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long-term online distribution

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long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:41 pm

Hi,

I have a question which is unfortunately not addressed in FAQs of online music distributors, namely, whether they provide an option for long-term music distribution. For example, if one publishes music via distrokid or amuse or any other provider and then decides to go away for one or other reason - all the songs uploaded to online platforms (e.g., spotify, itunes, etc.) through the present provider will be removed and have to be re-uploaded again. My questions is if someone knows distribution services that provide such long-term (may be even life-time) distribution option and how much it would cost per single, album...

best,
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby RichardT » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:01 pm

Yes, there are distributors who don’t require a continued subscription in order for the music to stay there. Like you I find that whole idea of having to pay to keep the music up there very strange.

One is Horus music, which is my distributor, and they are currently offering £36 per album, with no further payments to keep the music up there.

If you go to

https://aristake.com/cd-baby-tunecore-d ... mbalam-or/

you will see a long article comparing distributors

Or in a summary table

https://aristake.com/posts/images/distro-chart-6-19.jpg
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:04 pm

CD Baby - they take a cut of the sale price but you don't need any subscription.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:57 pm

CS70 wrote:CD Baby - they take a cut of the sale price but you don't need any subscription.

Yes - I've had material distributed via CD Baby for something like 15 years and they've never asked for more money.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby RichardT » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:23 pm

If you don’t pay an annual subscription, then you’ll pay more upfront (like Horus) or pay a share of revenue (like CD Baby). But I think that’s a sensible choice!
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:05 am

@RichardT:
@CS70:

Thanks for you reply!

Yep, this is what I expected - one has to pay for a "stable" distribution one or other way round. May be for some, potentially more promissing songs it makes sense to pay upfront 40$ per single, and by others go for sharing the revenue. This means, however, that one has to cooperate with different providers. Or there are some providers that offer alternative distribution options for every new single/album?
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby RichardT » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:05 pm

roberto75 wrote:@RichardT:
@CS70:

Thanks for you reply!

Yep, this is what I expected - one has to pay for a "stable" distribution one or other way round. May be for some, potentially more promissing songs it makes sense to pay upfront 40$ per single, and by others go for sharing the revenue. This means, however, that one has to cooperate with different providers. Or there are some providers that offer alternative distribution options for every new single/album?

I don’t know I’m afraid. Have at a look at the table I sent you from Ari’s Take - it might help you find someone who does that.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:10 pm

roberto75 wrote:@RichardT:
@CS70:

Thanks for you reply!

Yep, this is what I expected - one has to pay for a "stable" distribution one or other way round. May be for some, potentially more promissing songs it makes sense to pay upfront 40$ per single, and by others go for sharing the revenue. This means, however, that one has to cooperate with different providers. Or there are some providers that offer alternative distribution options for every new single/album?

The way I see it, which model is best depends on what are your expectations and the amount of work you're gonna put in the music - as a business. If you enjoy recording but don't really plan to put a lot of effort and work in marketing the product - i.e. you don't treat it as a life-critical job - you won't likely make much sales at all. In that case, a "sales-cut" model is imho the best - the initial publishing cost is lower, there's no recurring cost and the few cents you're gonna miss due to the "cut" aren't really going to be anything worth thinking about.

If, on the other side, you plan to invest heavily in time and effort in marketing your music, with the hopeful consequence of selling in quantity, then it may be more profitable to pay a subscription. The calculation is basically how many copies (physical cds, downloads, streams) you need to sell over a period of a few years in order to break even with the initial+subscription costs.

There is to say that most music has a pretty common curve, an initial sales peak followed by a more or less long tail and perhaps another peak a few years later (either for a "greatest hits" or simply a revival of the band brand, take Abba for example). The internet has changed that a little bit but not crazily much, and streaming, while a constant trickle of revenues, requires such gigantic sales figures to make a difference that it doesn't really alter the economics so much for 99% of artists. So the "subscription" model is likely to cost more after a few years regardless. Exceptions exists, obviously, but you really need to become big and then your publishing needs will be probably be catered in different ways.

The "sales cut" has always seem to be the one with most benefits overall, unless you're lucky and hard working and you really hit it big.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:31 pm

RichardT wrote:
roberto75 wrote:@RichardT:
@CS70:

Thanks for you reply!

Yep, this is what I expected - one has to pay for a "stable" distribution one or other way round. May be for some, potentially more promissing songs it makes sense to pay upfront 40$ per single, and by others go for sharing the revenue. This means, however, that one has to cooperate with different providers. Or there are some providers that offer alternative distribution options for every new single/album?

I don’t know I’m afraid. Have at a look at the table I sent you from Ari’s Take - it might help you find someone who does that.



@RichardT

Thanks for this overview. It is definately a good source of information to compare options of different providers. But unfortunately it does not contain details on the long-term distribution option. I will look through the FAQs of providers for more details.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:45 pm

CS70 wrote:
roberto75 wrote:@RichardT:
@CS70:

Thanks for you reply!

Yep, this is what I expected - one has to pay for a "stable" distribution one or other way round. May be for some, potentially more promissing songs it makes sense to pay upfront 40$ per single, and by others go for sharing the revenue. This means, however, that one has to cooperate with different providers. Or there are some providers that offer alternative distribution options for every new single/album?

The way I see it, which model is best depends on what are your expectations and the amount of work you're gonna put in the music - as a business. If you enjoy recording but don't really plan to put a lot of effort and work in marketing the product - i.e. you don't treat it as a life-critical job - you won't likely make much sales at all. In that case, a "sales-cut" model is imho the best - the initial publishing cost is lower, there's no recurring cost and the few cents you're gonna miss due to the "cut" aren't really going to be anything worth thinking about.

If, on the other side, you plan to invest heavily in time and effort in marketing your music, with the hopeful consequence of selling in quantity, then it may be more profitable to pay a subscription. The calculation is basically how many copies (physical cds, downloads, streams) you need to sell over a period of a few years in order to break even with the initial+subscription costs.

There is to say that most music has a pretty common curve, an initial sales peak followed by a more or less long tail and perhaps another peak a few years later (either for a "greatest hits" or simply a revival of the band brand, take Abba for example). The internet has changed that a little bit but not crazily much, and streaming, while a constant trickle of revenues, requires such gigantic sales figures to make a difference that it doesn't really alter the economics so much for 99% of artists. So the "subscription" model is likely to cost more after a few years regardless. Exceptions exists, obviously, but you really need to become big and then your publishing needs will be probably be catered in different ways.

The "sales cut" has always seem to be the one with most benefits overall, unless you're lucky and hard working and you really hit it big.




@CS70:

Thanks for your detailed feedback. Regarding my case: I'm definately not 100% devoted to music and music production. This is my great hobby, but over years I composed more than 100 mostly intstrumental compositions that can be termed as "not uninteresting" in a pure musical sense which means they have some unique melody and its evolution (arrangement) and not just generic rythms and accords or so. The reason why I am asking this question is not only because how much one or other distribution option costs, but also how "stable" they are in long-term. If you quit cooperation with them and your songs will be removed from all online platforms - no legal records remain that you published these songs at certain time at all. Today legal claims on authors rights are almost industrialized by some groups so that one simply has to make such thoughts before uploading files to one or other provider. In short: I dont see my music as primary busyness issue, but dont want to double work or make some beginner's mistake that one can avoid.
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:47 pm

Have I totally missed the point here, or does Bandcamp offer a tantalisingly good arrangement that will fit the bill?

You upload your music free of charge and it will stay there for ever, but you only ever get charged if you sell any of it (15% of any digital downloads, and 10% for any vinyl/CD hardware that you have to mail out yourself).

Here's my published take on it:

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/why-love-bandcamp


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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:44 am

Martin Walker wrote:Have I totally missed the point here, or does Bandcamp offer a tantalisingly good arrangement that will fit the bill?

You upload your music free of charge and it will stay there for ever, but you only ever get charged if you sell any of it (15% of any digital downloads, and 10% for any vinyl/CD hardware that you have to mail out yourself).

Here's my published take on it:

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/why-love-bandcamp


Martin



Hi Martin,

thanks for your post. Somehow I cannot find a concise overview of how/where they distribute music. Do they offer distribution in major online platforms like spotify, itunes, etc. or only on their own side?

Best,
Roberto
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:08 pm

roberto75 wrote:Hi Martin,

thanks for your post. Somehow I cannot find a concise overview of how/where they distribute music. Do they offer distribution in major online platforms like spotify, itunes, etc. or only on their own side?

Hi Roberto,

I think we're at cross purposes here. Strictly speaking, a distributor acts as a middleman between the artist/record label and the store, but as far as I am concerned, Bandcamp cut out the 'middle man', meaning that I can sell direct to the public from their very well known online shop that pays me 85% of the proceeds. Effectively they distribute my music in a wide variety of digital formats (including various lossless ones such as FLAC and WAV, so the customer doesn't have to compromise on audio quality by buying MP3's (unless they want to).

For hardware releases (vinyl, CD, posters and so on) Bandcamp also act as an on-line shop, except that they pay me 90% of the proceeds, but I have to mail out the product directly to the customers.

You obviously want your music to be distributed to other on-line platforms, such as Spotify, iTunes and AmazonMP3, but that simply doesn't appeal to me, as their streaming rates are pitiful (I refuse even to open a Spoti-thief account to hear stuff free, because I don't agree with their methods). Even if I only sell a few dozen of my albums, my return is equivalent to many thousands of streams on Spotify (for instance), and I form a personal relationship with each of my customers.

The tricky bit (as always) is getting more people to listen to your music, but I don't see Bandcamp as any different in that respect than the streaming platforms, and once again, I much prefer the personal contact that Bandcamp gives you to the music creators - I've made friends with quite a few Bandcamp labels/musicians, and have to date bought over 400 albums from them in FLAC format that I would never have discovered otherwise.

A very well known SOS writer said this to me a couple of weeks ago: "We’re on all the streaming sites including Spotify and now have so many listeners that in 10 years time the revenue might buy me a new set of guitar strings!"

That's why I stick with Bandcamp, and gradually grow my number of followers with each release ;)


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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby roberto75 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:14 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
roberto75 wrote:Hi Martin,

thanks for your post. Somehow I cannot find a concise overview of how/where they distribute music. Do they offer distribution in major online platforms like spotify, itunes, etc. or only on their own side?

Hi Roberto,

I think we're at cross purposes here. Strictly speaking, a distributor acts as a middleman between the artist/record label and the store, but as far as I am concerned, Bandcamp cut out the 'middle man', meaning that I can sell direct to the public from their very well known online shop that pays me 85% of the proceeds. Effectively they distribute my music in a wide variety of digital formats (including various lossless ones such as FLAC and WAV, so the customer doesn't have to compromise on audio quality by buying MP3's (unless they want to).

For hardware releases (vinyl, CD, posters and so on) Bandcamp also act as an on-line shop, except that they pay me 90% of the proceeds, but I have to mail out the product directly to the customers.

You obviously want your music to be distributed to other on-line platforms, such as Spotify, iTunes and AmazonMP3, but that simply doesn't appeal to me, as their streaming rates are pitiful (I refuse even to open a Spoti-thief account to hear stuff free, because I don't agree with their methods). Even if I only sell a few dozen of my albums, my return is equivalent to many thousands of streams on Spotify (for instance), and I form a personal relationship with each of my customers.

The tricky bit (as always) is getting more people to listen to your music, but I don't see Bandcamp as any different in that respect than the streaming platforms, and once again, I much prefer the personal contact that Bandcamp gives you to the music creators - I've made friends with quite a few Bandcamp labels/musicians, and have to date bought over 400 albums from them in FLAC format that I would never have discovered otherwise.

A very well known SOS writer said this to me a couple of weeks ago: "We’re on all the streaming sites including Spotify and now have so many listeners that in 10 years time the revenue might buy me a new set of guitar strings!"

That's why I stick with Bandcamp, and gradually grow my number of followers with each release ;)


Martin



Hi Martin,

I know what you mean, and it is fine if Bandcamp distribute on their own. As long as it is non-exclusive agreement, it is definately interesting additional platform. Thanks for your tip.

In my previous posts, I have already mentioned that I am mainly composing instrumental music (not really songs, rather classical sounding meldodies sometimes electronic tracks). Some of them could be seen as "songs witout lyrics", but many other tracks probably dont - rather tv, film themes... So do you think Brandcamp would be an appropriate place to present such music. Or more general: who would be an appropriate distributor/provider of such music on the web?

Best
Roberto
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Re: long-term online distribution

Postby RichardT » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:06 pm

I think Bandcamp will be fine for that kind of music.

Pretty much all the major distribution companies supply the whole range of stores. One or two limit their distribution to just the major stores.
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