How to Distribute Your Music

Digital and Physical Distribution. Online and Offline. MP3s and Physical CDs.

Once you have finished music you’ll want to start selling it. You’ll want to make it available online at digital download stores like iTunes or Amazon, and made available to record stores around the world. There are several companies that offer online and physical distribution, each with slightly different pricing and services.

Online Digital Distribution

Online digital distribution is submitting your music to an online retailer store like iTunes or Amazon to be sold on their websites as mp3 downloads.

All 3 Digital Distribution services listed below include the following stores which are the most popular places where customers download music: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, eMusic, Rhapsody and MySpace Music. Below this section is a complete list of the online distribution stores that each website offers.

Some online distributors will require you to submit your CD in mp3 format, but others require wav format, so it’s a good idea to have the songs on your album in both formats.
Keep in mind that just because your music is submitted to these online stores it doesn’t mean that they’ll be accepted. It’ll take about 6-8 weeks after submitting before your music is online. iTunes is usually faster, appearing online in sometimes as fast as 2 weeks.

Reverb Nation, CD Baby, and Tunecore will all charge you a fee to submit your music to online retailers. Then the online retailers will take a portion of your sales, which will range anywhere from 30-40%. Mp3s sell at $0.99 so you will receive roughly 60-70 cents per song sold, after paying the necessary fees to submit you music and keep it online.

Reverb Nation

Through Reverb Nation the cost of digital distribution is $35 per album or single per year. No extra fees for setup, the $35 will cover the setup and the first year of distribution. If you have money in your Reverb Nation Bank you can use all or part of it to pay for your album submission. They require that you upload your songs in wav format. They also require an image of your album artwork and a barcode number. If you don’t already have a barcode they will supply one for you without charging you an extra fee, but it can take up to 2 weeks before you receive your number. They will also assign all of your songs their own individual ISRC number. It’ll take about 6 weeks for your music to appear on all of the online music retailers websites. Some are faster than others, iTunes should only take about 2 weeks. I’ve also noticed that the first album you submit will take much longer than any other albums you submit later on. So, the same process for your second album submission will not take nearly as long as the first. Another option you have is the ability to give them your release date. If you do not want your album available until a certain date, you can enter a date and your music will not appear online until that date. Once your submission has been paid for they will submit your music to 34 online stores. Whether or not these stores choose to carry your music is up to them, but most of them will. For an extra $25 for a total of $60 a year per album you can upgrade to the Pro Package and get 40 stores total. You will not be able to pick and choose which retailers you want. Once you submit your album it will be submitted to all the online retailers on the list. Besides the Reverb Nation annual fee, the online retailers will take a portion of your sales. This ranges between 30%-40% depending on the retailer. Mp3s usually sell for $0.99, so you will receive about 60-70 cents per mp3 sold. So, to make your money back you would have to sell at least 50 mp3s per year.

Once your music is online and selling, it’ll take about 4 months before you can transfer money to your bank account. Your sales report will arrive about 3 months after the sale happens, then Reverb Nation holds your money for 30 days before it becomes available to transfer to your Pay pal account. You will only be able to transfer money to a Pay Pal account and not directly to your bank account.

Another option they offer you is your own personal Reverb Store. You can set this up once you have an account with them and you’ll be able to sell: Physical CDs, mp3 downloads, ringtones, and merchandise (T-Shirts, Hoodies, Tote Bags, Canvas Caps, Sports Bottles, Travel Mugs, etc.). You do not have to pay anything to maintain the store, and you will be paid immediately after a sale. You can set prices to whatever you want and they will take a predetermined amount for every item sold. So, there will be no need to pay them since they take their portion first and send you the rest.

CD Baby

CD Baby’s digital distribution service is $49 for a one-time setup fee per album or a $13 one-time setup fee per single. After your one-time fee CD Baby will then charge you 9% of your sales for the rest of the time that your album is online. They do not charge an annual fee, so if you don’t sell anything you don’t pay anything, except for your initial fee. But if you sell a lot, you will be paying them a lot. One nice thing about CD Baby is you can pick and choose which digital distribution retailers you want to sell your music on, for a total of 25 different stores. You will also need to have an album image and a barcode to submit with your music. If you need a barcode they will supply you with one for an extra $20 for an album or $5 for a single. The $49 fee also includes physical CD distribution.

Both CD Baby & Reverb Nation offer mail in or upload options to submit your music to them. So, you can upload everything to them when you sign up for their distribution service, or you can mail them a CD and they will digitize it for you. They also both offer Digital Distribution through their own websites. CD Baby will only take 10% of your mp3 digital download sales if it’s sold on their website. Most companies will take at least 30%.

Tunecore

Tunecore charges $50 a year per album or $10 a year per single. They also charge a set-up fee of $1 per online retail store, plus a $1 song delivery charge per song. A barcode and ISRC numbers are included. So, for example, if your CD album had 12 songs on it, you would be charged a one-time song delivery fee of $12 for all your songs, a one-time distribution fee of $18 for a submission to 18 online retailers, and $50 per year. For a total of $80 for the first year and $50 for every year after that. A single would cost roughly $29 for the first year then $10 a year after that. Like CD Baby, you have the ability to choose which retailers you would like your music on as well. So, set-up fees will vary depending on how many songs you have and how many retailers you want. They do occasionally have specials. Their 6 Year Anniversary Special offered albums for only $20 and singles for only $5, but it didn’t state how much the yearly fee would be after that. They also offer Amazon on Demand as one of their online retailers which makes your music available on Amazon as a physical CD.

ISRC

An International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is a unique 12 character number assigned to your individual songs, which is used to identify individual sound recordings. When you submit your music to a digital distribution service these numbers will be assigned to you without any extra fees or hassle, so you won’t have to worry about them too much. Just be aware that some sites will ask you for them, but it won’t be mandatory to the submission process.

Physical CD Distribution

Physical CD distribution is submitting your physical CDs to retail stores to be sold on their website or at their brick and mortar record store. Several companies offer this service on their own websites, but only CD Baby offers distribution to several thousand stores around the world.

CD Baby

If you would like to sell your physical CDs on CD Baby’s website they will charge you a $49 one-time setup fee per album. Included in your one-time setup fee they will also distribute your physical CDs through Super D One Stop, a distributor that will put your music on their catalog and make your album available to over 2,500 music retailers worldwide. If you sign-up for CD Baby’s digital distribution service, physical CD distribution is included in the $49 set-up fee. CD Baby will charge you $4 for CDs sold on their website no matter how high or low your CD retail price is. To get started, just mail them 5 CDs, they will keep 1 for their archive and will sell the rest. If they run out they will ask you to send them more. You will also have to setup an online account with them on their website. You will receive money for physical CD sales on CD Baby once your account balance has reached at least $10. You can change this limit, but it has to be at least $10. Then you can have it be sent directly to your bank account, have them mail you a check, or it can be sent to your Pay Pal account.

Bandcamp

Bandcamp does not have any set-up fees to sell physical CDs or mp3s on their website, but they take 15% of your sales. It drops to 10% as soon as you reach $5,000 in sales and stays there as long as you’ve earned at least $5,000 in the past year. Bandcamp does not ship physical CDs. Once a CD is sold on Bandcamp they will send you the necessary information and you will ship the CD to the customer yourself. You will be paid for physical CD and mp3 sales on Bandcamp immediately through Pay Pal only. The nice thing about Bandcamp is, once a customer buys your Physical CD they also get an immediate download of all your tracks in any format they want, and you can also include extra perks like PDF files. They also offer discount codes for special promotions, 200 download codes for free giveaways, 200 download credits per month for free downloads or your tracks or albums, and pre-orders for CDs about to be released.

Reverb Nation

The flat fee that Reverb Nation will take for physical CDs is $5.49 per album, and you can set the retail price to anything you want. Once a CD is sold you will receive the remaining portion of the sell after Reverb Nation takes their cut. For example, if you sell your CD for $9.99, you will receive $5.50 for every CD sold. You’ll be able to make a withdrawal once your account is up to $20. Once a physical CD is created using their online Design Application, they will print it when someone buys it and will ship it to them. You won’t ever have to send them any CDs.

You can use all three websites listed in this section for different services because all offer services that the others don’t. Reverb Nation for your digital distribution, merchandise sales (including ringtones, CDs, and mp3s). CD Baby for your physical CD sales (including digital distribution on CD Baby plus retailers not on the Reverb Nation list) and CD Duplication. Then Bandcamp as well for physical CDs and digital downloads with the ability to hand out coupon codes and free download specials. For example, you can use Reverb Nation for your digital distribution, then use CD Baby for physical distribution plus additional digital distribution. Since CD Baby allows you to pick and choose which digital retailers you want, you can add digital distribution to your physical distribution at no extra charge and add all the stores that Reverb Nation doesn’t offer. If you want to keep things more simple and all in one place, you can do everything through CD Baby without having to use anybody else.

Ringtones and Merchandise

When you sign up for an account on Reverb Nation you can start selling ringtones, merchandise, mp3 downloads, and physical CDs immediately on your own personal Reverb Store page. It’s free to setup and the merchandise will be created on demand when a customer buys it, so you won’t have to store anything. You can upload individual songs or albums and sell them as ringtones and mp3 downloads. If you’ve already submitted your album to their digital distribution program you can start selling your mp3s without having to put in the information again. You will get $0.50 for every ringtone sold which is sold at $2.49. You can set the price for mp3 downloads for anything you want and Reverb Nation will take a flat fee of $0.30 per mp3 sold. One nice feature is that you can sell a song immediately on their website without having to pay anything or wait several weeks. Once you have earned $20 you can make a withdrawal and send it to your Pay Pal account. They take a flat fee for each item sold, and you can set the price to anything you want. The easiest way to start selling merchandise, is to use the image you’ve already created for your album cover and put it on all the items they have available. They have Travel Mugs, Sports Bottles, Canvas Caps, Tote Bags, Hoodies, T-Shirts, plus more in all sorts of styles, sizes, and colors. You can design your merchandise using their online designer.

Online Digital Distribution:
Reverb Nation, $35 a year per album or single
CD Baby, $49 one-time setup per CD ($13 one-time setup per single) + $20 bar code + 9% of sales
Tunecore, $50 a year per album ($10 a year per single) + $1 per store + $1 per song delivery charge

Distribution Website Services:
CD Baby: Physical CD Distribution, Digital Distribution, CD Duplication
Reverb Nation: Digital Distribution, Audio Streaming, Merchandise, Ringtones
Tunecore: Digital Distribution, Physical CD Distribution, Licensing and Endorsement Deals

Physical CD Distribution:
CD Baby, $4 per CD sold
Bandcamp, 15% of sales
Reverb Nation Store, $3 per CD sold

Ringtones and Merchandise:
Reverb Nation Store

Number of Digital Distribution Stores:
Reverb Nation: 30+ (40+ for $25 more a year per album)
CD Baby: 25
Tunecore: 20

These prices are all subject to change, so please visit their websites for a current price list.

Reverb Nation Digital Stores:
7digital, Apple iTunes, Amazon MP3, Aspiro. Deezer. eMusic, Google Play, Guvera, La Curacao, Last.fm, MOG, MySpace Music, Myxer, Nielson Soundscan, playlist.com, Rhapsody, Simfy, Slacker, Spotify, Synacor, VirginMega, Virgin Mobile Canada, Zune

Various Other Stores (Medianet, Tesco, Thumbplay OTA, Musicwave, etc.)
(Extra $25: 24/7, Play.com, Media Markt, Puretracks, We7, Nokia, Rdio, etc.)

CD Baby Digital Stores
24-7, 7digital, Amazon MP3, Apple iTunes, Deezer, eMusic, Google Music Store, GreatIndieMusic, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, MediaNet, MOG, MySpace Music, Myxer, Nokia, Omnifone, Rdio, Rhapsody, Simfy, Spotify, Tradebit, Zune

Tunecore Digital Stores
Apple iTunes, Amazon MP3, Deezer, eMusic, Google Play, iHeartRadio, MediaNet, Muve Music, MySpace Music, Nokia,Rhapsody, Simfy, Spotify, VerveLife, Zune

These lists change from time to time, so please check their website for a current list.

How To Market Your New Product to Retailers – Five Tips

You’ve just spent a lot of time, energy and money creating your new product. Or maybe you’re considering re-branding your existing product, or branding your current private label product. Either way, it’s still “new” and, unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of your own money selling directly to consumers, you now face the challenge of obtaining significant retail distribution.

And no matter how excited you are about your new product, recognize that breaking into the retail environment won’t be easy. Retailers are risk averse, they’ve been hammered by the economy, they’ve seen consumers radically chance their buying habits, and they’re still trying to deal with brick and mortar versus e-commerce issues.

Given these factors, what’s your best opportunity for success? We believe your success centers on your first face-to-face meeting with the retail buyer.

That presentation must be focused on demonstrating your professionalism, and conveying how and why your product will be profitable and successful for the retailer. Here are five tips that I’ve learned over the past few years.

  1. Surround yourself with a knowledgeable sales team who can help you develop the presentation – a team that understands the category, believes in your product, and can get you in to see the right buyer in the first place. Their understanding of the retailers and the category itself is not only important as you develop your presentation, but also in putting together a financial plan that will address margins, spiffs, payment terms, quantities, and a host of other considerations to gain meaningful distribution.
  2. Your presentation must demonstrate your deep knowledge of the marketplace and how your product’s benefits and price point are superior to competition. Be prepared to explain what the retailer should take off the shelf to make room for your product, and why. And be sure to back up your product claims by sampling your product with consumers and relaying the results of this testing to the buyers. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to have had previous success with your unbranded product, promote your retail history.
  3. Develop marketing and marketing communications plans that are crystal clear as to how you will profitably sell to consumers. Your brand positioning is key. But so is a professionally developed communications plan. Don’t be vague. Present each retailer with a customized presentation that includes:
    • A cutting edge website (and make sure that it’s up and de-bugged before your meeting);
    • Dynamic packaging that is memorable, persuasive and clearly establishes your benefits over your competition;
    • Meaningful and on-going social media and public relations programs to engage your customers;
    • Impactful consumer trade shows that you’ll attend to spread the word face to face, including product sampling, if possible;
    • Your rate of marketing communications spending during the critical introductory period. Include a flow chart that specifies what, where and when you’ll support the introduction;
    • Commitment to analytics and market research to continually measure and meet the consumer’s wants and needs.

    All of these tactics will show the buyer how well thought out and committed you are to making them a success.

  4. Don’t leave it all up to the sales team. Bring your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to the meeting. The CMO is much better prepared to explain why each piece of the plan will work to motivate the consumer, as well being able to answer a variety of marketing or marketing communications questions that invariably will come up. And, if you don’t have a seasoned CMO on staff, consider outsourcing this discipline. Ultimately sales and marketing must possess a strong bond to each other, and to the product and its success. This must come across to the buyer.
  5. Be prepared to negotiate, and recognize that retailer acceptance won’t happen overnight. Your management, manufacturing, sales and logistics must be willing to come together and, as a team, be willing to compromise to meet the needs of the retailer, as well as their own. Keep in mind that the retailer itself is faced with his own set of internal demands and, for your product to be successful, the manufacturer and the retailer must find a profitable middle ground.

Creating your new product is merely the first leg of a long journey for establishing a lasting and profitable brand. And the next leg of the journey is the development of a professional retailer presentation that secures the distribution you want. Surrounding yourself with seasoned professionals will help you get there. And, as Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting head is getting started”.

Retail Management Company Profile

Brands are not static, they are dynamic; they have product life cycle development cycle which involves introduction and development and they constantly adapt to meet customer needs and expectations.

If you are interested to know the profile of a product development company, then it is sometimes useful to take a look at the retail management company profile for venturing into retail business. This will provide an idea of the way that different companies work within the retail segment and enables you to pick the right company that is most suited for you to engage. Below is an outline of a retail management company.

This company has been established and making retail management software for over 10 years so they certainly know what they are doing and how to keep customers happy. It is also important to note that this company aspires to maintain high ethical standards as well as being sustainable.

Fischer Technologies is an expert retail management company offering specialized services in retail distribution, retail training and retail consulting. With supply chain management software and solutions, it helps customers to solve their toughest business challenges and make them profitable and efficient. Fischer leverages state-of-the-art technologies to provide convergence in mobile marketing and supply chain ecosystem through an effective customer interaction and engagement. They use automated tools and techniques that include SMS, MMS, Mobile web and Location-based services and the resultant synergy with suppliers, customers, partners, service providers, franchiser, franchisee to improve revenue and profits. Fischer’s expert trainers, consultants and specialists have delivered millions of dollars in sales improvements to retailers. The retail training programs of the company has systematically trained and managed customers in an affordable way and maintained the highest customer service standards that are highly result-oriented too.

History

Fischer Technologies was established in 1995 when retailing and distribution domain had barely created a unique shopping experience that delivers highly profitable sales stores with lofty customer service standards. Fischer Technologies has over 15,000 satisfied customers all over the world across 200 cities.

Fischer’s business management solutions were designed by retail experts with the best in class engineering processes who have immense knowledge and expertise in retail management and utilized the latest software architecture models, strategies, proven and cost-effective technologies with world-class training.

Mission and Vision

To be Asia’s best retailer by delivering innovative products with a competitive edge, continuous improvements and a captivating experience that exceeds customer expectations. We are driven by our commitment to build a brand centered on a global mission, great values, community, diversity, environment and a vision for the future.