Possible Reasons Why Your Music Isn’t Selling Online

© 2011 Vinny Ribas

Having music available for people to purchase is obviously very important to an indie artist’s income. However, you’ve probably noticed that just because you have it available doesn’t mean that people are flocking to buy it. So why isn’t your music selling? Here are some thoughts:

  • You haven’t made it easy for people to find it. Your music should be ‘above the fold’ on your website so that is easy to check out.
  • Your ‘snippets’ are too short. All too often people need to listen to the whole song, or at least through the chorus, before making a buying decision. This is especially true if there is a twist at the end.
  • You’re productions are not up to par. This could mean a bad mix, bad mastering, vocals or instruments are out of tune or there is some other challenge. What good is writing great songs if the recording isn’t pleasant to listen to?
  • Your songs are weak. Only record the very best songs, regardless of whether you or someone else wrote them.
  • You’re trying to save money on each download by making people buy it from you instead of iTunes, Amazon and other similar services. People love convenience and impulse buys. They want to click on the iTunes button on your website and just purchase the song on their account without having to put in all of their credit card information. Plus, they may wonder how secure their information is on your site! That’s not a concern with the reputable online retailers.
  • They don’t know you exist. You are not actively driving people to your music. Instead, you’re hoping that they somehow ‘discover you’.
  • You are not giving them incentives to buy, such as ‘3 free downloads’ with the purchase of the complete CD. You have to compete.
  • Your website is either unprofessional looking or does not match or convey the kind of music you write and/or record, so visitors never even push the play button.
  • Your YouTube videos don’t drive fans to your website or to a place where they can buy your music. You may not even have the name of your band on the video.
  • You are relying on services like ReverbNation, Facebook or MySpace to be your website. As wonderful as they are, they turn many people off quite quickly. If you look professional, people will assume you sound professional as well and they’ll give you a chance. The best way to accomplish this is with your own website and domain name.
  • Fans can’t find you because your name is hard to spell or pronounce or it has a strange spelling. Another problem is that your domain name is not your artist name, so fans don’t know what to look for.
  • You don’t have a ‘buy’ button on your website or on your social networks. Very few people are going to search for a place to buy your music.
  • Your music isn’t on your social network pages.
  • You are not staying in touch with your fans, so they are forgetting about you. Be sure you are collecting email addresses and sending them an update at least once or twice a month.
  • You don’t have a presence on the most popular music discover sites such as YouTube. If you do, you’re not driving traffic there.
  • The people you would expect to buy your music don’t use the services where you have it. You need to match your marketing and web presence with where your fans shop.
  • Even though you have your own domain name, your email address is still generic (e.g. @hotmail or @yahoo). This doesn’t let potential fans know how to get to your website.

There may be any number of other reasons why people aren’t buying you music. But one thing is for certain – it will never happen unless people know where to find it, they realize it’s great quality and you make it easy to purchase!

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, a global business club for serious independent artists, songwriters, musicians and music professionals. Indie Connect helps its members increase their chances of success by providing practical career direction and education, combined with live and online industry networking opportunities. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, an artist manager, a booking agent, songwriter and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He is a published author and popular speaker at music industry conferences.

1 Comment

  1. “Your songs are weak. Only record the very best songs, regardless of whether you or someone else wrote them.”


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.