The new norm: not many trips to a physical store
While there still is success in the realm of store sales from incredibly popular artists, a majority of sales have been through the means of the internet. In many ways it has never been harder to make a vast profit from recorded songs, due to sharing, posts on video hubs, and torrents. The bands that are out there recording high quality material may not even be selling full albums; just one track hits at around 99 cents a single. One good thing about people buying so much online is that if you find followers, you can absolutely still make a profit from your efforts. If you are careful in your spending, you can even buy new gear or at least finance some merchandise and cover additional publicity and marketing expenses.
iTunes, the sales heavy Hitter
When musicians think of iTunes, they definitely think of a medium that is huge not only in gift card sales, but as a form of delivery many deem as their best source. It is also an application that many play the music in predominantly, instead of a media player or MP3 format. To properly sell your music on iTunes, you need to have a plan to get an aggregator. In a nutshell the reason for this is making sure that it uploads exactly true to specs the first time, and making sure you have codes like UPC’s for proper channels. Some aggregators will not accept your music the first time, especially if it is deemed raw and very underground; but many have luck with repeated submissions.
Soundcloud is a format that is not used to drive much profit (yet), but as a means to get the music out there to many listeners. It is absolutely crucial to make sure that people get an excellent sample before or after reading your bio, linking there from somewhere else, or being recommended by friends. It is imperative to have a short and to the point bio on this site, and also be careful to not give all, or the best, diamonds away to the listener on a treasure hunt. The key here is to really know that if you reel in fans from this medium, they may become loyal purchasers of merchandise or show-goers in the near future. And, will spread the word about how much they like your music.
Spotify, the newest format
Spotify has a premium tier that gives users access at unlimited amounts for $9.99 a month, and distributes around 70% of the revenues right back to the artist. This service has been widely known as truly convincing people to pay for music again, and monthly payments to top artists are around 400K in the high range. That statistic itself is interesting enough to get artists to want to participate, and quick. The true best medium to get your music on Spotify is CDBaby, run and staffed by musicians. Radio stations that are customized and a quick easy integration to Facebook and Twitter are pluses of this huge streaming benefit. It is well known in the industry that many workplaces and streaming devices use Spotify, a wonderful portal for the modern musician.