There are lots of ways to make money online. If you enjoy making music, then you could earn money selling it.
Heck, if you can get paid to listen to music, then selling our music for cash should be a no brainer!
You don’t need an agent to sell music nowadays and can instead do it yourself.
But, where do you start?
If you are a budding musician looking to make money, then you’re probably wondering:
Where can I sell music online?
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Short answer: You can sell music on stock music websites like AudioJungle, Pond5 and The Music Case and get a commission on sales. And you can upload your music to music distribution sites like TuneCore, DistroKid, and ReverbNation, which will get your music into digital stores like Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon, and you’ll earn royalties when people listen to your tracks.
For more places to sell your music online, including details on commission rates, fees, and other important details, make sure you read the rest of the post.
What will I learn?
Best Platforms to Sell Music
Here are 15 places to sell your music online.
Pond5 is a stock video and royalty-free music website, which allows you to sell stock music. Each time you make a sale, you’ll earn a commission.
- Commission: 35% royalties.
- Payment methods: PayPal, Skrill, and Payoneer.
TuneCore is a digital music aggregator. Upload your music, complete the checkout, and the site will distribute your music to stores like Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and TikTok.
According to TuneCore, before the platform, artists needed a label to get their music sold online. This was until, in 2006, TuneCore partnered with digital stores to allow any musician to sell their songs worldwide.
With TuneCore, you can get your music playing on more than 150 digital stores and streaming services across more than 100 countries worldwide.
- Commission: 80% on sales on social platforms. 100% for sales on digital stores, but you have to pay an annual fee of $9.99 per single or $29.99 per album.
- Payment methods: TuneCore has partnered with Payoneer. With Payoneer, you can withdraw your money to your PayPal account, a paper check, a prepaid Mastercard, or your bank account.
As an Envato Author, you can get paid to sell your music on AudioJungle. Envato allows you to sell music and audio, which includes tracks and sound effects. You can also sell other digital content, such as website themes, videos, and stock photos. You can even sell code scripts on there.
- Commission: Learn more here.
- Payment methods: PayPal and Payoneer.
The Music Case is a stock music website offering thousands of royalty-free music tracks and sound effects. You can join as a composer and earn a commission on your sales.
- Commission: 43% commission on sales.
- Payment methods: PayPal or Money Transfer.
DistroKid is a music distributor that helps musicians to get their music onto platforms like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Tidal, and YouTube. It offers lots of features, like the ability to distribute cover songs legally, and get an Instant Spotify verified checkmark.
- Commission: 100%, but you have to pay a $19.99 fee. This fee allows you to upload unlimited albums and songs for a year.
- Payment methods: DistroKid supports a large number of payout options through it’s payment provider Tipalti, including PayPal, ACH, wire transfer, eCheck, and paper checks.
6. Ditto Music
Upload your music to Ditto Music, and the website will send it to all of your chosen music stores. You can create unlimited single, EP, or album releases. You can get your music on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, TikTok, Instagram, Vevo, and YouTube Music.
- Commission: 100%, but you have to pay an annual fee of $19, $29, or $69 a year, depending on the plan you choose. This fee allows you to upload unlimited albums and songs for a year. There’s a free 30-day trial.
- Payment methods: Ditto Music sends payment through Payoneer, which allows you to choose your preferred payment method – prepaid card or bank transfer.
PremiumBeat buys music outright, but your music must be 100% original. You must own and control 100% of the copyright in both the composition and master recording of the music. Sound-alikes and samples are not permitted. And, it doesn’t accept any music on a non-exclusive basis. So, while you can submit tracks that have already been placed elsewhere as examples of your work, PremiumBeat will only add tracks that are exclusive to that platform to its library. Your music must also be free of third-party rights.
- Commission: It will exclusively buy out the rights to the tracks and pay a per track fee upfront for every track acquired. Contributors don’t receive any additional payout from sales.
- Payment methods: PayPal or wire transfer.
With ReverbNation, you can distribute your music on all major digital platforms, such as Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon. This allows fans to discover your music while you earn royalties.
- Commission: 100%, but you have to pay a fee. This varies depending on the package you choose. It can be $1 per single or $9 per album per year for the Select Package. It can cost $9.95 per year for the Single Package, or $19.95 for the first year and $49.95 for each additional year for the Album Package. Or, $19.95 a month for the Premium membership.
- Payment methods:
9. CD Baby
CD Baby is another music distribution company. With it, you can make your music available on more than 150 streaming and download services around the world, including Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, and Deezer.
It offers lots of revenue streams for your music, such as streaming, downloads, CD and vinyl sales, and YouTube monetization.
- Commission: 91% and you also have to pay a fee of $9.95 or $29.95 to release a single, or $29 or $69 to release an album.
- Payment methods: Bank transfer, Payoneer, PayPal, and check.
MusicDigi is a music distribution company. You can upload your tracks and release details in a matter of minutes, and choose from more than 100 music services, including iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
With it, you can distribute and sell your music on all major stores and streaming services worldwide. You get to keep 100% of your rights. The company provides lots of features, such as free UPC and ISRC codes and monthly sales report and trend data.
- Commission: 91% and you have pay a fee of $59.99 a year, which allows you to release unlimited music.
- Payment methods:
Bandcamp is a website that you can use to sell your music. With Bandcamp, you get your own customizable direct-to-fan store. Not only can you sell digital music on there, but you can also sell CDs, vinyl, and cassettes. That’s not all either. Bandcamp also allows you to sell many other physical products, such as t-shirts, posters, and buttons. It’s a good choice if you are looking to sell music and merch.
It also provides lots of other features, such as preorders, chart reporting, and discount codes.
- Commission: 82% on average.
- Payment methods:
What about Amazon, Spotify, and iTunes?
You might be wondering if you can sell music on Amazon, Spotify, and iTunes.
You can, but not always directly.
Amazon, for example, doesn’t accept musicians without a distributor. This means that you will need to go through a distributor, like TuneCore or DistroKid, which will get your music onto Amazon for you.
iTunes allows you to upload your own music, but you must have at least 20 albums in your catalog. This isn’t ideal, particularly for beginners. So, again, unless you have those 20 albums in your catalog, you will need to go through a distributor.
The same goes for Spotify. If you want to upload music to Spotify, you will need a distributor.
Many of the websites listed above will distribute your music to Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and other digital music stores for you, so those are your best options if you are looking to make money through these types of platforms.
Sell Through Your Own Website
You might want to consider selling music through your own website.
Sure, selling your music on stock music websites like Pond5 and The Music Case, or through a digital music distributor like TuneCore or DistroKid can be great options. They provide an easy way to make money selling music.
If you want full creative control though, then selling through your own website is a great option. You get to control exactly how your store looks, and you also get more control over your marketing. Like, for example, you will be able to collect email addresses through your site, which you can use to promote future single and album releases.
Also, when you sell through your own website, you don’t have to pay any commission on your sales, which means you get to keep 100% of your profits, and you also don’t have to pay a fee to release music either as you do on platforms like TuneCore or ReverbNation.
The sites above all charge you either a fee for releasing music, or they take a percentage cut of your profits – some do both.
So, if you want to avoid paying any commission or fees for releasing music, then you should definitely consider starting your own website.
Another good thing about having your own site is that regardless of which of the above platforms or social media platforms come and go, you can keep your site up as long as you want to, which means that your fans will always be able to find it. It’s accessible to everyone for as long as you keep the site up. So, you aren’t at the whim of another company. Again, you get more control.
You can set up your own website with an eCommerce store. Now, setting up your own eCommerce store can be difficult.
You will be responsible for how the website looks and processing customer payments.
This option does require more work. Thankfully, there are some great eCommerce solutions out there that make selling music through your own website a whole lot easier.
Basically, you can use these eCommerce solutions to sell your music through your own branded website.
These solutions all of their own features, but, typically, most of them will provide you with payment processing and a cart that can easily be integrated into your website.
Here are some great eCommerce solutions:
With Bandzoogle, you can build a website with tools to start selling music online using an easy visual editor. There’s a built-in digital music store that automatically matches the design of your website, so you can just upload your music and start selling.
You pay no commission on your music sales. It allows you to ingrate payments into your site. You can connect Stripe or PayPal to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments.
It also offers lots of other great features, like sales reports, email automation, the ability to mark items as “on sale” or create discount codes to encourage fans to buy more, product bundling, and album preorder.
Bandzoogle connects to services like Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Soundcloud.
Available features vary depending on which type of membership plan you have. To use Bandzoogle, you do need to pay a monthly fee, which varies depending on the plan you have:
- Lite: $8.29 per month billed annually. $9.95 a month.
- Standard: $12.46 per month billed annually. $14.95 a month.
- Pro: $16.63 per month billed annually. $19.95 a month.
There’s a 30-day no-risk free trial available.
Shopify allows you to turn a website into an eCommerce store.
It has a great feature called the Shopify Buy Button. It’s a shortcut to the checkout process. With the Shopify Buy Button, you can generate an embeddable product card and checkout button that can be added to landing pages or blog posts. This gives your customers direct purchase access to your music from whatever web page they see the button on.
Shopify has lots to offer, such as an embedded cart, secure checkout, and more.
You will need to pay a membership fee to use Shopify though.
It costs $29 a month for Basic membership, $79 a month for the next level up, and $299 for an Advanced Shopify account.
There’s a 14-day free trial available though, and no credit card is required.
Sellfy allows you to sell your music online. It allows you to sell from an existing website or create a new one.
You can sell your songs, albums, or any type of audio file from your existing website or create a new online store.
If you need to create a new store, you can add your own domain, and customize its look so that it matches your brand. It offers an online store, hosting, and the ability to add unlimited products.
Like I said before, aside from starting a new store, you can also sell from an existing website.
You can use Sellfy to embed your songs, your whole music store, or just a “buy” button for your products. A pop-up with a checkout will appear on your site, and your customers will be able to buy your music without leaving your site.
Sellfy works with tons of different platforms, such as WordPress, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and SoundCloud.
You can sell from anywhere at any time. You can sell to your subscribers directly from your website, social media accounts, blog, and other places.
Sellfy also offers built-in email marketing. With the site’s email marketing features, you can easily sell music to your previous customers. You don’t need to use expensive third-party email software to send out product updates, newsletters, or launch information when you start selling a new song, track, or album.
Sellfy actually has a free plan available, but it has limited features compared to the paid plans.
Here’s how much the paid plan costs:
- Starter: $22 per month billed annually
- Business: $59 per month billed annually
- Premium: $119 per month billed annually
There’s a free 14-day trial available, and no credit card is required.
Sellfy allows you to sell anything that’s digital, including samples, beats, stock music, and sound effects.
If you are using WordPress to run your online store, then you should definitely try WooCommerce.
It’s an open-source eCommerce platform that’s built for WordPress. It’s fully customizable.
Just add the WooCommerce plugin to any WordPress site and set up a new store in minutes. You can get secure payments, configurable shipping options, and more, out of the box.
What’s great about the WooCommerce extension is that it is free! So, you can avoid paying any fees for plans you have with the platforms above.
Although the extension itself is free, you may have to pay fees for processing payments and some other features.
How to Sell Music Online Successfully
Here are a few tips for selling music online…
Have a mailing list
If you want to be successful at selling digital music, then you will need to market yourself, and one of the best ways to do this is by building an email list. It’s the most important tool you have to drive sales.
This is because people usually check their email daily, so it’s a good way to keep your fans up to date with new releases, discounts, promos, and anything else related to your music.
It’s a great way to encourage preorders, and you can send out emails with a link to buy your album. Overall, it’s just a great marketing tool to have, so make sure you build a mailing list.
Set up preorders
It’s a good idea to make your album available to preorder in the weeks leading up to its release. You could even offer a single at the time of purchase as a gift for preordering.
Preorders can help to generate more interest in your music, which can help increase sales of the album when it’s released.
Use social media to promote your music
Social media can be a great tool for promoting your music. It can help with artist discovery and selling music online. Promote your music on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. Social media ads can be a good way to get new fans, but any social media promotion you can do whether paid or free can help you to get more sales.
Engage with your fans
It’s important to build a following as soon as you can so that when you do release music, you have a fanbase to sell it to or people who want to stream your music on platforms like Spotify.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you’re interacting with fans on social media and through your email list.
Bring your fans along on the journey of creating your music and be sure to promote your new songs with things like video snippets and teasers across platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Take the time to interact with fans, because it can help build a relationship and loyalty.
Plan your album and single releases
It’s important to have a plan in place for when you’ll release your music. It can help you to properly promote your music and time things like discounts and preorders efficiently.
It can be a good idea to release singles at a steady pace because it can build towards an album launch. It also helps to keep music in your fan’s mind and gives you more material to promote.
Basically, releasing singles helps to build momentum.
Aside from singles, you’ll also want to plan the release of your albums. Make the most of your album release with a landing page that’s dedicated to your new album, if you have your own website. Or, drive fans to the album if you are using one of the platforms mentioned above.
Once your album is ready, you can first release it to fans who preordered and then make it available for sale on your website, if you have one and release it on digital online stores and streaming services.
Your album release should coincide with a marketing strategy, such as a series of email newsletters, social media posts, and other online music promotions. Make sure you have a link to your new album whenever you promote it somewhere.
Get your music onto streaming platforms
Although having your own website paramount to success, it’s also a good idea to make your music available on popular digital music stores and streaming platforms, like Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon. This is because many people, like me, often listen to music on platforms like Spotify, so by having your music on there, fans could discover it. If you want your music to reach more people, then it’s definitely a good idea.
Although the amount an artist will make from streaming may be small, these platforms can be helpful when it comes to music discovery. Once people have discovered your music, they may visit your website and sign up for your email list, so you may be able to sell music to these fans in the future.
If you want to sell your music online, try the platforms on your list above.
You should also consider creating your own website for selling your music, because it gives you full control over the process, and you don’t have to pay any commission fees either.
Of course, if you don’t want the hassle of starting your own website, there are plenty of other options out there.
You could sell your music on stock music sites like AudioJungle, Pond5, and The Music Case. Or you could work with a music distributor, like DistroKid, TuneCore, and MusicDigi, that can get your music into digital music stores and streaming platforms, like Spotify and iTunes, and earn royalties.
There are plenty of ways to sell your music online!