Make Money with Music!



Digital riches await savvy indie bands By Antony Bruno
Sat Jun 23, 2:37 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Unsigned and indie artists for years have sold CDs and tapes from their merchandise table at live gigs to earn a little extra scratch while on the road.

How '90s, right? Where’s the digital download? How about a ringtone?

There is perhaps no more important moment for an unknown act to make an impact than at the point of initial discovery – which almost always means at a live gig. Until recently, the only way to capitalize on this digitally was for bands to announce their MySpace profile and hope fans would visit later.

Not anymore. A handful of new companies now offer digital DIY resources to savvy artists interested in converting the live experience into an opportunity for profit and promotion.

One that’s been commanding a decent degree of attention lately is DiscRevolt. The company provides artists with customized prepaid cards that fans can redeem for MP3 downloads on its Web site. Here’s how it works: Artists buy in bulk a set of cards that they can design with their own custom artwork and text. Each card has a unique redemption code and holds 15 credits. Participating artists then upload their music in MP3 format to their profile on the DiscRevolt site, which can also accommodate a bio, contact info and artwork. Bands can either sell or give away these cards to fans, who use the redemption code to download individual tracks – one credit per track.

Where pressing CDs generally costs on average of $1 per disc – excluding cover art and booklets – DiscRevolt prices range from 100 cards for $99 (99 cents each) to 1,000 cards for $450 (45 cents each). Larger bulk orders can run as low as 25 cents per card.

There are no further per-track costs for tracks downloaded from the site. Artists pocket the cash they make by selling the cards individually – typically between $5 and $10. And even kids without a credit card can buy them.

Thanks, Tom. That’s really interesting.


Imagine that, even kids without a credit card can buy them!