The Internet dramatically affected the music business. Now, instead of purchasing their music on physical devices, such as CDs and records, consumers often purchase their music digitally, through MP3s and other digital audio formats. This has opened up new distribution channels for musicians, as well. Instead of having to sell their music through stores, musicians now often sell their music online. They do this a number of different ways, such as by listing songs with online music stores. Musicians also sell their songs independently, using services such as PayPal.
Start a Web page. In order to sell music independently, musicians generally need to create a Web page. The only requirements for this Web page are to give prospective buyers some information about the artist and the music. The musician may wish to put samples of his music on the website. Depending on the amount of money the musician wishes to spend, he can either register a domain and design a page from scratch, or build a page on a social networking site. The website should list prices for various songs and albums, which can be made available in a physical form, such as CD or vinyl record, or as an MP3 download, and a means of communicating an order, such as through email.
Open a PayPal account. PayPal is an online-banking site that allows members to receive and send money. When a person opens a PayPal account, he can send money to his account either from another PayPal account or from a bank account. A PayPal member can then transfer this money to his own bank account. Setting up an account is free and takes only a short amount of time.
Instruct buyers on how to pay you. When a buyer communicates to you that he wants to buy your music, use the "Request Money" feature on PayPal. PayPal will then send the buyer an email instructing him how to pay money. After the buyer pays, the money will appear in your PayPal account.
Send your music to your buyers. After the buyer has paid, you have several ways in which you can send him his music. If he ordered a physical record, such as a vinyl record or a CD, ship it to him by mail. If he ordered MP3 files, either email them to him or make them available to him by uploading them to a file storage site and then emailing him the site address.
- Music Biz Academy: Sell Your Music Online
- "Sell Your Music!: How to Profitably Sell Your Own Recordings Online"; Mark W. Curran; 2001
- "The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money"; Jaci Rae; 2006