Online Business Idea: Legal Music Download Site – How to Start?

legal mp3 download online business idea
Legally buy and download music online - a lucrative online business idea
With all the legality issues related to online music download, starting an online business offering legal mp3 download and purchase is very lucrative. How to start?

Why legal music download is lucrative?

Free music download sites have their downsides – the music are either free-to-distribute – usually the music from artists who want to promote their albums. Obviously, more music enthusiasts are looking for music of well-known artists – so it’s definitely more lucrative to offer the capability for site visitors to buy mp3 online from top artists, legally.

While you can buy music online on, iTunes and other big names, smaller sites, such as, can thrive by offering legal music download at cheaper price.

How to start a music download site

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Determine what you are going to offer with the site

Just like in any businesses, you need to define your market – which market you want to target? A general music download site can work, but it needs a lot more marketing effort to cater everyone. It’s probably better for you to target a niche, a certain community or a certain age group. That way, you can laser-target your effort.

2. Acquire license (and let the whole world know that you have one!)

To offer the ability for users to purchase and download music legally, you require a license. The license can be acquired by partnering with a media company offering you music distribution rights. Some (or most?) media companies require MP3 online shop to obtain “NP FAIR” license – the Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively.

The license is located outside the US, so you can offer music download at a much lower price tag vs. US’ minimum regulation of $0.99/track.

The license serves as a legal proof that you are allowed to distribute music online. It can also serve you as a “marketing tool” to let your ethical users know that purchasing and downloading music from your site is legal.

3. Design, host and manage your site well

Your MP3 online shop is a retail shop. Your sites’ front-end is your storefront – and as we all know, well-designed storefront can impact your credibility and sales significantly.

Quality front-end design alone is not enough. You need to expect that your online shop will attract a lot of visitors – so will require a powerful and reliable web server to run your online shop. Be sure to host your site with reputable web hosting provider with exceptional customer support.

In term of site management, you might want to start as a sole-proprietor; as demand rises, you might want to delegate to a team of staffs. You run an online store, so you need people who can help you out in handling hundreds, if not thousands, of issues – sales, marketing, customer service, accounting/bookkeeping, etc. Of course, you can always outsource!

4. Marketing and promotion – go social!

“Just build it and they will come” won’t work with online retailing. You need to get the word out. One of the most effective strategies today is by incorporating social media in your business strategy. Building a social community will always helpful. They are your brand evangelists, so you’d better serve them well!

Don’t start a legal music download online business tomorrow – start today!

So, there you go – some practical tips and ideas on how to start a legal online music download site, from which your site visitors can buy music online with a peace of mind.

Of course, just like the other business ideas, “I will do it tomorrow” just don’t work. Start exploring your options today and start searching for license information, web hosting, web designer, and your other due diligence.

Ivan Widjaya
Legal music downloads online business idea