Thanks to a number of high-quality streaming music services, finding and downloading new music has never been easier. So the question is, are you sure you don’t have an ethical problem with skipping the traditional services and finding yourself somewhere with absolutely no music and no hope of catching any new music? Well, you almost certainly can’t, at least if you’re doing it strictly for fun.
If you’re doing it to earn money, there’s really no problem. Most full-time musicians and rappers alike use some sort of paid service, whether it’s iTunes or a similar service. This is absolutely fine and doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of being able to find and download new music whenever you feel like it.
But what about those independent rappers, musicians, singers and songwriters who aren’t signed to a major label and who are trying to rely on word of mouth and the community to spread the word about their music? They’re going to have a hard time both making and listening to new music, because you can’t exactly put a track or an album into your MP3 player, let alone listen to it while you’re sharking the West coast.
There’s good news. new technology is upon us. Indie bands can now create their own West Coast/East coast online distribution services, so they can create their own catalogs of songs for listeners. Long gone are the days of carrying around an enormous boom box just to hear a few new songs you hear on the radio. With these services, you’ll get everything from full albums to the singles that you love.
The other scenario that you need to keep in mind is that, of course, you can also set up your own website and sell downloads directly to fans, thereby establishing your own band web page and actively engaging fans in the process of discovering new music. This may not be economical or feasible for most indie bands, but it absolutely depends on the extent of your desire to constantly hear new music and seeing what new bands are coming out.
Do you have a viable plan for selling downloads once you have your own website? Do you have at least one customer? Make a demo CD or two (even one song, if you have no money to buy one). Have your band members create videos for post-release (ie. Vlog, instructional videos) and license them for sale on your website. If you don’t do this, and you’re still making your living through performing, then your only option may be to partner with a major label and ask them to market and sell your music. The only way you’re going to get exposure is by getting fans to download your songs. Fans are going to support you, and fans are going to click on links to your website. If you don’t have a website, you’re going to need to come up with one.
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There are a lot of clone websites out there, so don’t just pick the first one you see. MySpace pages and Facebook pages are fine areas to start. Make sure you only set up one page and don’t set up more than one (unless you’re a four year old). The reason for this is because it’s easy to confuse your target demographic. Mostitimate online distributors will tell you to set up one main page for your product. Once you have that one page set up, you will send downloads to that main page which will house your videos, merch, and music.
After you have your mini-LPits created and uploaded to your controlled distribution website, start promoting them on Twitter using tools like HootSuite, Soulja Boy Twitter, orienced users.ruigmithmatic.com. boost your traffic through Google as well.
Overall, I want to stress that being a great independent artist is by no means easy. It takes determination, hard work, and majority faithfulness in order to sacrifice time in order to grease the skids. “The win-win” formula may be your best bet.
Next time I’ll have a link to a downloadable or previously downloaded good set of songs from you very own album. Sound good? Is it? By the way, if you don’t like it, RTT links are linkats. I suggest you check out the linkats if you enjoy the sound of Rttbuck. Don’t forget to use the Rttbuck tag on your website.
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