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Door number 15 is our first tutorial in our Advent Calendar and the topic is how to sell your music. Professional producers might already know the possibilities and platforms to sell their work, but especially beginners could find some new ways to sell their music here.
So, you made a great song, ep or even an whole album and now it's time to sell it. There are actually two ways: Looking for a label or just release it by yourself. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. In this tutorial we will check the possibilites for the last way, for a self-release without a label.
Bandcamp is a great and a really big plattform for labels as well as artists. You can release single tracks, eps, albums and even small sample packs. You get your own customizable bandcamp site, that lists all your releases. Your release is instantly available, which is also a great advantage compared to labels and also to other platforms like iTunes, they also need a few time to publish your music.
Bandcamp delevoped great over the time and got a lot nice features. I really like the option for your fans to pay even more for your release, if they want to. So if you offer an album for maybe 4.99€, you can enable the "let fans pay more if they want" option and your fans decide the amount they want to pay for your album. You could also offer a free release and your loyal fans might spend you some money then.
You could also sell your merchandise on Bandcamp with different shipping costs in different zones. Also shipping CDs or Vinyl is no problem, great for offering limited editions.
Bandcamp takes 15% as a revenue share on your sales, which is pretty good compared to other platforms.
So, you might want to get your release onto the big players like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon. The easiest and also the chepeast way to do this is Distrokid. You spend $19.99 anually and you can upload as many music and releases as you want to, many other websites charge you per release. You get 100% of your royalties and get paid monthly, watch out that platforms like iTunes also take a revenue share from your earnings.
There are many providers out there that get your releases on Spotify and co., but Distrokid is definitely the fastest and cheapest way.
By the way you need a provider like Distrokid or a big label that gets your sound on Spotify, there is no direct way to upload your releases there.
This option is the one that needs the most effort, but the only one where you get all your royalties and no one will cut off anything of your earnings except of Paypal maybe.
You are completly free on how you would like to present your product and also discount codes and other interesting actions are no problem.
There are tons of ways on how to setup a website with an online shop, I could actually write a whole article about this topic, so let's just pick out two fast ways to create your personal music selling website:
Ecwid is a great easy tool to open up an online store very fastly. You can use it as a standalone version, as a plugin for your website (ready-to-use plugins for Wordpress and Joomla are available) or even on Facebook. They have a basic free version and some fee-based versions with much more features.
ThemeForest is a huge marketplace for web templates. So you could get a pretty professional web template with many predefined functions for common Content Management Systems and maybe already with an integrated shop system for an affordable price. Nevertheless you need some basic knowledge in handling a website, knowing what a FTP is and so on.
Audiojungle is a bit different than the other possibilites we talked before, but might be also a great source for a musician to earn some money via the Internet. Audiojungle is a platform for royalty free music, that means music with a special form of licensing. The most common way people use music from Audiojungle is Youtube. As you might already know, Youtube blocks videos with commercial music, so the youtubers need royalty free music for this case and Audiojungle is the right place for that and you could offer them your music.
Those licenses are much more expensive than a normal MP3 sale, so you get easily $6 - $9 per sale.
They have certain requirements for your tracks to get accepted by Audiojungle. They review every upload, which takes some time (7-14 days). Just check their guidelines and listen to other tracks on their website to get an idea of what they are looking for.