For many musicians, monetizing their creative efforts proves to be quite a challenge, but with the digital tools and technology that we have at our disposal we can we work our way around this. Signing up to sell your music on iTunes is a tedious process which requires aggregators or encoding houses and that can come with sizeable financial costs, which many independent musicians cannot fork out. But then what is an aggregator and an encoding house ?
In basic terms a music aggregator is someone who will act as a distributor of your music to stores and platforms that you deem relevant for your music. Since we’re in the digital age, we have digital music aggregators which would distribute the music to online stores and services like Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Music etc. In the case of iTunes, you would need to approach an Apple approved encoding house to encode your audio files to fit iTunes standards which then will allow you to sell your music on iTunes. Music aggregators and encoding houses offer their services at a cost.
Bandcamp cuts out of those tedious steps and it is good to note that as much the digital music distribution process is tedious but it is highly important. Bandcamp offers independent artists an opportunity no to only to house their music and sell it, but also to create a microsite which they can link to their social media accounts and they can also sell their merchandise if they also have merchandise. If you’re a statistics and data geek, then you can also use Bandcamp’s real-time statistics feature where you can see how people are finding your music and how people are engaging with the music that you put out. With such functionality, Bandcamp allows the artist to have a complete platform which can house the artists’ catalog and another important feature to note is that the microsite that you would be creating would be search engine optimized which means that whenever people search for your songs or albums, you are likely to rank first when using bandcamp. Learn more about Bandcamps features here.
Setting up an artist account Bandcamp is absolutely free, the costs only come in when you start selling your music on their platform. As the independent artist, you will be charged 15% which will be the revenue share for all digital sales and 10% will be the revenue share for all merch sales. You can access more information Bandcamp pricing here.
Digital marketing would have to take center stage when it comes to ensuring that people visit your microsite, stay on the site and eventually buy your music. Bandcamp microsites tend to be very static as their sole purpose is to house your digital music and be a access point for your merch. You would need to set up a paypal account which will enable you to process all transactions between yourself and Bandcamp.
Another great thing about Bandcamp is that you can embed your music into other online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and even Google plus. What sits at the core of convincing your fans to buy your music would then be your social media marketing strategies, for instance leveraging the number of people that use Facebook by using Facebook advertising which allows you to have advertising budgets that you can afford. Instagram advertising can be directly linked to your Facebook advertising campaigns and you can have a cross-platform strategy.
Bandcamp has been around for 9 years and many artist have benefited from its solutions and their easy-to-use platform. Monetizing your music has been made simple and you don’t have to have a big budget or even go through the lengths of approaching music aggregators and encoding houses. Bandcamp gives you all the power.