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Artist management, music marketing, music promotion, how to get a record deal, unsigned

     Digital Music Distribution and Retail Distribution
           >>      Hook up with a music distributor or sell your music yourself online       
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How to find the right music distributor

Physical in-store retail distribution and digital distribution 101

The most important thing to do before you promote
and distribute is to identify your tarket market

Distributing your music both digitally and retail in-store.

Retail In-Store 
          Physical Distribution 101

Although today may be the time of digital  music distribution and this form of distributing your music is essential, there are still millions of fans who like to touch and feel your actual CD.  Therefore, traditional in-store retail music distribution is still the king and an element of getting your music out there that should not be forgotten.  As it goes for the independent artist, this can be tricky and difficult. 

Traditional national retail music distributors usually work with labels that have been in business for at least 5 years, have more than one artists signed to them, and have a track record of significant record sales.  This is not to say that as an independent artist you can't hook up with a decent  retail music distributor. 

Before you start shopping for a music distributribution company there are a few things and prerequisites that you should be sure of.  These are things that the distributor will be looking for, before they consider distributing for you.  On the other hand, there are also details and prerequisites that you should look for in a distributor as well.

Sell Music Online Like Crazy 

1.  You should first make sure that you at the very least release your record on a label ...  even if it's your own independent label.  That being said, if you haven't done so already, you should form your own independent record label.  With all the necessary business structure, legalities, and requirements of actually being a legitimate record label.  This is not as difficult or expensive as it may sound to at least get the structure in place.  There are many guides and books that can help you with this.  The expensive end of owning your own label comes with the marketing and promotional end of your business.  But it is important to note that major  music CD distributors will almost always want to work with a label.

2. You should be able to demonstrate to the music distributor that you have sold a significant amount of records on your own and that you, as a label, are prepared to put marketing and promotional dollars behind the release.  Hence, you should have a marketing plan in place.  Providing decent sounscan statistics is a major plus. 

3. It's important to note that the music distributors responsibility is to get the records into the stores and online.  They are not responsible for getting people to buy them.  This is the responsibility of the record label.  The record label or in this case ... you ...  the owner of the independent record label , must implement the marketing, promotion, and advertising strategies, and expend the money necessary to sell the records a distributor places in a retail outlet.  The retail store or the distributor may recommend advertising or marketing programs, coop programs, point of purchase, that best suit thier store.  Touring, radio play, and publicity in the cities where your record is for sale is an obvious element of promotion you should employ to sell records.  Make sure you look for a national distributor not just a regional one.  Cover all the ground you can. Be prepared to do in-store appearances.














4. CD Distributors will require an exclusive written agreement.  You will need to pay 100% on any returns (records that don't sell).  Music Dsitributors generally retain 20% - 50% on records shipped.  They will also require hundreds of professional designed one-sheets, a professionally designed document including the labels marketing commitment, retail price, UPC code, catalog number, and album cover image.

5. Needless to say, as a, independent record label working with a national distributor you'll need some kind of a budget to make this all happen.  This of course is where a backer/investor in your career totally comes in handy to say the least.  There are shoestring methods of attempting to get this all done but without money the strategies are limited and not recommended.  But it's not impossible.  This is a few of the issues a good manager or consultant can help you with.  If you would like to be educated additionally on some of the methods you could implement to attempt to obtain In-Store Retail Distribution for your record you may want to engage our consultative service

Digital Distribution 101

Although physical in-store retail CD distribution is still an extremely attractive and effective method of selling your record, it is not as crucial to your success as it once was.  As we all are aware the landscape architecure of the music industry and methods of distributing your music has become far easier and far less expensive than it once was with the Internet.  The Internet has changed things drastically to the benefit of the independent artist on a shoestring budget.

When you stick to distributing your music digitally it can save you money in CD pressing, artwork, and duplication.  You can pass this savings on by charging far less for downloads then you would for a physical CD.  Not to mention on of the big benefits being "YOU POCKET MORE MONEY".  A physical Distributer takes a good portion of the profits and the marketing and promotion is far more expensive then marketing on the Internet.  Digital music distribution is a good alternative to physical distribution for costing purposes, and price point for your music.  It is also far easier to facilitate and put together than a physical distribution deal.  There are disadvantages to strictly digital distribution such as the amount of competition you'll have to deal with.  With the onset of independent musicians, there are literally millions of artists doing the exact same thing.  This can make the online marketing of your digital product not as easy as you think.  With physical distribution more of a buzz can be generated by more people  i.e. Distributors, labels, retail outlets, radio, press, etc.  When you go the independent digital route exclusively, you're pretty much on your own.

Your own your own but there are many ways to market your digital product online.  Besides the obvious ways such as selling your CD on your official website and vigorously marketing it through your myspace site, you should work with other digital distributors to gain as much exposure for your music as possible. The most popular digital music distributor is iTunes of course.  Every artist needs to have their musi available on iTunes.  Here's a link that will give you the information you need to make your music available on iTunes.  They also have some great stuff available at lower cost online prices such as iPods, iPhones, music and video while your there.

There is a few different methods of choosing the digital music distribution web portals that you want to distribute your music.  You can pick and choose from the thousands of digital download websites individually or choose an all inclusive digital distributor that has relationships with many distributors.  These music distribution companies will facilitate your music to be downlaoded on hundreds of their associate sites.  A couple very popular ones are CD Baby and Tunecore.  Make sure that whoever you sign on with does not require you to sign an exclusive distribution agreement.  This can greatly reduce your options moving forward.  eMusic is also an excellent place to sell your music and download some great music as well.

However, although distributing your music digitally on music distribution download portals is significantly easier and far less expensive, you must still market and promote.  You must drive the traffic and potentil buyers of your music to these portals.  Digital distributors such as iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody, among thousands of others will gladly allow fans to download your music taking a percentage of the sale, but they will not help in any marketing and promotion.  In other words, it's your responsibility to get people there.  This can be achieved in many ways throuh many markting efforts.  The simplist and free method is simply adding a link to your music on your websites, myspace, etc.  Oher methods incude fee based banner and link advertising on high-profile portals.  Having your CD reviied by a significant music journalist and linked from the review is also a wonderful way to do this.


National Retail Distribution Opportunity through ADA/Warner Bros. for Independent Artists
AMEG through its affiliation with independent record labels and The Warner Music Group, can place an artist's album into our  independent label associate's music distribution system through Warner's independent music distribution channel the ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance).  The ADA is the number one national distributor for independent labels and artists.  We will review an artist's new release and determine which of the attributes listed above that the record and artist have.  We are extremely selective to say the least about the artist and release and will only choose a few for this program.  If you would like to submit your new release for ADA/Warner Bros. national distribution consideration you can do so by following our general submissions guidelines.  Be sure to note that you are seeking distribution for your new release.  For this particular program, it is not necessary to have your own record label.  Genres accepted for this particular program are Rock, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Punk Rock, Metal, Modern Rock.  If selected, our associate indie label will put it through their In-Store Retail and Digital Distribution system.  All associated costs of marketing, promotion, advertising, and label consulting fees will still remain the responsibility of the Artist.  National Distribution will be combined with a label program and label consulting package which includes publicity, radio promotion, and tour set up and media support.  There are consulting fees associated with this service.

Submit your press kit and CD for consideration >>



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