Digital Downloads in a Digital World
So i have been tossing this around a bit when it comes to Free Vs Pay Mp3 Downloads and they both have key benefit features depending on the situation. As for Signed Talent they have the PR and Promotions to sell the mp3 since they well frankly have a bigger bank account then most people. As for Unsigned / Independent Talent its a bit more difficult for you since you have to push and grind your song to sell to the general public and most of the time i have noticed talent thinks that people will just "find" the song for sale without having to promote there own song and or relying on itunes, or some other website to do the work for you (especially if its a free site).
Chicago Music Promotions has 2 options available in regards to sales and distrobution it has a digital vault and also store, the digital vault (is for mp3s) and the store is for tangible items (cds, tee shirts, or whatever tangible items you need to send to consumers). The digital store is setup so talent keeps 98% of all sales and the store talent keeps 100% since you have to ship out your own products to consumers. The system is setup to use paypal so talent must have paypal to sell digital mp3s or use the store features, once the site detects you have sold a song it will see how much sales you have got and it will send you the payment automatically, its setup so you have to sell at least $10 in mp3s on the site for the system to trigger to send the payment that reduces the paypal charges for fee's, since if the system sent you money everytime 1 song was sold it would take out nice taxes on 99 cent sales so in reality you are making more money when the cap is reached at 10 dollars.
Personally i think Unsigned Talent and Independent Talent should have a medium scale for free vs pay downloads like half and half for music sales and freebies even yes some of your HOT songs give away for free let them cycle in the digital world and get more buzz and hype then put the song for sale after your free mp3 campaign. I suggest say when you come out wiith a new track give the song out for say 3 months let it build up hype and then change to to pay download or sales. and dont just sell it for over 1.00 right off the bat , i suggest keeping the price cheap like say 20-50 cents to start with as more sales are accumulated and you are building more buzz then raise it up in 10 cent incriments that is suitable i think and do not go over say 1.50 for the song download you are not Kanye West or Bieber so that wont work. Also keep away from itunes use independent music sites (like chicago music promotions) to curb the deduction they slap on you for selling your song, sure they have high traffic but most consumers who go to itunes want "major record label" artists or talent so its sort of hit or miss for unsigned talent.
That is my thoughts you should sign up to Chicago Music Promotions and sell your music here you keep 98% of all mp3 sales and 100% of all store sales.