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Music Distribution: A Look From The Inside Through The Eyes of An Artist

By Russ Suereth

This week’s article is a discussion about online music distribution.

There are dozens of ways to distribute your music online.  The tough part is figuring out which is the best one for you.

Your music can be sold online a number of ways including your own website, Facebook, online radio, satellite radio, terrestrial radio, and online stores like iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby.

Two of the main companies out there for music distribution are TuneCore and CD Baby.  These two basically have the same features. The main difference seems to be that TuneCore has a yearly fee, and CD Baby takes a small percentage of your sales. Some people will argue that they are very different but I don’t see that.

I used TuneCore on my first EP, and now I’m using CD Baby on my new CD.  I changed just to try out CD Baby, and they both seem the same to me.  Although I do like the CD Baby player that I can put on my web site, I would definitely recommend either one of these two distributors.

I’ve also had my music played on college radio stations, though I never really felt that it allows me to establish a connection with my listeners.  I always felt that my music went into a black void.

I also have used Radio Airplay quite a bit, but I don’t any longer.  I started using it because it looked like I could connect to listeners who liked my music.  Radio Airplay does allow you to know who liked your songs.  But your communication back to them, even something simple like, “Thanks for listening,” goes to an area of Airplay that users never pay attention to.

So that takes me to my website, where at least I can set up a newsletter or some form of communication with listeners who want to provide their email address.  And that’s a topic for another day.  Actually it’s several topics because there’s a lot to discuss.

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