How Indie Musicians Can Distribute and Promote Their Music Online

Posted on 2 September, 2015 by Team Wishberry

Rachit Sachdeva, the founder of Symphony Novel, has been using the internet and various online platforms to enhance the reach of his band in every way possible. He writes for us about a few pointers fellow musicians could use too!  TOA3-1024x640 Of late, digital distribution has become very important for an artist/band, if they intend to sell their music online. There is a long list of digital distribution sites and most of them have the same function. These distributors are called “Aggregators”.  What do aggregators do? They take your music and supply it to digital stores like iTunes, Spotify, eMusic, Amazon Music and many more. It is very important for every artist to carefully select the aggregators, as it should always be a non exclusive deal. What does this mean? The artist shouldn’t be asked to give up their music rights, the revenue from the sales should come to the artist (the distributors take a certain percentage of the revenue). So, the deal should be thoroughly checked and then the music should be provided to the aggregators. Here is a list of some of the aggregators in India:- Top International Aggregators: -   I have used CDbaby for my band Symphony Novel and have had a decent experience. Every aggregator has a different commission policy.  A thorough comparison should be done before deciding which aggregators to choose. Apart from these, Bandcamp is one place, which has been a major breakthrough for musicians. Bandcamp is not an aggregator, it DOES NOT supply music to online stores like iTunes , Spotify etc. Instead, it serves as an online store where artists can create and design their own page, put up their music as singles/album/EP and start selling at any price they want.  Their reputation is quite solid. Most of the new record labels have also started making their pages on Bandcamp and sell music for their artists there.  I have personally come across some of the most amazing musicians/bands on Bandcamp. Musicians just have to just match the rates, since Bandcamp does take a percentage of the revenue.  

How to go about promoting your music?

Promoting your music is one of the key elements that help increase online sales, so it is important to put extra focus on this. Every artist should strategize promotions before an Album/EP/Single is out as well as after it has been released. Needless to say, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are the most common channels to promote music. However, another great platform that a lot of musicians are not aware of is REDDIT.  Its one of the best places I have come across not only for promoting songs but also for getting feedback, reviews etc.  

What makes Reddit so great?

Reddit has very strict policies on putting your music there. They will not allow reposting of the tracks. But, they will allow you to put your music on different sub-reddits conforming with your genre. The feedback and reviews on Reddit are the most genuine ones because redditors are very picky about everything. They have the liberty to upvote or downvote your music. They also have the power to repost it on other sub-reddits . They can make your music go viral for sure.  

How does one put their music on Reddit?

Audio files on Reddit should be linked to Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Music Videos are linked to YouTube.  Album art, images, band pictures have to be linked to IMGUR.  Every subreddit has rules that you need to follow while posting music and if the artist doesn’t follow them, the music is not posted.  Additionally, they also have a lot of AMA [Ask Me Anything] sessions for musicians. Musicians can also put their semi finished music work on sub-reddits like “r/composers” where they are also asked to submit a score sheet showing the details music notations.  The redditors on this sub-reddit rate your compositions and give feedback, which can be really helpful for a musician. Reddit users also really appreciate musicians liking, voting and commenting on music by other musicians. Most musicians don’t do that. Reddit gives “karma” points for users who support and discover new music. To summarize, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube etc. to amplify your content can act very beneficial for artists not  only from the promotional perspective but also in terms of maintaining high quality of work, innovating with technology and understanding what fans want.

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