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Guide on How to sell Your Nigerian Music on iTunes Store
The following interview you are about to watch is probably one of the most comprehensive interviews I have seen 9ice give in recent times. In addition, there is a clear growth and maturity, business wise, as an artist and executive label owner that he displays.
Finally, a few highlights from his interview are as follows:
1. Artists have to tour/perform at shows/concerts to make ends meet. I have discussed this extensively here on AML. He points out, as I have also noted, that the tide is changing and particularly the digital age has helped many artists.
2. As to the illustration that a viable income can be made online, 9ice explains he made $100,000 on Itunes selling ‘Gongo Aso.’ How? My article below that follows is a modified republished article that explains how to get your music on Itunes and also drive your fan base to so you too can sell as much music as 9ice did and continues to. New AML artists readers, read it. Existing AML artists readers who have followed by work, re-read it again.
3. 9ice is currently obtaining a degree in Public Administration with the intention to gain admission into law school, obtain a law degree and enter into politics. Education is key. Even if you do just music, you need a music education on the fundamentals of music. Your curriculum should, at a minimum, include business courses that you should take as an elective if you are based in Nigeria or Ghana where they may not offer music business courses on your campus. AML USA artists, seriously, no excuse here. Take courses in music business, music law or just business law alongside your major in music.
4. 9ice discusses collaborations and points out it helps keep artists relevant, it is a good way to give back to the community and to work with young talents. I agree but as I have said before on AML, where co-authors are involved in creating music, get an entertainment lawyer involved because this area tends to wrought with legal issues and does get pretty sticky.
5. Finally, as to his wife (Toni Payne), he is somewhat evasive but does say they are friends and are both focused on taking care of their son, Zion. I find it fascinating that the public is so fascinated by this couple. They are just Toni and 9ice to me.
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I have alluded that I will discuss new entrants into Nigeria’s digital distribution music space. I will discuss this from an artists rights perspective and will do once time permits.
How to Get Your Music on Itunes
Two popular questions I get is: 1) How do I get signed to a record Label? 2) How do I sell my music on Itunes?
I have covered the record label (on AML in the past) Let’s go in on the Itunes question.
3 Main Options to Sell Your Music On Itunes
#1- Sell Directly Through Itunes: Itunes has its own independent distribution and accepts music from artists. Click here and follow all steps. Turn around time from Itunes can be rather lengthy given the volume of artists, worldwide, that want to sell on Itunes. Plus, there is no guarantee you will be approved.
#2- Sell Through CD Baby & Tunecore: CD Baby & Tunecore, independent distributors, have the best reputation for selling music for independent artists like yourselves on Itunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, E-music and other reputable stores. They serve as the middle men. CD Baby, for example, can within 48hours, barring no issues, have you selling on Itunes. You set your price for your music, the set up cost is $35.00 per album, $9.00 per single. CD baby makes $4.00 off every sale and pays you on a weekly basis. Tunecore cost $9.99 per single and $49.99 per album upload. Both companies also handle all the logistics including getting the UPC code you need to sell your music through Itunes etc.
WE ARE DONE!
Legal Points to Note:
- YOU CANNOT SELL MUSIC YOU DO NOT OWN! It’s called stealing aka copyright infringement and you could get sued. (G)et clearance for all work that does not belong to you.
- YOU OWN ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU SELL ONLINE WITH A DISTRIBUTOR. Do not give anything up. A distributor demands rights to your music, say “thank you” and keep it moving.
Sell Your Music On Online Through Nigeria/Ghanaian African E-Distributors
There are many outlets online that you can now sell your music. You should not sign any exclusive agreements to sell on these platforms. African owned e-distributors that I feel comfortable recommending are:
These websites have hyper-targeted audiences i.e. a niche audience that will most likely buy your music. Visit their websites and follow their procedures on how to sell your work.
SO YOU GET YOUR MUSIC ON ITUNES, SO WHAT?
The answer? Nothing. Newsflash. Getting your music on Itunes will not sell your music. It’s the online marketing and promotions that sells your music. To make $100,000 on a song like 9ice did, you need serious push on the marketing and promotions to drive fans to Itunes and these sites so you can sell your music.
How to Use Internet Marketing & Promotions to Sell Your Music Online!
The basics you should have down include: 1) a website that is interactive and includes a blog; 2) a facebook fan page; 3) a youtube account; and 4) a twitter account. There are other great sites for artists such as Reverbnation and Soundcloud. Find the most effective site that works for you and get social!
OTHER TIPS TO MARKET AND PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC SO YOU CAN SELL $100,000 WORTH OF MUSIC LIKE 9ICE
Develop Relationships: It starts and ends with relationships. To sell your music successfully online, you must make fans, key online influencers (bloggers, media etc) FEEL good about you and your music. This means you must develop relationships and DO NOT BURN your bridges. It is that simple.
Be About the Music: FOCUS and be about the music. Put your heart, soul and raw emotions into your work and create nothing short of great music. Great music sells itself and forces everyone to pay attention.
Know Why You Use Social Media (SM): First, do not sit on SM all day. It shows to your fans, media, labels and other industry professionals you have nothing to do. Delegate a block of time for SM, talk to fans and then move on with making music, building relationships and promoting offline as well. Basically, have a life.
Second, it is so easy, especially on twitter, to log on and with its fast pace, reveal any and all details about your life. DON’T. Put a filter on it and keep your private moments, private. Use your SM pages to market and promote your music. Do not “vomit” all over it i.e. talk about every detail in your life, discuss “beef” you have with others, relationship drama and worse, fight with fans. This will NOT, overtime, gain you support much less make people buy your music. Also, if you are always complaining, it gets old very quickly. Your fans will get tired of the negativity and will go somewhere else.
Never Take Fans for Granted: (C)ursing out fans is a “no, no.” In addition, taking your fans for granted is uncool. Don’t presume they will always be there. You have to connect, nurture and grow the relationship with your fans. Ignoring, not saying “thank you” when fans tweet your tracks, compliment or share your music is taking your fans for granted.
Listen to Your Fans: There are many tools to use to listen to your fans. Type your artist name into Twitter.com/search and you will see the conversations that are being said about you; 2) Set up a Google Alert and you will receive any and all information on the web on what is being said about you or your competitors right into your gmail account.
Talk to Your Fans: Post simple videos of you and your latest projects, share pictures of you in the studio, make your fans feel they are right there with you. Ask your fans what their favorite track on your album is and why. Ask them how your music makes them feel. When they comment on your SM pages, ask their permission to republish those comments on your blog, website, CD Baby or Tune Core pages. It will help drive sales for your music. Reward them for being loyal through contests and giveaways (autographed CD, t-shirts, tickets) etc. It takes time. Results are not overnight but the investment pays off.
Build Awareness: Your actions should you are committed to your music, you have fun and you CARE about your fans. Make your fans ready and eager to buy your music.
A final and important note to drum into your music heads is this. Your fans or anyone for that matter DO NOT buy your music because it was a nicely produced track. They buy your music because of how YOU, the artist, make them FEEL. MAKE THEM FEEL GREAT!
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