Facebook recently announced that they will be holding f8, a developers conference, on September 22nd. Rumors are circulating that the popular social-networking site is going to introduce some type of music dashboard to the user experience, although nothing has been confirmed. We can only guess what this development could possibly mean for music makers and music lovers using Facebook. Could it integrate music sales for artists on the site? We say, why wait to find out? Start selling your music now!
Here at OurStage, we’re all about doing everything we can to help get your music heard! When you create an OurStage profile and upload your music, you can choose to put it up for sale (to do this, head to “Account Preferences” in the “Edit Profile” section of your Dashboard and check off the box that says “Allow OurStage to sell my music”). This means that whenever another user is judging a channel or just exploring music on OurStage and they hear your song and LOVE it, they can purchase it right away! We make it easy and accessible”just click the “Buy” option (shown below).
You’ll be able to check up on how many songs you’ve sold whenever you like! When you log onto OurStage, scroll to the bottom of your Dashboard to the “Sales” section and the information is right there. Each individual song is sold for $.99 and artists will receive a percentage of the transaction. Our Premium Members can make even more money from their sales! To learn more about becoming a Premium Member on OurStage, check out this page.
There are lots of ways musicians make money nowadays. Unfortunately, not everyone can hold down a multi-million dollar tour (we’re talking to you, U2), but there are plenty of other ways to cash in on hard-working talent. One way is music licensing, which we could talk about until we’re blue in the face. However, artists can also sell their music on OurStage. Fans are judging and exploring new music all day long on the site, and, luckily, finding and downloading new songs is as easy as the click of a button. Because we rep such an extensive community of independent artists, OurStage is often times the only place to find songs from our great bands online for purchase and download. Let’s keep it legal, kids.
Now, with the introduction of Premium Artist Membership, selling music on OurStage is even more worth the artists’ while because Premium Members get even more money for songs that are purchased on our site. No, we’re not charging more, we’re simply offering up a better percentage of the sales straight back into the musicians’ pockets. Music sales are only one of the great benefits offered to Premium Members, so see what else this exclusive membership offers and get started today.
There’s been a lot of blabber in the last few weeks about the launch of new tools and features for our excellent community of independent artists. We recognize that in order to be the best, you need the best. Today, when artists signed into their profile, they probably noticed a brand new look and feel (fans got a sneak peek of said look a few weeks ago). In addition to their shiny new profile, artists also have the option to sign up for a Premium Artist Membership, which will provide tools in selling music, music publishing and chances to enter exclusive music competitions.
We’re already helping OurStage artists get their songs placed in commercials and films through our Music Licensing service. And now, by signing up for Premium Artist Membership, we can help them get a better cut of the licensing fee too. Premium members’ songs also get an extra OurStage boost from our music publishing team when they pitch songs to music supervisors across the country.
Already selling music on OurStage? Great! By signing up for Premium Membership, artists receive a higher split for online Premium Music sales. We all know vans don’t pay for themselves.
Artists can now also make OurStage their own with the customizable profile features available to Premium Members. We want to make it easier for artists to express themselves by offering up enhanced artist promotion features like convenient stage plot designs and EPK‘s with limitless high-res images. Artists will be able to integrate the OurStage and Facebook experience seamlessly with the Artist Facebook Profile.
And how could we forget music competitions. So many artists have won life-changing opportunities on OurStage. By signing up for Premium Membership Services, they have exclusive access to all premium membership competitions at no additional fee. You simply can’t put a price on grabbing drinks with the former EVP of Sony, and we can make it a reality.
So dig around and learn more about the Premium Artist Membership Services. Your career will thank you.
Unlike some of the more desperate record company execs, indie artists today are not clinging to the fading music revenue models of the past. Instead of mourning the loss of record sales, these musicians are rethinking the value of their music, pioneering new methods of conveying their artistic output to listeners while still receiving something of value in return.
Many artists find that selling their music direct to fans, via their own Web sites and utilizing the variety of commerce tools available on the web, can make up for the decrease in overall sales. Many such commerce tools are highly user-friendly and in the end take only a very small piece of the revenue pie, relative to retail stores like iTunes and longtime artist favorites like CD Baby. The artist, then, receives the lion’s share of the price paid by the fan.
In addition, buying music direct from the band makes a difference from the perspective of the fan. The perception by the latter that they are giving money to an artist that they like and want to support, rather than to a company (retail or record”even if the artist has a label that obviously receives a share), personalizes the music attainment experience and breaks down the growing cognitive barrier to paying for music at all.
Other artists are experimenting with new ways of seeing a return for their recorded output. Many observers wonder how vinyl sales could possibly be growing while music sales are generally way down, but the answer is that it is expressly because of the de-valuation of common CDs and MP3s that vinyl has found new worth. The rarity of vinyl (though growing at a very healthy clip, vinyl still comprises a minute fraction of music sales), along with the relative opulence of the packaging, the (arguably) higher-fidelity and the retro-chic factor, have made vinyl LPs seem worth shelling out for to music consumers otherwise reluctant to pay for the ubiquitous compact disc or completely intangible MP3 file. The increasingly common practice of making a digital download part of the package has boosted this value immensely. Very recently, many artists have taken this concept and run with it, releasing unique versions of their albums on that near-extinct portable favorite, the cassette.
It’s not only indie bands getting in on the action. Radiohead, as previously discussed in this column, is always trying something different, from the pay-what-you-like model of 2007’s In Rainbows to the newspaper album version of this year’s The King of Limbs. And when you’re The Flaming Lips, what else is left to do but release your music on a flash drive, buried in a life-sized human skull made entirely of gummy?
Still other artists try to add value to the more pedestrian CDs and MP3s by bundling them with non-music merchandise, like t-shirts and posters. In effect, neither the music nor the merch is the primary product. Only together do they appear to comprise something worth buying. Sometimes even that doesn’t whet the appetite of the fan, who steadfastly refuses to pay for something they feel is and/or should be available for free. There is a way, however, that clever artists can still see something in exchange for their music. Money, after all, isn’t everything. In a recent experiment, David Byrne and Brian Eno released their record Everything That Happens Will Happen Today in exchange for just the listener’s email address, via the Topspin platform, a young company which exists to seek additional answers regarding the new way of doing things in music. Email addresses are extremely valuable, both practically and theoretically, in ways not even developed yet. Direct access to music fans via email is a way to cut through the sound and fury of Internet and media bombardment.
In any of the examples discussed here, the running theme is getting direct-to-fan involvement and cutting out the middleman. Let’s face it, cassettes won’t ever come back and Radiohead already ditched pay-what-you-like and probably won’t be doing another newspaper album. But these are all important steps in boiling down the exceptional opportunity provided by the web to kill off the old and often artist-suffocating music business model.