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Thursday, 6 May 2021

how to sell your music online

Whether you’re releasing a new album, EP, or a powerful single,
you’ll want to have a plan in place to optimize your music sales.

You might be wondering: where and when exactly do I sell my
music online? There are countless options, and it can seem a bit
overwhelming trying to navigate them all.

In this comprehensive guide to selling your music online, we’ll
break things down into manageable pieces. The key is to create a
strategy to engage your fans, use a mix of services to sell music
online, then focus on your website and your mailing list to
maximize revenues.

Making new music takes time and care. If you put in the same
effort to sell your music online, the love you’ve put into creating
your songs will show through, and result in more sales from your

Let’s dive in!
Where to sell your music online
There are two main places you will want to .
This first is your own website, and the second is online retailers,
like Bandcamp and Apple Music.

Your own website
Yes, you need your own website, and yes, it is a great place to sell
your music. It might seem like a lot of work uploading your music,
maintaining your narrative, and promoting your pages. It’s well
worth it though, for a few reasons.

A website gives you a little slice of the internet that you own and
control. Regardless of which social media platforms come and go,
if you create on your own website, your
fans will always be able to find it.

With streaming on the rise, it’s more important than ever to
. Fans who want to truly support
you will be able to buy direct from your website store, and you’ll
make more money this way (all sales through Bandzoogle are

More importantly, you will own the data and the emails you collect
with the sales on your website. This is crucial for the long-term
success of your career, as you will use those emails to stay in
touch with (and sell music to) your fanbase.

Build a professional website in just a few clicks where you can sell
music and merch commission-free!
Online music stores
While your own website is important, you’ll also want to release
your music far and wide so that it reaches as many ears as
possible. Factor this in when you think about where to sell your

is a free service where you can sell your music directly
to your fans, as well as collect the data and email addresses. They
do take a cut of sales (15%), but there’s also an emphasis on
music discovery. Bandcamp actively recommends music to fans
through their blog, app, and the Bandcamp Weekly podcast. Plus,
many music fans gravitate there to find new music.

In addition to selling your music through Bandcamp directly, you
can to embed and sell that music on
your Bandzoogle website.

Music download sites: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Although streaming platforms are undoubtedly on the rise as a
popular way to consume music, you will also want to sell your
music online through digital retailers like iTunes, Amazon, and
Google Play.

Many music fans will want to buy new music from a store they
know and trust, where they already have a credit card on file, and
they know the platform is compatible with their music library.

To make things easy, upload your music through a digital
distributor like or . They’ll take care of the heavy
lifting, sending your music across 150+ download and streaming
sites worldwide. This includes retailers like iTunes , Google Play
and Amazon. This way, people will be able to locate and listen to
your music in their preferred way.

Streaming platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon
Many music fans will only listen to music on services like Spotify
and Apple Music. While the amount an artist might make from
streaming is often small, don’t ignore these platforms. They can be
crucial when it comes to music discovery.

can make a DIY career, and result in more sales
over the long term.

has a large community of users and curators on the
platform, so including your music here can be a good way for your
music to gain newfound visibility. Although not a sales platform,
Pro users can into track metadata to let
fans purchase the track from another site.

When to sell your music online
Once your music is ready to go, making your songs available for
sale online is the easy part. The real trick is creating a strategy
including when to sell your music online, and what tools to use to
maximize revenue.

Before we get into the details of how to sell your music, create a
strategy first. This way, when your music is ready, you have
something to follow through with.

To make things a bit easier, decide on a few
. You’ll want to build anticipation for your new
music, strengthen your relationship with your fans, and raise money
in the process. It might look something like this:

Engage fans
Launch a crowdfunding campaign
Set up a pre-order
Album or single release
Music sales follow-up
Once you’ve sketched things out, prepare all of the communication,
photos, and videos, as best you can. Things will start to move
quickly, and organization will be key to make sure you maximize
your release.

Phase 1: Engaging your fans

You’ll want to engage your fanbase right from the start. You likely
have the music in your head already, or demos ready to be
recorded. This is the time to start making sure people know you’ve
got music coming on the horizon. It’s the beginning of a journey
that they can, and should, take with you.

Do some research on , and be
sure to use some promotional ideas that feature your new songs.
Add video snippets and teasers to Facebook and Instagram, and
reach out regularly to your followers with photos to document the

Phase 2: Launch a crowdfunding campaign

Think of crowdfunding as the ultimate way to set up pre-orders.

(so you
). Adding perks not
only funds your album, but also gives you a good idea of the
numbers of CDs or other items you’ll need to produce. It will also
rally your community around your upcoming release.
For tips on crowdfunding your release, check out:

Phase 3: Pre-orders

Whether you’ve crowdfunded or not, it’s still a good idea to get
your album up for presale in the weeks leading up to the release.
This will give you another announcement to make (“album available
for pre-order in these stores”), and allow you to invite fans to
purchase who did not participate in the crowdfunding campaign.

You can on your website. Those
(Pro users), plus you’ll collect
email addresses for your mailing list.

Since you’re still engaging your biggest fans, drive pre-sale orders
to platforms where you can not only maximize your revenues, but
also collect email addresses (like with your own website or
Bandcamp). With iTunes, for example, you’re making less money,
and they’re not sharing valuable data and customer emails with

In the pre-release stage, you can explore other options such as
, or using a service like
to create Spotify pre-save or audio ads. Research a few
, and see what works for you.

Phase 4: Album or single release
Once your album or single is ready, release it to the fans who pre-
ordered. Then, make it available for sale on your website, and in
popular online stores and streaming services.

This should coincide with a series of email newsletters, social
media posts, and . Add each of your
new songs to your YouTube channel for discovery (music videos, or
even simple lyric videos, with a buy link leading to your website in
the description).

Even though your album will be available through popular online
stores, your website should still be where you drive your fans to

Make sure your Homepage contains updated details about your new
music. On your Music page, offer a direct-to-fan purchase option
front and center, then include links below for where to buy and/or
listen on other platforms.

Here’s a detailed look at how to set up the Music page on your

Step 5: Music sales follow-up

After the dust settles from your release, take a breather. Then jump
back right into the final phase of selling your music: following up.
Keep your music top of mind for your fans by scheduling social
media posts and email newsletters designed to drive traffic back to
your website.

You can do this by celebrating milestones (your album has been
out for a month, you fulfilled all of your pledges, and so on). Then
you can create buzz by bundling items and offering discount codes
for your full catalog of music.

How to sell your music online
Throughout the journey of creating music, sharing and selling it
with the world, you’ll want to make use of as many tools as you
can to get the word out. Once your new music is ready for
purchase, use these same tools to get the word out and generate
more sales.

Mailing list
The most important tool you have to drive sales is your email list. It
might sound a bit old school, but
than ever before.

A big reason for this is that you own that database of fans. No
matter which you use, you can always download
your list of email addresses.

Most people check their email every day, and read, click or at least
sort it.If they’ve opted in to your list, either to receive news or by
downloading music in the past, chances are they would welcome
an opportunity to support you.

In comparison, not everyone checks social media every day, and
even if they do, low organic reach may mean that they never even
see your posts.

You should absolutely announce your album release on social
media, but the first thing you should do is send a dedicated email
blast to your fan list with a link to buy your album.

Social media
Make use of your social media platforms to create content that will
encourage people to buy your music. Driving them back to your
website directly is ideal (that way, you make the most money, plus
they can browse for merch or other items), but you can also send
them to purchase at any of their preferred platforms.

If those are your two main tools to drive sales, how exactly will you
do that? This might vary depending on your style or music, and
whether you are selling an album vs a single. The important thing is
to be sure to offer options to fans of every level.

After you’ve sent out initial blasts to make sure your fans are
aware and able to buy your music, follow up. As time goes on,
keep adding incentives to get more people to buy your music. Here
are some e-commerce options that can help you increase your

Pay-what-you-want pricing on songs
Try offering your songs using the pay-what-you-want pricing model.

Some people might very well take the music for next to nothing, but
there are definitely some fans who are willing to pay more, so why
not let them?
If someone is really excited about your music, they might give you
much more than the standard $1/song or $10/album. You can use
Bandzoogle’s to allow fans to pay what they want,
and even set a minimum price.

Offer physical and digital bundles
If you decide to release a CD or vinyl version of your album, you
should definitely be bundling those with a digital version in your
online store.

You can also bundle together other merch, as well as older albums,
with a digital copy of your new album to help drive up overall

Digital back catalog deal
After you release your new album online, consider offering a deal
on your back catalog of albums. While you have your fans there on
your store page ready to buy, let them know they can get your
entire discography in a package deal.

Sale pricing & discount codes
Once your new music has been out for a while, offer a discounted
price for a limited time. You could also celebrate the release of
your new music by offering a sale on your older albums and

You can use Bandzoogle’s , or send a note
welcoming new subscribers to your email list with a discount code
for when they shop in your store.
Set up fan subscriptions
If you plan to regularly make new music, or create new content,
you could . 

While it’s a
different sales model than just selling outright, you could launch
your subscriptions area at the same time as your new album. Then
follow up your new release with regular updates and content in
exchange for a monthly membership fee.

Final thoughts

Make sure you follow a plan for all of these music sales
opportunities. Create a spreadsheet or make a list on a whiteboard
to keep things on track. Don’t oversaturate your audience by
begging them to buy your music day in and day out; keep working
on interesting angles and stagger your marketing.

Selling your music online is an ongoing process which takes time
and care. The most important things to remember are:

Engage your fans right from the start of the creation of your album
Focus on owned properties like your website and your mailing list
to maximize revenues
Use a mix of all services so that every type of fan, from superfan
to casual, can pay for your music
If done right, it will help you strengthen the relationship with your
fans, drive more sales, and make money to create more music in
the future.

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