by Alex Cosper (11/18/12, revised 3/20/14)
One of the most important statistics to remember about music is that most music doesn't sell. Over ninety percent of the music commercially released never turns a profit, according to music experts. It's actually closer to 98 percent, but you never know when the indie revolution is going to kick in. At the momemt the best way to sell indie music is directly to fans at shows, but it still makes sense to have a website and sell music online.
You can establish a storefront various ways. You can either come up with your own software solution, or go with platforms already designed to handle robust tasks like ecommerce. These platforms include Reverbnation and Bandcamp. You can also sell physical CDs through CDBaby and Amazon. The economical way to make CDs is press 100 at a time.
Selling indie music comes down to marketing, which is whatever you do to gain attention with the public. Sales can be generated from public radio airplay, YouTube and internet exposure, artist reviews in widely read publications and from popular blogs. For the Do-It-Yourself artist, you may want to create your own lists of public radio stations, publications and websites for sending your music.
One thing that has been helping indie artists is associating their music with other products. Songs are becoming themes in the digital world to video games and websites. If your music fits a niche that's in demand but doesn't have a lot of competition, you can gain advantages using keywords for search engine optimization. Create as many useful web content pages as possible that promote your music.
Ultimately, the best way to sell indie music is at live shows since it connects fans with top of mind awareness about the artist. It is otherwise very hard to sell music without some type of mass exposure. Getting to know prominent bloggers who review your music can be helpful. Pitchfork is a blog out of Chicago that put several indie artists on the map since about 2005.
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