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Published on July 8th, 2010 | by Hugh Hession

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Using Bandcamp to promote and sell your music

One of the newest and coolest digital publishing/distribution platforms on the net is Bandcamp. While MySpace offers more features, such as blogs, videos, tour dates etc, Bandcamp focuses on a cleaner, less cluttered look with NO ADS!  This means you won’t have to share your page with a mobile phone or singles ad. With no ads, you would think it comes with a membership fee. Nope. It’s FREE!

Bandcamp offers some distinctive features that separates its service from other sites, particularly MySpace.

Let’s dig deeper and look at 13 reasons why adding Bandcamp is a must for your online promotional efforts.

1. Easy to configure

Yeah, I know there are thousands of MySpace templates, but why make it harder than it has to be? With Bandcamp, you can create a custom header, choose your background color, image and easily upload your music and album artwork. Configuring MySpace looks like rocket science compared to this…it’s that easy.

Uploading album art and adding audio is a cinch

Album Art

Upload your custom header with one click

header

Finished example of Bandcamp member SHIPWR3K

shipwreck

2. More ways to share your music

You have the ability to share your music with others on a variety of platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter,  Email/IM or through blogs with the option to select different players for your fans to embed your music.

share

Example of sharing your embedded music on MySpace

share mspace

3. Detailed tracking on plays

Perhaps one of the coolest features of Bandcamp are the tracking lists that you have access to. Let’s look at MySpace. The first song of an artists page is typically going to have the most plays, especially if it is set up to automatically play when someone visits the site.  This doesn’t give an accurate account for actual plays. With Bandcamp, you will be able to see all your play activity from partials, skips and complete plays, giving you more of a feel for which songs are most popular. In addition, you can get detailed lists on visits, embeds and downloads.

Tracking overview page

tracking plays

Detailed visits tracking

visits

Embedded plays

embeds

4. Metadata automatically downloads with music

I get annoyed when I download music from a bands website and there is no metadata available. Bandcamp automatically includes all metadata for each track and integrates seamlessly with ITunes etc.

Example of metadata

metadata itunes

5. Automatic configuration of multiple audio formats

Bandcamp offers multiple audio formats for your fans, giving them preference as to what type of file they want to download. The best thing about this feature, is that you don’t have to do any configuring. You merely upload your FLAC, WAV or AIFF music files and they do the rest for you.

files

6. Ability to set price options on your songs

You have complete flexibility on how you want to price your songs. You can offer less quality files for free and charge for higher quality formats, or have your fans choose the price. It’s up to you!

Options for pricing

name price

7. Choose special visualization settings

If you don’t want album art, you have the choice of various visualization settings. If you like that Pink Floyd type video art (check out the flowers setting) then you’ll love this! These also transfer over into your embedded tracks.

visualization

8. SEO optimized

Bandcamp is SEO optimized, placing your Bandcamp page ahead of the pack.

SEO friendly

9. Advance configuration options

Many bands use their Bandcamp sites as their main music page and provide that link to their band websites. However, you can configure your Bandcamp site to do the following:

a. Custom Domain. You can configure your custom domain (www.yourband.com) to your Bandcamp site if you wish.

b. Image Maps. You can create an image map in your custom header which provides links to your various social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.  Some bands link their MySpace tour dates page to these. Here is an example:

Imagemap example

10. Ability to sell digitally and physically

Bandcamp gives you the option to sell both digital and physical merchandise side by side. You can also can give away bonus stuff, such as PDF liner notes, biographies or whatever you want and include them in your zip file.

11. Create discount and download codes

Bandcamp gives you the option to create promotion codes to give your fans so they can get discounts on your music. This is great tool to entice potential fans to purchase. You can also create download codes, for one-time downloads. These codes work well in emails to your mailing lists.

12. Sell in most currencies

You have the capability to sell in most available currencies around the world.

13. Soundscan reporting

Bandcamp reports sales to Soundscan which is Billboard’s barometer for chart positions.

Bandcamp makes money when you do. When a fan makes a purchase, Bandcamp charges a processing fee. In their FAQ it does mention that in the future, they will probably take a small percentage of sales, however as of now, the site is 100% free. What are you waiting for?

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About the Author

owns and operates Emerging Artists Entertainment Marketing & Consulting, LLC - a company devoted to cultivating aspiring music artists, He is also the head of Hession Entertainment Group, LLC (artist management) and the Music Industry Liaison for the artist discovery site, TalentWatch (www.talentwatch.net). He has over 25 years experience in the music business as a performer, composer, producer and artist manager. Hugh holds a BA in Marketing and is a professional member of NARIP and a voting member of The Recording Academy. He often speaks at seminars and workshops on artist development.



9 Responses to Using Bandcamp to promote and sell your music

  1. Kat Fulton says:

    Hey there,
    Thanks for your post. I started my Bandcamp site about a month ago, and I just received notification that Bandcamp is going to charge per transaction starting in August. Is there a good free alternative out there?

    Thanks!

    • Hugh Hession says:

      Hey Kat. Ironic isn’t it – not but 6 days after I write this post, and Bandcamp starts charging a 15% fee on transactions! Well…I think everyone knew it was coming and I can’t say that I blame them. I think Bandcamp offers a great service, but they still only charge you when YOU make money and that makes sense. If you are looking for other alternatives, check out my buddy Nick Holden over at get-ctrl.com. He has a new site that in my opinion, has great promise. It basically gives you many features as MySpace does – bio, media player, gig calendar etc, and has exceptional fan management functionality. I believe he charges a per transaction fee as well, but the service is essentially free.

  2. كازينو says:

    Hi guys, tried loading this blog through Google RSS reader and got a strange error message, any ideas what could be the issue?

    • Hugh Hession says:

      Hello. Thanks for following us! Go to the Google Reader page (http://www.google.com/reader/view/#overview-page) and click on the “add a subscription” rectangular box with the blue “x” at the top left hand side of the page. Enter in “makingitinmusic” and ours should be the first to come up in the right viewer pane. Click the “subscribe” button (same rectangular box) at the bottom of the entry and you should be good to go. Let us know if you are having other issues, or if this doesn’t work. Thanks again. Hugh

  3. Pingback: Selling Music Is Easy!!! | 7Wins.eu

  4. KD says:

    love this blog,cheers.

  5. Tommy Godley says:

    HI there,
    Just wondering if album sales are recorded in the charts?

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