt has managed to do this all from the comfort of his own home, using his basement as a recording studio. Matt claims he makes between 5 and 100 songs per day, with an average of about 20 songs. In a recent interview he notes that this number has slowed recently. Matt, if you’re reading this, I get it man. I think you deserve a break now that you’ve released over 20,000 songs. Some bands take 5 years to release 20 songs, and Matt manages to do this every day of the week! The unbelievable thing is his songs are actually good too. He’s making songs on an industrial scale but they still feel relatively well produced and thought out.

Most of Matt Farley’s listeners come across his work because they have searched for a random song name out of interest. Don’t tell me you haven’t searched poop once or twice into the Spotify search bar. If you haven’t then your kids definitely have. He found that songs with nouns in the title were great, because most other musicians weren’t writing songs about things like llamas, or ketchup. And that’s the magic. Matt doesn’t need to bother with the usual musician admin work such as constantly shilling his art on social media. He just sticks it up and lets the royalties come in.

Matt makes a decent living from his efforts too. He doesn’t particularly shy away from the financial side, nor is he braggadocios about it but he manages to consistently make over $65,000 per year from his efforts. Matt’s work ethic and business attitude towards his music absolutely thrived during the dreaded pandemic. So little of his income was dependent on the live side of the music business that he was (business-wise) not affected much by the lockdowns at all. Since he makes all his music in his basement he was still able to operate in a pretty normal way during the whole period.

So what lessons can we take away from Matt Farley of Motern Media to increase our chances of success in the music world?

Lesson 1 – Be Prolific

This is stating the obvious, but a large amount of Matt’s success can be attributed to his enviable, determined work ethic. If you’re putting out a handful of songs per year right now then double it. Triple it. 10x it. Remember, you don’t have to just release your music under a single alias. If you don’t want to besmirch your good name, release it under a different one! Matt has more than 70 different bands he currently makes music under, and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do the same.

Lesson 2 – Diversify Your Music

Some of Matt Farley’s unusual songs

Matt uploads an enormous number of songs, and for a number of reasons has opted to release them under over 70 different aliases. This helps widen the spread of his work, and also keep each band on topic. You might not be making songs on poop and mayonnaise like Matt, but if you are looking to become a more prolific musician then splitting up by genre could work really well.

One of the aliases I produce under is very specific in terms of genre, and I never deviate too far from what these fans are expecting. Because of this, the alias has amassed a pretty committed fanbase, meaning almost every single song I release to this name gets to 1000 plays very quickly. The follower count of around 25,000 on Spotify is pretty reasonable too. As a result, I effectively have at bare minimum 25,000 fans who will at least be recommended every single new release I make for this alias. On the other hand, one of my less specific but more creative names I release under has under 15,000 followers despite having more than 4 times more monthly listeners! Remember that the monthly listener count isn’t everything – the followers and committed fans are what keep you growing in reality, helping guarantee a certain number of plays for every release you make.

Lesson 3 – Don’t be Afraid of Getting Weird

Many musicians consider their work to be far too “serious” to even think about making fun, novel songs on the side, but as mentioned in lesson 2, it doesn’t need to be released under your prized possession! Why not make a new alias and have some fun on top of the music you already make? Matt Farley also makes serious music, and I guarantee quite a lot of his fans on his more serious music have no idea he also makes songs about llamas, elevators and ketchup.

Conclusion – Matt Farley is an Underappreciated Musical Genius

If you aren’t inspired by Matt Farley’s creative genius I don’t know what else to say. Through sheer determination and creativity, he is now part of the top 0.1% of earners on Spotify. Independently. Most of us can’t manage to find success on a single band, let alone 70. It’s astonishing, and no one can attribute it to luck at all. Try making 20,000 songs and find out for yourself!