What You Need to Know about Online Music Distribution
A quick guide to online music distribution and music distributors to help point you in the right direction
Are you an independent musician? Have you found a good method of free music distribution or any music distributors that can help you get your music out to the masses?
As you’ve probably learned by now, the world of music distribution can be tricky, especially in today’s era of online music distribution. It seems like there are endless channels to go through and every online music distribution company has different requirements. So, what do you do when you really need to get hooked up with music distributors that can get your work heard?
In recent years, a few enterprising and innovative online music distribution services have sprung up. These music distributors can act on your behalf and as the aggregate in this already complicated process. Here’s what you need to know about these online music distribution services and what to look for when selecting one to help distribute your music on the Internet.
Online Music Distribution Means Music Promotion
The music industry is all about promotion, otherwise how will anyone ever hear your music and want to buy it? Once your music is produced, mixed, and mastered, it is time for everyone to hear it. It is during that period that you will face the issue of marketing and music distribution. And if you’re using a free music distribution service or have found a music distributor to handle this for you, you still need to wear many hats as an independent musician.
So, how do you incorporate music promotion with your online music distribution? The most obvious way is to do a little viral marketing combined with some general promotion. Start tweeting, posting on Facebook, and getting a link to your website. Publish a few articles about yourself or your new album and get them out there. The more marketing you do, the more your online music distribution efforts will pay off. And most obviously, you should book gigs – a lot of them!
A good online music distribution service will help you with the promotion part of the deal. The music distributors will take your single (or album) and do a little viral marketing themselves. This might include an email campaign, help you book additional gigs, upload tracks to several social networks, and woo bloggers and music reviewers.
Your music distribution service should also offer things like:
- Music download services
- Video download services
- Ways to buy tickets to your gigs
- Additional merchandise (like shirts, stickers, etc.)
- Sheet music download services
- Ring tones
What about Money and Online Music Distribution?
When it comes to online music distribution, you really have to decide how much to charge for your stuff. Do you go the iTunes route and charge $0.99 per song and about $9.99 per album? What about a special price for multiple purchases? The prices of your musical downloads will be determined by both you and your music distributors. Take a look at your agreement and see if there are any requirements.
If you are selling more than just music downloads online, you need to figure out what to charge for your other products as well. If you’re using a micro-store through one of your music distributors’ websites, they may offer you some guidance. If you are using a free online music distribution service or are doing it all on your own, it will be entirely up to you.
Remember, as a musician, you probably want to not only share your music with the world, but also make a little money in the process. As you know, successful music distribution can help you achieve both of those goals, but the amount you earn from each online sale depends on several factors.
Take a look:
- Decide on the retail price from above the price bracket. Your profit will be the percentage of that price.
- Look at the external costs associated with the product – do you need to ship it or is it just a digital download?
- The payment methods you offer – it will cost you more money if your customers choose a mobile phone payment rather than a PayPal payment, for example.
- The currency selected – what are the exchange rates?
Music Distribution on Your Own
Getting your music to go live on any of the big online music distribution sites like iTunes or Napster can be difficult. Remember, every music distributor site has its own requirements for submitting, getting listed, and selling through them. It can be burdensome to say the least, especially when you are an independent musician just starting out in the world of online music distribution. So, what if you want to distribute music online entirely on your own? What do you do?
Online music distribution on your own can be just as tricky, but it is definitely not impossible. In fact, many independent musicians start with free music distribution then move onto the bigger, more complicated online music distributors later on. The most logical first step is to have your own website and promote yourself socially and virally from there. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go!
However, having your own website or band blog just isn’t enough, especially for far-reaching music distribution. It is important to get your music listed as a digital download in the various online marketplaces available to you. One of these accessible and versatile digital marketplaces is PayLoadz.
PayLoadz can amplify your online music distribution efforts and get you connected with thousands of customers looking for exactly what you’re selling – music! It is easy and free to list your digital music downloads in the PayLoadz Store, and just like many other online music distribution services, PayLoadz offers tracking, download delivery options, secure payment methods, and marketing options.
In fact, you can boost music distribution through the PayLoadz Affiliate Program. Hundreds of PayLoadz members are just waiting to help promote your product. So, if you want to get your foot in the online music distribution door, what’s stopping you?