Music Marketing 2.0: Bethel Music Leverages Affiliate Links to Boost Revenue
October 17, 2012
Kate Click in Album Release, Band Marketing, Christian Music, DIY Promotions, Digital Music Marketing, Distribution, Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Viral Growth, Web 2.0, Word of Mouth , band marketing, digital music distribution, music marketing, music promotion

Musical group Bethel Music now earns additional revenue on top of music sales by promoting its newest album–For the Sake of the World–through iTunes affiliate links, giving them more resources to make the music that they and their fans love.

The label’s digital manager, David Staley, spotted Referly and saw what the service could do for musicians: empower them to promote music and earn additional revenue back from the music store when fans purchase through affiliate links.

“We’d considered using affiliate links when we promote our own iTunes content for a while–Apple takes around 30% of the gross on iTunes, so getting a few more percent back off the top really adds up for artists.

But, with limited development resources, it’s not something we’ve been able to build for ourselves. Referly was perfect; it allowed us to painlessly generate affiliate links for iTunes.”

When the album launched October 2, band members and supporters took to the web:

“Our artists, church leaders, and supporters used links to promote the album on their social channels, which allowed us to generate some commissions as well as get great metrics on clicks, traffic sources, and sales.

“[Musical artists] are probably one of the biggest drivers of sales for their own music, so they might as well be keeping more of the revenue. Artists should use affiliate links everywhere: personal Facebook or Twitter updates, whenever you ask your friends to tweet, Facebook Promoted Posts, on your website, on your blog… everywhere.”

The strategy worked: Bethel Music went head-to-head in album sales with artists like Muse and Mumford & Sons and made it to the #6 overall spot in iTunes.

Based out of Redding, CA, the band is well-known and respected in the worship genre, and wields its influence to boost fellow musicians as well.

“Several of our artists–Brian & Jenn Johnson and Jeremy Riddle in particular–are friends with many artists in the Worship music community, and love to spread the word on what their friends are doing. Referly collections have been great for us to showcase fellow artists around the world and in our hometown, as well as collect a bit of a reward from the traffic and sales we send their way.”

Bethel Music’s stellar promotional strategy and use of affiliate links was a runaway success for their team, and showcases the potential of Referly for musical artists and genre experts of all types.


Kate Click heads up Customer Success at Referly. 

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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