Cash

How Gumroad Can Help Indie Musicians Make Money With Music

I just discovered a site called Gumroad on ThinkTraffic and, after playing around with it, I think they have made it easier for us Indie Musicians to make money with music. Here’s why (along with a breakdown of some of the features).

Gumroad Reduces Friction

One of the biggest obstacles to selling music is all the hoops you have to make your fan go through to get a download.

Many  times you have to send potential buyers away from where they discovered the music (Facebook, Twitter, email list, etc) over to a third party (iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, etc). Once there you have to hope they trust that source to hand out their credit card number and hope that that source is providing them with a  quick and simple check out.

A bad buying experience is not the end of the world for the hardcore fan but daunting enough to eliminate sales from some of the fringe fans and any would be impulse buys.

Gumroad eliminates a few steps in the process and provides a point of sale pretty much anywhere you put the link (more on that below).

Gumroad Feature Checklist

Email Collection… Check!

It would be better if I could integrate with my provider (Aweber) but the bottom line here is that you can collect emails. You can export them or use Gumroad to send emails.

Pay what you want… Check!

You can set the price including pay what you want (just add a + after the 0 like so 0+). Huge option for your truly because, since I’ve started offering tracks on a name your price basis, I’ve been averaging over $2.64 per download.

File Hosting… Check!

Simply upload your song, ebook, etc and walla, you are in business. They host and deliver. There is also and option to link to hosted files using a url and you can also link to your Soundcloud account (which is cool although I didn’t get it to work… it linked but the import didn’t do anything. Could be user error.)

Mobile friendly… Check!

Huge deal these days since more and more traffic on on my site and on the social networks is coming from iPads, iPhones, Androids, etc.

All Major Credit Cards… Check!

Duh

Share Anywhere… Check

Share on Facebook, share on Twitter, your blog, below YouTube videos, pretty much anywhere you would expect. Just grab the link or button provided and paste wherever.

Tracking via Google Analytics… Check!

See where you are getting the most bang for you buck by linking up your Google Analytics account with Gumroad.

Direct Deposit (US Only)… check

No middle man, no seperate “withdraw” procedure, just a direct link to your checking account.

They take a 5% + $.25 per transaction (less than Paypal UPDATE: I was wrong. Paypal is 2.9% plus $.30. There may be some withdrawal fees too and you may need a 3rd party host for downloads which is more $. Either way, pretty reasonable for one stop shop IMHO).

There is also a minimum Payout of $10 but if you are struggling to make that on a regular basis, you have bigger issues.

Trust of the Buyer… We’ll see

This may not be a huge issue like in was in the early days of the web when it was hard to get people to enter in their credit card number into a strange websites but just saying.

Watch This

In case I missed something, or if I’m not doing this site justice, here’s a video interview of one of the lead developers Ryan Delk. He really breaks it down.

(can’t see the video here? Click here to see it)

Oh and in case you want to see how the big dogs are using the service, here is that Bon Jovi campaign he mentioned in the interview.

Wish List

I would like to see third party integration with email providers. Would be nice if I didn’t have to copy the emails collected Gumroad and then paste them into Aweber.

Here’s What I Did

Here’s the link to the page I whipped up the other day testing this out.

Minnesota Got Colder – Corey Koehler

It was way easy to set up and I was able to use a video at the top of the page. I used the video for the song in this case but I could easily see using something like a live performance or a personal introduction/explanation.

I am also considering changing out all the links on my site with these and maybe it will help me monetize my Radio Airplay account. I’ve been getting fans and bonus plays over there like crazy but it has been challenging getting email sign-ups and sales.

Also, I am thinking that these would be good to have below all my video’s on YouTube.

That is a pretty bare bone campaign but in the video Ryan talked about being able to offer tiered packages using the service. I am definitely gonna dig into that some more. Stay tuned!

Go Try It

Now it is your turn, go try Gumroad out. Let me know if I missed anything or if there is something you think would improve Gumroad.

Also, if you have already tried it out, then let me know how you are using it in the comments below.