I don’t have a clue… Speak to me… please!
I personally really enjoy spotify, I even put two of my albums on there. With all the user generated playlists for genres it’s a good way to find new music and explore lots of artists.
The amount of music they have on there is quite staggering, to be honest… although there isn’t a lot of niche stuff. I generally will use youtube or bandcamp to find more unknown things, but overall, it’s really worth it.
I especially like that you can download music for offline listening. I did a road trip to California over thanksgiving and downloaded like 200 albums on my phone to listen while not using service, that was pretty cool.
The desktop app kind of sucks though, crashes a lot. Still worth it.
What is the experience like, from the artist point of view? Compared to say SoundCloud or Bancamp? Pros and Cons?
Ha, man. Not that great.
Pros : It’s spotify. A lot of people use it… and it’s “official”? I guess?
Cons: * You have to pay an aggregator to get your music on there, like CDbaby (which I used). and it’s like $60/album.
*No creative casing unless you can prove you have a large following. my project is spelled “city at worlds end” ALL LOWERCASE… and I fought with them, apparently 700+ soundcloud followers, bandcamp sales, and other shit doesn’t matter… but twitter and facebook does… and you have to meet a threshhold limit before they will allow you to case your titles different. so i’m “City At Worlds End” on there and I hate it aesthetically.
*you don’t control who your “related artists” are, or tags on how people find you
there’s a “spotify for artists” now… which is cool, i can custom edit my bio… but once you add a profile picture? You can’t change it - ever, or so it says. Probably need a ton of reputation for that too.
Overall it caters to really large artists on labels. It’s cool to say “hey i’m on spotify” but honestly out of all media and links I get most plays on soundcloud and bandcamp.
but… for the casual listener I come across a lot of people ask “can I find you on spotify”? so … sure, i guess that makes it kind of worth it
Thanks… I kinda got the “maybe I’m not worthy…” vibe when I almost finished signing up one day.
I got a long way to go in the “reputation” department.
From the artist side I would wager the experience is the same as anything else if all you do is dump your album and wait.
I would mostly agree with this, the one thing being that with spotify as I mentioned you don’t have any control over relevant artists, and I think there’s only a tag or two you can use max (as opposed to say, bandcamp).
Of course a lot of promotion is involved with any platform… It’s nice to at least have that banner on soundcloud or something where it can be seen, since lots of people are into playlisting and following on spotify.
Pretty funny though, If I go to my related artists on spotify, Jazzy and Fidelium show up. Somehow spotify knows the idmf relation, i guess?) It’s cool
It is really annoying to me to see all my sales and streams. The variation across platforms is huge, and Spotify is one of the lowest. We promote Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes…dont even share Spotify links. But I guess it is worth to be on there for organic finds.
And what about cost versus benefit?
Depends on how much you value $60-80 for having your stuff on there. For me, I think it’s worth it. I only ever have like, 13 monthly listeners… so it’s almost zero ad revenue… but it’s cool to see the stats and more music out there is more music out there.
Millions of people use spotify, almost exclusively… so (I think i mentioned earlier) it’s nice when I have a coworker, or meet someone at a party who has spotify on their phone, and can just save the albums. Rather than being like “ok go to bandcamp, download and send it to your email” or use soundcloud, which isn’t very mobile friendly and has a lot more ads.
it’s great exposure to CASUAL listeners, I’ll say. versus BC and SC has a ton of other artists on it networking.
also when you use an aggregator like CDBaby, it adds your stuff to itunes, pandora, last.fm… all the other services too, so. It’s a lot of coverage. as @relic said, it really depends on how much you market too.
Interesting… I guess I should get over my (apparently) irrational fears of wasting time or money and just jump in. After all… I’m in the business of composing and producing music and I need listeners.
Maybe it’s less about comparing and more about “more is more.”
You might find this discussion useful as well: How do you Instagram?!
Having tried a fair few services, my advice would be to not spend any money until you are ready to undertake or pay for a planned out and “aggressive” marketing campaign. I’m really not joking at all : ) Even if your music is pretty damn good unless you aggressively pursue putting it right up in people’s faces, you would just be spending money to dump your tunes on the pile.
There are plenty of free venues where you can dump your tunes on the pile.
- Figure out how and why you’ll use multiple social media platforms.
- You’ll want to use YouTube as well. And here I’d strongly consider doing some kind of gear oriented live versions of your music or music videos (see your local Uni for film students who come free or cheap).
- Consider pro accounts on some free services (if the pro features seem useful). And, shit, there is something to be said for paying for pro accounts just to make you look more serious.
- Get professional art work done (again see your local Uni for free/cheap work)
- Put a media packet together. (local Uni)
- Get some basic bio copy written you can use across platforms.
- I’d also consider getting into the tutorial game. A lot of people seem to get plenty of attention that way as well.
And this is, I think, the most important: figure out where you can get your music heard in real life. It is so hard to get noticed on the internet and my experience and the experience of friends and acquaintances has been that all the online stuff is great way to enhance the access of IRL fans.
And I’m truly not mocking Nostromer here, but paying $60-80 to get 13 monthly listeners is about what I’d expect if one is just uploading their music and hoping for the best. So you would have to decide what that is worth to you.
Yes, there are some electronic musicians who are kind of just “internet famous”. I feel like that is actually the more difficult route.
OK… now I’m completely overwhelmed by your 7 part list. So far I’ve done:
I’m on Instagram and participated in the thread.I find both useful. So that is a partial for #1
2 through 5 and 7… I got nothin’
6 I kinda have, at least my Bio is consistent on different platforms.
Gotta get to work…
FWIW, many of these are not things I’ve done myself or done consistently, but if you work at getting it all setup you’ll have that network in place and fans will be able to pick and choose the venues through which they can experience what you have to offer. I’m kinda just spitballing here, but I’ve really come to the conclusion that your music being good enough just isn’t enough and that just uploading it to the web isn’t enough by a long shot.
The problem isn’t even all the poor to mediocre electronic music online–its the vast amount of very listenable to great electronic music online.
Not mocking at all! I didn’t put anything into it, and didn’t have any expectations. Honestly, I just put my music on spotify just for the sole sake of myself saying I had it on there because it would feel “final”. I also wanted it on the itunes store, where I got a lot more hits. (Itunes takes 50% though)
I agree with you on all points, aggressive marketing is the way to do it. They say if you really want to start getting a following, you should really spend 2/3rds of your time to marketing, and 1/3rd producing. It’s quite skewed.
I did also like your point that having it on Spotify makes it easy to share IRL.
I’m aware that Spotify hardly pays for anybody, yet I use it constantly and even have an artist page thanks to Distrokid Records 34927348295.
I know people complain about not making more than $0.02 after years of consistent plays, but in a world where we’re all making music… I don’t really understand where the high expectation comes from. Music is worth your $20 total to upload and stream as much garbage as you’d like and I honestly don’t care if Spotify is collecting all of it. It’s all getting funneled to Drake anyway so he can drink his purple drank
Insert trump picture or something douchey here
So is the $20 a monthly subscription to Distrokid? That sounds about right from what we researched for the netlabel for a single artist account and I do believe it is unlimited. If one is releasing enough music $240 a year is a deal compared to 60-80 a release.
I think you make a good point about expectations and that is the point I’ve kind of been tip toeing around in a couple threads including this one.
If you stop paying monthly do they remove it? That was kind of my catch with CDBaby, was the $60 was a one time fee, forever, and for all other services and shit. I don’t want to have to worry about more monthly subs… I already deal with enough of that shit.
PLUS LET ME AHEM MENTION THE ANNOYING SOUNDCLOUD PAY MODEL HERE…
I’m premium, yet i need ANOTHER subscription to SC “go” for ad-free listening? Fuuuuuuuuuuuck