Physical copies of new albums are becoming less common. Much of an independent artist’s sales comes from digital downloads of songs and full albums on the Internet instead of from a CD from the corner record store. A variety of marketplaces and platforms exist from which to promote and sell your music online, some of which are more difficult to navigate than others. Two options for digital music distribution are PayLoadz and Apple. Learn how these services work for independent artists without record label backing.
Apple’s ITunes Store
Apple has become a major player in mobile devices and in digital content distribution with the iTunes store. While the popularity of iTunes and the branding power of Apple are attractive to independent artists, getting music into the iTunes store can be complicated for unknown artists. Without a distribution deal, sales of your single or album through Apple are almost impossible. Arrangements can be made with various distributors, but they can be costly. Annual fees and a percentage of sales aside, some deals have misleading language that leave you without control of your own music. It’s not Apple‘s fault, but some companies take advantage of artists with exclusive licensing agreements. Before making any binding arrangements with a distributing partner in an attempt to get your music in the Apple iTunes store, go over contracts with a fine-toothed comb. It might be wise to hire an entertainment lawyer for contract review before signing an agreement.
The PayLoadz model is different from iTunes. It allows you to skip the complications of licensing agreements, retain full control of your catalog and add music to your tracks available for purchase. Setting up a PayLoadz account is quick and easy, as is uploading your music and structuring your store. Protection options allow you to crack down on illegal sharing of your music, which any musician knows is a major threat. The greatest strength of PayLoadz, however, lies with its affiliate marketing program. By participating and sacrificing a small percentage of each sale, you can enjoy the benefits of additional traffic driven to your music. While you’re promoting your music on your website, blog and social networking sites, the PayLoadz affiliate marketing program is putting your partners on the same task.
In a battle for the bands, PayLoadz vs. Apple is a major one. It’s important that musicians take the time to consider each business model, and learn what works best for them.