Where to Sell your Music Online
While MySpace is something of a musical backwater these days, despite Justin Timberlake’s intervention, it is still a place to post one’s songs and updates for a musically oriented audience. Much stronger and with a better sense of community though is SoundCloud. Some People began uploading instrumentals and songs to Soundcloud several years ago, but then opted for a paid account to get more comprehensive statistics as well as pretty much unlimited space for audio files.
Followers on SoundCloud are commonly fellow musicians and, as with all the other social networks, you get more out of them the more you put in — follow others, listen to their music and leave comments and more people will reciprocate. There is importantly also the option to add “buy” links to other services through which your listeners, audience, fans, even, might pay to download a track or two.
The first potentially profitable option was ReverbNation. It is very similar to SoundCloud — you can create a profile and start adding your music, you can set a price or make it free to download. Also, you can either take all the profits after the site’s commission, or opt to share with a charity of your choice.
The next site BandCamp, which also lets you upload your songs and artwork and set a price. The big advantage is that your fans have the option to show their true devotion and pay more than the asking price if they really like a track or album.
Sell Music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play
Of course, in the music download world, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and Spotify are the primary paid outlets and the most well-known among legitimate downloaders. Getting your songs and music album on to these music sites generally requires you to have proper music management and a record label but there are other ways to get listed as well.
The likes of music distribution platforms like CDBaby and TuneCore take an upfront fee and will act as a proxy for a record label to get your music on to iTunes and other online music stores. Your music uploads will appear in stores worldwide. These services, like Audiam also have a partnership with YouTube and you are paid a share of the ad revenue whenever your music is used on YouTube videos.
DistroKid on the other hand charges an almost negligible annual fee, does not take a cut of the profits and nevertheless allows you to upload as many songs as you like each year. It takes a few days for your tracks to propagate to iTunes, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer and Rdio, but it is a very slick and simple process.
In addition, there is loudr.fm which is similar to DistroKid for getting your songs on to iTunes, Amazon, et al quickly and seamlessly, but with one important difference — it lets you upload and sell “cover” versions of other people’s songs by taking care of the licensing and royalties for the songwriter. The service charges no upfront fee but takes a relatively large cut of any profits from the download stores.
Music Distribution Services – Comparison
|Service||Upfront Cost||Sales Commission||Supported Music Stores|
|BandCamp||None||15% of the total sales||None|
|ReverbNation||$19.95 per month||None||iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, et al|
|CD Baby||$12.95 per single||9% of the revenue from music sites||iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Beats Music, Shazam, Facebook, YouTube, et al|
|DistroKid||$19.99 per year||None||iTunes, Spotify, Beats, Rdio, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon MP3|
|Loudr.fm||None||15% of the sales revenue||iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and Google Play|
|TuneCore||$9.99 per year per single||None||iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify, and more.|
Obviously none of these music services will make you a guitar hero if you do not have the musical chops and even if you do, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time marketing and sharing the links to see any substantial return.