How To Promote And Sell A Mixtape Online: Budgeting, Finance

For many recording artists, the dream of a successful mixtape will remain just a dream. Why? Because unfortunately most artists don’t understand how to promote and sell a mixtape online. Learning how to sell a mixtape is a matter of learning marketing and sales strategies and having a properly devised plan. Many rappers try to find free ways to promote music online, but to have a successful release you need some upfront capital to invest in your project. Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider with your budget before you start promoting your mixtape.

How to make a mixtape CD

Assuming you’re releasing an all-original mixtape AND have prepared a written plan of action, consider the following when funding your project:

Beat leasing and/or exclusive Beat prices

record costs

Graphic Design Fees

CD Duplication/Replication Costs

music videos

Other Advertising Costs

Beat leasing, exclusive beats

If you choose not to create your own Beats, you must commit an amount of money to purchase Beat leases or exclusive rights to Beats. Whether you buy Beats online or offline is entirely up to you.

Let’s take these numbers as an example:

You buy 10 Beat leases online at $50 per lease with a distribution limit of 2,500 units.

Cost: $500

You are buying 3 exclusive beats on sale for $250 per instrumental with unlimited distribution rights.

Cost: $750


Your recording costs will vary depending on the sound engineer you choose and the studio location. If you’re a do-it-yourself musician and able to record your own vocals, you’ll save big here. Otherwise, consider the following realistic numbers:

Admission Fee: $50/hour with a minimum booking of 2 hours.

Let’s say it takes you and the sound engineer 3 hours to record and mix 1 song.

For a 13-song mixtape, your cost would be 39 hours x $50/hour

Cost: $1950

audio mastering

Suppose you use Discmakers audio mastering services for your mixtape. Your cost for 13 songs would be $599.

Total recording cost: $2549

graphic design

To continue with our hypothetical scenario, let’s assume we receive a professionally prepared front and back cover to promote the mixtape online. It will cost $200.

CD Duplication/Replication

For our purposes we use Discmakers’ CD duplication services and purchase 500 copies of the finished mixtape for promotional purposes. The total cost here is about $480. These CDs are used for sales at shows and other venues.

music video

In support of online mixtape promotion, we create 1 promotional music video to drive traffic to the music from YouTube.

Cost: $500

Other advertising

You want to keep your other advertising costs to a minimum. For our purposes, we will conservatively invest $1200 in our various promotional efforts, which consist of:

1 flash rotator banner on Datpiff

1 YouTube sponsored video

1 Google AdWords campaign

1 Facebook advertising campaign

Total investment estimate = $6179

How to finance your mixtape

So we estimated that you need to invest a little over $6,000 in your mixtape. The goal of this project is to sell the mixtape at gigs and shows and to profitably distribute the music through digital channels. Here are a few ideas that can help you fund, promote, and sell your mixtape online.

Ask family, friends

Even if your pride tells you otherwise, ask your family and friends to help you fund and support your mixtape promotional efforts. Even if you contributed just $5, you’re $5 closer to your goal.


Crow funding has become an increasingly popular way to raise funds. Also known as crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, or hyperfunding, it describes the collective collaboration, attention, and trust of people connecting and pooling their resources, usually over the internet, to support efforts initiated by other individuals or organizations support.

Crowdfunding websites: Kickstarter, Crowd Tilt, AngelList, Crowd Funder, We Funder, Indie Go Go, Micro Ventures


Personal loans, bank loans, and small business loans can all be considered as financing options for your mixtape. Make sure you fully understand the terms of your loan agreement and agree to pay back your loan in full with interest if necessary. If your mixtape project is non-profit, you may consider applying for a grant.

Resources: Small Business Administration, Grants

pre sales

You can pre-sell your mixtape ahead of the actual release. This often works well when the pre-order comes with a bonus offer attached (i.e. merchandise, exclusive downloads, signed copies of the project, etc.).

sell singles

You can sell individual tracks as you record them and use the money from the first few to pay for the next recordings and/or other mixtape expenses.

Sources: Tunecore, CDbaby


If you’ve built enough buzz before releasing your mixtape, you can get sponsors to pay some of your mixtape expenses. Acquiring sponsorships requires thorough relationship building and networking, but if you pull it off, it will be a huge bonus for you.

last thought

Promoting and selling a mixtape is similar to developing a new product for a company. It takes calculated effort and proper funding to get your mixtape mass-promoted. Hopefully this post has given you helpful tips on how to promote your mixtape online.

Much luck!

Thanks to Isaac O Hughley | #Promote #Sell #Mixtape #Online #Budgeting #Finance

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