This article was taken from the May 2013 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired’s articles in print before they’re posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.
No record deal? Then, you are to make it work yourself with us (Success MEDIA, Africa @Strategist_KJ / King Joseph Management @KingJoseph_1 ). Let’s help you with digital distribution deal …
What is digital music distribution?
Digital sales make up 31 percent of the $16.6 billion (£10bn) global recorded-music market. But forget record labels; you need a distributor to build relationships with retailers such as iTunes or streaming services such as Spotify. The artists here have benefitted hugely from digital distribution.
Ingrid MichaelsonA CD Baby user, her music featured on Grey’s Anatomy after a producer on the show heard it
Since launching in 1998, this US company has paid more than $200 million (£129m) to artists. $50.55 to upload an album is reasonable, but the ambitious might chafe at the nine per cent commission on digital sales. Sales reports are downloaded as a spreadsheet, which can be unwieldy, but elsewhere the system is solid. Advice is abundant and it will sell CD and vinyl on your behalf for a simple $4 (£2.60) per unit.
Despite contradictory information, clunky design and broken links, this is a powerful service. More than a dozen bolt-on options are available, but they are expensive. However, you can choose which shops your music will reach and this is the only service on test with a dedicated UK office.
Via Ditto Music, “Turn my Swag on” was in the UK singles charts and has sold 100,000 copies.
Sly and RobbieThe Grammy-winning, legendary reggae stars distribute their new material through Mondo.
For $8.99 (£5.15), Mondo Tunes claims to send your songs to more than 750 digital stores worldwide, using the same channel as high profile mega-artists such as Lady Gaga. It’s the cheapest option on test, but the user guide is baffling and statistics are only released in quarterly reports.
Tiffany AlvordThis unsigned 19-year-old uses Reverb Nation to release music. She also has 1.2m YouTube fans.
For $21.95 per month you get two free album releases per year and access to promo tools (although similar plugins are free elsewhere). The monthly fee seems high, but the detailed stats add value.
Carla MorrisonIn 2012 this Tunecore artist won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Album.
Solid but expensive – after the first year, costs rise from $34.99 to $54.99 per album – Tunecore links to stores including iTunes and to Spotify. Useful weekly trend-reports with fan locations help with tour planning.
Key Tools For Aaspiring Musicians:
Stores your music for simple sharing, and has an ecosystem of promotional apps.
Collects royalties from live gigs and radio and arranges TV placement for you.
Next Big Sound
Social music stats. Perfect for tracking artists on your own local music scene.
Sell merchandise from your own store; an option lets fans pay what they want.
Often the first port of call for new-music junkies, so keep your channel updated.
Posted by: KING JOSEPH (the Strategist)
For Success MEDIA, Africa /King Joseph Management
Hotlines: +2349035953205 / +2348025803114