Friday, September 23, 2011

Use iTunes Playlists to Sell More Music Through iTunes

Use iTunes Playlists to Sell More Music Through iTunes

I’ve stumbled across a way to sell my music on iTunes to hundreds of people that otherwise have never heard of me without getting any page space or paying for advertising. This has become quite successful for me, and I hope it can help you, and we can all help each other. All you need is an iTunes account. Here’s the deal:

iTunes allows you to publish playlists that you create (on the left side of iTunes). The playlists can be rated from 1-5 stars by other customers, and top rated playlists appear on the page for every album that has a song in the playlist.

How to Make an iTunes Playlist

To make your first playlist, create a new playlist by hitting the + sign on the bottom left corner of iTunes. Go to your album in the iTunes store and choose one or two of your songs and drag them into your playlist (this will NOT make you purchase the song, it just creates a link to the store). Then go through the store and drag songs by other artists, ideally similar to your music, into your playlist. Once you’re happy with your choices, view your playlist, then click the little arrow to the right of the title to publish your playlist. iTunes will tell you how to do the rest.

Here are some tips, from experience:

1) Only choose songs that can be downloaded as a single. This allows the entire playlist to be purchased at once, including your songs!

2) Choose between 10-30 songs. You want enough to get your playlist to be seen, but not so many songs that people won’t buy the whole thing, or worse yet, not listen to your song clip.

3) Don’t overload it with your songs. You want a variety of artists so it gets noticed. If they like your music, it’s easy enough to go buy your whole album.

4) Don’t choose super popular songs. Those albums will have so many playlists that yours will never get listed. Instead, choose slightly less popular or more niche oriented artists and albums.

5) Make a lot of Playlists. Not all will get enough votes to get noticed, but that’s not a big deal. Try different themes, ideas, and genres. I even created one using only CD Baby artists.

6) Use new releases or newly added albums–this way they are used in none or very few playlists when you create yours. Plus people are interested in the new releases, and they get page space. Your album is 3 clicks away!

Ideas for success:

1) I run a constant promotion online, offering people a free CD if they create a playlist using a couple of my songs and get 20 ratings with a 4 star or better rating. I easily recoup from the digital sales.

2) Find some friends with albums on iTunes and help each other out. Send each other links to your playlists and vote for each other. Or better yet, follow each other on Ping, where your new playlists will show up on your profile.

Final thoughts:

There’s a difference between a playlist made simply to promote your music and one made for people to enjoy. Always make sure your playlists have a theme or set a certain mood that frames your music, don’t just load it up with hits. If you create playlists like you’re making mix CDs for friends, you’ll get more mileage out of the strategy. Don’t think of this as a way to market your music, think of it as a way to share the music you love with like-minded people.
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