How To Sell Your Music Online.
Below is a guide to help you sell your music online to make money. If selling your music doesn't interest you but you need a guide on how to make your own music check our hub: HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MUSIC also check our hub: 55 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE for a large list of other ways you can make money online.
Choosing An Online Distibutor
As individual artists no one can place their songs directly on retailers like I-tunes but through online distributors anyone can get their music on retailers. Two such online retailers are:
CD BABY - You can sell your music as albums(at least 10 songs) or singles. You are distributed to I-tunes, AmazonMP3, eMusic, Rhapsody, Napster, MySpace Music, Spotify, Verizon V-Cast, Nokia, Last.fm, Zune, MediaNet, Tradebit, GreatIndieMusic, 24-7, 7digital, Myxer, MOG, iHeartAudio, Deezer and others. You also have your music for sale on the CD Baby website. The cost is $39.00 of an album and $9.95 for the distribution service.
What you get besides distribution online is making your CDs available with special order through Super D brick and mortar stores. Making avaible on vinyl and use of specialized widgets.
There are also many optional services, CD replication/duplication, purchasing a UPC code for physical CDs, digital delivery of music to radio stations, online radio airplay, Rockband authoring, CD reviews, cover song licensing, DIY Musician podcast, ebook distribution by bookbay, download cards, and other music services.
TUNECORE - Much like CD Baby you are distributed to all of the big name online retailers like I-tunes but it is a little more expensive than CD Baby costing 49.99 per album and 9.99 per single. You get comparable servie for your money and they also have optional services available much the same as CD Baby.
101 Distribution - Another option is 101 Distribution, I have heard good things but only know a little about their business. They have comparable service and have the same price range as Tuncore.
Selling Elsewhere Directly
Besides CD Baby, Tunecore and 101 distribution which act basically as middle men for the big name retailers there are a large number of websites that allow you to upload your music directly for sale. Below are some I have used and can vouch for but if you search the internet you will find hundreds of sites out there.
Bandcamp - allows you to upload and sell tracks, albums in MP3/Wav formats you may also upload artwork and other files that are to be included when someone buys the whole album. The site makes money from a percentage of each sale you make. They also have a few well known artists that sell their music through the site. The site boasts almost 2.5 million tracks, and over 300 thousand albums. One thing to note with this site is that customers can pay by Paypal if they choose.
Reverbnation - Reverbnation is a complex music driven community. Among the many available aspects of the site you are able to make an online store and sell your albums/tracks as well as artist T-shirts, and other apparel. Customers must pay by credit card.
CafePress - CafePress allows you to create and sell your CDs as well as DVD. In the case of independent artists who have video footage or music videos this is an excellent option. Payment options include credit card and paypal as well as Amazon checkout.
Getting Radio Play
Places that will play your music on internet radio:
Jango - Boasts millions of listeners, they play mainstream along with independent music like yours. When you open an account you choose artists that are similar to your music so that their radio knows to play your music after like artists.
Last.fm - The site has been around quite a long time you create a profile and upload your music. They play your music along with like artists as well and listeners can buy your tracks through the site.
IMRadio - When you upload your tracks to their site your tracks will play on their indie radio. Listeners may also purchase your tracks through the site.
Many internet radio stations exist online but the this will get you started.
Sample independent music video
Other Promotional Resources
Reverbnation - As I've said earlier in this article this site is a complex music community. When you open an account and create a profile you can upload songs to sell on the site upload you music videos to showcase, use their tools to gain fans and exposure, manage an email list, use widgets to spread your music, and much more. You can connect to social media and get stats on your popularity with listeners. This is a must join site if you are trying to establish a presence online.
Youtube - There are several video sharing sites that are worth putting your music videos on but youtube is the king of the hill. If you make music videos for your music(which is much easier today then in years past) placing it on youtube and promoting it with at least social media is a must.
Facebook - If you haven't opened a facebook personal page yet you will want to so you can make an artist page, many social media sites like facebook will allow you to connect them to sites like you tube and others so that if you upload a video, write a blog and do other things it can update your facebook page allowing anyone of your facebook list to see your updates and click like on them. It will increase your popularity and get your music out there.
Twitter - Although I have never understood why twitter has become as big as it is there is no doubt that with the amount of people using it that it is a great asset to promoting yourself. Open an account and update it regularly. The more people following you the bigger the audience for your music.
There are many more social media sites that have their own communities and you should join as many as possible but this covers the largest and most important.