03 Mar How to Sell Your Songs on iTunes
I get asked all the time… “how do I sell my music?” Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to start selling your music on iTunes. I’ve also included the stories of Howard Lull and Cindy Akana, two artists we produced whose albums are now selling on iTunes.
What you will need:
– a digital file (wav format) of your music
– your cover art and liner notes
– some money, not much
– access to a computer with internet
Step 1: Record Your Song. Produce your material… well. If you need help recording, re-recording, or enhancing some of your tracks, consider hiring someone like me.
Step 2: Master Your Song. Mastering is the final critical step in production when creating songs intended for the mass market. When selling CD’s, mp3 downloads etc, ensure that your songs have been mastered.
Step 3: Album Artwork. Create a cover with liner notes. If you want to get more elaborate and do a full booklet you certainly can but it does add considerable cost.
Step 4: Get a UPC bar-code. Whether selling physical CD’s or just downloads online, you will need to obtain a bar-code. I suggest using a company called CdBaby which provides CD duplication and/or UPC codes that are very affordable. When you sign up with them they will submit your song to the iTunes library automatically and tracks will be available for purchase on the iTunes site in as quickly as 48 hours.
If you haven’t already, you should join ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. These are music licensing organizations responsible for tracking public usage of you music such as radio play, commercials, or performance.
And that’s it! In just 4 simple steps you can start selling your music on the internet. Good luck. Questions? Feel free to email me.
Proven Success – The stories of Howard and Cindy…
Howard Lull wrote a bunch of songs and he wanted to put together a full length album. We produced “bed” tracks consisting of guitars, piano, bass, drums, strings, backing vocals and more. Howard recorded his own vocals in a studio near him in Texas.
Cindy Akana‘s project was similar except that she was local to us (when we were still in Seattle). She came to the studio to lay down her piano parts and a “scratch” vocal. We then added guitar, bass, drums, and even some cello. When all the instrumental parts were recorded, she came back to the studio once more to record her final vocal tracks.
Did you know…
that despite music labels making massive profits in the 1990’s, that roughly 97% of artists signed to these labels actually lost them money? Labels took financial risks every time they signed a new unknown act or performer and it was the multi-platinum level of success of a just a few artists, megastars like Brittney Spears or Coldplay, that bankrolled these ventures.
What’s my point? The music industry changed a lot in the last 10 years. With sales down from what they used to be due largely to online piracy, labels don’t take the same risks on talent as they used to and are even more reluctant to cut you that “record deal” you’ve always dreamed about. But that’s ok! Because now as “self-promoting” artists we maintain more control over distribution rights and are able to make more money per sale by selling our music directly to our fans via services like iTunes. So what you are you waiting for?… finish up those tracks you’ve been working on and start selling your songs on iTunes!