Music Business

New Way To Sell Digital Music? Bitcoins Increase In Legitimacy And Rise In Value

Yumcoin-logoWhen I first wrote about Bitcoin over a year ago and suggested musicians check out digital music sales for bitcoins, each individual bitcoin was worth around $10. In recent months the value of bitcoins has risen and, as of yesterday, they were worth around $106. I know such so-called "cryptocurrencies" are a bit hard to fathom but maybe it's time musicians investigate platforms for selling digital goods for bitcoins a bit more seriously.

Bitcoin is a digital currency with no State backing. If you're still unfamiliar with the concept, you can find out more from this Wikipedia entry and from my previous post regarding the topic.

Bitcoin is Getting Serious Backing

Since writing that post, Bitcoin has had some intense ups and downs well-documented in tech and business media. While developments have disappointed those who seek a totally anonymous currency, for those interested in alternative digital currencies, Bitcoin is getting the support of serious investors as shown in recent headlines:

With $1.5M Led By Winklevoss Capital, BitInstant Aims To Be The Go-To Site To Buy And Sell Bitcoins

60+ Investors Band Together To Form BitAngels, The First Multi-City Angel Network & Incubator For Bitcoin Startups

The launch of the Boost Bitcoin Fund brings more capital to an area of growing investor interest

In my previous post I discussed CoinDL, a store for selling digital goods in exchange for bitcoins. Though that hasn't taken off in a big way, the music category currently has the most items.

Yumcoin: Sell Your Digital Tracks for Bitcoins

I was prompted to revisit the topic for Hypebot due to the launch of Yumcoin, a new Bitcoin ecommerce site for digital goods.

CoinDesk's Danny Bradbury describes Yumcoin:

"Users sign up for free accounts, and the service allows them to upload digital products to sell at a maximum price of 10 bitcoins. The files are stored on an Amazon’s cloud service."

"Sellers can then enter a product description, and choose an image to describe the product. Yumcoin gives them a product URL, which they can then share on Facebook or Twitter…"

"The site takes 1 percent of the sale price, plus .0025 bitcoins (around 25 cents at the current value) as a commission on every sale."

The site is very simple at this point with no directory of goods. You'll have to publicize your work yourself but a Yumcoin rep informed Bradbury that:

"There’s lots of new features we’re working on (ie. catalogs, storefronts, and analytics)."

Why Not Investigate Bitcoin?

As I previously pointed out, any musician who's already giving away music wouldn't be harmed by tossing some tracks up on such a platform and seeing if there's a response. In the process you'd have to learn the basics of the Bitcoin world which would help prepare you for future developments.

And, for those who grasp the bigger picture and know how to take something new and turn it into a story for the media, the publicity possibilities are quite high especially if you're interested in being featured in tech or business media.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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