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[Guest article courtesy of Melanie Kealey of Bandzoogle]
Even in a time when new platforms and online technologies are exploding in popularity – Web3, TikTok, Yubo, and more – it has never been more critical for musicians to build and maintain their own website, their main hub on the web.
Not only do you get full ownership over your website, but you also own the data (especially customer data), you can monetize your website however you see fit, and you get to keep more of the money.▼ Article continues below ▼
Music website platform Bandzoogle recently announced that their members have generated over $100 million in revenue from their websites, commission-free.
There are many ways to make money with your music online. Here’s how Bandzoogle members did it, and how you can too.
People may hear your new releases for the first time on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music. But that doesn’t mean they’re unwilling to purchase digital downloads from their favorite musicians.
You can set up all your music – singles, EPs, and albums – for sale on your website. Different pricing models work for different artists, so a “pay what you want” offer is well worth experimenting with as well.
It’s not uncommon for artists to show up to a gig with little more than their instruments in hand, only to realize their fans don’t just want to be a part of the gig or listen to their music on Spotify or Apple Music… they want a physical representation of the music and musicians they feel so connected to!
For diehard fans, CDs are still a must. CD duplication and manufacturing services are more affordable than ever, and short runs are also possible, so order your CDs, and make them available for sale on your website.
Vinyl has proven itself more than a passing trend in the last 17 years. Not all your fans will jump at the chance to buy your music on vinyl, but there is always a percentage of fans who will, and there may be an opportunity to incorporate vinyl into your contests and crowdfunding campaigns as well.
Before investing in 100 records (which can cost a pretty penny), you can survey your audience or set up pre-orders to test response.
From T-shirts and hats to stickers and posters, selling band merchandise represents a huge income opportunity for most artists and bands – and in some cases it’s a missed opportunity.
It’s easier than ever to get set up with quality, stylish merch using print on demand solutions like Printful. With a little patience and know-how, anyone can create and sell their own merch and have a capable print on demand company handle the logistics of manufacturing, packing, shipping, and fulfillment.
It’s easier than ever to make physical merch, but it can still take time, and if you don’t have any usable graphics and designs, it could end up costing a bit of money too.
For many artists, digital merch is a little more accessible. Whether it’s sheet music, videos, lessons, lyric books, or otherwise, there’s no manufacturing involved, there’s no limit on inventory, and delivery is instant. While it may take a while to create the products, once they’re done, they’re done.
So, with its many advantages, it’s well worth investing in your selection of digital products on your website.
Selling tickets to your shows is a great way to gauge interest in your performance (in a specific market), collect customer data, and of course, generate an income.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sell tickets to live streams, as well, because the growth of live streaming was explosive through the pandemic, and audiences are still very much connected to their favorite musicians online today.
Musicians sometimes make it hard or complicated for their fans to send them money. Or they feel like it would be invasive, in poor taste, even to ask for tips.
To build a sustainable and profitable music career today, multiple income streams is key. Don’t leave money on the table!
From locked content, to forums, to an online fan club, there are many types of subscriptions you can create for your fans to gain access to a community and / or exclusive content they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
With most income sources, you start at $0 every month, but subscriptions are a form of recurring income, assuming your members stay subscribed and like what you’re offering.
Recurring income makes it easier to create income projections, which can help you plan your next release, the booking of session players, a trip overseas, and anything else you might be thinking about investing in.
If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on many opportunities to earn an income. While there are a lot of great social networks and platforms out there, their design and algorithm can make it very hard on creators to get the exposure they need, and to share and sell their goods.
Meanwhile, you have full control over your website’s design, and you can prioritize any projects or initiatives you want. If you want to get your latest release in front of your fans, you can put it front and center on your website.
For more information, please visit https://bandzoogle.com/
**all images courtesy of Bandzoogle