THEMUSIC.reviews has been one of my favorite resources to discover new artists, which is why I’m thankful that they’ve decided to allow me to feature my article on their site. If you’re looking for some new tunes to listen to, be sure to check out their New Releases section.
Looking to put your music somewhere people will actually hear it? Not long ago that would mean almost forcing your way into a recording studio and trying to get a record deal (after you’d also somehow met all the right people). This is assuming you’d already built a small cult following by playing at live locations.
Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to become a hit without all of that. Not to say the failure rate is any lower (in some respects it’s higher), but at least now there are platforms where potential customers can see and eventually purchase your music. So how do you get noticed and where do you start?
Perhaps you start by considering some of the following options:
Let’s be real to start off: you aren’t going to get rich on YouTube unless you’re extremely lucky, go viral with some real talent, or you’ve already got a significant following. Yet YouTube is a great free way to begin advertising your music, especially if you’ve got the friends or talent to make a music video.
Understand that this is merely a stepping stone on your way up. YouTube will allow you to (with enough followers) create a little ad revenue, but the real benefit to you is expanding your audience. It helps a lot when users can associate the music with a face. It also gives you an excuse to really jam.
Naturally, you’ll be shooting higher, especially because YouTube limits playback quality. As you begin to feel more confident, it’s time to start branching out.
SoundCloud offers another opportunity similar to YouTube: the power of networking. Here, you can upload your songs and share with other users as well as comment on their material. In the same way networking can get you a job, it can also push your music to progressively larger audiences.
SoundCloud gives you the opportunity to engage with people specifically interested in listening to good music. It beats YouTube in terms of specificity, as users are there because they want to hear music, not just see cats playing pianos (or just cats). On the flip side, sometimes you may reach a smaller audience because you won’t have those people looking for cat videos stumbling upon your content.
There are some opportunities to monetize, depending on the type of account you have with SoundCloud. Free accounts don’t get a lot of audio time; you can only upload about 3 hours’ worth. They also don’t get preferential ad treatment. If you decide to go premium, make sure it’s because you have more content to share and not just because you think ads will propel you forward because there are plenty of other people doing it and they don’t necessarily do well.
Admit it: Tumblr wasn’t really on your short list of places to advertise and stream your music for listeners. But whether you know it or not (and you will in a moment), Tumblr supports posting audio files (specifically MP3s), so you can put everything you want up there for your audience.
Tumblr, along with supporting audio, is also incredibly visual. You can decorate your Tumblr in a way that adds to your music and helps enhance the positive experience for users while building an image for yourself (or your band). PayPal is also integrated into Tumblr if you choose to set it up, so you can sell music there as well to a limited degree. You probably won’t see too many customers though.
iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, etc.
Here’s where things get a little more complicated. A huge audience is available on the most mainstream music streaming services. There’s not a soul around who hasn’t heard of at least one of the services, but the problem is actually getting your music available for people to download.
Amazon Music, for instance, has very little listed information about selling your music. There’s info about selling your CDs, but not about streaming or posting MP3 downloads. The same goes for the other services, unless you’re already a big hit and have arrangements made.
If you feel like you’ve already got a following, it may be time to consider getting a service or consultant to help get your music up and running on these different platforms. This may mean losing some revenue to royalties or fees, but that comes with the benefit of reaching out to wider audiences. It also means less work for you so you can focus on making your music.
All of the best streaming services might not be listed above. The next big thing could come about a month after this was written, and that might honestly be the best thing for you. You always want to remain vigilant as to what options you have available. You should also consider carefully where you are at in your music career before making any final decisions.
Also, considering the amount of uploading and downloading you’ll be doing, it would be a sound investment to protect your devices and files with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This will allow you to keep your files and personal details from being stolen while you work online (particularly if you use public WiFi) and reduce the likelihood of other destructive incidents, such as spyware or malware. Secure Thoughts has a good review comparing the top VPNs on the market.
Remember that networking is going to be your best friend. Posting your music on streaming sites is obviously important so people can actually listen to it, but don’t neglect regular social media. Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace are places where you can share your music with people who, if they like it, may share with others.
Know something we don’t? Share some of that insider knowledge in the comments below so we can all benefit from it!
About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment blogger with a strong love for music. When she’s not busy writing (and sometimes even when she is), she’s jamming out to the latest hits.
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