If youre aTunecoreuser you may have seen this change appear in your dashboard this last week, and may have wondered what it is, so I thought wed talk about choosing and using multiple stores or sales outlets for online distribution, and a little about the various distribution networks that are common in our industry today.
Ive been a part of the online distribution community for some time. I remember the earlyCD Babydays whenDerek Siverswas still at the head. CD Baby, like all the other institutes of modern distribution, has gone through many changes in recent years, and each one is going to offer you outlets to reach but the big question for an artist (or a manager) might be, where doIactually need to sell my music to see a conversion, or return on my investment? You cant ignore the fact that, to sell 100 copies you have to spend quite a bit of money to get the word out. Hard copies are at about $2-3 per unit if you want it to be printed well, and even though digital is a 1/3 of that, it wont sell unless people know about it.
To answer the big questions, you have to look at the big picture. Where do you belong in the marketplace? One cant simply look at the goals ahead and think they can get there simply by putting themselves in this arena. If youre on the court without a ball youve got no game. In the same way if youre music is online with no support, not even a content marketing strategy (like blogging, and engaging conversation through social media) then youre not really getting the information out there that is going to make you known.
Theres a few simple steps to take: 1) Whats your target audience, 2) How do you intend to reach them, 3) How are you going to engage that audience, and 4) for how long. Theres more than this to the campaigns, but basically, this is how you structure them. As far as where to go to distribute, and what to jump on when its shiny and new I would say that it all boils down to whether or not youre being consistent about your marketing approach, and whether or not this entity will best reach your target audience. Beats (to address the beginning of this post again) would be an urban, young, and lifestyle (or fashion) oriented audience. In terms of which distribution network to start with (Tunecore, CD Baby, etc) to get to these sales portals pay attention to the sales portals offered, and compare that with the plan and demographics.
In summary: Create the perfect storm for a listener of your music to hear it, and buy it. Is it at a coffee shop on a Neil Diamond, Pandora station? Where your target is, and how to reach them is the focal point. The rest is easy from there.