Every musician is tormented by the question: where to find the listeners? Previously, the primary method was to publish music on CDs, cassettes, and vinyl. But with the advent of streaming services and social networks, musicians do not need labels and credits to replicate discs at first. It is enough to post the material on the Internet to get auditions, feedback, and monetary rewards for your work. Here are five tips to share the sounds you produce with the world.
First, you need to allow the audience to listen to and buy ready-made tracks legally. In 2021, music will be legally listened to mainly through iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming services. In general, there are dozens of streaming services, and understanding each of them is a difficult task. Therefore, aggregator sites allow you to upload music to a dozen platforms at once. The most famous is Tunecore and CDBaby. The placement is inexpensive, but the services take a commission on sales, so you need to read the terms carefully. However, this is the easiest way to publish your music and gain a global music market.
The next step is a social media presence. They allow not only to post music but also to communicate with the audience, inform them about news, performances, etc. This is very important for the formation and growth of the future fanbase. Sometimes the placement of audio recordings is included in the package of the hosting aggregator along with iTunes and Play Music. Otherwise, it is easy to do everything yourself. You can pay attention to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You cannot place music in them, only attach links. But their presence in them is essential so that the audience is aware of the project’s existence and can subscribe to news. It is worth posting links to all the tracks there, adding hashtags with the genre and name of the project to them. Using these tags, users, and administrators of communities dedicated to relevant music search for new releases.
Social media for musicians and creators, such as Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Last.Fm, Patreon
- Bandcamp is an online store for indie musicians. Allows you to place your music and merchandise, and sell digital copies (including lossless ones) and discs at your prices for a small service commission. An artist can create his page on the platform with a short name (it turns out to be something like a website) and put a link on it on social networks. A significant advantage of the service is the ability to sell real media and merchandise, so many CD and vinyl collectors have concentrated around it. Thanks to a large community, you can find a listener even in the most exotic genres.
- Soundcloud is a social network for indie musicians. The main feature is the ability to leave comments along the way of the track right on the soundtrack. This is how you can mark the most catchy moments. Allows you to place up to 5 GB of your music in mp3 and lossless formats. There are paid accounts that expand the space and functionality. It is convenient to link to your tracks on Soundcloud on Facebook and Twitter, and it is integrated with them. The service does not allow selling your music, but recently they added an action button for a link, for example, to the same Bandcamp. Soundcloud can be used even from your smartphone, just make sure to get hold of the best sim only deals and you’re good to go and share your music with others online.
- Last.fm. This platform is remarkable in that it accurately associates similar groups and projects with each other. It is convenient for users to explore entire genres and trends, and it is beneficial for musicians who receive free auditions.
- Patreon allows fans to subscribe to the channel for a small amount in exchange for exclusive content. This can be early access to works, rare recordings of performances, song covers, remixes, demos, videos from the dressing room, etc. You can set different subscription levels with different prices and content offered, including offline gifts – merchandise, CDs, posters, etc.
Forums, file hosting, and Reddit
The Internet is full of various forums dedicated to one or another direction of music. For example, the Ultimate Metal heavy music forum with a section for posting your tracks is still prevalent. Sometimes just connoisseurs, and sometimes producers, go to this section in search of talent.
You can share music thanks to file sharing. If you have created an unrivaled music mix, you will undoubtedly want to share it with your friends. Depending on the size and number of files that need to be sent, this can be a problem. We all know this feeling – when a forum or a favorite site tells us: “Sorry, but the file is too large.” For example, Gmail, with its 25 MB limit, file sharing services specially created for these tasks come to the rescue.
You can try posting your release on Reddit – this is the site from which 90% of memes and viral content on the Internet start. You can try your luck in the listentothis/ section, or you can find subreddits dedicated to a specific genre. However, when comprehending the feedback received, it is always worth remembering the specifics of the audiences of forums and Reddit.
Although few people today visit sites for news about their favorite band, still every musical project has a page on the Internet. Having your website is a matter of prestige and the ability to sell music and merchandise for your price without commission. You can make the site yourself. Today, even builders like WIX and Squarespace have enough functionality to do all of the above. And engines like WordPress and Tilda have no less user-friendly interface than website builders – basic HTML knowledge is enough to create your own page.
Promoting your music is a long and detailed process. The good news is that there are bound to be those in the world who will love it. The bad thing is that you need to find them first. Therefore, the promotion is based on simple mathematics: the more people listen to a specific track, the greater the chance there will be connoisseurs of such music. It would help if you always kept this in mind and were not afraid to place your tracks on all available platforms.