How to Upload your MP3s to the Internet on mp3.com

The mp3.com site is the most popular site for artists to mount their own original work and make the MP3 files available as free downloads. There are no gatekeepers here, so anyone can do it. And it's all free. You can also sell albums that mp3.com will burn for you.

Difficulty Level: average/   Time Required: 1-3 hours


Here's How:

  1. Go to www.mp3.com and log on as a new artist.
  2. Submit your info, choose a password, and go to your artist administration area.
  3. Now you are ready to create your web page. You'll be asked for contact info and a band/artist photo. You can upload the photo later.
  4. Use the "Customize your Web Page" option to make your page distinctive. You can change the background color (or add a background image), add more photos, and use HTML for links, etc.
  5. To upload your first song, click on "Update Song Catalogue." When uploading songs, be ready to supply: credits, artist bio, lyrics, story behind the song, and any album graphics.
  6. Choose a genre for the song. Pick the one most people will associate with your kind of music. Picking a small sub-genre can help your song achieve a higher standing and sustained visibility on mp3s charts.
  7. Follow instructions for uploading your song. You can even do the album photo and MP3 file later if you don't have one ready. If you are using a 56K modem, this can take up to 20 minutes and there's no indication that it's working till the end. With cable or DSL, a few minutes will suffice.
  8. Wait a 1-3 days for the upload to be confirmed. Every song is tested for technical problems and previewed by the staff before going live.

    Getting Paid

  9. Getting paid at mp3.com has gotten a little complicated. Your songs will rack up royalties from the free listens and downloads, but to be eligible to collect these "Pay for Play" royalties, you now have to be signed up in the Premium Artist program, which costs $20/mo. I have 4 sites at mp3.com and only one of them is earning enough royalties for it to be worthwhile signing up for this program. In addition to making you eligible to collect on royalties, the Premium Artist program gives you software that lets you upload multiple songs at one time, gives your songs preference when it comes to approval process, and makes your entries appear in bold typeface.
  10. Create a "DAM CD." If you have at least half a dozen songs, make them available for sale in CD form. The mp3.com company becomes your label, burning and mailing CDs on a per order basis. You can also buy CDs for yourself at a discounted price. Mp3.com splits all sales 50/50.
  11. Create and upload an album cover in the JPEG format - otherwise they'll use a classy but generic one. You can also upload a 2-page booklet.
  12. All info you give about the songs on your webpage will show up on the multi-media DAM CD when listeners put the CD in their computers and use the MP3 player included on the disc.

Notes:

  1. Keep track of your webpage activity. If your song never catches on or if it's activity peaks and then falls off, change the genre it's listed under. New songs tend to get more play.
  2. Some artists upload the same song in different genres using slightly different titles. This can increase traffic on a hot song.
  3. Remember all songs you upload must be your own original work or the work of someone from whom you have licensed the right to do so.
  4. Market your site aggressively. Let people know it's there. Visit other artist sites to see how they've customized them. Some very bad musicians are very good designers/marketers, so hold your nose and dive in.

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Hugh Blumenfeld, Editor
hugh@balladtree.com

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