Technology has leveled the music industry playing field. It used to be that artist had to make a demo, submit it to many record labels, and hope and pray they were at least called.
The next best thing to getting a record deal was starting your own label but doing so was expensive & risky. There was no guarantee of success and all the rules still applied for a traditional business: most of them fail within the first 5 years. Let’s not even talk about “Industry Rule #4080” and the shadiness that exist with some of the people in the industry.
There are countless stories of artist who have gotten jerked in the music business. From poor money management to getting robbed of publishing rights, it’s all happened.
In comes the Internet to change the music game forever.
Most music websites in the beginning of the Internet were static webpages. You had sites that allowed you to put up a picture and some words. Then came websites with sound bites and finally the ability to upload songs. Later the ability to upload videos was developed and the game changed.
With services like Paypal, artist could sell songs and beats directly online. With sites like YouTube, artists could post videos of themselves online to widen their fan base. The Internet kept expanding and sites like MySpace were created to help music artists get massive exposure. MySpace and other social networking sites allowed artists to get worldwide exposure and seek out people that would be interested in their music.
It was like putting your marketing on steroids! Regular Average Joe’s started popping up on the Internet and getting major deals because the big labels started coming to the Internet for the next big thing. These artists basically had a built-in fan base and this made them easy to market and promote because essentially they had already done the initial legwork.
Some artists even got smart and decided to diversify and figure out other ways of making money online. In addition to selling songs online, some artists began to sell music information products, sell website advertising space, affiliate marketing, and offer web design services.
Let’s look closely at these other ways of making money off the music industry online.
Selling music information products online include things like ebooks and video courses. There are courses on everything from songwriting to how to market your beats online. Information products are cheap to produce and they can be sold over and over very inexpensively.
Many artists have written about what they have done to be successful in the music business. There is no shortage of people trying to get into the music business and people will gladly pay money to learn how to the get ahead of the game faster.
Another way of making money offline in the music industry is create a website or blog and sell advertising space. If you have a high traffic website you can place ads throughout your website that are targeted to your fans. There are companies that will pay you to bring traffic to their sites by clicking on special links that you have place on your site. The more people you send to their sites, the better for you.
A different and popular way of making money online is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you sell other people’s products and services. You do not create the products or services but you get paid a percentage of every sale that comes from your special affiliate ID. There are plenty of music affiliate programs all over the Internet. Most of them are free to join.
You should do you homework when picking out products to sell. There are different programs and rules for each merchant. Read up on any merchant that you like and find out as much as you can about their company and product.
Last but not least, some artists not only sell music on and offline, they also sell other services like web design. Most businesses online hire web design professionals to carry out the company’s vision for the future. A good freelance web designer can make a living building quality websites.
The online revolution has definitely changed the music industry. An artist who once would not have had a chance to get exposure in the music business can not only get that exposure online. They can also generate money online as well to help them advance their career and allow them to do what they love more easily.