Novel ways of selling your own music, through the internet

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
SimonPHC
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Novel ways of selling your own music, through the internet

Post by SimonPHC » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:33 am

I see alot of topics popping up regarding 'your tunes', wich made me thinking.

How are you distributing your music? How does it get to your public?
As the internet and its Virtual Communities grow, what will be the 'new' ways we, as musicians, will connect to our public?

I got the Family Glue album by Global Goon by following the link in his signature, listening to the mp3's, liking them alot, liking them so much I wanted him to get the cd. Part because I feel more attached to the music when having a cd in my hands, this could be called the 'materialistic value' and part because I wanted Goon to get some revenue for his effort. But offcourse I knew there was a Global Goon, because I have some Rephlex records that feature tracks by him.

What would be the procedure for e.g. me, who has no releases so far? (after making music that is :lol: ) Would it work? Would you buy the cd?

Build a website, with your music.
Get involved in communities.
Let people know you are there, by playing live and by posting online.
Get the cd manifactured.
Subscribe to Paypal as a merchant and put a 'buy now' button on your page.

Komplex
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Post by Komplex » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:50 am

As much as the internet is good for distributing music by downloads, nothing beats cd's for digital audio. (except for dvd's).

You have the physical "thing" that holds the music and its always there (unlike mp3's that can easily get deleted for whatever reason). And if you're a digital dj you can rip it to whatever bitrate you want or straight to audio and dump it into Ableton ;)

As for vinyl.. no comment :lol:

Komplex
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Re: Novel ways of selling your own music, through the internet

Post by Komplex » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:53 am

SimonPHC wrote: Would it work? Would you buy the cd?
Fuck yeah. If it isn't priced like the shit from corporate labels and if the music is quality (and I like it) I'll buy it. CD over digital downloads anyday.

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:55 am

once its in the air, it's gone.


a recording cannot represent the moment.


or maybe not.



-lm
TimeableFloat ???S?e?n?d?I?n?f?o

SimonPHC
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Post by SimonPHC » Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:08 am

How would this count for taxes, and the lot? The business end of it all?
Also, getting a cd manufactured, ok, but how many? And what does this cost?

questions, questions, questions, allways with the questions!

mikemc
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Have a blog, did a CD release. maybe this will help

Post by mikemc » Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:09 pm

What would be the procedure for e.g. me, who has no releases so far? (after making music that is ) Would it work? Would you buy the cd?

Build a website, with your music.
Get involved in communities.
Let people know you are there, by playing live and by posting online.
Get the cd manifactured.
Subscribe to Paypal as a merchant and put a 'buy now' button on your page.
I have a blog where I chronicled my first independent release.

For artwork duplication, packaging and media, I went thru http://www.discmakers.com. The can do duplication, but I did my own limited run duplication myself.

For distribution, I went via CD Baby, located in Portland, OR, USA-- they have a deal with Tower.com Records for cross catalog listing as well as with iTunes and other digital download providers.

My CD was released in December, 2004, I have not gigged yet to promote it, my sales have been by word of mouth.

TekMonki
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Post by TekMonki » Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:23 pm

Out of curiousity, what kind of sales have you seen so far? If you don't mind telling.

I started buy putting tracks on my site and selling them via paypal and a 3rd party "downloadables" shopping cart . . .forget the name at the moment. Payloadz I think. I never really advertised though, and probably sold $20 of tracks (four tracks at $1 a piece).

I revamped my site later and couldn't be bothered to set it all up again, so instead I got myself on karmadownload.com and linked my tracks to their site. To be honest, I haven't been paying attention to what/if they're selling.

I've been thinking of going the CDbaby/Discmakers route, but first I need to get something worthwhile (in terms of people paying CD price) together.

Also, did you have discmakers come up with artwork packaging? If so, what was the quality like?

mikemc
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the nuts and bolts

Post by mikemc » Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:52 pm

I did my own art... discmakers has a really cool online widget, you upload art into it and design your disc. They had some questions about my order, they gave me a call, I had to adjust the artwork slightly and upload-- it worked out pretty well.

About sales numbers-- :) okay, I'll tell you: we're talking low single digit numbers of discs at this point, but it's only really been out there for about two months, zero promotion other than word of mouth and postings like this.

Mainly, I'm really trying to not spend money I could give to my kids but also "follow my muse heart" and give people who enjoy the music the best possible price. Through CD Baby, for one disc I priced $11.29, but I give a 20% discount on multiple purchases, so if you buy two that knocks the price down to about $9 apiece-- that's a good price all around, especially when the buyer has to pay postage on top of the price for the CD, postage works out better per disc when you buy more than one.

For how many, I'd say it depends on how much you want to spend initially. You don't really get a good price break until you are doing over 1000 units, which can cost about $1500-$3000 depending on your packaging. You can do a limited run for much less, but your per unit cost goes way up-- my cost for manufacturing/media plus CD Baby's handling comes to about $7.50 per unit.

If you are going for 'normal' CD packaging, it does not work out economically to do your own disc art and packaging, your per unit price is too high and your quality won't look like commercial printing. Only if you want to do creative handmade packaging, which can be cool, especially if you know people who want to promote their crafts, but it can also be a nuisance-- then maybe that is worth it to do your own packaging and adds to the value.

For limited runs, with disc art and minimal packaging, you'll pay about $3-4 per unit. If you use CD Baby, they do all the shipping and handlng for you, also, that's cool: you do pay them $4 a disc for that.

My CDs are priced at 11.29 for one through CD Baby, the reasons for that are manifold. I decided to make the music itself free, because it was fun and I love it. I worked out my time for doing 'less fun' stuff-- my own duplication, business calls, etc... at minimum wage, and added that to the cost, then came up with that price. If I had to pay others real wages to do that I would have to sell at $15 or more.

TekMonki
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Post by TekMonki » Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:57 pm

Cool. Thanks for the insight. Very helpful.

SimonPHC
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Post by SimonPHC » Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:11 pm

I don't know how copyright works where you live, but in belgium there is an organisation that is somewhat the standard, Sabam. You are not obliged to join them, but chasing your rights yourself is a fulltime job, and they do it for you if you join ... The problem is you have to pay them money to 'duplicate' a song you made, so if 1000 cds is a minimum for manufacturing, at a ratio of 1 euro per cd = 1000 euros (to be able to make a cd) You'll get 75% of the money back in time (in a long time) and hopefully for you, you'll get some royalties too, if that ever happens ...

mikemc
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interesting info...

Post by mikemc » Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:29 pm

That's interesting, so Sabam is like a BMI/ASCAP?

I don't think the absolute minimum is a 1000, but it's certainly when the per unit price allows you to give a very comfortable price from the buyer's perspective.

Another thing I do is to post MP3 tracks for free download on my garageband.com artist site. People who buy the CD get that URL in the liner notes, and I can post as many as I like on that site. These are lower quality, but not bad, and also some 'beta music' that is less than great, but it also engages the listener in the ongoing process. I'm not trying to be a freaking rock star :) its a matter of sharing the exploration and the spirit, but still covering costs..

MrYellow
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Post by MrYellow » Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:27 am

In Australia it's APRA.

edit: I said ARIA (that's the record companies association)

http://www.apra.com.au/

You send them details of who wrote the tune, what percentages, who
performed the tune, what percentages.....

Radio stations, TV stations, retail shops, jukebox owners etc etc then pay
fees to APRA (or the whichever org it is in their country).

Artists are then paid royalties based on how many times their tune is
played in various situations.

It's a global system whereby all these different organisations have
agreements with each other.

-Ben

MrYellow
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Post by MrYellow » Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:34 am

Here is a list of the organisations that collect royalties...

http://www.apra.com.au/Resource/ResAffil.htm

-Ben

Komplex
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Post by Komplex » Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:52 am

MrYellow wrote:In Australia it's APRA.

Artists are paid royalties based on how many times their tune is
played in various situations.
-Ben
I've always been a bit suspicious about how APRA does the counting :?: :?

Good old Johny Farnham always seems to end up with most of the money ;)

MrYellow
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Post by MrYellow » Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:10 am

Radio stations keep logs, but I think they mainly go off "a song on regular
rotation would get X".....

I've been told that jukeboxes keep data logs of everything played...

Retail shops just do a general deal as far as I know, which probably gets
distributed based on averages over other mediums....

-Ben

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