Zimbalam – Promotion Commotion or Distribution Solution?
Founded in 2009 by Denis Ladegaillerie, Zimbalam provides a platform for musicians to sell their music through the main international digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon and Play.com (amongst many others). It is primarily for independent artists and labels allowing them to distribute their music across the globe and forward their musical careers. It is powered by Believe Digital which is the largest digital distributor in Europe and the fourth largest in the world – in the last seven years they have paid out over $300 million in royalties and taken over 150 releases to the top of the digital charts.
So what gives Zimbalam the edge over music service sites and library music companies? I was honestly ready to pick holes in this service, having been mucked around by plenty of websites offering to promote tunes for a ‘small’ fee, or small library companies willing to promote my music with (what turned out to be) a tiny percentage of the overall royalty coming back to me (10% to be exact) and not allowing me to remove my material from their service for five years, or a year and a half if they weren’t used. Zimbalam pay back 90% of the royalties taken to the artist and offer non-exclusive deals to the musician, as well as only charging a relatively small sign on fee. That is a pretty fantastic deal in itself.
On top of that, Zimbalam also offer a bunch of promotional tools, free of charge, that can be totally controlled by the user. These include an iPhone app and a Facebook/Myspace/HTML widget that use smart link technology which automatically selects and displays the most appropriate store links based on the country of the internet user viewing the player. Zimbalam also offers eCRM (Electronic Customer Relationship Management) and analytics essentially allowing you to know your audience. As well as being able to feed your ego and figure out where all your fans are, this allows you to analyse the more successful elements of a multi-track release and tailor your music more specifically to your fan/client base in future releases.
There is a Fan Connect feature, allowing you to send newsletters of your musical activities (in various languages) to all, or a selection, of people that have bought tracks from you. On top of that there is then yet another analytics service on the newsletter allowing you to hone in on what is most interesting to your customers, all rolled into an easy-to-use online interface.
Aside from that, Zimbalam and its mother company (Believe Digital) have a huge number of A&R professionals, not to mention a spider’s web of connections with labels and management companies. This is great for those starting out and, if you hit it big, they provide support and specialised local knowledge to promote your music to the right people.
All in all, Zimbalam (and Believe Digital) provide an extremely competitive and wildly flexible platform from which to promote your music. The start of any musical career is always full of hurdles but this company will help you over, under or through them, whichever is best suited to you.