Innovative Ways to Distribute Your Music as an Indie Artist
Traditional sales are declining in the music industry, but artists with unique entrepreneurial spirits are coming up with new and creative ways to sell their music that leaves a lasting impression on the listener. It seems like in the age of the cloud, artists are having a tougher time distributing their music effectively. But there are several antidotes to that, and you can try out all of them.
Vinyl is coming back, and cassettes are also bigger than ever. These vintage, analog comebacks offer portability and a boost of hipster “cool” factor. If they’re done listening to a record, they can hang it on their wall or put it in a wall unit.
Another approach to distribution is releasing a video single first. Come up with a dope video concept shot with a high quality camera, and do everything you can to enhance the track and its viral potential. Utilize YouTube cards to power engagement towards the content, and direct watchers where they can buy the album or track.
If you prefer a different kind of visual approach, you can post a track with provocative and creative album art. Visual tactics are the best way to engage fans and enhance your marketing materials. If you’re worried about rights, know that artists often lend work for album covers like Kanye did with two George Condo paintings. Just contact the artist to be sure.
The next step is figuring out if you want to distribute through your own platforms or use a digital distribution giant with services like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and AWAL, who often take a flat 15% fee, with the option of a non exclusive contract. This then opens up options for you to simultaneously collaborate with Bandcamp, Pandora and other options. Sites like Tunecore and CD Baby prioritize making sure you get your royalties.
You should also make sure to genre tag your music effectively if you want curators to discover it. Resist against all urges to pick a joke genre.
Ultimately, whatever route you choose, digital music has bee selling the best, and those number are only going to keep rising. Two paramount industry reports claim that 60-75% of digital music sales belong to iTunes, so keep that in mind when making a decision. Streaming services such as Deezer are also making a loud presence in 2018.
Online distribution is your best bet to have as wide as an international reach as you can, accessing all potential fanbases. It’s sure to grow visibility and offer a financial cushion, but looking into the fine print is just as integral.