9 Questions To Ask Before Putting Your Music Online For Sale

Posted on 4 August, 2015 by Team Wishberry

TOA1 Distributing (i.e. selling) your music online for the very first time is one gut wrenchingly difficult act, and the main reason that we feel it’s so tricky, is the lack of knowledge on what the distributor has to offer. There are numerous digital distributors out there, and this blog post is going to help you ask the right questions in order to figure out which one is the best for you.  

Does the distribution platform take a portion of the sales revenue that your music generates?

Some distributors will take a cut of the distribution revenue that your music has earned from downloads and streams via the site; and some of the platforms let the artists keep 100% of their distribution sales revenue. Different distribution platforms have different business models. But that doesn’t make the one not keeping the cut any better than the one that is.  

Do they have a dedicated Customer Care team? 

We always will need help. No matter how user friendly the service is, having a dedicated customer service team will certainly make things way simpler. All Uber users would agree to this, given how there’s a minimal customer support for something as basic as commuting! So, imagine how necessary it is to have someone from the other side help you clear the confusion during the distribution process of your work!  

Does the site offer an FAQ tab, to find answers to the simple problems you may face?

Most of the problems that artists would face stem from lack of familiarity with new technology. And, an FAQ tab in such a case will get you through those minor hiccups, while saving a lot of time.  

Do they provide guidelines on how to format your release?

Normally, all digital stores have an extremely specific requirement when it comes to the format of your release (audio, video, and artwork). These details are to be marked way ahead of time, so something as basic as having your work in the right format shouldn’t hold back on distribution.  

Does the service support independent artists using this platform?

Every independent artist likes the feeling of being a part of a large creative community, where the distributor that you’ve chosen is lucky to have you.
Your distributor should not only have a keen understanding of your struggles as an indie artist, but also provide you with the kind of support you deserve. 
Also, it should provide opportunities for you to increase your fan base, or offer tips from other artists to help your career move forward.  

Do they offer trend reports where you can keep track of whether or not your music is selling?

Once you’ve shared your work online and it’s live in stores, you’ll be very eager to see how it’s selling via tools like iTunes trends. Make sure the distributor offers this, and find out if the reporting is updated daily or weekly. Also, additional data sorting like viewing sales by release, track, geo-location and more, via a dynamic web-based tool is offered.  

Which stores does the service reach out to?

Out of all the online stores and services, iTunes, Amazon MP3, Spotify, and Rhapsody contribute the most to the digital music sales. Essentially, check if the distributor reaches out to at least the ones your audience is likely to be.  

Is the sales reporting sheet detailed and transparent?

It is extremely important for your digital distributor to be completely transparent with digital sales, and streaming revenue from all the stores you sent your music to. Having details of which songs/albums/movie was downloaded and streamed where and for how much is crucial. You should have access to your sales information 24/7. And, the format that it’s presented in should be easy to understand.  

Does the service offer the Publishing Administration to help you collect your worldwide royalties?

If your distributor offers a publishing administrative service, you earn additional royalties from the sales, steams and use of your music, if you’re a songwriter. Do ask them if the service is in-house or if they use a third party. There are many critical questions you have to ask before you choose a digital distributor. Putting your music online is a big deal! Still need more information? Understand the basics of digital distribution here. Got more questions? Ask away!

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