The indieTorrent.org Manifesto
An exhaustive description of the project and the ethos behind it.
Why indieTorrent over iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, SNOCAP, CD Baby, etc.?
- We give artists the money they deserve: ALL PROFITS (~85% of each dollar).
- We show both artists and fans how each sale is allocated (% to artist, % to credit card processing, % to indieTorrent.org expenses).
- All music distributed through indieTorrent.org is released under a Creative Commons license that is fair to both artists and fans. Limited reproduction (e.g., sharing with friends/family) is perfectly legal and is encouraged.
- We offer FLAC audio files, which contain the original, CD-quality data from the physical CD. Most digital music stores offer the customer a low-fidelity file (such as MP3 or M4A) to "cut costs". For convenience, we also offer MP3 versions of each purchased track.
- There are no long-term contracts to sign; artists enable/disable/manage their own music catalogs and leave any time they like.
- Artists set their own song prices.
- Customers can purchase any number of songs from a given album; buying the entire album is not required.
- Artists can customize their storefront/profile pages; see http://indietorrent.org/vialka and http://indietorrent.org/alpharev for examples.
- Customers are able to re-download purchased music any time they like, directly from any web browser. indieTorrent music is DRM-free and no proprietary software is required to download or play the files.
- 90-second track previews are available for all songs, and artists choose the particular section of each song that is available for preview.
10 simple steps to selling your own music:
- You create an account. (Estimated time required: 1 minute)
- You request an Artist Profile, which allows you to sell music on indieTorrent.org. (Estimated time required: 1 minute)
- We approve your Artist Profile request within 48 hours.
- You create a new album in your Digital Catalog and save the album details to our server. (Estimated time required: 2-5 minutes)
- You set your own price for each track on your newly-created album. (Estimated time required: 1 minute)
- You prepare the FLAC audio files to go with each track on your new album. (Estimated time required: 20-45 minutes)
- You upload the audio files for each track. We transcode your uploaded files to the MP3, too, for customer convenience. (Estimated time required: 1-2 hours)
- You upload the cover art for your album (optional).
- You set the status of your album to "Enabled". Your album is now visible in the indieTorrent Digital Catalog and in searches.
- Whenever your account balance passes the threshold you set in your Account Preferences (the default is $50.00 USD), we pay you the amount you are owed (you choose: paper check or PayPal deposit).
Any time a customer buys your music, ~5% of the transaction total is spent on credit card processing, and we keep 10% to pay for the bandwidth required to serve your customer his/her song download, provide customer service, and pay for web hosting/future site development. This leaves you with about 85% of each sale in your pocket.
Other benefits of using indieTorrent:
- You can permanently delete your indieTorrent account at any time if you so choose; you are not under contract with indieTorrent.
- You can disable your own songs and albums at any time; disabling songs/albums removes the songs/albums from public view and prevents customers from purchasing the disabled music.
- We are working to give artists 100% control over their Digital Catalogs: fix track titles, replace/re-upload audio files, change album artwork/genre, and more.
- There is no way for you to owe us money — all services on indietorrent.org are provided free of charge. We only keep enough from each sale for indietorrent.org to remain online (and we'll be posting all financial details for public review).
- If you are unable to encode your own audio for any reason, simply Contact Us and then mail us your CD; we'll do all the heavy-lifting for you (at no charge) and notify you when your record is ready for the public to purchase.
How does it work?
E-Commerce is expensive, and not every musician can set-up his own secure web-server and offer for-pay downloads of his music. Instead, many do-it-yourself artists turn to PayPal or Yahoo for an "out-of-the-box" solution. While less expensive than a custom e-commerce solution, these systems are typically clunky and difficult to integrate with existing "brand imagery". Further, these systems are not designed specifically to sell digital music, and are often ill-equipped for this purpose; most platforms allow only for physical products to be sold.
In contrast, the indieTorrent platform is designed specifically to sell digital music and downloadable DVDs. By taking a modest percentage of each sale (~10%), we're able to pay for the entire operation: webserver/hosting, security certificate, bandwidth, customer care, maintenance, and future site development. This strategy avoids the need for all of us to have our own business entities, merchant accounts, payment gateway providers, etc., which would constitute an astronomical expense. Instead, we're all splitting the bill and running all transactions through a single gateway and merchant account. Using a billpay service, we're able to pay the artist directly and no second "monetary transfer" charge is applied; the money goes straight from our checking account into the artist's. (Artists outside of the U.S. must receive funds through PayPal, which is the most cost-effective option for international payments.)
It's this simple: if you are willing to put 10% of each dollar in music you sell through our website back into the indieTorrent community, we'll give you your very own e-commerce store through which to manage and sell your digital music. We'll also provide customer care to fans who purchase your music, should they experience problems of any kind with their orders. That 10% will fund all site operations and ensure that this website and your music remain online and available to your fans into the indefinite future.
The countries that we are able to support:
Customers from the following countries may purchase music from, or donate to, indieTorrent.org artists. If your country is not listed here, it's only because our payment processor does not offer us the ability to receive money from credit/debit cards or PayPal accounts in your country.
This list was last updated on May 22, 2013.