Macklemore Macklemore Macklemore performs on the Pepsi Stage, during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

Macklemore knows how bands can make it big, no record contract required

Hip-hop star shares advice on how musicians can be heard.

In the past, it generally wasn't enough to be a musician: you had to be a musician who knew the right people, impressed a record executive, or you had to just accept that few people would ever hear your songs. But times, they are a-changing. We can all communicate with one another, worldwide, for free, and that's rewriting the rules of the music biz.

Wix.com is trying to facilitate that change. The web development company was founded in Israel almost a decade ago. It now has offices across the globe, but still maintains its headquarters in Tel Aviv from where it services its 50 million users.

The company just introduced WixMusic 2.0. This do-it-yourself product suite comes with easy templates for musicians to set up band websites, sell their music digitally, distribute music globally, create merchandise stores, sell tickets and engage fans. And Wix is enlisting Grammy award-winning rapper Macklemore's help to spread the word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpqcPGzwqao

"Now, in 2015, there is no better time in the history of civilization to put out your art as an artist to the people," Macklemore says. "You don't need a big budget, you don't need a record label behind you."

He and his hip-hop duo partner Ryan Lewis explain that, before the digital age, artists needed funding to get noticed. But thanks to the Internet, artists can now reach people at little to no cost. Lewis points out that he and Macklemore could never have gotten where they are today without the digital space, and that's true of many artists. He and Macklemore even chose their photographer after being impressed by her page on Wix, which helps people create websites.

In addition to its idealism and excitement, WixMusic 2.0's main selling point is its cost. User packages for the new music section start around $10. That money will get you:

  • a professional website
  • the Wix music player, which lets you present your music for free download, streaming or short previews
  • commission-free music sales
  • distribution to major streaming sites and online stores including iTunes and Spotify
  • tour and show promotion and ticketing
  • fan management and communication through email and social marketing programs
  • a template to build press kits
  • an online merchandise store

Not too shabby, especially if letting a business do the business work for you gives you more time to focus on your music.

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