Bands: Donation-based music sales 17 replies, 14571 views

8/3/2009 11:08:00 AM
It's not often that I stray from the metal forums but I thought this might be interesting to everyone.

I just started tests of a digital sales site/service that's based around a pay-what-you-want sales model and I'm looking for bands interested in using it. I had an album come out last summer that was downloaded pretty heavily so I built it in response to that. It went really well, other people started asking to use my code, so I expanded it to what it is now.

There are no sign-up costs, no weird recurring fees. All money is made by taking a small fee from each sale, so you really have nothing to lose. You sign up, upload your shit, add some entries for merch to get offered when someone donates, and then the site gives you a link to put on your website/myspace/whatever. So far, the average donation amount is $5.

click here for link
8/3/2009 11:10:00 AM
wrote all the code yourself eh? how are the features
8/3/2009 11:15:00 AM
About 99% of it. Right now, features are pretty basic... This is very much alpha. All of the core features work fully, from registration to artist creation, adding merch, uploading files, sales, distribution/downloading, and accounting, but I need to do a lot to reports and want to make the upload process a bit simpler.
8/3/2009 11:17:00 AM
if i were you i'd incorporate an ajax upload functionality so people can track the upload % and shit. pretty easy to do with php. i guess you're using mysql
8/3/2009 11:21:00 AM
Yeah, that's actually top of the to-do list. I should have it ready to go in the next few days, I just need some time and testing. We mandate 256kbps minimum and I want to retag all songs and create the ZIPs people download, so files will be uploaded, checked, modified, and packaged.
8/3/2009 11:25:00 AM
there's probably a php package you could install that zips files for you, i know coldfusion and have that functionality.
8/3/2009 11:32:00 AM
PHP has a built in library for ZIP, that's really the easy part. None of it is terribly complicated, it's just extremely time-consuming to do it by myself because it's ALL user-submitted content. Do you still do this site on your own?
8/3/2009 11:33:00 AM
brickhouse has user Hershey help him out with the site
8/3/2009 11:34:00 AM
Originally posted by: Xos

PHP has a built in library for ZIP, that's really the easy part. None of it is terribly complicated, it's just extremely time-consuming to do it by myself because it's ALL user-submitted content. Do you still do this site on your own?

well i wrote all the code myself, but now it's self maintaining basically. i'm doing a total overhaul of the layout and code this fall.
8/3/2009 3:57:00 PM
Awesome! I look forward to getting to that point... Haha.

In the meantime, sign up for my site, assholes! Get your music out there!
8/3/2009 4:34:00 PM
i got my friend to sign his band up. what percentage of the profits do you take
8/3/2009 9:09:00 PM
I may think about doing this for my record label. i was thinking about doing a thing with DDs and if I could help someone out in the process I would like to.

is the $5 donation for every album, or a one time thing? also I am curious as to what the small fee is as well.

But I'll defiantly keep in touch.
8/4/2009 2:58:00 PM
Sorry I'm late on the replies, I thought this thread was dead...

First Chris: Thanks for referring your friend. I got a few people from Jersey in the last day or two... Which one was your friend? Right now, we take 18% + $0.30. We pay Paypal out of what we take since they process the payment. The fee is built for small amounts so we build a failsafe in to make sure we don't take too much: when our net profit (that's what's left over of our 18% after paying for the payment processing) hits $5, we give our fee in excess of that back to the band. As the sale amount goes up, our fee rate goes down.

Second Chris: not sure what you're really asking... The $5 thing I was talking about in my initial post was that the average person donates $5 for a full-length, but this number was obtained in my old system where you couldn't offer merch to buyers. I expect the average sale number in this system to be quite a bit higher. I'm working on some features specifically for labels that we can talk about if you want to send me an email. Right now, there's already one label that's in the process of putting their catalog up there and I've been talking with a few others. Hit me up whenever.
8/4/2009 3:09:00 PM
i referred dead pegasus. thye were allowing free downloads of their cd and i ws actually trying to convince them to setup a paypal for donations to put on their myspace. they were too lazy for that so this cut the work in half. im gonna refer my cousins band also.

since theres no fee to join you should encourage peopel to upload all their old defunct bands music too. i think you can build a pretty big database of obscure local bands cds with this.
8/4/2009 3:13:00 PM
Oh cool, I've been talking with Tom, helping him get stuff going.

Yeah, that's something I'm into... as long as they're going to sell here and there. My bandwidth and storage are cheap but not FREE. Haha. Right now, I need to focus my limited resources on those who are going to make best use of the service.
8/4/2009 3:20:00 PM
haha i assure you dead pegasus will make very little use of the service
8/4/2009 3:22:00 PM
Hahaha! Well... Uh... He seems like a good dude who's serious about sharing his music. I think that's cool.
8/11/2009 2:51:00 PM
Giving this a bump. Put in a big update to the uploading system the other night that includes a progress bar, ZIP creation on the server, and other little things. The black metal label Bindrune Recordings is in the process of putting up their entire catalog, as are a few other labels. Check them out at and us at