Proficiency in e-commerce is essential for success in the music business


From the moment we inserted our first set of headphones and swirled our finger around the dial of our pocket music players, we knew the music had changed indelibly. It’s hard to believe that was two decades ago. The iPod turned 20 this year.

In addition to changing the musical habits of consumers, the iPod has also overturned the traditional model of music retailing overnight. Where record companies had been accustomed to selling full physical albums, Apple introduced selling individual songs for $ 0.99 to entice consumers to sell iPods. It essentially devalued music in the service of selling technology and paved the way for streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify.

Now labels and other music “rights holders” can expect around a dime per stream from Apple, and half that from Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming platform. What does this mean for artists? There are usually still third parties, such as labels and publishers, who collect their share of the streaming first. Often the result is negligible income for artists for their music.

In 2020, digital album downloads revenue was $ 319.5 million, less than half of the 2016 figure. Subscription and streaming revenue increased every year to reach 10.07 billion dollars in 2020, making up the vast majority of all music’s revenue. industry.

Many well-known artists are earning more from merchandise, performances, and acting than their music, and with live performances still in a precarious state thanks to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for artists to understand how to empower them. online sales.

For artists to be successful in 2022, they need to adapt to their e-commerce strategy. Let’s see how they can achieve this.

Be intentional about income streams

Decide before an outing if streaming music is the right way to go. This is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as there are benefits to streaming that include artist discovery and social proof. If you decide not to stream, you will have to work very hard to involve a large consumer population, as most listeners are used to discovering music through streaming services.

Do you have other ways to monetize your music? Events are popular sources of income for artists and musicians, and while in-person concerts are uncertain, a number of technological solutions have emerged to meet the need. Platforms, such as In the Room, connect artists with fans based on a listening algorithm, then facilitate a private virtual concert that viewers can attend digitally with friends.

You can think of streaming as a single source of revenue for your brand, in addition to a marketing tool. It will help you with consumers at the top of the sales funnel, building awareness of your brand and music, which you can then tap into with various digital touchpoints and buying opportunities.

Build a direct audience to consumers

Building a direct relationship with fans is an essential feature of an artist’s digital toolbox. Many artists use social media to build an audience to sell their music and products to.

Platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok allow artists to accumulate subscribers with whom they can communicate directly, allowing them to introduce buying opportunities for their music, products, live events and other sources of income without intermediaries such as labels and distributors.

Other platforms, like Patreon, have been developed with this designer economy in mind. Artists can market exclusive merchandise or experiences directly to fans to generate recurring revenue.

“Art is present in almost every facet of life. If an artist has a large fan base, you can showcase your art in any medium possible. Due to my most famous clients, my art has been included in movies, podcasts, video games, music videos, awards shows, and TV shows. Today, with the emergence of NFTs and different methods of monetizing art, the possibilities seem limitless, ”says Teak Underdue of Hallway Productionz, who has worked with Ice Cube, Angie Stone, Dave Hollister and others among others. .

Align with a cause

Social responsibility is increasingly expected by consumers. Aligning with a cause can be particularly effective as an artist, due to the emotion inherent in music. As an example, proceeds from TJ George’s upcoming album, Heroes and Legends, go to his non-profit organization Demand Impact which helps people recover from drug addiction.

The alignment opens doors to new audiences who share its values. Demand Impact provides funds to other nonprofits and service providers who help individuals recover, enabling George to tap into their dedicated audiences and foster a meaningful connection.

Leverage like-minded talents

When artists collaborate with like-minded musicians, the cross-marketing opportunity usually benefits all of the artists involved.

George rallied artists from a number of famous bands to participate in his album – working with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers.

The key is to find collaborators with common interests and an interest in the project.

“Each of the contributors to this album has been touched by the opioid crisis. When we met and shared our stories, we realized that there was something really powerful here,” said George. “They are amazing artists who are all called to make an impact using their gift and to see real change happen in our lives.”

The music industry may have changed, but savvy artists are finding success integrating their digital strategies. Diversifying revenue streams and connecting directly with fans is a great place to start. Accelerate your strategy by collaborating with like-minded artists and reconnect with one of the most powerful aspects of music: the impact it has on listeners.

About Shirley L. Kreger

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