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Digital Music Distribution for Indie Bands and Musicians

By Angela Moore Subscribe to RSS | March 16th 2012 | Views:
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What does it mean to be a Do It Yourself (DIY) artist?

There’s no doubt that today, independent bands and musicians can do things that they could only dream about 10 years ago. Even in the 1980s, most bands and musicians played locally and were mostly known locally. Now, with the click of a button, they can reach out to hundreds of their most engaged, fanatic fans all over the world.

Digital music distribution is just one example. The distributor iMusician Digital in Europe delivers your music to 200 – 300 shops (!!) for a simple, once-off fee. Included are the big global shops like iTunes, Amazon or Spotify but they also include the important shops from each linguistic region: French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin etc because, depending on your language and fan base, these shops could account for 10% to even 50% of your sales.

If you make dance music, reggae or classical music, then you’ll also need the specialized boutique shops like Beatport, JunoDownloads or Reggaeinc.com.

But distribution is only half the story. Though the distributor might be able to get your music into these shops within days (putting your music within hands reach of your fans), how are your fans meant to find it if they’re not looking for it.

And this brings us to the essence of this article: The single most important task for you aspiring DIY artists is letting your fans know where to find your music. And this is the age old art of PR and marketing…. And now, we’re talking hardcore business.

The idea that a band or musician can find stardom with a few tools like digital music distribution, a twitter and facebook account is a myth and a lie of massive proportions. Let’s repeat that just so the point isn’t lost: No band will find success by making friends, fans or follows on facebook or twitter.

This is mis-education from the media because everyone loves stories of self-made heroes but they never discuss the hugely savvy PR/Marketing people in the bands or their teams. That story wouldn’t be quite so sexy, would it? These savvy PR and marketing people understand the finer aspects of communicating with their fans. They don’t tweet, “Hey guys, buy my new single" but rather, “Who was at my gig last night?" and thereby generating interaction with their fans. They understand the complex interaction of cross-promoting their gigs with their recording with their online community. They know how to bring online people offline (to gigs) and offline people online to their facebook, twitter or the email inbox. PR and marketing are the central elements of business and what bands and musicians need to understand when they embark on their DIY journey is that they are starting their own business.

Next installment: “I’m a musician. All I want is to make music…."

*************************************

Angela Moore - About Author:
Author is an expert in Digital music distribution. She has written many articles on music distribution.

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