The music industry hasn’t been the same since Steve Jobs released iTunes and the world became acquainted with Spotify. Now most music is sold digitally and streaming is the dominant way to consume music.
There are a couple of exceptions, believe it or not vintage vinyl is also a recovering medium and sales are very strong. This works well for established artists and niche music. Vinyl is increasingly seen as an in demand form of art and rarities can be quite valuable. This is do to it being a large physical item with greater emphasis on display and quality of packaging.
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Of course streaming on the other hand has made the music industry intensely competitive. The average musician simply spends too much time struggling to get their work out there. Getting paid for the work is an even bigger challenge.
Being an independent musician can be a challenge, but there’s no reason why you can’t still be successful without the backing of a music label. JMC Academy, Australia’s leading private college offering creative courses has provided some great career tips for independent musicians. In this article, we will be focusing on getting you a fair deal on your work. So, here are a few tips that could help you sell your music online:
Direct Music Sales
The most obvious way to sell any music, whether it’s a book or a new album is to cut out the middleman and do it all yourself. You can set up a website in no time and learn a few tricks to market the web page and create a following. Once you’ve got a fanbase you can sell the tracks or albums directly through an online store. This is the cheapest and most straight-forward option, but you’ll have to spend a lot of time getting it off the ground by yourself.
Using Aggregators to Build Audiences
Music aggregators make their money by charging upfront fees and/or charging a percentage of the revenue earned from the streaming and downloading of your material.
There’s a lot of mainstream platforms you’ve probably considered already. Itunes, AmazonMP3, Googleplay, and Spotify are the most well-known platforms with the biggest market-share. However getting listed on these services isn’t easy.
Marketing your music on them can be even tougher. Instead, consider Ditto Music or CD Baby to get your music sold. These services market your music and list them on all the major streaming services for a cut of the profits. Ditto charges a flat rate for listing and lets you keep all royalties and rights. CD Baby will let you sell physical CDs as well.
Releasing Live Videos
Live video performances and YouTube uploads are an effective way to get your music out there. YouTube has always been really important for upcoming musicians , however that’s not to discount Vimeo and Periscope which is beginning to make a big splash in the live video space.
Platforms such as these can help grow your fanbase, therefore it’s recommended to new use new tools such as Facebook Live video to pull in new fans and to ensure you are maximising your content across multiple channels.
Remember not everyone can be a rock god from day one, perhaps in the 70’s and 80’s this was more likely. In current times going digital is your best friend and you can build small but growing fanbases this way.
Experimenting With Email Marketing
Believe it or not, email marketing is alive and well and could not be a more effective digital medium when it comes to quality of traffic and conversion potential. Most upcoming musicians use some form of email marketing to reach out and get their music sold.
It’s surprisingly effective. MailChimp is a great tool to get started with creating a mail list. Not only is it a good way to keep in touch with your fans but it’s also a way to let them know if there’s any updates on your latest album.
As your mailing list grows in size you can start leaving previews for upcoming tracks and exclusive goodies and freebies through your regular fan newsletter. Alternative email list building services include Aweber and GetResponse but there are many more to choose from at different price points.
Selling music in 2017 is even harder now than ever. There’s a lot of competition and even some of the biggest stars struggle with the business model the industry seems to have shifted to.
However, if you are talented and dedicated enough then fear not, there’s always a way to get paid for producing valuable music. Keep creating and use some of these techniques to rapidly increase sales of your music online.