Bands and money. As everyone knows, the relationship is a little strained — what with musicians making, in most cases, less green than the Average Joe. That’s why, instrument-wielding folk, you have to capitalize on every avenue available to you when it comes to cash. One area you might be overlooking? MySpace.
As you may know, MySpace — once the number-one tool for musicians looking to get their tunes out there — will be performing a rising-from-the-ashes act at the beginning of next year. Yup, with help from Justin Timberlake and new owners Specific Media, it’s relaunching ever-so soon, unleashing a slick new music-focused interface unto the masses — replete with 53 million songs. If you had access to a computer and a dream in the last decade or so, some of those tracks are probably yours. Now ask yourself this: Are you cashing in on those tunes?
A brief lesson: MySpace runs on two kinds of content, 1). Content that’s funneled in by labels and distributors, 2). User-generated content that bands upload directly. If you’re on a label/use a distributer and you have songs on MySpace that you yourself did not upload, congrats, you’re already getting paid. Buy us a beer. If you uploaded jams yourself, you’re missing out. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Etc, etc.
So, if you’re an indie artist, listen up: You need to get yourself a distributer, which is a lot easier than you may think. Just visit a participating service’s site — TuneCore for example — and sign up for an account. Prices will vary depending on what you want to release ($49.99 per year for an album, $14.99 for a single, etc). Once you sign up, you can choose to distribute your song/album to a variety of channels: Spotify, iTunes, and, of course, MySpace — to name a few. TuneCore will give you 100% of the cash you make from streaming and sales, and supply you with reports on how popular your jams are. TuneCore pays out via Paypal, physical check via US Mail, or by electronic funds transfer to a U.S. bank account.
MySpace VP of Product Development Ali Tahmasbi declined to tell us how much the company pays for streams. “There is a mutually agreed upon revenue model tied to that agreement, but I can’t get into specifics,” he says. “As a principle, we strive to help artists build their businesses, to build their audiences, and give them tools that will facilitate their growth.”
While we’re guessing the payouts won’t be enough to buy, say, a new van or anything so splendid, it’s definitely worth it to join up with a distributer like TuneCore, anyway — so as to get your music out to as many channels possible. Given MySpace’s pretty impressive new digs, we’re guessing more and more people will be heading there to listen to your tunes, so you might as well collect some cash along the way.
Image courtesy of Christian Reed