I remember when I was thrilled to have my music on iTunes. It was so cool to have it available for sale worldwide. Anyone could buy it! And when they did, some of the money eventually made its way to me.
But the truth is that things have changed. Now there are better ways to sell music, and my personal favorite is Gumroad.
Before I tell you about why Gumroad is my favorite way to sell music, let me share my story with you briefly.
I’m an independent musician named Ben Johnson from Austin, Texas. I found Gumroad in early 2013, and when I used it to sell one of my albums, I loved it so much that I wrote an article teaching other musicians how to sell music with Gumroad.
I have since used Gumroad to release a second album, and a third is on the way. I have also continued to write about Gumroad, with the goal of helping other musicians, and I’m almost finished with an eBook entitled “Gumroad For Musicians” which contains all my best advice about Gumroad.
I do not work for Gumroad, and I don’t make any money if you sign up with them. I’m just an independent musician from Austin, Texas who really likes using Gumroad to sell my own music.
Alright, so why is Gumroad my favorite way to sell music?
Gumroad Connects Musicians To Fans
Gumroad enables us as musicians to sell directly to our audience.
As I’m sure you know, our audience is essential. With an audience, we can overcome many other challenges. Without an audience, success is impossible.
When you sell music with Gumroad, you are selling it straight to your audience, and they are buying it straight from you. That’s because Gumroad is a tool, not a marketplace. I like to think of it as a nicer looking version of PayPal that includes hosting and digital fulfillment.
In simpler terms, that means Gumroad handles the money exchange and the delivery of your music. They accept payment for your music, and they deliver it to whoever bought it. All you do is make the music and upload it.
How is this different from iTunes, you ask?
When someone buys something on Gumroad, they enter their email address. Therefore, you have a much better idea about who is buying your music. Do you know who is buying your music on iTunes?
Furthermore, your audience is better connected to you. They feel more like they are buying music from you, rather than buying your music from iTunes, and that makes a difference.
But there are other personal ways to sell music, right? Bandcamp, for example. Why do I prefer Gumroad to Bandcamp? Well, that brings me to my next point.
Gumroad Takes Less Money
I love Bandcamp. I’ve used Bandcamp and they have a great product. They seem genuine in their desire to help musicians. They’re awesome and funny people.
Gumroad takes less money.
Here are the numbers:
- iTunes – 30%…ridiculous
- Bandcamp (including PayPal fees) – 20% + $0.05 per transaction…much better
- Gumroad – 5% + $0.25 per transaction…my favorite
Here’s how I calculated the total fees if you use Bandcamp: they take 15% and they recommend that musicians use the PayPal micropayments rate, which is 5% + $0.05.
With Gumroad, the 5% + $0.25 per transaction fee is the only one you pay. There are no setup fees, no hosting fees, no payment processing fees, no payout fees, and that is a beautiful thing!
In my first few weeks selling with Gumroad, my fans paid about $220 for my music, and about $200 of it made it all the way to my pocket. That’s over 90%.
The point is, Gumroad’s fee structure funnels most of the money towards the artist, and that’s the second reason why Gumroad is my favorite way to sell music.
I Want To Help You
The reason I write about Gumroad is to help other musicians like you.
Also, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Guest post: Ben Johnson is a musician and writer from Austin, Texas. As a musician, he gives people peace via his handcrafted piano music: http://bjmfactory.com. He also has a website for musicians, where he shares what he learns: http://theconcisemusician.com“