There are a number of different approaches you can take to selling your music online as downloads on the internet. These can supplement the income of a musician. Apart from the obvious choices, there are other, potentially more attractive ideas being developed and evolved on the web Piano Lessons Colorado Springs.
The first traditional approach is to signup to a single website service who sell a artists music on their behalf and take a commission for each sale. They often hold the earnings for a period of time till they have reached a certain sales figure, before making payments.
One advantage is that they normally don’t ask for any signup fees or monthly fees, so if the artist doesn’t sell any music, they haven’t lost any money. If they are smaller websites they may give you more promotion than the big boys.
The disadvantages are that the amount one can earn per track is a lot less than the retail price charged, because the service takes a percentage, the prices are often, but not always, charged at a fixed rate set by the web service. Also an artist won’t get the money straight away and will invariably have to wait for sales to reach a certain figure before they get paid.
A more recent approach in the last few years is to use a digital distributor, who for a fee will place an artist’s music in a number of large well known digital stores. This has the advantage of stocking music in all these stores in one fell swoop, placing music in all these services. The distributor will then collect all the money and from each service and make one single payment to the artist, normally each quarter.
The disadvantage is the artist has to wait many months after having paid, to get music on these services without any guarantees that they will sell anything. Also there is definitely no control over the price an artist’s track is sold at, as this is totally dictated by the web services. Also again they have to wait for payments to be made, holding up cash flow whilst they wait. Again after commission the amount they earn is considerable less than via the diy method. iTunes is does have the advantage of hype and artist cling to the hope that if they’re on there they will somehow sell music, many artists can’t understand why once they’re on a big music download service, they’re not automatically selling loads of music.
With these big sites they are competing for attention with millions of other artists, the chances of casual browsers discovering and then buying their music is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It’s only the known of artists with some promotional clout and a lot of backing from a label, who will get exposure and the vicious circle continues, even smaller independents have recently campaigned for equal exposure on these services, so as a totally independent artist the exposure is even worse and the odds stacked against them.
What invariable happens is the independent musician has to promote his own music and send fans and customers to his or her page on these services, whilst the service gives the artist no exposure, unless by the sheer volume of sales the independent bands selling mp3s can buck the trend and rise in the charts, so listeners become aware of them.
The newer and more savvy approach is to use a service that enables musicians to take more control and make more money. From a business savvy point of view, the music hosting approach is one way to go, enabling artists to Sell Music Online themselves with the technological support they need. The advantage of this kind of service is the artist get’s paid straight away directly to their own paypal accounts, artists can charge what they want and even double or even triple earnings, compared with some other services. Also they can get set up almost immediately. When bands discover that they can generate sales themselves through social networking, gigs and word of mouth, they begin to realise that they are driving the sales and in fairness should be making more money.
These music services charge a flat monthly service charge for hosting the music, rates vary dependent on the number songs but prices start at £5 per month approximately $7.50. They charge no commission, so artists make 100% of all sales.
Many artists have used PayPal to sell their own music CD’s for this very same reason and been happy with the independence it brings and extra earnings it generates and the direct customer contact. The issue with selling digital music is it requires some quite sophisticated technology to deliver the music to the customer after the payment is made. This means delivering an instant download link once the payment is completed, which will expire, so people can’t share the link, it means providing a dedicated fast download speed to the customer and also providing the customer with a password so they can download the file again if they loose it. For these reasons it’s far most cost effective and convenient to use a specialist service.
Also the services often provide a music player so people can preview the music and also a mp3 music widget which can be placed anywhere to promote music with a link directly back to the artists sales page.
The only disadvantage I can think of is that if the artist’s don’t sell enough they won’t cover the monthly fee, but with a 30 day free trial, there’s no risk. If you’re a musician, band or artist who’s serious about selling your music online you’ve got nothing to loose from giving it a go.