Selling Your Music Online: a Beginner’s Guide

music

The first thing you need to know about selling your music online as an artist is that it’s very slow going for most musicians who try to sell their albums from an official artist’s website. Even gigantic bands playing live music concerts regularly like Metallica and enormously popular pop stars like Jay-Z sell hardly any music from their respective official sites (metallica.com or jay-z.com, perhaps) compared to what they sell from outlets like iTunes and Amazon. This is because selling music online is more than simply making songs available.

Selling music online requires placement on sites who are likely to show up on page 1 of a Google search. This means giant companies like Amazon and iTunes. But how does one get one’s music on iTunes to begin with? The answer is in online music distribution companies. These crews are experts at getting your music from point A to point B, except that point B is actually hundreds of online music stores, rather than just one site (Mondo Tunes boasts more than 750 stores in their distro channels, in fact).

The end of all this is that it isn’t really about selling your music online, but about getting someone else selling your music online. This can be as easy as picking an online music distribution company out of a hat and paying them what they ask for, but naturally smart musicians will do better to vet the various options and choose depending on things like customer service satisfaction, net cost of the distribution, and other such importances, all of which can be researched online from the comfort of one’s home.

The iTunes Achievement: How to Get Music on iTunes

Buying, making, or even merely listening to music today is all about the Internet (much like just about everything else in the 21st century). While this may not be news, the magical, mystical organism called the Internet is still only somewhat understood by many users, and computers in general still require a fair amount of learning and practice in order to be used to one’s advantage. Though computers and the Internet are both extremely important to the modern music industry, many musicians are not necessarily in the know about how their music can go from out of their guitars to the inside of the World Wide Web, and specifically on the popular online music store known as iTunes. While there may remain a certain mystere about the whole business, the process is not particularly convoluted.

In fact, the secret of how to get music on iTunes has more to do with music distribution than it does with talking directly to iTunes as a music artist. Music distribution is exactly what it sounds like. Music distribution companies are to music what plumbing is to water: a manner of distributing a thing from one place to many places at one time.

This process used to be handled in meatspace (i.e., real life, with actual packaged tapes and vinyl records going around in the mail) but now the whole thing can be done through online companies. Music distribution companies like MondoTunes are helpful liaisons who work as go-betweens to get an artist in touch with music outlets online, but they are more than mere middlemen. They know how to get music on iTunes, yes, and they are happy to help musicians get there, but there’s more to music distribution than just iTunes whether Apple, Inc. likes it or not. Most distribution co’s send records to hundreds of online retailers at once. MondoTunes, for example, has the largest distribution of all with over 750 stores to send music to. No artist could ever manage such a task alone.

In the end, therefore, the question isn’t really how to get music on iTunes, but rather, which music


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