If you are a musician in the new millennium the ways in which you market and sell your music is much different than it was in the 80’s and 90’s. Of course you can thank the internet for this. Napster seemed to pioneer and pave the way for music downloads. Then MySpace.com cornered the market and paved the way for social media giving unsigned musicians and their fans an easy way to connect.
There are now many ways in which musicians can connect and communicate with their fans and find new fans. Social Media has made viral marketing virtually free online and it is possible to reach a whole lot of people at once. However, unsigned artists are still having trouble competing with the big names on i-Tunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and other sources that allow single downloads.
Here are a few factors to look at:
1) Branding- a bio on Reverb Nation is not enough anymore. Having a website with your logo, bio, songs, photos, and press will help you get worldwide recognition. This in addition to connecting through all of the social media sites will definitely help you reach a much larger audience.
2) Price- most pay sources charge 20-30% or more for their cut of your profit. What if you could pay just 2 to 3%? You could market and sell all of your songs, chat with fans, and more all in one place!
Technology has made this possible and Andrew Behla of Behla Design has taken it one step further.
Read the interview with Andrew :
Q) Why should musicians have a wordpress site and how will they benefit from it?
A) Musicians need to have their presence in many media properties now. Facebook, Twitter, Bands in Town, Pinterest and their own site can all help drive traffic and interest for their music. At the center of all of these properties is the artists own site that can sell their music, give schedule updates and help promote their music, acting as a portal to their personalized pages on social media sites.
Q) What makes your product unique compared to others that are offering similar services?
A) I worked closely with a music manager who has over 20 years of experience in the music industry, managing bands, tours, promotions and music sales. We took a thorough inventory of the music industry to decide what is the best solution for his artist. We decided on a combination of using wordpress with the woo unsigned theme. This integrates with bandcamp as the music player to sell the music digitally and also Nimbit to fulfill the CD sales. You can see the site for Makana to see this integration using the Woo Unsigned theme.
Another method is to use Amazon for CD sales and to also be an affiliate for Amazon so that the musician can receive a percentage of any sales through their site.
I’ve developed and design several sites for professional musicians with unique solutions based on the project’s individual needs. Andy Summers is the guitarist for The Police, and many other projects including solo work. Behla Design was responsible for a complete redesign and development for his site. I have integrated custom post types for his album geared towards Amazon affiliate sales, as well as a custom video player.
Makana is an internationally touring Hawaiian slack key guitarist. I worked closely with his manager to develop a strategy for online music sales and designed and developed his site. I’ve integrated Bandcamp, Nimbit and the Unsigned Woo theme for direct to fan music sales. The goal is to sell direct to the fans, letting the artist keep more of the profit. With this solution the artist can keep 85% of the sale, vs. 60% from iTunes or Amazon. http://www.makanamusic.com/
For the EDM artist, Downlink, I’ve integrated Soundcloud, Bands in Town and social media in a PSD (Photoshop) to child theme conversion using Woo Canvas. This site is in development, but should be live soon. You can preview the site here.
All of the above sites are html5 compliant and responsive and I want to discuss the importance of that as well.
Q) How is it possible to sell songs without going through paypal, etc. and for a lesser fee?
A) There are many solutions for online music sales. Bandcamp, Topspin, Nimbit and ReverbNation are all sites geared towards selling music directly to fans. The benefits of these sites is that they take a lower percentage of the sale and allow the artist to keep more of the profit when compared to the more traditional distribution methods such as iTunes or Amazon. I think there is a trend more and more to support an artist directly and to buy music from that artist. The other benefit is that an artist can quickly and easily offer premium or exclusive content from their site. This could be in the form of outtakes, video, or previously unreleased content.
Q) Will your services also help promote the songs?
A) We don’t help promote the songs, but can help in creating the site and solution using wordpress. We can also setup all of the accounts that are needed for an effective strategy to sell music online, as well as promote upcoming concerts, social media, fan interaction and news updates.
Q) Do you believe this technology is changing or will change the way artists do business online?
A) I do think that it’s getting easier and easier for a musician to take a DIY to music and host their own content. With the introduction of the Woo Unsigned theme, there are even themes that are using custom post types in side of WordPress to help publish and manage their content. This means that the content can be more easily organized based on type of content it is. For example, there are post types for albums, videos, band members, and upcoming shows.
Q) Are you a musician? Can you give us a little taste of your music?
A) My first passion in life is music. I play the trumpet, guitar, drums and percussion. I am a singer/songwriter as well as a sound engineer and producer. I have produced 3 albums for artists, have managed a recording studio and currently have my own studio. I’m more excited than ever to share the solutions that I’ve developed for my clients with the wordpress community.
The team at Behla Design, Graphic Design & Web Development, is dedicated to creating visual experiences that effectively tell our clients’ stories while engaging, exciting, and enticing their customers. Our firm consists of top web design, web development, WordPress, search engine optimization (SEO), and copywriting professionals and our founder, Andrew Behla, who has worked in the graphic, print and web design industry for over twenty years. Contact us today to find out how we can help your next project.