Updated: Nov 27
One of the main struggles artists face, especially independent artists, is how to make money off your music. It is no secret that making money in music can be difficult. With distributors taking a relatively large cut from music sales, it can become difficult for independent artists to make a large enough profit. One of our previous posts talked all about how to make money with music if you want to get more tips!
Another difficulty artists sometimes face is not having all the data on your music and merchandise sales in one place. Have you ever considered selling your music in the same spot as your merch? Did you know this was a possibility? Are you ready to get your mind blown?
Shopify allows you to sell your music and merchandise all in one spot, and we are going to tell you how to do it.
Let’s start off with talking about what exactly is Shopify. Many of you probably already know about it, or have heard of it, but just in case you haven’t we will quickly give you a run-down on what it is.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to sell your products through their service. You can customize your site, or attach a pre-existing site to their platform. Their platform provides you with an admin panel where you can add products, process orders, and enter data. This allows you to access everything you need relating to sales in one spot. This is a helpful article that offers tips for new store owners.
Shopify can be used for many different types of businesses from jewelry designers and other physical products, to websites for musicians. You can sell physical products including merch, digital products such as music, and ticketed experiences like shows. Other sales options include services/consultations, memberships, classes/lessons, and rentals.
If you are looking for more information on Shopify they have a wide selection of blog posts on their help centre that you can check out here.
Now you may be asking yourself where do music sales come in? Next up we will be talking about Single, Shopify’s app for musicians.
Shopify recognized the hole in music sales for artists. Because a large cut of music sales typically goes to the distributor (i.e. Apple Music, Google Play, etc.) Shopify has created a model that allows artists to sell their music and merch all in one place, while not losing too much money to the distributor. Outlined below is a step-by-step guide to getting yourself set-up with Single.
Create your Shopify account. You will be provided with a 14-day trial and from there it is $30/month on their basic plan. If you have a pre-existing site you can use Shopify Lite to integrate Shopify into your site.
If you don’t have a pre-existing site choose one of Shopify’s many themes and begin building your site.
Design your site by uploading photos, changing the text, and layout. Make sure to design it so that it reflects your overall brand as an artist.
Create a product such as merchandise and add it to your store.
Download the Single app from the Shopify app store.
Create a release and upload tracks. We will talk more about this in the next section!
Tag your albums in the Single dashboard to track physical records sold.
Manage your orders in the dashboard. You can change customers' emails and re-send them any content in the section.
Note: Single takes $0.15/track (capped at $2/album) on your music sales.
What you need to submit
You will need your lossless audio file (WAV, AIFF, or FLAC), as well as your release UPC’s (more on this below).
Step 1 - Album Set-up
In this section you will set-up your album’s production information so that it is ready to be launched in the store. Listed below is the information you will be prompted to fill-out.
Album/Single Art - Ensure that this is high-resolution (1400x1400) image.
Release Title - The name of the album.
Main Artists - Yourself
Featured Artists - The option to list any artists who may be featured
Release Price - You set the cost of your music!
Release Date - This is the release date for the album itself
Step 2 - Singles
Now it is time to enter the information for each track on the album.
Track Title - Song name
Price - Cost per individual track
ISCR (International Standard Recording Code) - Internationally recognized identification for music video and sound recordings. It is a requirement for all individual tracks.
Release Date - If you want to release tracks individually or as an album. You can also schedule track release dates for each song.
ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code) - This is optional, similar to the ISCR, this is a unique code used for registering your music.
Writer - List any writers on the song
Producer - List any producers on the song
Step 3 - Finalizing
Click on “review for sale” This is your last chance to make any changes before putting the item for sale. You will be able to decide whether to sell it individually or as a merch bundle.
Shopify is a great option for building your brand and selling all your products. It really simplifies the process by allowing you to collect all the information in one place. Many major artists have been switching over to Shopify for their sales due to how easy Shopify makes the process.
If you are looking for more information you can also check out Single Music’s site. They have many helpful blogs that walk you through the whole process.