PhotoOkay, so you’re a musician and you’ve got tons of songs that you want others to hear, but you’re undecided on what route you should go in order to reach the most listeners and make a little money for yourself.

Of course you can throw your songs on Facebook or Twitter, but everyone does that and quite honestly those kinds of sites are more known for communicating between friends and followers rather than a being a place on the Internet that hardcore music fans flock to.

Also, most social networking sites don’t have a money-making component (except for themselves), so when songs are posted, the best an artist can hope for is that it's retweeted or posted again by a follower, while also hoping that your material will get to that one person who’s either in the music industry that can further your musical mission or someone not in the industry who is willing to invest in you and your project.

Either way, simply posting songs on the Facebooks and Twitters of the world doesn’t really allow you or your material to be singled out, as it's almost a certainty that your songs will be swept up with the millions of other people who are posting songs. Besides, posting material for your friends to hear, who probably already know that you do music, won’t get you or your songs very far.

PhotoDon’t get me wrong, posting your songs on these sites is a good start, but that’s all it is, a start. If you really want to get your material to the serious music listeners and connect with folks who like and appreciate your particular brand of music, you need to gete into Rhapsody, Spotify, Google Play, Zune, MOG, Amazon mp3 and of course iTunes, since these sites are solely for music and most times will allow you to make a couple of bucks from your songs.

So why not just send your material to places like Spotify and iTunes on your own, since they all seem eager to host music and work with artists who either may or may not be signed to a major label?

Well, the answer is quite simple. Although digital music stores have helped artists bypass the record label process by giving them an alternative outlet, many of the bigger stores like iTunes still won’t take just anyone, and they tend to follow the pattern of record labels, in that you either have to have a buzz or an inside connection to get on these sites.

Time for a middleman

Some unknown artists are able to get past the digital gatekeepers, but more times than not, if you’re just starting out and you think it’s going to be an easy time getting your songs on the bigger mp3 sites, there’s a good chance you’ll be very disappointed.

PhotoThat’s where comes in, as it plays the digital middleman by allowing you to submit singles or entire albums to the company and they’ll reach out to all of the major mp3 stores on your behalf and find digital homes for your material.

Here’s how it works: Artists simply go to the website and for $25 they can upload an entire album or upload a song or ringtone for $9.

You’ll also be asked to enter needed information like song titles, guest features, and the song’s minute count. You also have to upload artwork for your project and pretty much shape what you want your album to look like once it’s sold in mp3 stores. And once the material is uploaded there are no other fees to pay.

From there, Catapult sends your songs to just about every major digital music store on the Internet and the company says that nine times out of ten, the company is successful at placing your songs in about three to six weeks’ time.

And once your songs are housed and people start purchasing them, Catapult takes 9% of the proceeds. 

Catapult also sends you all kinds of monthly reports like which of your songs sold the most and in which country each song was purchased.  The monthly reports are free with your $9 or $25 upload, but the company also offers daily reports for an extra fee of about $10 a month.

In order to use Catapult and get your songs distributed, you’ll need a barcode for your album or song, as the digital stores won’t accept your music without one, so if you haven’t set up a barcode for yourself as of yet, Catapult can set one up for you for a onetime fee of $20.

Original material preferred

Catapult is mostly for artists who have original material, but the company will also allow you to post covers of songs. However you have to get permission from the original artists and get the material licensed.

So if you want to get your songs out to the buying public and you don’t want to simply add them to the infinite pool of material that’s already on all of the social sites, than using a company like Catapult makes perfect sense, especially since you can create a link on your social site that brings your followers directly to the mp3 stores.

Because if you want to be a successful independent artist, you’ll have to use social media, mp3 stores, and any other outlet you can to get your songs heard and your music out there.

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