The online music world changes about every 3 months. Some players may drop out, like MySpace (too soon?), some change shape like WaTunes and newcomers like NextBigSound appear. We’ll try to keep this post up to date, but below are resources that have been tried and tested. Let us know if you find something for us to add.
How many piles of teen girls/cash must Justin Beiber consume before you realize that YouTube is every artists golden ticket? It’s a no brainer today. A new fan will hit Google and then hit YouTube, and arguably the other way around. Video is much more engaging than audio alone. And when we say YouTube we mean any video content, not only YouTube. Make your content interesting, it doesn’t have to be you singing into a web cam. It can be cool, it can be original, it must me be true to you, and to succeed it really needs to be.
Twitter is your immediate link to your fans. Be a philosopher, be a provocateur, be whoever, just add to the conversation rather than making it your monologue. Twitter is more personal than Facebook in my humble opinion, and if used correctly, can tap into your fans by giving you a on going conversation with the people who care about you the most. 3 daily tweets is all you need. More in the NRP book.
Social Networking has become so deviod of meaning for me. It means staying conected with those who care. Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, theSixtyOne, etc all are forms of social media, you should/can be on all of them, but the King is facebook.
Do we really need to explain why you should be on fbook? 4000000 billion million kagillion users should be reason enough. Your audience probably uses facebook and although fbook Like pages still need an update (music!), you can gain much from their analytics.
Sharing Your Music Online:
Grooveshark has quickly become a major player in the streaming world. They have an extensive musical library and are internationally available, unlike services such as Spotify. Grooveshark has an upload your music feature which adds your songs to the huge pool of artists. Users can then make playlists, favourite your songs, share and buy your music. The money made of streaming services is minimal so think of it as another avenue to spread your music rather than make any money.
Oooh big hi-res pictures, user quests, and a great interface make the SixtyOne one of my personal favorites for music. Users can comment, favourite, share, and download the music you add to the pool. The Sixty One feels different because it presents itself as more about the music rather than the advertising revenue. The site caters to new music not so much older stuff and it’s just plain cool. Join up.
iLike is a online service that allows users to download and share music and is owned by MySpace. What else do you need to know? They’re big, integrated into fbook and iTunes, and do what they promise to do. I’m not a huge fan of iLike but it does do the trick. You can use it in facebook instead of the lame duck of a music player fbook offers. It does have a large user base which is important, but I’d like to see some more innovation.
Canucks only! Sorry the rest of the world. CBC Radio 3 is the “cool” channel and a must if you’d like to be placed on the radar of the national broadcaster. CBC Radio 3 has all the usual’s (bio, pics, upcoming shows, etc) but they do it in a much more pleasing way.
This service provides your music to independent radio podcasters around the world. It is a fantastic way to spread your music to new ears around the world. Sign up is easy and you can sell your music on their network as well. Remember to list your music in the right genre or you may be overlooked.
This is a hugely popular website where you can stream and sell your music. You do run the chance of being lost in the sea of other artists but it’s really quite essential if you plan on garnering a bigger audience. Sign up is easy, and there are the basic modifications (wiki style) so you can tailor your last.fm site as you see fit.
Digital Distribution Options:
Tunecore is an online aggregator. For a reasonable price, they will place your music in as many digital music stores as you want. iTunes comes in Canadian, American, and European formats. If you want them in all three, it will cost you more then just one *Check out their prices page for details. They deal with all the major players in digital music. They have gotten bigger and bigger over the last few years and are now the first choice for many artists.
ReverbNation could go in every category on this page. It is a multifaceted site and fast becoming a one stop shop for independent musicians. They have mailing lists, widgets galore, twitter integration, electronic press kits, and also digital distribution. For $34.95/year they get your music onto 10 major online stores (iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc), give you a UPC code, you get to keep 100% of your online sales, give you income reporting and detailed stats of where you’re selling your music.
Managing your content:
With so many sites featuring your content updating each one would be a pain, but luckily for you there’s ArtistData. They let you update your sites with new blogs and shows. No music updates yet. They’ve won numerous awards and personally speaking have been a invalubale time saver. They offer 3 tiers of service starting from FREE to around $25/month. There are still some bugs but this team is very open to suggestions. Sign-up here.
Measuring Your Hype:
A tracker of your Fans, Plays, and Comments over your many different websites. They have a great looking website and are looking to put even more analytic power in artists hands. Facebook Fan pages, Last.fm plays, YouTube views, it’s all there plus many more. Check out how, and when, people are finding your music. This information can be then used in different ways. Check out which online music portal is working and concentrate your efforts there, or perhaps create more content for other sites to get more views. In any case, I have a feeling that Next Big Sound will be a very important and popular tool for musicians soon, if it isn’t already.
This site ranks and finds the most blogged, downloaded, and buzzed about music from all over the internet world. It’s a new kind of chart versus the archaic Billboard Nielsen Soundscan ones. While many smaller bands may not make the monthly or weekly top 10, they can realistically crack the daily charts and genre specific charts. I’ve seen it happen, and it can only be a momentum boost. You can subscribe to their email but we are hunted still caters to music seekers versus music makers. I hope that starts to change.
A music blog aggregator like no other. It trolls music blogs (new indie music typically) and provides a list of what people are talking about. Hype Machine has a search function allowing you to search your band so if you search your name and things start a-poppin, great!… and if you don’t, perhaps it just means that your audience lays elsewhere.
Well there’s a start. Let us know what you’ve found we’ll keep updating the “music online” tab.
Take Control of Your Music