This week, the authors of The Indie Band Survuval Guide, Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, spoke at the Grammy Pro Business Summit in Austin. They gave an information-dense presentation of basically everything a band trying to make money needs to know. It was so informative and I thought I would share one of the lists they called "How to start a music business for $0." Basically, it is a list of no-cost avenues to make money with music. These services are a low-risk way to get into the market, but if your volume increases you will probably want to change from one of these.
They gave comprehensive step-by-step directions to get your compositions and sound recordings published, copywritten, registered, etc... I've never seen it quite so clearly laid out all in one place. The feedback from the presentation was awesome! Anyways, on to the list.
No-cost money-generating places to get your music:
- Get your music in iTunes for free with Routenote. Its free to get it up, but they take 15% of your revenue. Eventually, you'll have to do the math to see if it continues to make sense to do it this way, but it is a great free way to get started.
- Get licenses for cover songs with no up-front costs through Loudr. They have a direct store and act as a digital agregator also.
- Sell physical CD's with no up-front cost at Creatspace. They are affiliated with Amazon.com and take almost $5 per CD plus a 15% and/or a 45% cut.
- Get paid in multiple ways through YouTube. Read my blog post about YouTube Sync. They also have a brand new streaming service called YouTube Music.
- Your band can sell merch on demand from services like Zazzle. You upload your artwork/logo and fans can order directly from the service and you get a cut of what they sell. There are several others like this (Cafeexpress, Spreadshirt, Directlines, and many others). Pricing models vary widely so shop around for what fits best for what you want to do. Some set limits on payment with volume conditions, so be careful. Also, most have affiliate programs so you can get paid from fans both coming and going.
- Get paid for your compositions and recordings being paid on streaming services through SoundExchange. It doesn't cost anything to sign up and they are the sole collector of streaming royalties in the United States.
- Get your band noticed by bloggers and other media services through Mi2N and Free-Press-Release.com wire services. to help get the ball rolling.
- Don't forget social media! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ustream, Livestream, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, Eventful, etc... They are all free and help connect you more closely with your fans.
There was so much great info at the presentation. I'm sure their book is equally as informative and awesome. If you want to buy a copy of their book, click the pic to the right and it will take you to Amazon to buy a copy. Today, there are used copies for $5 + shipping, what a deal! I wish we had more time to hear more they had to say.