SOUNDCLOUD continues to offer a great value for any level of musician. Part streaming music site, part social network, the platform gives you great tools to share your tunes. Just upload your tracks and set your options for sharing them, it's that simple. SoundCloud does have paid "Pro" options that remove caps on the amount of audio you can upload, but the basic offering is free. The embeddable SoundCloud player is awesome too -- listeners can share comments on the song.
FLATTR is the premiere tipping platform for creators, and facilitates gratuities for a 10% cut. Supporters use the system budget an amount that's divvied up each month to the folks they "Flattr". This ensures that a regular stream of tips are distributed to creative entrepreneurs everywhere, every month.
KICKSTARTER is at the forefront of the crowd funding revolution. For a 5% fee (plus processing fees of 3-5%), Kickstarter provides a great platform for raising interest in funding your project. The list of successes is too long to mention -- sites like Kickstarter are increasingly the way creative works are financed. Keep your "backers" interested with updates, and benefit from the large community of altruistic people already actively backing.
COPPER is a new way of tipping creative professionals. Install the Copper browser button and all of the sudden you'll be able to easily leave a tip at any URL you happen across. As the service catches on, creators across the globe will start waking up to checks in the mail from their fans. They charge a 10% fee to facilitate the transaction by seamlessly matching tips up with the creators who inspired them. In this way, they capture that moment of inspiration and monetize it.
INDIEGOGO is part of the leading pack of crowd funding platforms for creators. The main differentiation from Kickstarter and Pledge Music is their flexible funding and pricing structure. You don't have to raise 100% of your goal, but they'll take a different commission rate if you fall short. Or you can choose to raise a fixed amount like Kickstarter and pay just a 4% fee.
Indiegogo: Global Crowdfunding Engine to Fundraise Online
CREATESPACE - You probably know Amazon will sell your MP3s on its digital music service, but did you know they also offer an on-demand CD production service? Amazon's CreateSpace is an easy option if your fans want to be old school and own your album on CD. Amazon will take a healthy but reasonable chunk of the sale, but you save huge on production costs associated with printing thousands of CDs. It's free to list a title, so there's no risk.
ARTISTS HOUSE MUSIC is an indispensable video catalog of music business wisdom and knowledge. Every career-minded musician should swing by and learn tips and techniques from big names in music. The organization is dedicated to "helping musicians and music entrepreneurs create sustainable careers", and the education to be gained at their site is bar none.
BANDCAMP is perhaps today's most essential web service for independent bands and musicians. At the heart of Bandcamp is a simple, utilitarian premise: Allow fans to listen to your music for free, and enable flexible, reasonable pricing for music purchases. Bands have the option of collecting email addresses, set fees or pay-what-you-want amounts in exchange for their music. You can also sell merch. It's the quickest way to a free band website. Bandcamp gets 15% of music revenue and 10% of…
BEATSTARS is a "digital production marketplace" where musicians can both acquire and distribute beats, loops, samples, stems and entire songs. More than just a music production hub, Beatstars offers musicians who subscribe lots of extras like embeddable sales widgets, analytics and TuneCore-like digital distribution to multiple streaming and downloading platforms. The site also runs contests in which users compete in remixing songs by popular producers for cash prizes.