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How To Sell Music Online

To sell music online it is not necessary for an artist to be signed to a major label or be discovered by one. Music labels are looking for something at the time which is usually based on current trends. The process may take place with a scout or an intern which I have done and will present an A&R with a demo after viewing a live show. Now before the A&R heads to the show they will do a little homework about the potential artist. If he likes what he sees, he takes this project back to his department and staff for approval and to sign the artist when all agree.

To make money with music you need first you must look at a Major Record Label like a Big corporate bank or loan shark. They are corporate minded and corporate driven. It is not like the days of Motown, when talent was hard to find and a real potential artist or song was a diamond in the rough. They would put all their money and heart into developing an artist maybe even mortgaging the house. These days, record labels want to see that you are money drawing potential. Better yet they want to know that you are already making money selling cd’s or selling tickets to shows. They want to see a potential business partner already in action. This is the way Rocafella records or Cash Money Millionaires started. They were already a working team unit hustling hard making money long before they caught interest from a label.

Record companies want to tap into potential businesses. If signed they may advance you and give yo a budget to record an album or cover your overhead. But this is not free money. You will pay this back out of your royalties. It is very possible to go platinum and still owe the record company money after costs for for music video, promotion and marketing, buybacks and freebies, recording cost and advances are recouped. On the other hand if you are an independent label working out of your garage or basement selling only 10,000 cd’ that is is $100,000 in your pocket. Not bad and not hard to do and you can now quit your day job cause you are making more than your average doctor or lawyer for doing something you love.

In order to sell songs online exposure is still rule #1

When deciding to sell music online you must still maintain and off line approach of getting exposure. You must still be out there getting your music heard by sewing up your home town. These are the people who know you and are closely familiar with you. Classmates, church members and community organizations and activities are the way to start building your fan base. Become a hometown hero first to look for your major support then branch out from there. Enter as many contest, talent shows and parties that you could to hone your craft. If you can not do this, then do not think you will have it all of a sudden when you step on stage at Madison Square Garden because it won’t happen. You must video tape yourself and see how you look on stage to fix your performance and compare your show to what you see on real live performances of major artist with charisma. Overcoming the fears early is a major step toward your career path. Attend open mics, jam sessions and wherever you can find the opportunity to be heard and there you will find the first people to sell music to.

Establish a following to sell music to rule #2

In order to sell music getting fans on your own is the most important. Major record companies pick artist and musicians who already establish a following. This does not just mean having a MySpace with 20,000 friends but having true fans. These are the ones who support you, comment on your music and big you up by talking about you and spreading the word. Word of mouth is still the best form of viral promotion. Create or do something that gets people talking. In hip hop this is usually done with dis records before things started getting into a violent nature. You can establish an understanding between another camp and do this back and forth with no harm intended and keep it on wax. 50 cent did this in one of his early records dissing everyone in the industry. Set up parties do an open mic, collaborate with a non profit and start to build an email list of potential fans to let know what is going on with your music or if you are in the studio, having a performance or just need an ear to test out what tracks you are putting on an album to sell music online. Like Rakim said, “…put it on tape and in the city I test it, then on the radio the R’s requested..”

Give away freebies in order to sell songs online #3

To sell music even the major record companies give away thousands of CD in order to sell millions. I was once working on a Christmas project in which they needed original holiday songs to be played all over the nation in K-Mart. There was a young talented songwriter of jazz music who I had a relationship with. I ask him to forward me the cd so I can submit it to some decision makers to get him exposure nationally and money in his pocket. The kid sent me a download link and told me to buy it. Developing relationships cost time and money. I would not be making any money on this project cause I believed in the kid’s talent and wanted to help him out. It would already cost me money to forward the cd over to the decision makers and now I would have to come out of pocket to help this kid by buying his music. I actually tried to purchase it and had to go through a time consuming process of registering with the site in order to make it happen, it was a waste and time is money. Needless to say he was axed immediately from any further consideration and probably missed his big break.

Get to know how sell music online if you wish to get recognized by a label. You must immediately start to think and treat yourself with discipline like a label or business. You must be out there performing to be seen, work your craft and lay down the foundation to build a fan base, sell tickets or sell music. Just because a record label signs you does not mean fans magically appear. They will never do this. People are grinding for years before you ever see them in the spotlight.

JackDazey is an Entertainment/Music consultant visionary specializing in exposure, music marketing and artist development. He studied music business at U.S.C, has place music in films, has billboard chart credits and is a songwriter producer. http://www.jackdazey.com

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  1. January 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Jack…really good article…you tell it like it is! I’ll pass it on to my students. Thanks.

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