Build a Pre-order Campaign & Sell Directly To Fans

The moment has finally arrived - the album you’ve been perfecting is now released to the world. One of your closest friends and (obligatory) diehard fans texts you and asks, “Hey, where should I go to pick up the new album?” You quickly think through the list of services your digital aggregator has sent your music. After a moment of hesitation you say, “iTunes?”

Using a digital aggregator (like Ditto, DistroKid or CD Baby) is a must. Your music should be available on as many services as possible. But if you don’t have a way of distributing directly to your fans, you’re missing out.

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Using Shopify + Single Music, you can create a fully functional artist store tied directly to your existing website. You’ll have access to powerful release management features, as well as tools to create a pre-sale bundle campaign. This is a great complement to releasing your music through a digital aggregator, because when you control your store, you keep the data and more revenue.

Release Management Tools

Publishing music through Single gives you full control over your release, because it exists on your webstore. As a reward for fans purchasing directly from you, you can provide an “instant grat” track that arrives immediately after they place the order. You can even stagger releases of single tracks leading up to the album release date, which we call “cascading releases”. Simply choose the dates for each track and the music will automatically be delivered, otherwise known as “set and forget”.

Finally, when release day rolls around, you can be sure that fans who purchased the pre-sale will receive a link to download the album via email. Unlike iTunes, fans have the choice of downloading an MP3, FLAC or WAV. Let delivery happen automatically, behind the scenes.

Pre-sale Bundle Campaigns

One of the best ways to build hype for your upcoming release is creating product bundles for pre-sale. This idea was proven by the success of PledgeMusic, through their “direct-to-fan” campaigns. The problem is, Pledge holds the money until the end - and if the campaign doesn’t reach its goal, every fan is refunded.

While the company eventually failed (and hurt many artists in the process…) they demonstrated that fans wanted more than just to hear the new album, but instead be involved in the creative process.

Single + Shopify powered presale campaign w/ product bundles by  HEALTH

Single + Shopify powered presale campaign w/ product bundles by HEALTH

Bundles through Single Music are structured similarly to PledgeMusic. You can tie products together to create different “tiers”. Your digital album can be attached to each tier, and even to intangible things like producer credit or a music lesson over skype. Offering these top level tiers allows your most passionate fans to be a part of the album, and provides you the means to keep creating.

What about the $?

As we mentioned, PledgeMusic pays out funds to the artist after the campaign is over. With a Shopify + Single powered pre-sale, money is sent to the artist as it comes in - throughout the duration of the campaign.

Pledge takes 15% of every dollar you earn. This is true for t-shirts, physical CD’s, bundles, and even the highest tiers. Taking 15% of the revenue from a $3,000 private house show seems excessive - when all Pledge really does is provide an online storefront.

Aside from digital delivery, Single doesn’t touch your revenue. Our digital delivery rate is capped at $2 / album - whether you’re selling a digital standalone album or if the album is attached to every single product bundle / tier.

Pledge popularized the concept of a pre-order campaign surrounding an album release. They familiarized the world with different level product tiers, music + merch bundles, and high-dollar intangible opportunities for artists to engage their top fans. With Single + Shopify, all of this is possible AND you keep more revenue and data.

For the price of a Shopify monthly plan ($30 / month) you can operate your own storefront, maximize the release of your new album and give fans the opportunity to become part of the process. In a world where there are hundreds of ways to find and listen to your music, give fans a way to buy directly from you.

Questions about creating your pre-sale campaign? Talk to us! We’d love to help.

- Joe