There are many places to either sell or share your music on the Internet. For the purposes of this campaign I avoided those properties specifically geared towards sharing and instead opted for sites that sold music.
It is sometimes a difficult hurdle to get over, but earning money for making money is a wholly valid thing to do and has nothing to do with the the authenticity of the art or the artist whether successful or not. You do not need to give your music away.
That being said, it is really not advisable to keep your music under lock and key. Most of the music sites have the option for you to upload and allow your music to be streamed, with payment required for downloads or physical copies. I would also advise where possible to present high quality streams.
Yes that does mean that your music will be listened to many many times with you not directly benefiting , but it is also giving access to music for listeners to become fans, and fans become buyers.
So now let's look at the primary places to present your music for sale to the world. Let's see what those places are and then as we go look at how we are able to mesh them together to make a online music promotion cross supporting and cohesive web presence.
YouTube, is perhaps the OG of viral social media and is a no brainer as a source of traffic. Ideally you will want to put out as high a quality an offering as possible, but as you can see from the example given that as long as the music plays at a reasonable level of quality that even a rudimentary video is easy to make and can gain a little traction. The YouTube videos also have the benefit of showing how many people approved of the video as well as the number of viewers overall, providing powerful social proof online music promotion for the artists brand. Add the ease of shareability and YouTube is a clear choice.
For the purposes of promoting the artist Bandcamp was chosen as the preferred (but not only) place to direct people to purchase digital copies of both the songs and the album as a whole.
While Bandcamp doesn't have some of the bells and whistles of some sites, it is a comfortable place, that offers decent terms and provides customers with high quality samples and a wide variety of available download formats. They also allow you to set your own pricing including a setting where music buyers can set their own price. Add to this the ability to personalize your page along with strong SEO (tags etc.) and a community feel and you cant help but feel that you're with a site that is on its way up.
Here is the Bandcamp page we are using. Note the relatively clean as well as SEO friendly design
Reverb is one of many similar sites, and a few of them such as 'Purevolume' and MTV backed 'OurStage' we are using, it is Reverbnation that has stood out for providing a lot of tools with both their free and premium services. A more cluttered site than Bandcamp it can be a little harder to find your way around, but worth doing so. Great bells and whistles, as well as fairly easy integration with other sites and social media makes this our go to site for getting the word out.
At present we are on the verge of going with a broader digital distribution deal and were almost certain to go with Reverb.
Here is what the Reverbnation page for Rebecca Fox looks like.
As we have mentioned before, Facebook is an excellent means of providing social proof, but is also an excellent place overall to have a presence, as it is, right now at least where the people are. Facebook, Reverbnation and Bandcamp all integrate well together and with relative ease on a Facebook fan page.
Every time someone clicks 'like' your page is now posted for all their friends to see listed on their profile.
A Facebook fan isn't a destination, it is a doorway.As much as you want a good volume of likes, each enaged and involved fan opens up a world of possibilities.
Here is a look at the Facebook fan page.
Facebook Fan Page
As useful and indeed necessary as many of these sites and tools are, there is something to be said for having a presnece on the web that is not co-branded and exists soley for the inetreaction between the musician and her fans.
Just remember, and this is something I took a second or two to get, is that if the artist is relatively new to promoting themselves, then people are not likely to be looking for them. You are more likely to be able to bring people tp your website from facebook than you are to bring people to Facebook from your website.
That being said, once they are there it does act as a nice hub leading to all of your various properties. Having a registered .com address also adds an aditional layer of authenticity and trust.
To my mind a musician having their own website is their asertion that they are to be considered seriously or at least have put some level of effort in.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.