Your Music & The Internet

internet musicBy Marlyn Ntsele and Russel Hlongwane

Over the past years, the internet has changed a lot of things. It is a curse as much as it is a blessing to the music industry. We, at Onexus, believe that the Internet offers tons of new, exciting possibilities to musicians. In this article you will learn how you can use the Internet to your advantage.


Since the coming of the broadband internet, people put anything and everything out there. This does not only give you the possibility to “Google” whatever you want to know, but also offers you a chance to share your music with the rest of the world. And who knows someone might be Googling to find new music, question is: will they find you? If not, this article will help you with the fundamentals.

Having a website as a band is a necessity. You can communicate whatever you choose with your fans or other people who are interested. It is important to claim your domain name at an early stage. Making a website does not have to be that complicated with help from tools like Wordpress. If you do not have the patience or time to figure it all out, you can make use of a company to do it for you. In Durban an example of one of these companies is Creative Lead, find them at

E-mail newsletter
An e-mail is an effective way to inform fans and media of the latest news around your music. Always ask visitors to your website and performances if you can add them to your mailing list. Trick - why not give away a song in trade for an e-mail address?

Keep your e-mails short, natural and precise. Always give subscribers an opportunity to unsubscribe. The added benefit to a newsletter is that you have direct linkage to your fans, as opposed to dealing with them via third party channels like social media. The impediment with social media is that they depend on trend and age, once your fans are not on Facebook anymore, do you know where to find them? Or if facebook went down, what are the chances that you could still rekindle with all the people on your friendlist? So having your fans emails gives you one up.

Earth RadioMusic Portals
There are endless websites with news and other information about music. Some well-known ones are:
By sending them information about what you do, there is a big chance they write about you. And the more they write about you, the greater your footprint on the internet.

Social media
On the net you can find endless social media communities where like-minded people or friends are centralised. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud etc. The offer can be overwhelming and the biggest challenge is for the audience to find you and not to go away anymore. Find out where your fans are and make sure that is also where they can find you. Be smart with social media, put minimal effort that yields maximum results. Trick - download an app that centralises and merges your social media updates. You will exhaust yourself if you chase every social media option out there, use those that are most dominant in your fanbase and capitalise on them.

Digital distribution
Digital selling of music has been going through a lot of changes the past few years. At the moment there are lots of sites where people can download music – legally and illegally. Most people are familiar with iTunes. Fact- iTunes sells many more tracks than full albums. Other popular digital products are ringtones for your cell phone, the stats are startling.

Online distribution works the same as offline. A master owner (you or your record company) signs an agreement with an online sales person who ensures that your tracks end up in the various online stores. The store and the distributor get a percentage, it is sometimes difficult to deal with all those shops yourself.  An example of a distributor in South Africa is Exact Mobile and in the US CD Baby. Another example is TuneCore and Reverbnation, you do not pay them per download, but you pay a subscription fee and get to keep all the profit yourself.

Make sure that you sign a contract with a digital distributor that you keep the following in mind:
●    Exclusivity: if your contract is exclusive it means you can not do anything yourself anymore to sell your music online.
●    Duration
●    Territorium

Of course you can also choose to give away your music for free. A lot of independent artists use this method as the new strategy to make sure their music is heard by as many people as possible. A lot of well-known bands got fans that way.

In conclusion, there is staggering traffic online, it is growing exponentially in South Africa too. So get yourself there early to benefit from this growing traffic. It must be said, the internet is not the start and end, you need to back this up with an active physical presence through performance, appearances and recordings. In fact the two have to complement each other, that’s when they’re most effective………….see you online.



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