I asked a question of the friends on this network on who has the "Manual on Digital Distribution" of your recorded music. I got a few answers. Mostly I got a lot of people that said that they had NO IDEA with requests that said, if I found out, tell them.
So this discussion is about developing that Manual and FAQ. Post away with your questions and answers!
I checked out CD Baby, Tunecore, WaTunes, The Orchard, IRIS, Nimbit, and others.
What I wanted was to be able to submit my music and get the most number of outlets with the highest amount of return to me as an artist. I went through numerous Blogs and went through many comments back and forth about who is best. Even found one where Tunecore and CD Baby went head to head. Very informative.
You can find out about each service by going to their web site, In a nutshell here is what I found without going through actual numbers.
CD Baby - Established and most of the replies that had a choice for me said go there. They put you songs on a large number of services, charge a setup fee and a percentage of your sales for life.
Tunecore - New but gaining power charges a setup fee and a yearly fee to maintain your CD info in their catalog, however does not charge a percentage.
WaTunes - Very new and charges a setup fee but no percentage and has over 100 sites they set you up on. Many of the International.
Nimbit - Good for personal sales on your web site and places like MySpace or FaceBook or here for that matter. Their plus is that widget that you can copy anywhere. They also distrubute to the major services but charge a percentage.
The Orchard, and IRIS - Could not find out about their rates as they have to contact you back after you submit a request. they claim that they can market you also.
Here was my analysis:
After reading the blogs, I found that the vast majority of digital sales are from iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, Napster (Owned by BMG) and the subscription services like Rhapsody. The other services that were out there I had not heard of. It is likely that no one else has either so the chances of selling on obscure services is very low. So 10s of outlets may not mean very much. It is about the top 5-10.
Another argument was that why should you pay someone to initially send your music to these services and allow them to get a commission for life?
Considering that, I decided to choose Tunecore. i get the major sales services but do not have to pay a lifelong royalty to them. I keep all of whatever comes from the stores sent to me. I'll pass on all the obscure store sites afforded by CD Baby. WaTunes is free but they are so new that I don't see a track record there yet. (I will also stick with Nimbit for the portAbility of the widget. You can send the code to your fans to paste into their web site or MySpace page and now they are sending sales to you.
TIMKAT currently uses SNOCAP, which only pays out at the first $25 in sales, and at $.75 a song, that might be a while (; This is a great thread, and I'll keep researching right along with you, as well as try out some of your suggestions to see where that lands us. Thanks again for getting things going.
I'd like to thank Erly for checking out our service. WaTunes has helped dozens of music artists, record labels, distributors, and social network communities to engage in digital distribution at no cost to them. We're known for the most fast and responsive service and will help everyone to be able to get their music up on iTunes and other music stores freely without any hassles or fees. WaTunes customers will then earn up to 90% of their sales, enabling them to simply focus on making music. If you have any questions regarding our service, simply contact us via our Support Center at: http://support.watunes.com, OR shoot me a PM here. I look forward to working with some of you and look forward to all of your music career success.
Thanks for being a part of the Jazz Network and helping us to learn about your services as well! I'll take a look at your offerings, as we need all the marketing and distribution boost that we can get!
Kathryn Shut /shoot/
TIMKAT Entertainment, Inc
Denver and Dallas, USA
Thanks for following this. I am considering your service also. I think that we should put our tunes on as many services as possible. I'll email your support about how to do it soon. I am particularly interested in the International sites you have set up as we need to be G***** in nature not just regional. By the way if you have a press kit or instructional how to manual, post it or send it to me at Erly@ErlThornton.com
You can download our WaTunes Manual at our support center at: http://support.watunes.com to learn more information on how you can setup and upload your albums with us. You can also sign up for your free account to get hands-on information about our services and view your sales. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at: email@example.com.
Hi Erly ... I had started a discussion and then discovered that you had this one going, so I'll close mine, and move over to your thread instead!! A great topic and SO important, if jazz musicians are going to need to rely more and more on "new media" strategies to get discovered.
Kathryn @ TK
Thanks for taking the time to read this post .... I thought I would throw it out to the more "experienced" folks on the site that might be able to help.
In light of disappearing jazz stations and the more traditional way of sending a press kit to a radio station and hoping that someone likes your sound, TIMKAT has decided that we are going to focus more and more on making digital downloads of our artists' music available via "new media" channels, such as the Internet.
When we first started in October of last year, we sent a letter of intent to Apple.com to distribute our music on iTunes, and so far have not gotten any response, likely due to the sheer volume of folks doing the same.
We are also interested in promoting music on other sites, such as Amazon.com, but are not sure how to do this. I have also read countless books on the subject that say that one SHOULD try to sell the music through such channels, but they often do not give any tips on how to push the door open to get started or how to follow-up when sometimes all you get is an auto-generated "Do-Not-Reply@music.com" message and no way to contact anyone.
Could anyone please give us some great tips on self-promotion of digital media and/or if you would have any direct contacts that could assist us in getting our music off the ground? You may reply here or directly to me at TimKatEnt@Gmail.com.
Thanks to all for your support and for keeping jazz alive!!
Kathryn @ TIMKAT
Denver and Dallas, USA
hi Kathryn..lorraine here..from Montreal..I help my pianist husband with the biz and web stuff.
Tunecore now has Amazon on their list of outlets.. This is about 6 months old now.
One thing..I think you have to direct the traffic to the amazon site..or the page just might sit there. Its all digital.
email me for my number and I would be happy to share some tidbits I picked up along the way in the area of promotion.
Lorraine and Erly, you both have been great on this topic, and we've opened up a TuneCore account to get Tim's first album going that way. I will definitely keep in touch with both of you via email to learn best how to market and direct people to VISIT the the sites that you've worked hard to find!
I agree. I plan on using CDBaby Also. It is not about one site being the best, but using multiople sites to make sure that you have the most full spread. Since I am not a Lawyer, I have a friend who is in Entertainment law and has not come up with a definitive answer to this so this is not a sure fire solution yet but will be my approach. I think I will be putting my music to the company that has the best terms for internet sales first with the majors like iTunes. I will then put my tunes with the other services that offer the next best level and pick and choose the digital services I need them to submit to. I will also go with some companies like CDBaby, CDFreedom and Amazon regarding physical CD sales outlets. They take a higher amount but package and ship (order fulfillment) which I am finding initially takes a lot of my time. Packaging CDs, signing them and shipping them to my individual customers takes hours out of my day that I could use trying to market better and finding GIGS!
Honestly, we may be dropping SNOCAP soon as well. They do little to help promote the tracks, the sound is mediocre, and the main reason why we started there is because they ported well to our official site out on MySpace.com (http://myspace.com/TimKatEnt).
We wrote directly to the iTunes artists' promotion link when we first started, almost six months ago, and got no response outside of an autoreply, so it sounds like joining a subscription service like TuneCore may be the path to pursue. We have done this and expect to see the tracks released for 'Easy Does It' in May of this year. Now on to the continuous job of marketing!
Thank you again a thousandfold to you and folks on this thread for helping us here. We hope one day to repay the favor somehow.
The Jazz Network is exactly what the title suggests, a place where you get to mix and mingle with those who have not only an appreciation for Jazz but a forum to hear new up and coming artists as well. I've hooked up with so many of my old friends that I've lost contact with over the years here and it's been a great place to meet folk, appreciate good music and Musicianship. What an incredible idea!!
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