Selling music online really works?


september 19, 2009 door Tim

Does selling your music online really matter?
Does online music promotion really work?
Does online marketing for music works that great?
Do you really sell music through iTunes or you only lose money?

I did the research an got the answer figured out myself!

> start selling
> boosting the band community
> giving away free tracks
> does it work?

Start selling
One day I decided to start selling my own music productions online. The problem I had was starting and getting the right thing for my money.
As a lot of online services claim to have the best platform for releasing your music without a record company onto iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and so on, any of them could give you guarantees you would be selling at least one copy of your album.
As you pay yearly (in most cases) or an amount for each released track, you can put your music in the most known online stores. Sounds great, but the stores are not the ones getting you cash on your account.

conclusion : you have to pay a small amount of cash to get started, no guarantees back…

Boosting the band community
Instead of putting the music online I decided to give some community sites a try, letting people know I’m producing music. Facebook, myspace, twitter, some blogs, etc. The problem with community sites is the fact that you have to build connections and it takes a lot of time. Of course some nice tools exist to boost your community in a short time. But still … having +1000 people clicking on your link doesn’t mean you sell albums. Good isn’t good enough for me so I released a press release in the official Belgian media … just once.

Conclusion : Not even the official media can promote your online music the right way…

Giving away free tracks
Ok still no result there… Maybe It’s time to start the hard way promoting the album by giving away free tracks.
As I started telling the “fans” of my Facebook and Myspace they could listen and download some productions for free, I though the clicks would be at a peak. And so it was. A few people gave their positive reaction in my mailbox, I got some new professional connections and my “play”-counter started to jump higher … but still no real albums sold.

Conclusion : Giving free stuff always works for a short period, but doesn’t guarantee you selling your product.

Does it work?
As I invested some spare euro’s into the platforms of companies who claim to give you “the heaven for any music artist” in return, the “sold”-counter still returns a nice fat zero after five months of promoting the storelinks. I sold copy’s around the world via a real record company who’ve put their effort in getting it in the stores. They also depends on the income of selling your album because they’ve invested in your product. Online stores don’t bother about your amount of sold copies because they depend on greater artists than you… Sadly, it doesn’t work out in any way. Only if you’ve got a hit in the real stores you can put it online for reaching more people more quickly, otherwise don’t even bother spending your money. You could have more luck playing the lottery! Now the 7th month is passing by without selling any copy…

final conclusion: Don’t think by spending some money you can get rich by selling your music online.

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2 thoughts on “Selling music online really works?

  1. mutante cosmico schreef:

    Very good information, a good contribution for all the emerging artists out there seeking for spreading art around… peace

    • chattim schreef:

      Thanks! I hope more artists realize that the music industry is not made for starting projects. It’s very difficult to build a real fanclub and getting your music sold. Making a living out of your music is an utopia in this difficult times of warez and illegal downloads. As real online stores take the advantage of telling you they will really sell your albums, the artist pays the price … again …

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