If there is one thing clear about music and the internet, it’s that there are no clear options for distribution. Rather, there are hundreds of varied strategies that may work depending on who you are and what your situation is. Creativity and understanding of how the web works are the two things that will help you the most.
Free Music Can Spread Faster & Further
In this article I aim to show that you can profit by giving away your music for free. To most people the idea of releasing free to use music may sound crazy and unprofitable, but when looking at the bigger picture it turns out to be a very smart move. You have to understand that this is a great way to spread your music when you release it for free, especially if this is your debut and you are just starting out. In most cases you wouldn’t be making much from selling it anyway. Just like in any business, you need to have a customer base before you can make any profit.
CD’s Are Making A Transition
Assuming you are a musician or singer who can perform live as well as produce studio recordings, the ways to make money in the modern music environment will not be from CD sales. If you follow the trends and news of music reports, you will notice that CD sales have been on the decline for quite some time now. This is partially due to the many types of streaming platforms were people can listen to music for free. The CD as a concept is slowly but surely disappearing, as music is no longer released on disks and more emphasis is being placed on EPs and singles. These are harder to sell for considerable profits, and by offering them only for payment, you limit how many people will obtain them.
Instead of trying to go against the unstoppable giants of illegal file sharing and music downloading, go with it. Give your music away and watch it spread as far as it can. Keeping in mind that you could only make so much off it anyway, in the beginning at least, the positives outweigh the negatives.
Free Music Doesn’t Mean Give It Away Freely
In return for passing out your music free of charge, you obtain promotion and reputation in return. You can also exchange free music for emails to build a fan list. In other words, you get more fans. Fans are what lead to profits down the line if you are a musical act, and they are the most important thing when it comes to the business side of the equation. So the move is to get your music out there in any way that you can if you think it will lead to promotion and new fans.
New fans can lead to increased music sales, concert ticket sales, and music placement in commercials or films, especially for music producers and that is when the money will bring you passive income and royalties. But if you started off selling a few CD’s for $10.00, you would be sitting around with $50.00 and five fans. That $50.00 is nothing compared to the long term income obtainable from establishing yourself as a popular musical act.
Think About Monetization
So when you are thinking about how to make money with your music, think about how to get fans before you think about monetization. Look for sites like Epidemic Sound that work to get people’s music out there and their names recognized, and use any tool you can find. There are many ways for you to monetize your music on various streaming platforms, like YouTube, SoundCloud etc, etc… However, for me to share with you how to do this goes way beyond the scope of this article, so I will save that for another time. Creativity in promotion is the name of the game on the internet, and it’s the key to getting your music heard.
By David E. Maxwell