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Internet Music Promotion 101

by David Nevue - Midnight Rain Productions


David Nevue is the author of "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet," a step-by-step guide to online music promotion based on his own experiences. David started promoting his music on the Internet in 1995 and by 2001 was making enough money from his music to quit his day job. David now has nearly a dozen albums in his discography, books his own tours, and even runs his own very successful Internet radio station. You can read more about David's success in his article about making a living from just your music

Here are a few of David's articles and blog entries on music promotion, the music business, and all things related to promoting music on the Internet.


David's Latest Columns...

Social Media: A Lesson in Self Defense for Musicians
Social interaction with your fans is a good thing... to a point. But it would be wise to give yourself a few rules to go by; rules to help protect you not only from yourself (you can be your own worst enemy), but also those who follow you that may or may not have your best interests in mind. Consider this a lesson in social media self-defense. Added Aprril 29th, 2009.

The "Secret" to Selling Lots of Music

I just received my biggest single payout ever for digital music sales from CD Baby. Over $2,000 just in digital music sales. That got me thinking. Why do people buy music? What is it that makes someone, a total stranger, actually go out and PURCHASE music? Especially when, in this day and age, people can find so much music for free on the Internet. To what do I owe my great digital sales success? Added 03/10/2009

House Concerts: Be an "American Idol," One House at a Time

You may scoff at the idea of playing a concert in a persons home because you are concerned about SIZE. The size of the audience doesn't matter. In fact, you will likely find, as I did, that playing a concert to a small audience in a home is much more effective and financially lucrative than playing in a "typical" venue. Added 02/27/2009

Making a Living From Just Your Music

Can it be done? Can it really be done? The answer is yes. I've been doing it. I've been making a living from music for the last seven years now. Living the dream. Doing music full time. Commentary by David Nevue. Added 08/01/2008

Twitter-ing Your Music: Google Alerts

One of the aspects of Internet marketing I'm working on for the next edition of my book (the 2009 Edition) is the impact of social media on marketing music. Now, every year there is inevitably a "buzz" about the this or that - some big new something that is the rage in online marketing. Well, right now it's social media. And so one of the things I have been exploring is the viability of using social media to promote ones music. And one of the tools I have just started using is Twitter. Commentary by David Nevue. Added 08/01/2008

How to Copyright Music
How Do I Copyright My Music? That's a question I get asked a lot here at the Music Biz Academy. And so, I decided I might as well write a formal article about it. Article by David Nevue. Added 12/26/2007.

Selling Your Music Online: Starting from Zero

The nice thing about selling your music on the Internet is that you can get started with very little cash up front. If you already have a computer and Internet access, you can get going for as little as $50.
Article by David Nevue. Added 04/05/2005.

Selling Your Music Online: A Reality Check
I am often asked how much a person can really make selling music online. I hear both extremes, both from artists who think they'll use the Internet to make it rich, and others who don't believe anyone can make any money selling music online. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Article by David Nevue. Added 12/07/2004.

Can You Help? And Please, No HYPE!
A recent letter:
"Can you help? Please, NO HYPE. Either yes or no is fine. Would you GUARANTEE your success to me?" David's response.... Added 09/27/2004.

How to Offer Mechanical Licenses for Your Music
Are you confused about how to make your music available for licensing to other people? You're not alone. I recently received the below email from a visitor confused about this issue. Here's the advice I gave him... Article by David Nevue. Added 03/05/2004.


Previous Columns


RIAA Email Hoax for Guilty Downloaders
Feeling guilty about downloading all that music illegally? Well, if you are, you SHOULD. However, don't fall prey to this e-mail hoax circling the Internet right now. AGAIN, THIS IS A HOAX. The e-mail you receive will look something like this. Added 02/27/2004.

Using Cover Tunes to Promote Your Music Online
Can a singer or band find a 'niche' marketing their music on the Internet using old tunes and cover songs? That was a question recently put to David Nevue, the founder of the Music Biz Academy. Added 01/08/2004.

Interview with an Internet Music Marketing Pioneer
This interview with Music Biz Academy founder David Nevue is courtesy of Louise Hall, Vertigo, student magazine of Sydney Australia's University of Technology. Get David's take on being an flourishing independent musician in today's digital world. Added 11/05/2003.

Top 10 Free Music Promotion Newsletters
Our good friends at The Bard's Crier have updated their list of the top ten music marketing and promotion newsletters available on the net. We totally agree with them... with one exception. In their humility, they didn't include their own newsletter, which should definitely be there! Added 11/05/2003.

Tonos Calls it Quits
"Dear members: It is with regret that we inform you of the decision by the Tonos Board of Directors to close down Tonos Entertainment..." Added 07/25/2003.

CD Baby Goes Digital, MP3.com Goes Quietly
I have some big, big news for my fellow independent musicians. CD Baby announced over the weekend that members can now submit their music for inclusion Apple's iTunes Music Store. That means you'll be able to sell, and make royalties from digital downloads of your music to anyone who has access to iTunes. Added 07/21/2003.

A Better, Braver World for Independent Musicians
What kind of opportunities await independent musicians today as opposed to, say, ten years ago? That was the question posed to Music Biz Academy founder David Nevue in this interview for Henry Hutton, Internet Media Director for Lulu.com. Added 07/16/2003.

iTunes is Changing Everything
"Everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about the new iTunes Music Store just opened by Steve Jobs and Apple Computing. I don't think Apple has gotten this much good press since... well, maybe even before anyone heard of the Internet..." Added 06/10/2003.

Is MP3.com on its Last Leg?
"MP3.com has found itself in a very awkward position, I think. It's a strange experiment gone haywire, a once-totally-independent web site that has been genetically grafted into the corporate music family....MP3.com started out like a child with big dreams and ideas, now it seems more like a confused teenager, trying to find its place in the changing digital world. Will it survive its adolescent years?" Article by David Nevue. Added 12/20/2002.

Planning Your Music Career: One Step at a Time
How to you begin planning for a serious career in the music business? What are the steps you need to take to 'make it?' Article by David Nevue. Added 10/27/2002.

Digital Music in a Changing Digital World
Will digital technology ever truly "level the playing field" for independent musicians? Or will the disparity we see today between struggling musicians and the corporate music industry continue for the foreseeable future? Does it even really matter? Article by David Nevue. Added 07/08/2002.

How to Accept Credit Cards on the Internet
(and Increase Your CD Sales!)

To run a successful business on the Internet, credit card acceptance is an absolute must. Unfortunately, accepting credit cards typically means setting up a merchant vendor account with a bank and incurring additional monthly costs. A tough call for most musicians. Here are some tips that will get you up and running fast, without the huge expense or hassle. Added 06/21/2002.

How to Promote Your Music on MP3.com for (Almost) Nothing
In one of my recent articles, Selling More CDs Online: A Three-Pronged Approach, I stated I was able to generate over 50,000 song listens at MP3.com using 'basic, simple, inexpensive' promotion strategies. This comment generated a few inquiries from readers. Namely, what exactly do I mean by 'inexpensive' promotion? Article by David Nevue. Added 04/29/2002.

Ready to Promote Your Music Through Morpheus?
MusicCity.com, the heir-apparent to Napster, is seeking to 'level
the playing field' for independent artists and musicians. Beginning in early April, independent artists will be able to promote and distribute their music to millions of listeners through the Morpheus User Network. Updated April 2002

Finding Radio Stations to Play Your Music
Our good friends at The Buzz Factor have compiled a very helpful list of places where you can find radio stations for potential airplay. Added March, 2002.

Selling More CDs Online: A Three-Pronged Approach
Recently, a visitor to the Music Biz Academy asked me a very common question; "How can I sell more CDs on the Internet?" Good question, though very open-ended. How you go about marketing your music successfully depends on a great many factors. This article contains some suggestions where to start. Added Feb 2002.

2001: The Year in Online Music
2001 was a year that brought a lot of change to the online music business. In reviewing the big stories of the last year, a few really stood out... By David Nevue, Jan 2002. .

Instrumental Guitarist Rides MP3.com to Success
Last month I received a great letter from MP3 artist GuyPaul Thibault, AKA 'Little Bastard.' He shared his story with me, and now I pass it on to you. For those of you struggling on MP3.com, be encouraged. There's still room for more success stories at MP3.com. Added 06/01/2001.

MP3.com: A Case Study For Musicians On The Fence
Ever wonder whether it's really possible to promote your music successfully on MP3.com? Here's an MP3.com case study based on one musician's experience. Commentary by David Nevue. Added 02/15/2001.

Selling Your Music on the Net: Key Strategies to Success
So, you've got your own CD and now you want to sell your music on the net. You probably have two burning questions: Where do I start? and How many CDs will I sell?

Newscasting and Music Promotion: Quick Hits for Quick Results
Your next customer may be surfing the net right now looking for information. Provide them the information they are looking for and you may find an increase in your overall CD sales. Here's how. Added 3/25/2000

Marketing Music on the Net: An Interview with David Nevue
Selling CDs on the net: Where there's a will there's a way. One musicians story.


Still Looking For A Place to Sell Your CDs?

If you haven't the time or inclination to set up your own web site for CD promotion, CDBaby.com is a reasonable alternative....

CD Baby Passes Million Dollar Mark In Musician Payouts
CD Baby, an online retailer of independently released CDs, announced today that they have now paid over one million dollars to musicians for CDs sold. CD Baby was started as a hobby in 1998 by musician Derek Sivers, looking for a better way to sell his own CD online. His musician friends also joined up, and told their friends. Soon, without any advertising, word-of-mouth quietly made CD Baby the largest independent-only CD store, with 10,000 artists selling over 100,000 CDs a year.


More Recommended Reading....

FALLOUT - A Follow Up To 'The Internet Debacle'
Quite frankly, when I spent three months researching and writing The Internet Debacle, I wasn't planning to become part of a "cause". I assumed that the 35,000 subscribers of Performing Songwriter Magazine might read it, and a few might email me about it. I had no idea that a scant month later, the article would be posted on over 1,000 sites, translated into nine languages, and have been featured on the BBC. Article by Janis Ian.

'Making It' in the Music Business - An Alternate View
As an independent musician you will find that many experts in the music industry will be more than happy to feed you great morsels of advice. Unfortunately, this advice can sometimes be exactly what a budding musician does NOT need. Article by Graeme Kirk. Added 04/01/2002

The Truth About Barcodes
I see many places that offer one a "personal barcode" for a small amount of money (which is illegal, by the way); or often a CD manufacturing company will offer an artist a "barcode with your OWN name" as part of the deal. But, let's talk about the ACTUAL barcode number, all right? Article by Janet Fisher. Added 04/01/2002.

Finding Radio Station to Play Your Music
Our good friends at The Buzz Factor have compiled a very helpful list of places where you can find radio stations for potential airplay. Added 03/01/2002.

Indie Artist Surpasses One Million Song Downloads
After ranking consistently as one of the most popular and most downloaded artists on mp3.com with over 1,000,000 downloads, Independent artist Ryan Farish has gained national exposure in a big way! Ryanís Internet popularity has led to success beyond the net including licensing opportunities and national television exposure. Added 02/04/2002.

MP3.com Artist Success Story: Chris Burnett
The tools and resources available to online musicians at MP3.com have provided a platform for Chris Burnett to reach a significant Jazz audience, earn some cash, and benefit from other opportunities as well. Music from his debut independently released acoustic Jazz CD, "Time Flies", has had over 83,000 listeners and earned him more than $3,700.00 under MP3.com's Payback For Playback and Premium Artist Service promotional programs. Added 07/12/2001.

The MP3 Way: DAM CDs & Sophie
mp3.com and eBay have a lot in common. Both identified online punters as a way to get rich, and both grossly overcharge for minimal services sold to what are effectively, captive audiences. A great comparison of MP3.com and eBay by Jon Newton.

Musicians Find Net Success Without Record Labels
At a time when the entire music-industry landscape is in flux -- with artists and labels alike trying to hammer out issues over copyright and compensation for digital use -- former major-label artists like Brooke, Aimee Mann and others are finding that going independent and using technology to their advantage can pay off both financially and creatively.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Music Website
If you are a regular cruiser and user of the world wide web, then it won't be any surprise for you to know that the design of the sites you visit affects how, or even if, you will use that site. Article by Christopher Knab.


The Story Of A Guy Who Made $200,000 On MP3.com
If you've been online and dealing with digital music for more than a
week, you know Mikel Fair, better known as 303 Infinity. David Hooper of Kathode Ray Music recently talked with Mikel about his success online, stories of cheating the system, and what he recommends to other artists!
This article is in PDF format - Adobe Acrobat Required. Added 02/01/2001.

The "Bassics" Of Earning Money Online
Martin Lindhe's online musical success started with a simple computer storage problem. When graphic designer and hobby musician Lindhe moved to the U.S. from his native Sweden in 1999, he needed a temporary place to store all the music he had written over the past several years. Since first posting music on MP3.com in late 1999, Lindhe has earned over $87,000 through MP3.com's Payback for Playback program. Added 01/29/2001

Online E-Music Retailing
For bands and artists who are releasing their own records, the Internet offers many new and exciting opportunities. But getting online retailers to pick up your CDs (and other music related product) is as much a business as getting offline distributors or brick-and-mortar stores to carry your records. Article by Christopher Knab. Added 8/16/2000.

Secrets of Successful Email Newsletters
Building and managing an email news service is one small but important part of running a successful online business. For a musician selling music on the net, it provides a proven method for marketing yourself to your fans. Here are a few useful tips from ZDNet.


Submit An Article for Consideration!
Would you like to submit an article for publication at MusicBizAcademy.com? If you have music-related expertise you'd like to share with other musicians including career tips, how to's, or general music business-related articles, please feel free to send them our way. We'll be glad to consider them.
Submit your article!


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How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet
This easy-to-read guide to music promotion teaches you how to effectively sell your music online! Learn what works and what doesn't from a musician who's now promoting music on the Internet full time!
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