Music Business Tool Shed

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This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.

While major record labels still generate most of the traditional media, consumers are motivated to discover new and different sounds; and musicians are delivering, recording records in their bedrooms and basements. With only a click of the mouse, they can get their music into the hands of millions, a business concept never before possible.

This means the landscape is literally flooded with bands and musicians trying to break through. So what happened to the business of the music business? A massive renewal is taking place in the digital space. New start-ups are sprouting like weeds to help artists navigate the rapidly growing marketplace.

If you're a musician, chances are you've already explored music service companies like Tunecore, Sonicbids and CD Baby. In just a few short years, these have become the essential building blocks for many in the independent music world.

But there are literally dozens of other sites, each offering different services for the do-it-yourself musician. Here are a few examples:

If you're a band on tour, paying for hotels and accommodation can get expensive very quick. Now there are number of sites to help you solve that problem. is a community based social networking site that connects musicians on tour with free places to stay. offers similar services. With over one million members in 62,000 cities, provides a cultural exchange program for musicians on the road.

Feel like curating your own show? is a website that connects touring musicians with house concert presenters. Anyone can be a house concert presenter. All you need is an average sized living room and a desire to present a concert to your friends.

Want to go mobile, check out Myxer helps bands convert their original music into ring-tones for consumers. And Mxyer gives bands tools to help understand who their mobile fans are, including text codes, tags, web analytics and their own personal mobile website. There are over 100,000 bands currently using Myxer.

And if you believe the biggest problem with the music business is the velvet rope of the record industry, you might want to check out, the world's first fan-run record label. allows fans to vote on which bands get funded, with industry veterans releasing the music and promoting the winners.

There are websites to help you write songs, and sites to help you play drums, sites to help you get your music into films and TV, and sites to help you with your royalty accounting. Literally, there are dozens of new online businesses aimed to help musicians build their careers. Many of them are free to artists and fans. For a more complete list, go to and check out On the Beat for more information.

It's a fabulous time to be a musician. Never have there been more resources available to help artists build their own cottage industry.

That means the music business is not only alive and well, it's thriving.

This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.

Business websites for musicians:

Alt Sounds
Artist Data
Artist Direct
Band News
Better than the Van
Broad Jam
CD Baby
Concerts in Your Home
Couch Surfing
Drum Channel
efolk Music
Fan Bridge
Free Kids Music
Garage Band
Google Analytics
Indie on the Move
Jam Base
JP Folks
Kick Starter
Next Big Sound
Our Stage
Pick the Band
Pledge Music
Slice the Pie
The Sixtyone
Tune Core