Music Business

Selling Your Music Online: How To Sell Your Music Successfully

Photograph of the blog post author, Dylan Easton

Dylan Easton

23.7.2021

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Writing and recording are many artists’ main focus with regards to getting their music out into the world. However, this is only one piece of the puzzle; selling your music is a huge aspect of how your music career will turn out. Selling your music online can be quite a chore. However, we’re here to break it down for you.

money and instruments

In this article, we will take a look at where to sell your music, when to sell your music and how to sell your music online. 

Be sure to stay tuned so you don’t miss out on any important information!

Where To Sell Your Music Online

music streaming and speaker

There are two main places to consider selling your music online.

The first is your own website, and the second is online retailers, like Bandcamp and Apple Music.

Your Own Website

music gateway showcase

Having your own website is an essential tool and is a great place to sell your music. It can seem like a lot of work uploading your music, maintaining your narrative, and promoting your pages. However, it is all worth it in the end.

A website gives you the freedom to have whatever you want on the internet that is completely your own. Social media platforms come and go, like MySpace for instance. However, if you create a dedicated music page on your own website, your fans will always be able to find it. 

With streaming becoming increasingly popular, it’s more important than ever to maintain your own music website. Fans who want to help you out and truly support you will be able to buy directly from your website store. You’ll be able to make more money this way.

Additionally, you will own the data and the emails you collect with the sales on your website. This is vital for the long-term success of your career. This is due to the fact that you will use those emails to stay in touch with and sell music to your fanbase.

Music Gateway Showcase

We offer a stellar platform that allows you, the artist, to showcase yourself in order to get discovered by fans and music reps. 

With your artist portfolio website, you can showcase your music, list your upcoming gigs and allow fans to buy tickets.

You can also use your shoutouts to promote anything you like – from your online store, new songs, and videos to your latest merchandise and big news.

Check it out today!

Online Music Stores

music streaming and headphones sell your music

We’ve seen how important your own website can be. However, you’ll also want to release your music far and wide so that it reaches as many ears as possible. 

Therefore you will have to consider using other online music stores when you think about where to sell your music. 

Bandcamp

Bandcamp is a free service where you can sell your music directly to your fans. You can do this as well as collect the data and email addresses. However, unlike using your own website, they do take a cut of sales (15%). 

That said, 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 lovers gravitate there to find new music.

Music Download Sites

music streaming apps sell your music

Although streaming services are undoubtedly well on their way to dominating the music market, you will also want to sell your music online. You can do this through digital retailers like Apple Music, Amazon, and Google Play. 

Many music fans will want to buy new music from a store they know and trust. This will also include places where they already have a credit card on file since it is easier and faster. They will also want to use a platform they know and is compatible with their music library.

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

Streaming Platforms

Spotify and earphones

Many consumers of music will only listen to music on services like Spotify and Apple Music. While the amount an artist might make from streaming is minuscule, it is essential that you do not ignore these platforms. They can be crucial when it comes to music discovery. 

Getting your song on a Spotify playlist can make a DIY career, and result in more sales over the long term.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud has an enormous community of users and curators on the platform. Be sure to include your music here as it can be a good way for your music to gain newfound visibility. 

Although it isn’t a sales platform, Pro users can edit or add a ‘Buy’ link into track metadata to let fans purchase the track from another site.

Music Gateway Distribution

music gateway site

If you’re looking for music distribution, then look no further! Our intuitive platform is extremely user-friendly so you don’t have to jump through hoops to get your music shared with the world. 

How do we compare to other online music distributors? Well, unlike some other distributors, you will retain 100% of your sales royalties, maximising your profit and enabling you to earn a better living as an artist.

What else makes music distribution by Music Gateway so great, you ask?

  • Get free mastering to ensure your track sounds the best it can before distributing it!
  • Distribute your music to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and over 300 more DSPs!
  • Instant set up, upload your music and go!
  • All of this and more allows you to successfully distribute your music through Music Gateway with no recurring annual fees.

Also, if you have songs released through other distributors, you may want to think about moving them to Music Gateway.  It’s simple to transfer a song and we’ll ensure that all your listens, downloads and stats remain. It really is a no-brainer!

In addition, we offer exclusive sync licensing opportunities and free sync representation. As well as free press, blog and promotional services. 

We also have a range of free music tools – try out our streaming calculator to see what you could make. No matter how much it is – it’s 100% all yours. We will not take a cut.

How Do I Make Money From Music Distribution?

rapper performing

In simple terms, you can make money from downloads and also from streaming. Depending on your distributor, they will collect your royalties and pay you what you are owed, usually quarterly. 

However, there is more to it than that. Distribution can have a wider impact on your music. For example, distribution can lead to discovery on a wide array of platforms. This can have a snowball effect on building a fan base and ultimately selling tickets to shows. 

Another way to make money is through publishing services which we offer here at Music Gateway. This will help with promoting your tracks and optimising your music and account bios on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

When To Sell Music Online

Spotify streaming

Sometimes, the urge to get it to other people’s ears can be immediate. Especially with the ease of uploading to streaming services and social media.

Take as much care releasing your music as you did in recording and finishing. It can be the difference between being successful and your music flopping. Determine your music branding, and use this to gain a following.

A good first step is to take some time away from your finished work. This hopefully removes any tunnel vision you had about the project. After you’ve done this, ask yourself some powerful, effective questions about the audience you want for it. 

Engage Fans

It is a great idea to engage your fanbase right from the start. Once you have your music recorded, it’s time to start letting people know. It’s the beginning of a journey that they can, and should, take with you.

Be sure to carry out some research on how to market your music online, and be sure to use some promotional ideas that feature your new songs.

This includes sharing video snippets and teasers to Facebook and Instagram. Perhaps it is worth reaching out regularly to your followers with photos to document the process.

Launch A Crowdfunding Campaign

woman playing guitar

Crowdfunding is a great way to set up pre-orders. You should create a crowdfunding campaign directly on your website. This means you will keep 100% of the crowdfunding pledges sales. 

This not only brings in some cash, but it will also give you a rough idea of the number of CDs and other items you will need to produce. It also rallies the community you have built as they anticipate your release. 

Pre-Orders

Whether you’ve decided on crowdfunding or not, it’s still a great idea to get your album up for presale in the weeks leading up to the release. This gives you another announcement to make. This allows you to invite fans to purchase who did not participate in the crowdfunding campaign. You can set up a simple pre-order option on your website.

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 Apple Music, for example, you will make less money and also not have access to valuable data and customer emails.

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

Additionally, here at Music Gateway, we help to get your music heard and grow your audience by working directly with independent music curators worldwide. Our approach is tailored to suit each artist, carefully planning each campaign to deliver results. With 30 years of combined industry experience, leverage our powerful network of influencers & professional tastemakers.

Why not try out our Spotify promotion? It involves playlist pitching to targeted curators, optimisation, organic growth in streams, monthly listeners, followers, and more! 

Release 

cassette tape

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 other music promotion tactics. 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 purchase. 

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

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 in the front of your fans’ minds 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 catalogue of music.

How To Sell Your Music Online

records

There is no one best way to sell your music online. You’ll want to make use of as many tools as you can to get the word out when it comes to releasing your own music.

Once your new music is ready for purchase, use these tools to get the word out and generate more sales.

Mailing List

The most important tool in your arsenal to drive sales is your email list. While it may seem a bit old school, email lists are more important than ever before. 

This is due to the fact that you own that database of fans. No matter which mailing list tool you use, you can always download your list of email addresses. 

Most people check their email every day or at least interact with it in some type of way. If they’ve opted into your mailing list, chances are they would welcome an opportunity to support you.

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

man listening to music

Social media is also another very important tool to sell your music. Make use of your social media platforms to create content that will encourage people to buy your music. Try to drive your followers back to your website directly. This way, you make the most money, plus they can browse for merchandise or other items. 

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, you will want to keep adding incentives to get more people to buy your music.

Pay-What-You-Want Pricing

You could try offering your songs using the pay-what-you-want pricing model. Some people might very well take the music for next to nothing. However, there will undoubtedly be some fans who are willing to pay more.

If someone is really excited about your music, they might want to give you much more than the standard $1/song or $10/album. 

Offer Physical & Digital Bundles

mixer

If you decide to release a CD or vinyl version of your album, you should definitely be putting those in a bundle with a digital version in your online store.

You could also potentially bundle together with other merch, as well as other albums, with a digital copy of your new album. This will help to drive up overall sales.

Set Up Fan Subscriptions

If you plan to regularly make new music or create new content, you could set up fan subscriptions on your website. 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.

Now You Know Everything About Selling Your Music Online

There’s everything you need on how to sell your music online. We’ve touched on where you can get your music in an online space, such as your own website and the benefits of such. Another great tool to have when it comes to selling your music online is Music Gateway’s showcase page, where you can promote just about anything you want as an artist. 

Additionally, we have looked at when to sell your music and the things you have to consider beforehand, such as creating a pre-order campaign. Also, we have looked at how to sell your music online and Music Gateway’s excellent distribution service which allows you to keep 100% of your royalties.

Whilst we’ve got your attention, our guide on SMS Text Marketing For Indie Musicians, Setting Up And Optimising Your YouTube For Artists Channel and our Opening Act Guide are all great sources of information for an aspiring artist!   

Are You An Artist?

If you have songs that you want to share with the world – we want to help boost your career and get them noticed. Including promoting your music and improving your streaming presence!

Additionally, check out our sync opportunities page to get your music in TV and Film. Try it out for free today by signing up or clicking the button below.

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