5 places to start selling your music online
19th May 2011 | 15:11
It’s undeniable that Facebook is rapidly replacing even the new, ‘music-driven’ MySpace. With this in mind, US company Moontoast has created a means of easily selling music from within it.
Making use of Facebook’s clean and familiar interface, Impulse sits within an existing fan page and allows fans to purchase tracks as well as share them with other Facebook users or via Twitter. Impulse also lets you set the price of tracks and albums and, in future, you’ll also be able to use it to sell merchandise too.
- Easy to get started using existing Facebook profile
- Clean interface and nicely laid out track player
- Users can track sales and customer activity
- It remains to be seen if selling via social media will catch on
- Impulse takes a 15% cut
- Requires an active and well managed Facebook community to be effective
With a good range of popular artists including Nine Inch Nails, Moby and Jay-Z using its service, TuneCore has established itself as a leader within its field and since 2005 has allowed recording artists to release their music via popular digital stores such as iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic.
TuneCore has also started offering additional services such as licensing for TV shows, films and games, something that has been mainly possible due to its partnership with Universal.
- Submits your music to the widest range of services available
- Takes a one-off fee rather than a percentage of revenue
- Claims that it can get your music on iTunes within three days
- Over a month’s waiting time for some services
- No simple means of tracking the progress of your submission
- Upfront costs could be prohibitive when selling multiple tracks
If you’re working on music collaboratively and looking to sell tracks then Indaba may well be for you
In addition to helping you collaborate on tracks via its media management tools, the service lets you assign a percentage of royalties to each contributor when selling via iTunes or via an embeddable widget. Indaba also has a service which allows you to create physical CDs for purchase and lets you upload the artwork for the included discs, booklet and tray card.
- Each contributor can get their fair share of royalties
- Includes a player widget that can be easily embedded onto other websites
- Platform also offer a good range of tools for collaboration
- Selling music requires signing up for a yearly subscription
- It could take up to two months to get a track on iTunes
- The platform has yet to establish itself as a major player
Born out of the idea for an ad-free and visually clean space for artists to showcase, share and sell their tracks, Bandcamp has already attracted a good many famous users.
Its simplicity and easy-to-use social media sharing tools will no doubt be appealing to listeners who are browsing the web looking for new music, especially if the artist has enabled Bandcamp’s unique option for letting fans name their own price.
- Dedicated artist page with built-in player and clean layout
- Offers tracks in a range of file formats and also via CD
- Includes useful tools to find out who’s visiting and linking to your page
- No artist biographies or integration with other websites as of yet
- Users can only upload their tracks in WAV or AIFF formats
- No distribution to other services such as iTunes
For those who are looking to hire a studio to record or mix, or need cash to cover the costs of manufacturing, then crowd funding might well be worth considering.
Slicethepie, an online financing platform, lets artists showcase their work, build a fan base and request funds from their fans in return for incentives such as gig tickets, merchandise or even a live set in their living room. Each user is given their own profile page, which lets them showcase their music and videos to potential funders.
- A great way to fund studio time and media duplication costs
- Artists make money without having to recoup investment
- A good way of building up fan loyalty through investment
- You need to be popular before you can raise funds
- Some artists need the full amount before they can access the cash
- You’ll still need to use another service for digital distribution