So when you finish with a song, what do you do with it? Do you put it up online somewhere? Put it on your own website? Stream it through a service?
I ask because I’m considering what to do with mine. The writing, recording, and (in some cases, especially with Band in a Box) producing of songs is a fun exercise for me. I don’t know if putting them up for streaming for miniscule amounts of money will be satisfying in any real way.
I’m seriously thinking about just creating my own music website (especially since I’m a web software engineer by trade) and just putting my music up there, and and considering doing one or more of the following:
- Provide MP3 Samples
- Let people just listen for free
- Try to license some of them myself
- Put up demos both acoustically and with Band in a Box
- Promote them myself, somehow
I think that may be far more satisfying for me. Of course, I have a SoundCloud account. I guess I could just put them there. But I don’t know how I could actually monetize things there should I choose to try to. A lot of the “online places” (like CDBaby and the streaming services) really don’t pay much. I could, in theory, charge a $50 licensing fee for one of my songs, and that would take me 12,500 spotify plays, at $0.004 per stream, to make.
In fact, if I can be truthful, I put something up on CDBaby, and it didn’t really feel satisfying at all. I put it up, and was then like “Now what?” That, and I think I can do better versions of the songs. I think putting the stuff up on my own site would be far more satisfying and fulfilling, even if it’s free. Maybe I’m delusional, but I think I could probably set up a donation system on my website (via paypal) and make more money than I could streaming, if I chose to go that route. So instead of “releasing an album” like I had originally planned (even though I burned all the songs to a CD and mailed one to my mother – she now has a one of a kind item), I could just have “songs on my website”.
Before going to the trouble of becoming Kevin McLeod 2.0, with your own music licensing website,
you could see if there is a demand for commercial use via a commercial audio library,
e.g. Search Results
[ Other libraries are available which may give you a better deal , audiosparx take ~50% ]
In my experience, the prevalence of streaming music has been financially bad for the majority of musicians. Years ago it was common for bands to raise a significant part of their income through the sale of CDs (and prior to that, cassettes). These days there are a lot less people buying CDs (many people don’t even have a CD player), and royalties from streaming are tiny unless you have a vast following. These days, bands tend to make more money from selling T-shirts and other merchandise than from selling recordings.
Streaming services such as Spotify can be useful as part of an advertising strategy (“Listen to us on Spotify ……”), but it is unlikely to produce significant financial returns unless you are already famous.
Depending on the genre, you could create some sort of catalogue and send it to media companies.
This catalogue you can host on your own website, soundcloud, etc and simply email the link.
The bigger ones probably use agents, so perhaps getting on their list is a good strategy.
They in turn, may want to license one or more of your songs for a movie, series, etc.
Just be careful of overzealous, existing platforms that tend to claim copyright over songs that are
not even theirs, but based only on the chord progressions, which may be similar, or so they think.
Avoid those at all costs, one has already been mentioned in previous posts on this thread.
Unfortunately, this kind of “legalized” song theft, is all too common.
Other ways you could generate some revenue, short jingles for radio stations, adverts,…
As I wrote above, the bigger organizations will most likely have their preferred artists/composers,
so breaking into those will be tough, rather concentrate on the smaller independent guys.
Like others have written, streaming platforms don’t really pay well, unless of course you already
have millions of fans.
i used to post mine on songfight. org they had weekly contests, you would listen to all the different artist and styles and vote for the ones you liked and give remarks if you cared to. It just good practice and if you won it was just for bragging rights. its a good site. Im banded from there now over a little fuss, it was good while it lasted.
http://www.songfight.org/music/silent_pipe/redcar_pipe.mp3 they give you a title and you have 5 days to do the best you can, this is years ago. the weeks title was silent_pipe and redcar won, i think he did a great job.
I signed up to Distrokid, cost me £9 for a year subsciption (Because I waited till they offered me a huge discount) and upload the music I make using using FL Studio, probably the best DAW out there although Abelton seems popular.