Shopp Digital Download Store

Last night I attended the WordPress NYC Meetup Group at NYU Poly. The theme of the evening was ecommerce. I wanted to see if there was a good solution if you wanted to skip iTunes, Beatport and Amazon. There were three presentations covering the popular WordPress solutions: WP-eCommerce, Shopp and Ecwid. A representative for each product showed off what the products could do. Next, the WordPress Meetup Group broke into three parts everyone following whatever product they liked best into a separate room.

WP-eCommerce and Shopp were similar but I thought Shopp was cleaner and the develeper really knew his stuff so I followed him into the Shopp room. Ecwid was the only product with a monthly subsciption and it was based and hosted your files in Russia. I actually won a rafle for a free year of Ecwid but I still skipped past it. I’m sure it could be a great product but the entire idea of my night out was to find a free or pay once self contained solution.

Years ago I ran an online store script off my own website called the Easybe shop. Shopp is far simplier and more powerful to use. You can sell digital goods quite easily. Download links expire and are encoded so your source url is never revealed. You can send out coupon codes. You can sell physical goods. You can sell digital and physical goods within the same product using variables (such as a CD or MP3 download). You store lives on your Wordpres site within a link but there are sidebar widgets or shortcodes to put any product or product category into any WordPress post (nice!). There are options to host your files on your own server or if you’re a huge site you can use Amazon S3. There are language plug-ins and much more. The price seems very reasonable to me at $55. The only time you pay more is when there are full version point upgrades.

Because Shopp is a full store not specifically an mp3 store it doesn’t have a built in audio player but you can use SoundCloud embeds or a Wordpres plug-in like Audioplayer for your sample clips. I really liked what I saw and I’m going to set up a sample shop here on this site over the weekend. I still think you should have your stuff available for sale on iTunes, Amazon and Beatport. However, why not have a one click away store where no one get a cut of your action?

“Shopp seamlessly integrates into your WordPress website from administration to your online store‚Äôs shopping experience. It looks and works like it was meant to be part of WordPress all along. And Shopp plays well with other plugins by adhering to the WordPress plugin development guidelines.” – shopplugin.net

For more info: shopplugin.net

The RIAA negotiates to CUT artist Royalties.

No RIAA

I’m sure this is not the first time the RIAA has done this, but now that the company is under constant scrutiny by the net press we see a clear view of who these people really represent. Apparently the going rate for today’s artist is 13% and the RIAA is arguing in negotiations currently happening it should be lowered to 9%.

What the hell is going on here? 9%? For the person who created the music and lyrics? When we are talking about music sales aren’t we talking about the selling the music and lyrics?

Yes, the RIAA doesn’t think the record companies are making enough and that musicians are clearly making too much. I mean, they get 13% now. Like they deserve 13% for writing and creating the music that people are paying for. Hogwash! Someone had to, you know, encode it. That’s worth at least 40%. And hey, these shoes don’t shine themselves! So they’re pushing to get that rate cut down to a shameful 9%, giving artists even less of a slice of the pie than before. – gizmodo.com

If your a musician you need to stay independent. There really is little reason to get into bed with any major label. If your music is great and you promote yourself online aggressively, fans will find you and over the long tail you will make your money. You don’t even have to give Apple or Amazon a cut if you don’t want. Install your own online store like the Easybe.com or WP e-Commerce store.

photo credit: sandrino

The easybe.com MP3 store for your own website.

1-2-3 Music Store

About a year ago I was looking for a way to sell MP3′s directly from my record label’s website. I had two requirements. First, I didn’t want to pay a percent of each sale to anyone. Second, I wanted the process to be automatic. For example, someone comes to the website, clicks “shop”, fills his cart with MP3s, pays, and then without me doing anything the download links are sent by email.

Surprisingly, there were not many options. Building my own store in Paypal was over my head. I could get close to what I wanted but I ran into issues. Every time I tried to get support help from the Paypal developer forums I was spammed by people trying to sell me their finished stores (none of which were elegant). There is Payloadz which starts out as free but if you sell more than $100 worth of music in 30 days you need to upgrade your account to a pay version. I sold more than $200 in the first week so it’s a good thing I didn’t go with them. Snocap gives you a flash store you can put anywhere on the web and its the only store that will attach to your MySpace page music player. However Continue reading →