As mentioned earlier, the best independent music distributors will offer extra services designed to boost your sales total and maximize the royalties you earn. Tools like iTunes pre-release and SMS keywords offer an additional way to promote and sell music online and are often used by major label artists hoping to break into and climb the charts.
iTunes pre-release offers the chance to start selling your tracks well in advance of your release date – up to six months, in fact. All the sales you accrue during your pre-release period count towards your release date total, giving you an even better chance of breaking into the charts and receiving a larger payout from the stores.
SMS keywords are also a useful sales boosting tool. Fans can simply text a certain word to a chosen number to purchase your track, taking the hassle out of finding and downloading or streaming it online. The process is quick, which makes it a great service to advertise at live gigs, while your tracks are fresh in the mind of your audience.
Established distributors will also provide the option to change and customize the geographic availability of your music. While this might not make a significant difference to your sales total, it offers the opportunity to adapt your release to different territories. For example, if you’re releasing a cover version of a popular song, the copyright law covering that track will differ depending on where you release it, so you may wish to restrict your release to a specific region.
While these added services each offer a unique way to get more out of selling your music online, playing live is arguably the most important factor when it comes to reaching new fans, and in turn, selling more music. It’s therefore particularly important to get your name out there with regularly live shows, whether that’s in your hometown, across the country or worldwide.