TuneCore Offers Ten Tips to Sell More Music Online
self-distributing bands via TuneCore sold and got paid from streams from over 65 million songs and albums earning over $32 million
The majority of music now being created, distributed, shared, bought and discovered is happening outside the traditional music industry. Even better, more revenue is being made by artists than ever before.
In 2009 alone, the "unsigned" self-distributing bands via TuneCore sold and got paid from streams from over 65 million songs and albums earning over $32 million dollars from iTunes and other digital download stores.
As an artist and composer, you make and perform music: Here are some easy ways to get discovered and sell more music.
Cover Popular Songs
Cover versions of songs sell well. Known songs have a built-in audience already. People looking for "Let It Be" or "America the Beautiful" know what they want. If you "cover" (record your own original version) of these songs you create a way to get discovered and make money. Also, naming your song the same name as a more popular song allows it to surface when people search (however, you do want to be careful as to not make a potential fan angry at you for tricking them into listening).
Record Holiday-Themed Music
Music tied into or about a holiday sells well. For example, "spooky" Halloween sound effects or "scary" themed music sells enormously around Halloween. Christmas music sells really well around the Christmas season. This ties back to covers: a cover of "White Christmas" or "Jingle Bell Rock" can fund you through the rest of the year. Don't forget other, perhaps neglected holidays throughout the calendar-there is no doubt the world needs a great Groundhog Day or Columbus Day anthem. Be sure to name your songs with easily searchable words.
Stores have millions upon millions of songs, and most customers use the "search" function in the store to find music, so take advantage of it: put words in your album, artist/band and song titles that will help you show up when people search. Are you a mariachi band? Put the word "mariachi" in your name. Is your album a collection of nature sounds? Consider words like "forest" and "natural," and so on. This is a gray area: if your music sounds like Bob Dylan, don't necessarily use his name, but you could use words with association, like "folk."
An Eye Catching Art Design
A great album cover can catch someone's eye. If you can't create your own design, hire a designer to give your music more than just a pretty cover; they can give your music the visual image that completes your project and draws people in to listen.
In iTunes, Create an iMix
An iMix is a playlist that you've chosen to publish and make available to others in the iTunes Music Store. So create an iMix (or many iMixes) with a few of your own songs (say three or so) and other songs (we suggest 9 or so) by more popular artists in the same genre. In addition, give your iMix an interesting name like, "Music to Break Up To," or "Songs that Morrisey Wishes He Could Write." Clever titles catch peoples' attention. The more iMixes you seed into iTunes, the higher the probability you will be discovered. Don't forget to RATE your iMix to increase visibility!
Album Reviews & Ratings
STATISTIC: Albums in iTunes with customer reviews sell 33% more than albums without them. Be sure to rate your own album 5 stars, and when you review it: that's a great place to describe the album and the sound. If you happen to have reviews about your music (from blogs or magazines), you can re-type them here.
In addition, ask your fans and friends to write reviews-the more reviews the better! Reviews add legitimacy and influence purchases.
Tell a Friend
You can send album reviews or playlists or iMixes to anyone from within iTunes via the iTunes "Tell A Friend" option. Just click on the "Tell A Friend" link in the iTunes store (located next to the album art), enter an email address and iTunes does the rest.
iTunes Affiliate Program
With the free iTunes Affiliate Program, you can link and sell your own music (or anyone's else in the iTunes store) via any Web page or email. With each sale from iTunes that originates from your affiliate link, you will earn a 5% commission on all qualifying revenue generated (IMPORTANT: terms apply, so be sure to check them out). This means that off of each qualifying sale, you will get paid a percentage of the money paid to iTunes by an iTunes customer, if that customer came from your affiliate link.
Make Easy Weblinks to Your Music
iTunes has recently added a feature that makes it easier for you to easily create web links directly to your content in the iTunes Store. You can link directly to any artist/band page using the convention: http://itunes.com/artistname and you can also link directly to albums/singles using the convention: http://itunes.com/artistname/album
Make a Video
You, your friend or a relative have an old video camera, probably even a digital video camera. You can even rent one for a few dollars a day in most areas. Heck, use your cell phone, but MAKE A VIDEO! Put it on YouTube, use TuneCore to put it on iTunes, put it on every free streaming video or torrent site that will take it. Post the links on a blog, tell your friends, put it on MySpace, and spread the word.