en RU

How to sell music online

How to sell music online

Making music is fun, and the opportunity to earn money from your creativity makes it even more attractive. In the Internet era, boundaries have blurred for musicians, allowing them to offer their tracks to audiences around the world. Today’s creators looking to make a living don’t have to hunt around studios, production companies, and music labels to find their luck. Online platforms take on most of the work, opening up vast opportunities for talented creators to promote and monetize their creations.

Who buys music and why?

Before you market your music, it’s critical to identify who your target audience is and understand what specific music genres and track types will resonate with different groups of listeners.

Here are the main categories of music consumers:

  • Music lovers. These enthusiasts, fans of a variety of music genres, are willing to spend money to download tracks and albums through digital platforms or pay subscriptions to access music. From sales and streaming, part of the income goes to the author of the works;
  • Vocalists and performers. Not every singer has the ability to compose music on their own, so they often turn to online databases and music stocks in search of tracks. Works in genres such as pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop are in demand. Collaboration with well-known performers can bring significant income to the author, but working with young talents can be no less promising in the long term;
  • Production centers and music labels. They are interested in purchasing the same tracks as the artists, but often give preference to already well-known authors;
  • Advertising agencies. These clients are looking for musical accompaniment for advertising, presentations, videos and stories on social networks, preferring simple and optimistic music;
  • Game and application developers. It is more profitable for small studios to purchase music from stocks to avoid high licensing fees for famous artists. The demand for electronic music among developers is high, although preferences may vary depending on the genre of the game.

The main music trends of 2020 include guitar music, R&B pop and reggae, and a mixture of different styles is also encouraged.

Is it difficult to sell your music today?

Indeed, a permanent income from musical activity (starting from $300 per month) is most often achieved only by time-tested musicians with accumulated experience. For many other artists, income from selling their tracks on the Internet turns out to be episodic, and collaborations usually develop with fellow newcomers.

There are various methods for selling music:

  • Through digital platforms. This includes iTunes, YouTube Music, Spotify and other popular services. Typically, these platforms do not work directly with individual artists, so artists must sign a deal with a label or distributor, upload music and pay for placement, which costs on average $40 to $60 per year. Additionally, most of these companies charge a commission on sales;
  • Through audio stocks. This option is available even to beginner musicians and does not require any hosting fees. However, audio stocks have their drawbacks, including low download rates compared to digital stores, high competition, and strict moderation;
  • Through your own online store. This is the most expensive method, requiring investment in advertising and SEO. The advantage is the ability to sell not only music tracks, but also physical goods, such as merch;
  • Directly to interested parties. Some artists prefer to sell their music directly by sending demo tapes to artists and production houses. This method is sometimes successful, although most often the tracks get lost among the many similar offers.

The only way out for musicians in such a situation is to actively work on their own fame and popularity.

For what price can they buy music from the author?

Prices for selling music tracks can range from a few cents to hundreds of dollars, depending on a number of factors. The market is very diverse and there is no set average price. Here are some key factors that influence your income potential:

  • Selling method. The greatest income usually comes from selling directly, without the participation of intermediaries, with the possibility of earning from $200 per track. Digital platforms, although offering smaller payouts per play (approximately $0.005 per play), can provide significant income through high traffic volumes—up to $5,000 per million plays per year. On audio stocks, income per track usually ranges from $5 to $50, but sales are rare;
  • License type. The breadth of rights granted directly affects the cost: from $2-10 for non-commercial use to $15-50 for a standard commercial license, which allows up to 10,000 copies of the product. Extended licenses starting at $50 give more freedom to use the track, including background music for digital products and films;
  • Popularity of the artist. Tracks by lesser-known artists are more difficult to find and sell on popular platforms.

Platforms usually set fixed prices for all artists, regardless of their country. However, when working directly with buyers from countries with high purchasing power, such as the EU and the USA, prices can increase several times compared to markets in other countries.

How to sell music tracks and songs online: action plan

The process of selling music online covers a whole range of creative and organizational activities, including:

  • Create a melody. You can start by simply humming into your phone’s voice recorder. It is important that the melody is memorable and makes you return to it again and again. You can also add text to the melody, increasing the chances of a successful online sale;
  • Arrangement. This stage involves bringing the melody to life through various instruments using a MIDI keyboard and music production software. The task of arrangement is to achieve a harmonious combination of sounds;
  • Recording. Music can be recorded at home using personal equipment or in a professional studio, the services of which in large cities start from 1000 rubles per hour;
  • Editing. At this stage, the audio is cleaned of unnecessary sounds, working with vocals and takes to achieve the ideal sound;
  • Mixing. The mixing process allows you to highlight the merits of each instrument in the composition, adjust the volume, add the necessary sound effects and create the final sound of the track;
  • Publishing music online. You can post your music on audio platforms by providing personal information and possibly filling out a tax form. It is necessary to follow the technical requirements of the sites regarding the format and quality of the tracks;
  • Distribution of demo recordings. You should not ignore the possibility of cooperation with production centers and performers. You can find contacts on official websites or social networks.

Effectively selling music online requires not only uploading tracks, but also active promotion, choosing the right platforms and targeted work with the audience. It’s important to be realistic about your genre and understand your listeners’ preferences so you can strengthen your presence on the platforms that are most relevant to them.

TOP 7 useful platforms for selling your music

Registration on various music services increases the musician’s opportunities to sell his creations. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular and easy-to-use platforms.

Your personal website

A personal website serves as a safe haven for your music projects, where you have full control over the content and sales revenue. In the era of changeability of social networks and online services, the website remains your fortress on the Internet.


Bandcamp allows you to sell music directly to your fans, collect contact information, and charge a 15% commission on sales. The platform actively helps musicians find their audience through recommendations, a blog, and the Bandcamp Weekly podcast.


Soundcloud has a large community of musicians and listeners, ideal for discovering new music. While it’s not a direct sales platform, Pro users can add links to music purchasing sites.

Streaming services

Services like Spotify and Apple Music provide opportunities for new artists to get into playlists and reach new listeners, despite the small income from streaming.


Tunecore distributes music to more than 150 services without deducting a commission from the artist’s income, charging an annual fee for posting tracks.

Among them are the following sites:

  • Apple Music;
  • iTunes;
  • Spotify;
  • Amazon Music;
  • TikTok;
  • Youtube Music;
  • BOOM.


CDBaby charges for the placement of a track or album and offers additional services such as monetization of music on YouTube and social networks, deducting 9% of sales revenue.


Multiza offers affordable prices for posting albums and tracks, taking a commission of 20% of earnings and not requiring an annual contract renewal.

Pond5 and Premiumbeat

Pond5 attracts emerging composers with the ability to sell audio tracks and sound effects, while Premiumbeat focuses on the work of mega-talented creators, offering significant income per sale.

Success in selling music online depends on the choice of suitable platforms and promotion strategy, as well as on the willingness of the musician to actively work and learn in the field of digital distribution.

Free registration

Register for free and get one project for free