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Selling a download Album

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:53 am
by stuart64
Hi there

Does anyone have any tips or pointers as to the best way to sell an album via download on my own website?

Is it just as simple as putting a page with a paypal button on it?

DO you guys and gals think this is a viable way to sell your own music?

Is cd a dead format?


Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:48 am
by Idonotlikebroccoli
All good albums should be available as a physical product (cd) imo.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:51 am
by Patch

Artwork is a huge part of the product - even if it's just downloadable for creating your own jewel Cases. I even produce my own for some download...

Remember DJ Food - Raiding the 20th Century? I produced 2 sets of artwork (1 for each version) for my own collection.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:07 am
by pepezabala

You can open your own mp3-downloadshop and trade music of other labels.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:10 am
by stuart64
I agree with art work thing, I would have art work embedded in the mp3 aswell as the folder.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:39 am
by Patch
[quote="stuart46]I would have art work embedded in the mp3 aswell as the folder.[/quote]

Now that I DISAGREE with (only in the case of mix cds). I think a Mix CD should be 74mins long. Fill up the goddamn CD, innit?

Albums are a differentstory, though. I have a LOAD of 45min albums that could have the artwork on the disc...

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:04 pm
by darkenedsoul
Ok, what about cost differences between digital download + artwork vs full CD and jewel case? I currently sell mine via paypal for $8.00 + $1.25 or $2.00 shipping (forget which). I am going to be setting up osCommerce on my relaunched website soon (next month it should be live) and the shipping will have US, Canada and Overseas pricing. To ship anywhere (so far) in the US was costing me ~$1.2x-$1.4x, to germany $3.20, to canada varies a little but usually between US and germany costs. And this is a full sized jewelcase put inside a 6"x9" padded mailer gotten from local Staples in count of 10 or 12 per package for about $7.xx. Also try to factor in CD-R ink printing costs + inserts (front both sides, rear outer only). Hard to figure costs down that I don't want to charge a high price for my music either. If i went pro-printing/masters that is usually a run of 1000 cd's for <$900 usually...sans jewel cases I think too...

So getting back to original question, what do you or would you charge for a digital download including artwork and at what bitrate would you render the audio? I would guess 320kbps for the mp3 tracks for highest quality. Not everyone can do ogg vorbis(sp) or other lossless compression....


Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:45 am
by stuart64
I looked into making cd's and the initial cost plus all the packaging and postage etc does increase it a bit, wasn't really what I was looking for. I doub't I'd sell 1000 cd's easily and having to go to the post office every other day isn't my idea of fun and takes time away from creating new tunes.

I'd a low maintenance way of selling cd's, one which is easy for buyers aswell as sellers.

I would sell 320Kps mp3s and an album would cost £6/$12 which is cheap in the uk but fair considering I'm a small indie music maker.

I've thought long and hard about all this cd/mp3 stuff and I'm now beginning to feel that music nowadays isn't worth anything to people. That's a different topic but when Prince gives away his music for free, and people can listen to any music anywhere they like, something is about to change in the industry.

Cd shops are closing downall over, the writing is on the wall for cd's, much like vinyl had it's day.

unfortunatly we're compromising quailty over accessabilty. :(

So whay other good indie online distributors do people use?


Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:16 am
by Tarekith
Check out

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:20 pm
by darkenedsoul
Tarekith wrote:Check out
Problem with them is they (I believe) require 5 units for each CD you want to have them sell, plus a signup fee PER release of I think $35.00. You get to set prices though and you get a cut of it. I was thinking of going that route but never had 5 of each release on hand to ship to them (at your cost of course). So 5 copies you make to send to them + $35 setup fee per release. It'd take you a few releases to recoup that cash as it is, then you start seeing some money on I think a quarterly basis, or perhaps monthly. I would have to check that again. It is less hassle after you get them the initial copies though, they just make up more as they are needed. Gee, that's what I do and I don't have to pay $35.00 up front to do it. Other than materials/ink/CD-R's. Ink is the costliest part of this. I use the Epson R200 (does nice job to CD itself) on printable CD's. Was cheap when I bought it. Latest one is R320 at ~$299 (probably less by now).

But I use white printable inkjet CD's for it (they come in silver too).


Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:11 pm
by EgAD
bump, nice thread

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:42 pm
by leedsquietman
CDBaby is good. It costs $35.00 for setup plus $20 for the barcode but they do a lot of work, setting up your webpage, and if you sign up for digital distribution your music is sold through itunes and various others for no extra cost. They keep $4.00 for each CD sold or $2.00 if you put it in a $5.00 special. But for digital distribution they only take 9 cents per dollar. Although you're correct that it takes some ambition to recover the costs, so far I have sold 6 copies of my CD there in the past 2 weeks as opposed to 17 on my own site through paypal, so I had to take down the link to paypal and sending out CDs personally, too much effort !

Duplication is really cheap now, ridiculously cheap on 500 units or more compared with a few years ago and even short runs are not that expensive. I recently had 100 CDs done for CDN $2.80 each with professional print job on high quality blank cdr. That is as cheap as buying cdrs and printing inserts yourself etc. I even got 50 glossy posters thrown in. If you're producing 1,000 the cost per cd is probably less than $1.40

If you think you'll have a problem selling more than 5 in a short time scale then maybe stick to the digital downloads or just make your CDs as you need them and have a paypal link on your website. This is good for demo purpose too etc.

You can sell digital albums at many sites. One such being but they take 40% of your earnings, although you can upload .wav files and they convert it to 320 Kbps and 192 Kbps so you can sell 3 types of download at a different price.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:44 pm
by Tarekith
Can you send CDbaby more than 5 CD's to start? say I want to have 1000 made up, could I just send CD baby 300 or so right off the bat?

I've done the selling it yourself thing, never again, way too much time. Especially if you only get a few each week, you live at the post office.

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:18 am
by kaffein
Tarekith wrote:Can you send CDbaby more than 5 CD's to start? say I want to have 1000 made up, could I just send CD baby 300 or so right off the bat?

I've done the selling it yourself thing, never again, way too much time. Especially if you only get a few each week, you live at the post office.
If you sell a lot of records, sure you can ask how many they can hold for you in stock. But if you're not selling a lot, there is no reason for them to hold 1000 copies...

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:17 am
by Dominik
hmm.. that's cheaper for people from us (right?)
exist there something comparable in europe too?