As compact discs go the way of vinyl long-play record albums and audio tapes, it may seem, from a consumption point of view, at least that the music industry has hit an all-time low and that attempting to get into the industry is now more difficult than ever, if not completely impossible. The truth is, however, that the collapse in sales of these items is a direct result of the increase in online sales. Personal music players, including mp3 players, iPods and the rise of music-capable smartphones, have led to a surge in music consumption. Today, more music is actually being purchased than ever before and new artists, who are attempting to sell and promote their own work, are strongly advised to check out how to publish your music online and utilize the many online music publication and marketing options that are to be found out there.
Publishing music online
There are two options open to musicians who wish to maintain their artistic independence and publish their music online. One is to go through a music publisher, which entails creating a demo and sending it out. A search of the rolls of ASCAP and BMI will yield many publishers that will accept a particular genre or style of music. Networking within the industry involves trade attending events and joining ASCAP or BMI, which work with published and unpublished artists, may help get the music out there and generate interest from publishers. When working with a publisher, payments can only be expected when the song or album has generated some income.
Alternatively, self-publishing offers the artist the option to record and market his or her own songs. This option involves selling the music at live shows or through a personal or third-party website. It is still important to register with ASCAP or BMI, as both a musician and a publisher; once the publisher’s name is approved, DBA paperwork may be filed with the bank so that checks made out to the publishing company can be cashed.
Options for online music promotion
Musicians selling their music online have a variety of options for promoting their material, including setting up personal web pages, social networking pages and blogs. Free song downloads, sneak-peeks of new material for subscribers, streaming songs and downloads and behind-the-scene and exclusive photos are just some of the promotional angles that should help generate attention and sales.
Financial benefits of online music promotion
One of the primary financial benefits of online music promotion is the minimal amount of funding required to get started. Creating a social networking page or blog requires little to no money; even sites with many web pages can be created and maintained inexpensively.
Another advantage of online music sales and promotion is the lack of restriction. Here, there is no limit to the amount of music that may be purchased, because the inventory is self-replicating and shelf space is unlimited. Albums and songs are always in stock, allowing millions of pieces of music to be purchased and millions of dollars to be earned by the artists who created the material. Websites that offer music downloads including iTunes are effectively the largest and most valuable catalog of music in the world, featuring mainstream and “unsigned” artists in the hundreds of thousands.