If you’ve ever wanted to know how to sell music online, you’re in the right place! Today we’ll be looking at how to take your digital songs, and put them up for sale in multiple places. Once your songs are up, everything runs on autopilot. There’s no need to stand by and manually send every song that’s bought from you, the systems we will show you handle everything on your behalf.
There are two main places you should be selling your music online: On your own website, and on other established digital download shops such as iTunes and Amazon MP3. Today we’ll be looking both at how to sell your music on iTunes (And other popular MP3 stores), and how to sell digital downloads on your own website. First however, let’s have a look at why you may want to sell your music online.
You can also see more indepth strategies on selling your music online and giving it out in lesson 3 of the Academy.
The Benefit Of Selling Your Music Online
One of the main reasons you will want to sell your music online, is because the kind of reach you can obtain.
When you sell physical CDs to your fans, there is of course a distance barrier to overcome. While it won’t be a problem getting your music into shops that local fans can shop in, you won’t be able to get into every shop worldwide. This will mean that a large percentage of people won’t have access to your music, even if they wanted to buy it.
If your music is available online however, anyone with an internet connect has access to your music. It doesn’t matter if they live half way around the world or across the road, they can still access your audio just as easily as each other. If more people have access to buying your music, you will of course have a better chance of selling more of your songs.
Another big advantage of being able to sell your music online, is that fans will have instant access to your songs. Even if you do mail a physical CD to someone half way across the world, it’ll still take a few days for your music to get to them. If you deliver it online however, they will get access to your product instantly. This is a big selling point for people these days, so much so that you can lose sales if you haven’t got a digital download version of your CD available on the internet.
Quick Note: Releasing Digital Download Only Songs
Now, here is one of the main reasons why many people have switched to releasing digital download only releases over the last few years: The set up and maintenance cost is very low!! Pressing up a physical product is very expensive in comparison, and a lot more financially risky. You have to pay for the duplication or replication, the CDs, the artwork printing on each CD, the packaging and the distribution. If you only release digital downloads however, you get rid of most of these costs. All you have to do is pay for the artwork (Which you would have also done with a physical product) and the distribution of your product either via a 3rd party website or a shopping cart system on your own website (Which is a low one off cost).
This will save you a LOT of money, baring in mind that as you sell more songs, you won’t have to spend more money on pressing up costs. Once you have paid to set up your online sales, you don’t have to pay another penny. Whether you sell one download or a million, you will have still paid the same price to set up your selling system. That means the more songs you sell, the more profit you will make.
Although this is just the tip of the iceberg for advantages of selling your music over the internet, I’m sure you can see that it is worth doing. Instant access for fans and cheap set up costs for musicians has meant that selling digital downloads has become a no brainer. Check out the below sections to see exactly how to sell your music online.
How To Sell Music On iTunes And Other Websites
If you’re selling your music online, one of the places you’ll want fans to have access to your music is on iTunes. This is probably the biggest seller of digital downloaded music online, so being on here can get your music in front of a lot of potential fans.
The best way to sell music on iTunes, is to get them on there via Songcast (It’s free to create an account). Songcast are an online digital distributor that gets your music into all different online music stores. Some places it distributes to includes iTunes, Amazon MP3, Napster, Spotify, and many more. Many of these online stores you wouldn’t be able to get into without help from a company like this, so if you don’t opt to go with them, don’t expect to get your music into the big shops.
Check it out if you want to easily get your music into these places. The process is fully explained once you are on the site.
How To Sell Music On Your Website
When it comes to selling your music on your own site, you will need a different set of tools.
If your website is based on WordPress, one option is to use the WordPress Store plugin. This plugin allows you to upload your songs in digital format, and sell them securely on your website. It creates a shopping cart for your websites, allowing your to sell any digital downloads such as MP3s, wallpapers and videos.
Once you have uploaded everything you want to sell and added the shopping cart to your website, everything else is done securely and on auto pilot.
So say for example someone comes and visits your site and stumbles across your shop page. They like the sound of your music, and want to buy your MP3. Once they click on your buy now button, they are automatically taken to their shopping cart and shown what they have decided to buy. From here they can choose to checkout and buy the song, or go on to browse for more of your songs and merch they want to buy…
When the buyer of your music decides they are ready to check out, they simply choose this option. From here they are given the option to pay for your music via PayPal or via card. Both are fully secure.
Once they have paid, they are automatically given a link to download your song. This link will be created randomly, and will expire after the amount of time or downloads you set. This means that even if someone does try and send your link around, the link will stop working and they won’t get your song.
All this is done automatically once you have set it up for the first time, so it’s a great way of selling your music on your blog.
Another option for selling your music is through E-Junkie. E-Junkie essentially provides the same features as the WordPress Store, accept it can be used even if your website doesn’t run on WordPress.
E-Junkie also doesn’t store your music on your own website, which is handy if your website only has limited storage space.
Both of these options offer a good solution for you. While WordPress Store is a one off fee however, E-Junkie has an ongoing one. Even so, both are reasonably cheap, and will allow you to sell your music safely online.
Pitfalls Of Selling Your Music On The Internet
While selling your music on the internet is becoming common practice, there is still a minor pitfall that some people can’t get over. This is of course the whole thing about sharing and digital piracy. People sharing your music on the internet for free has become a big issue, mainly because it means people are getting your songs without putting money in you pocket.
So what’s the solution, not selling your music online? Well, no, not really…
You see, these days, even if you don’t put your music on the internet, someone else will. There’s no point not putting your music up in digital format, if you don’t provide fans with a legit buy now button, they’ll simply turn elsewhere and get it for free.
If however you release some music and no one uploads it online for free, that’s a sign that your music isn’t good enough. That, or you’re not promoting yourself enough for people to know about it. Neither of these is a good thing.
While it’s not ideal to have your songs online for free download, it’s going to happen, so just get used to it. Focus on the people who are going to buy and become your fans, these are the people you make music for.
As you can see that’s not really a pitfall, as your music will end up online anyway. As long as you sell it in the correct manner, having an online version of your songs for people to buy is a good thing.
How To Sell Music Online Conclusion
Selling your music online is a must for any musician wanting to monetize their music. People should be able to purchase your music on both you own website, as well as any other popular music stores they might be browsing.
Using WordPress Store and Songcast (More information about both of these and links to them are above), both of these things are easily achievable. So follow the above instructions to get your songs available to buy in digital download format. That’s how to sell music online.