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So, the ability to get your music out to dozens of destinations using music distribution services is awesome. But what if you want to sell your music and merch through other platforms and earn a greater income? What eCommerce solutions can musicians take advantage of?
That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
- 00:36 – The two pathways to earning an income from your music online
- 01:36 – Bandcamp
- 03:08 – Shopify / Single
- 04:22 – Gumroad
- 05:38 – Sellfy
- 06:46 – Koji
- 07:44 – Episode summary
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.
Now, I’ve shared before about the two pathways you can take to create an income from music online. And of direct response marketing and eCommerce, eCommerce is the easier one to get started with.
And the great news is, whether it’s direct response marketing or eCommerce, you can set the price of your music. You’re not obligated to sell your albums for $9.99 and your singles for 99 cents. You can be much more intentional and strategic about pricing.
Plus, it allows you to do things like put your latest single up on Spotify, and then tell your fans, “if you’re interested in the whole album, check out my website at AtomikPenguins .com” or wherever you send people to buy your music.
Now, the big question is whether you can even make money selling music as a musician, right? Just because you can set up an online store doesn’t automatically mean people will buy. But after listening to this podcast episode, I don’t think there’s going to be a shadow of doubt in your mind.
So, keep listening to the end, and let’s get to the first of five eCommerce solutions we’ll be talking about today:
Bandcamp is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions for musicians, focused exclusively on music. On their homepage, they advertise the fact that fans have paid artists $199 million in the last year. So, forget the idea that you can’t get paid for your music – there are plenty of artists doing it already.
Fans have paid Bandcamp artists $199 million in the last year.
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Unlike most other solutions available, Bandcamp is a marketplace. And that means they actively promote artists through discover, tag hubs, artist recommendations, fan collections, and music feed. You shouldn’t expect to receive a ton of promotion this way unless you’re already growing a following and selling your music on Bandcamp, but it’s still nice to know they care.
Bandcamp gives you control over the design and colors of your page, and it lets you add key information like a short bio, lyrics, and liner notes too.
In addition to digital music, you can also sell vinyl, cassettes, T-shirts, and other merch. Bandcamp even says in the last five years, vinyl sales have gone up by 613%, cassettes by 349%, and T-shirts by 492%, and they’ve already sold $341 million worth of merch.
Whoever said vinyl sales are a mere blip on the radar just isn’t getting the point.
Bandcamp offers other great features like analytics, a merch backend for order fulfillment, and they plan to add a vinyl pressing service too.
Bandcamp was founded on December 12, 2007, so it also has quite a bit of longevity behind it as well.
2. Shopify / Single
Based on the success of my interview with Tommy Stalknecht (Stall – Neck) of Single Music, which is now simply called Single, in episode 155 of the podcast, it’s clear to see quite a few musicians are interested in the prospect of selling their music through the top eCommerce site builder. Shopify basically is to eCommerce what WordPress is to blogs.
Single has expanded their functionality in the last few years. In addition to music, you can use it to sell live stream events, video rentals, merch, and even NFTs on Shopify.
Single has delivered and reported over five million downloads for thousands of artists to date, including the likes of Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Adele.
You can sell just about anything you can think of with Single – albums, singles, beats, or loops. It also allows you to set up pre-orders, instant grats, bundles, and it comes with an embedded audio player. As you probably guessed from what I said earlier about reporting, Single handles daily chart reporting to Billboard, OCC, and Aria as well.
Single is an affordable solution with four-tiers depending on your needs. But you can get started with them for free, where you only pay when you sell something.
If you’re thinking about using Shopify to sell your music, Single is certainly worth a look.
Gumroad was developed with all types of creators in mind. Whether it’s blog posts, eBooks, courses, Photoshop templates, software applications, or music, Gumroad lets you sell just about anything digital or physical. You can even set up subscriptions or memberships using their platform.
Just last week, digital entrepreneurs made over $3.5 million from Gumroad. And the greater the revenue you have as a creator, the less you end up paying to the platform.
Digital entrepreneurs made over $3.5 million on Gumroad last week.
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Although Gumroad is not a marketplace – and that means you’ve got to do your own marketing – they do set you up with a customizable templated profile page where users can see all your products. Plus, you can install a script on your website that will pop up your sales pages onsite when people click on your Gumroad links.
Additionally, Gumroad lets you sell in difference currencies, offer discount codes, generate license keys for software, sell multiple versions of your work, build up an affiliate army, and more.
When I started using Gumroad, it was still quite humble in its appearance and scope. But today, they have a fresh design, new features, and a ton of content that can help you grow your sales.
If I wasn’t using 10XPro, I would probably be using Gumroad as my primary eCommerce platform, but either way I still have a small library of products on Gumroad.
Sellfy is another amazing, low-cost eCommerce platform, and years ago as I started seeking out new places, I could distribute my music to, it quickly became a go-to. Sellfy has changed a bit over the years, though. They used to have a marketplace, which was one of my favorite things about it, but they don’t have it anymore.
The great news is that Sellfy is still a very capable eCommerce solution. You can get your online store set up in minutes, and begin selling digital products, print on demand products, or subscriptions. You can connect your own domain to your store, and you can customize your store to look exactly how you want. You can add your own logo, change the colors, and even localize your store language.
Sellfy also comes with sales tools like email marketing, discounts and coupons, and upselling options.
Sellfy’s estimated annual revenue is $3 million per year, so they might be a little smaller than some of their competitors, but it’s still a very capable, easy to use, and affordable solution.
Sellfy’s estimated annual revenue is $3 million per year.
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The New Music Industry Podcast is largely listener supported. We are an affiliate of Sellfy, and if you want to sign up for your 14-day free trial now, you can go to MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/sellfy.
Koji came along to transform the link in bio game for musicians, NFT owners, eCommerce business owners, and artists of all kinds. This is more than just a link in bio app, though, and is more of a full-fledged creator economy platform.
Whether it’s Peter Hollens, Kenji Bandz, or Jayo, you will find that a variety of your favorite artists and creators already use Koji, including yours truly.
Obviously, you can link out to all your platforms using their link in bio feature, be it your social media destinations, music on Spotify, videos on YouTube, or otherwise. But there are also an insane number of mini apps you can use to embed content, collect donations, sell locked content and physical goods, crowdfund your next project, sell your NFTs, and more.
So, overall, it’s more than just a link in bio, and it’s more than just an eCommerce solution. It’s very forward looking, and you can do just about anything you want with it. It even tracks your analytics and it’s free to use!
- Bandcamp. Bandcamp specifically serves musicians looking to sell their music and merch. Plus, it’s a powerful discovery platform and marketplace.
- Shopify / Single. Single was created specifically for musicians interested in selling their music on Shopify. In the last few years, their feature set has expanded.
- Gumroad. Gumroad wasn’t created specifically with musicians in mind, and it’s not a marketplace or discovery platform. But it’s a very simple and affordable eCommerce tool for all types of creators selling all types of products. Gumroad integrates nicely with your website, and they also have a lot of content to help you on your journey.
- Sellfy. Like Gumroad, Sellfy is also a creator-centric platform that’s home to photographers, YouTubers, filmmakers, travel bloggers, and more. But you can also find guitarist Dan Mumm or music producer PVLACE on Sellfy. Sellfy makes it very easy for you to set up your own online store.
- Koji. Koji is the most powerful link in bio that I’m aware of, and it has dozens of mini apps that extend its functionality well beyond a featureless link in bio app. If you’re already using another link in bio, Koji would be worth a look, and if you are using it and aren’t selling locked content already, it’s time to give it a try.
By the way, be sure to let me know if you enjoyed this episode, because I could easily talk about five more eCommerce solutions for musicians, or possibly even more. There are just so many new platforms out there!
We’re calling it the best free resource for independent musicians. And if it isn’t that it’s fast becoming that because it already features over 100 PDFs, and when all is said and done, there will be well over 300 PDF resources. What am I talking about? Our brand-new PDF Vault. You can sign up for access to a huge library of PDF eBooks, cheat sheets, transcripts, and more today. Go to MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/PDFVault to sign up for free.
This has been episode 271 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.
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