How To Digitally Distribute Your Album

Source¨About.com

Selling Your Music on iTunes

As an independent artist, you’ll probably be very familiar with the fact that digital downloading is huge — and you’re probably wondering how to get your cut of the action! And it’s not just illegal downloading taking a huge bite out of traditional sales — legal downloading services such as iTunes, eMusic, Spotify, and Rhapsody have created a huge opportunity for major and independent labels alike: the ability to sell your music to a large, diverse market, with little to no overhead costs.

At around $1 per song, $10 per album, these services represent a great way to get your music distributed to the masses. However, as an independent artist, getting your music digitally distributed on the big services may seem like an impossible task — until now!

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Digital or Traditional?

While it may be tempting to go the all-digital route and avoid the printing costs of a CD, it’s also important to understand that the market is still there for CD sales, especially independent musicians. The numbers tip towards downloads, but till, an estimated 66% of people still prefer physical CDs.

You’ll still want to consider retaining the option to sell CDs — especially at your shows. Most artists see CD sales at their merch tables, even if they’re not doing so great in local CD stores. Before making a decision on which way to go exclusively, consider the benefits of doing both, especially if you have a budget to do so.

Want to find out how to get your music on Spotify? Here’s a guide to selling & streaming your music on Spotify.

Getting Your Release Ready – Mastering & Artwork

As an independent artist, you’ll need to make sure your release is up to commercial standards before releasing it digitally. By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the process of mastering — evening out the dynamics and maximizing the volume of your recording. Make sure that, whether you’re doing the mastering yourself or hiring an engineer to do it for you, that your final product sounds it’s best. Remember, you’ll be on an even playing field (well, almost) to the big, major-label acts when you’re being digitally distributed, so make your release stand out as best you can.

You’ll also need to make sure you have complete artwork to submit, along with the complete track credits. Remember, none of the online services will post your music without artwork.

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