If you've spent time on Jamendo, it's likely you've heard of Josh Woodward. A Jamendo artist since 2007, tracks from Josh are frequently found in Jamendo's Top 100 list and his 9 albums have had well over 2 million listens. So how did Josh become one of the most loved artists on Jamendo? Read on to find out what he feels contributed to his success.
It's not a coincidence that I blurt out Jamendo in the first sentence when someone asks me for advice about the music industry - it might be the best thing going for independent music. I usually have to backtrack a little bit and explain to the puzzled musician standing before me that you need to free your music first, and that freeing your music is a wonderful thing for both your listeners and even your bank account.
My solo music really started on a whim, just whipping out songs and posting them for my friends on my website back in 2002. Making money was never a goal. Things started growing - very, very slowly - and a couple of years later, I discovered this new Creative Commons thing. I liked the fact that I was both protecting my music and keeping it free. When I discovered Jamendo, it seemed like a perfect fit. I started noticing that I was selling all sorts of CDs to Europe, to Jamendo fans, and eventually more than half of my CDs were being shipped overseas. And that was awesome.
But then came Jamendo PRO. Not only were my CD sales growing, but suddenly, I'm making even more money through licensing. As if people emailing me to tell me they heard my music playing in a shoe store in Denmark wasn't cool enough, Jamendo's getting me *money* for it - good money - and I don't have to do a thing. So any list of tips has to start with:
- *Get your songs in* *Jamendo PRO*. For the love of all that is good and pure, do this. You upload them once, and Jamendo handles the licensing legalese and sends you money. It doesn't get much better than that.
- *Update your fans*. Take advantage of Jamendo's awesome features to send messages to your fans when you release a new album or have something important going on. Don't spam, or people will ignore or block you, but get your word out to the people who want to hear it.
- *Don't be afraid of experiments*. Got an odd collection of gypsy jazz songs you recorded for fun? Spoken word Elizabethan poetry? Epic bagpipe symphonies? Put 'em up here! The community is very diverse, and someone will adore your weird experiments. Well, except maybe the bagpipe stuff. Skip those. :-)
- *Consider Creative Commons Attribution*. This opens your music up to many new avenues of exposure, including some of the most beneficial, such as partners on YouTube, who can't use CC-NC music and have tons of viewers. You may have fears about giving up this control, but the benefits far outweigh the problems.
- *Wait*. This is the hardest part. Jamendo's rare, in that there's actually a community here. If you're new, your brilliant CD will most likely flop at first. But Jamendo's got an awesome system that floats the best stuff to the top thanks to the great community of reviewers. It's taken years for me, but my growth here has been linear the whole time.