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Written by: Jake Gable
In the modern age of music promotion, standing out from the crowd can be one of the toughest challenges that artists face. In a crowded market, the proactive prosper. So which websites can aid an artist the most? And which should be avoided? It’s time to take a look at the best possible music promotional websites.
With more than 175 million users, SoundCloud is without a doubt one of the most popular, and easily accessible platforms for artists looking to spread their music. The site, which claims to have 12 hours of music uploaded to its servers every minute, is not only clear, easy to use, and even easy to browse, but can be managed into playlists, remixes, and several other categories. Perhaps one of SoundCloud’s most attractive features is the waveform display on both desktop – where the embed option is made supremely easy for blogs, websites, and social media accounts – and on the fluid-like easy-to-use app.
The ultimate streaming website and app, adding your music to the famous green logo ensures maximum reach, with users able to see what their friends are listening to at all times, via a linked social accounts sidebar. Not only can playlists be organised by many properties, including speed of BPM, and much more, but trending tracks are monitored by daily stream counts and charts, with every Friday marking the release of ‘New Music Friday’; a worldwide playlist filled with the latest tunes, or ‘Release Radar’ – a playlist made by Spotify for the user, based on an algorithm of their usual listening habits.
Still one of the most popular music platforms, and a fast way to make your music go viral – especially if accompanied by video – there are potentially billions of views, and pennies, to be amassed. Not only can YouTube provide the artist with their own channel, but the website also helps artists directly monetize their music. The site has made the work of selling digital copies of your music a lot easier by providing direct links to services like:
Another way to monetize your music is by becoming a YouTube partner. Being part of the Partner program lets you earn from the ads that are displayed whenever it plays. The ad rates are not that particularly high, but the pay could still be considerable depending on the number of people you attract.
More of an engagement tool than a strictly promotional platform, the reach of Twitter can – if retweeted and supported correctly – hit a potential audience of millions. Connecting with fans is important when helping your career to thrive, but journalists and music blog owners are also ideal candidates to target, given how many people their websites can potentially reach on your behalf. Another thing to keep in mind is how producers are on Twitter. By getting in touch with them you increase the likelihood of your music getting noticed by them, and can even set up collaborations, with Calvin Harris recently admitting that his UK #1 ‘One Kiss’ was set up by sending vocalist Dua Lipa a Twitter message in an exclusive interview on the Graham Norton Show.
For many new musicians, attracting more people to their concerts is challenging. Songkick can help lessen that work by providing a means for potential gig-goers to purchase their tickets and track events. Even larger artists like Adele use the platform to better manage ticket sales. Songkick works as a mobile app that users can download for free. The app notifies them whenever artists they like are set to have shows in their area. They are then directed to a page where they can purchase tickets.
The format which gave none other than Avicii his big break, a teenage Tim Bergling would load Reddit’s forums with his unreleased tracks, with Dutch producer Laidback Luke later picking up his music this way. Luke then threw Tim in at the deep end, with a slot at his 2009 ‘Super You & Me’ party in Miami, and the rest – as they say – is history.
The r/Music subforum is specially designated to let musicians freely share their music to other Redditors, and with each folder divided into different categories, this lets you better reach the people who would be most interested in your tunes. With a huge online community packed with fans who have the ability to share your posts, the output from using Reddit in the correct way is maximal.
In conclusion, proactivity when it comes to promotion is always rewarded, and though sometimes it may feel like you are spamming the same links over and over to different sites, never under-estimate the potential following you are building. As Oliver Heldens can testify when his 2013 track ‘Gecko’ was found online by Tiësto, and later signed to the Dutch star’s Musical Freedom label, all it takes is for one particular producer to take a shining to your work, and your big break could be here faster than you can say ‘self-promotion.’