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"Indie Basics For Newcomers"

OUR ANNUAL GUIDE TO INDIE BASICS.
These questions are often asked...

"Is there a simple way to explain to me
how to sell records on the Internet?”

Most Indie artists sell CD's from their websites
or Internet services such as CD Baby.
The trick is to make yourself and your music popular,
so the people go to the web site and buy.
it helps to have samples of your music on web sites
so people can click and listen.

Airplay is essential.
"Who plays Indie music?"

A lot of the stations are AM and FM,
but some are "internet stations"
streaming their programs through computers
to listeners at home and at work.

A few internet stations have big audiences.
One of the big ones is Country Bear (Florida)
which has about 50,000 subscribers.
Many of the Indie stations publish charts or playlists.

Then there are the newer satellite stations, like XM and Sirius.
Bill Mack is on XM.
His show receives around 25,000 fan letters a month.

“How do you get airplay?”

We release a single every 2 months
on a respected Indie label called Stardust.
There are a number of independent labels
that release “various artists” compilations,
and mail them around the world.
These get a LOT of airplay overseas.

The compilations are usually not for sale,
but can popularize the artists and their music.

it's most often a service label situation.
The artists pay a fee to get their songs on Indie labels.
Hopefully, their CD sales and bookings will take up the slack.

Promotion can be done by email,
telephone, mail, posting on message boards,
and other, more creative ways.
One way is by helping others.
It comes around.

DJ's in other countries pick their own music
the way they used to do here.
It’s important to establish a relationship with them
and let them know you appreciate their support.

Even if the Indie artist doesn’t have hits,
his or her music may have something to offer
that would never be heard if not for Indie labels.

Copyright © March 30, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

 

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