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Old 08-09-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
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Selling your music.

How is it done? I have not yet made a profit off of my music. However, I have an album that is finished which I will post on this forum, hopefully some of you guys will want to buy it.

I assume playing live gigs is the easiest way to profit off of your music.

I personally really enjoy my music, but no label that I've contacted has yet thought it good enough to sign.

general discussion on selling music:

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Old 08-09-2015, 10:12 PM   #2
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Re: Selling your music.

If it's going to be your first album ever, forget about selling it. I sure haven't heard it yet but it's 99.9% chance that no one will buy it and therefore listen it. Make it free aka "name your price" on Bandcamp, share it on torrents. At least people will be grateful if it came out good.

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Old 08-09-2015, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Selling your music.

Exposure, networking, contacts, money, an identity that can relate and buy into land most importantly...luck!
You feel you've got something then work hard and invest in yourself financially, after all. If you want someone else to invest into you, then you have to have some(thing of) value for them to feel a reward.
MP3s, CD's get a load done an strategically drop em of at different venues and locations; cafe's, bars, clubs, radio and play the numbers game.
Get your own web domain, set up a site...plague facebook twitter etc.
If you really feel your worth it why not get your tracks professionally mastered for your intended format ie vinyl and get intouch with some vinyl distributors and get something out on the physical market.
Just some thoughts after midnight. Sure there's a few people here with more succesful ideas and experiences.

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Old 09-09-2015, 02:00 AM   #4
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Re: Selling your music.

Just think of the law of supply and demand - there are four thousand something "progressive house" tracks released every year according to wikipedia which must mean at least tens of thousands of tracks in the electronica style overall... and the stuff just gets easier and easier to make. In about 20 years at this rate, a house track will be as easy to make as a photograph or a poem.

Now look at what's on the demand side... youtube covers of well-known pop songs by attractive performers and whatever gets tied in with TV/Movie releases.

You make money by having something desirable and scarce. I just don't see how you/we are going to make any money following the rules of mass music.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: Selling your music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saneliv View Post
and the stuff just gets easier and easier to make
false. the tools are becoming more and more accesible, good music is still difficult to write. 3,990 of those progressive house tunes will never be heard again within 12 months of release. In 24 months many of them wont ge available for purchase any longer and will, more or less, "no longer exists". Despite all the composition tools that help people with chords and progressions, people that can actually write memorible hooks and grooves and few and far between.

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OP

I pay CD price-->$10--for about an exceptional independant album per month. And I probably spend another $10 on not as amazing independant music. I also download a fair amount of free releases.

I have great, time tested albums from people who never recouped the cost of recording/gear/whatever. I hate to be negative, but generally speaking, in the world we live in, people are way more like to spend five dollars on a Starbucks than buy your album.

Its never been more important to do it for the love of music.

If you insist Bandcamp is the best deal, but the listner/fan side of BC is really weak. There are services that will digitally destribute your music to iTunes et al...but good luck seeing any money even if anyone can be arsed to click on you album.

You would likely have to invest in proper "for iTunes"/digital mastering, pay for advertising on relevant web spaces, buy listens on SC, use pay to play facebook promotion etc. Even then...

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Old 09-09-2015, 04:10 AM   #6
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Re: Selling your music.

Best thing you can do to sell / promote your self is to get involved and take interest in other peoples projects. How can I help should be the mantra in this independent market not how can I sell. Be it in your local scene, or on the interwebz, getting involved should should always be the first step. Won't guarantee sales but it might help some people push play and even that is a hard thing to come by.

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Old 09-09-2015, 04:14 AM   #7
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
false. the tools are becoming more and more accesible, good music is still difficult to write. 3,990 of those progressive house tunes will never be heard again within 12 months of release. In 24 months many of them wont ge available for purchase any longer and will, more or less, "no longer exists". Despite all the composition tools that help people with chords and progressions, people that can actually write memorible hooks and grooves and few and far between.

.
Right but what you are saying is that GOOD music is still hard... I agree... Mediocre music is what is getting easier and easier to make. And fans have a hard time sorting through the sheer volume.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:50 AM   #8
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by Name:__________ View Post
I have not yet made a profit off of my music.
Say 99.99% of people who have ever recorded and released their music. Literally 0.01% of artists ever recoup their costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Name:__________ View Post
However, I have an album that is finished which I will post on this forum, hopefully some of you guys will want to buy it.
Sadly, no. Most people are not going to buy your music. It's almost certainly not worth the expense of going through aggregate services to get on iTunes, Beatport and other big box retailers. However, it's always worth putting it up on Bandcamp and either offering it for free with name your price, or offering it cheap with name your price.

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Originally Posted by Name:__________ View Post
I assume playing live gigs is the easiest way to profit off of your music.
This is semi-true. But only if you count the single hour or so that you're performing. If you break down the income along those lines, then $300 for an hour of solo live performance is not too shabby. However, as soon as you start accounting for the time invested to produce that hour or so performance, you quickly realise you're earning below minimum wage.

Where live performance becomes profitable is when you're well rehearsed, have enough material to do a couple of sets, and then have access to promoters so you can book a "tour". Eg: 2-4 gigs a week for three months is profitable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Name:__________ View Post
I personally really enjoy my music, but no label that I've contacted has yet thought it good enough to sign.
If music is your passion, don't invest yourself in commercial success. Yeah, you can worry about selling your music, but it's not worth it. Less than 0.3% of the population are creative arts professionals.

0.3%!!!

So if you do the maths on the initial figure of 0.01% that recoup their costs through sales, that means that an artist has 0.0003% chance of ever making money from their art.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:04 AM   #9
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
Best thing you can do to sell / promote your self is to get involved and take interest in other peoples projects. How can I help should be the mantra in this independent market not how can I sell. Be it in your local scene, or on the interwebz, getting involved should should always be the first step. Won't guarantee sales but it might help some people push play and even that is a hard thing to come by.
This is what is missing in the contemporary music industry. A good example is prog house in the late 90s and early 00s. There are a lot of artists in the genre who would never have had careers if not for the fact that DJs like Sasha and Digweed played and promoted the shit out of their records. Not only that, but back then many DJs established labels of their own (eg: Digweed's - Bedrock) and used their celebrity to sell those artists' music.

Every DJ used to have this ethos. Every recorded set was painstakingly track-listed with artists, titles and labels.

Nowadays, it's quite the opposite because digits aren't rare like records. DJs don't want punters to know the name of their tracks because then they can go and download them. So instead of facilitating a flourishing industry, like they used to, now DJs are heavily invested in making music inaccessible to the public. It's sad, but it's also a byproduct of the "me" culture that has replaced the "we" culture in dance music.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:21 AM   #10
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
Best thing you can do to sell / promote your self is to get involved and take interest in other peoples projects. How can I help should be the mantra in this independent market not how can I sell. Be it in your local scene, or on the interwebz, getting involved should should always be the first step. Won't guarantee sales but it might help some people push play and even that is a hard thing to come by.
This is every bit truth! If for no other reason than the networking opportunities that open up to you, Who knows, at some point you may come across the fellow who knows a fellow, ect.. Collaborations and the possibility to do a gig as an opener.
To OP: Success comes in many different forms, and as it was mentioned, If monies desired is what you seek, You will be more than let down. Use your music as a means to get a solid base and make connections, and as mentioned get involved, support, and perform. But always do your own thing. (I almost forgot to add that working/practicing your ass off while keeping an open mind will make you as an artist/person 50% more hip, automatically!)

Last edited by jVs; 09-09-2015 at 05:33 AM..

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Old 09-09-2015, 12:04 PM   #11
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Re: Selling your music.

Like others have said, selling music isn't really a viable way to make money. Even gigantic A-list pop stars don't make money from album sales, they make money from touring and ticket sales (or their labels do at least).

To extrapolate on the, "How can I help" mantra which I fully agree with: there's a theory that you only need 1,000 true fans to make a living as an artist. Obviously it's more complicated than that, but look at all the stuff going on with Patreon and Kickstarter right now. People like supporting independent artists that feel like friends and produce good work, certainly enough to give them a few bucks a month. A few bucks x 1000 people isn't bad.

But people try and do that through the wrong means: they try and get their work in front of as many people as possible by spamming social media and hoping it somehow makes it to the front page of Beatport. Instead, you should be investing in a smaller audience, start up a youtube channel, post regularly, make some pop covers for cheap views, do tutorials, answer messages when people ask you questions, be a useful part of the music community. THEN when there's a handful of people who know and love you, you might start thinking about offering some paid content. If you're an independent producer with really good music, people might consider downloading your album for free. BUT if you're an independent producer who people feel like is their friend, they might consider paying for stuff even if you're already giving it away for free just cause they want to support you.

There are practically infinite albums that people could buy or listen to, and they don't have much time to listen to any of them, and they'll probably spend most of that time re-listening to their favorites, so you have to find some way to make them care about you specifically, which most people give up on after posting, "My new EP is out now!! Check it out" on twitter.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:20 PM   #12
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by Andantonius View Post
Like others have said, selling music isn't really a viable way to make money. Even gigantic A-list pop stars don't make money from album sales, they make money from touring and ticket sales (or
Totally. Good example is from a 2006 book called 'Future of Music' which listed figures. In a nutshell, the total recorded music sales globally was 2.6 billion. The total global concert tickets were around 10 billion.

Merchandising and clothing for hip hop labels and artists... 40 billion plus.

Music is just a gimmick they use to trick you into pimping your ride.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:27 PM   #13
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by lw_pss View Post
If it's going to be your first album ever, forget about selling it. I sure haven't heard it yet but it's 99.9% chance that no one will buy it and therefore listen it. Make it free aka "name your price" on Bandcamp, share it on torrents. At least people will be grateful if it came out good.
yeah id just forget about selling it in general tbh. Networking and social media and getting involved and internet 'promoing' imo is a massive waste of time too. I did it for a few years and now I'm sick of what I built. If you get somewhere with it its hard to let it go and it stifles your own creative freedom. Just make tunes if you like it thats the only way to go about it imo and I'm trying hard to follow that. Bear in mind I did a degree in creative music production and have debt from it my feeling towards the end is that I'm a dick if I dont try and make it my job or whatever but fuck that

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Old 09-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #14
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Re: Selling your music.

A lot of artists get hung up on the idea of "how do I sell my music" when the real question is: How can my music sell me?
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:08 PM   #15
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Re: Selling your music.

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Originally Posted by saneliv View Post
Right but what you are saying is that GOOD music is still hard... I agree... Mediocre music is what is getting easier and easier to make. And fans have a hard time sorting through the sheer volume.
Right on. Didnt get that from your post before

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