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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bandcamp & SoundCloud usually are not sufficient (Why you NEED music distribution)


It’s all the time a shock once I hear it.

It shouldn’t be, as a result of I’ve heard it a whole lot of occasions.

But it surely surprises me all the identical, at any time when I ask an artist if their music is on Spotify and so they say, “No, I’m solely on Bandcamp.”

Or “I’m solely on SoundCloud.”

Or sound.xyz, BandLab, Beatport,…

Solely this, or solely that.

The issue isn’t these platforms. They’re all nice and have unimaginable music communities with distinct habits, cultures, and alternatives.

The issue is that phrase: ONLY!

After years within the enterprise, I can assure one factor: whereas YOU would possibly ONLY be in a single place, your potential followers are NOT.

I get it although. It could really feel extra manageable, streamlined, and connective to pay attention solely on a single platform and user-base. You would possibly suppose it’s saner and extra community-minded. Which might be why it’s such a typical mistake artists make.

Now, let me caveat this argument by saying the apparent: It’s your music, and you need to do no matter is finest for you, your creativity, and your followers. Nonetheless, when your music is accessible in ONLY one place, you’re not accounting for three fixed challenges within the digital age:

1. The fragmentation of listenership

We used to solely have a handful of choices:

  • Radio
  • CD or cassette or vinyl (relying on the period)
  • Dwell reveals
  • After which (following the Napster years) “obtain” principally implied a single dominant platform — iTunes

Immediately listening is unfold out throughout:

  • Dozens of DSPs
  • Livestreaming platforms like Twitch
  • Video platforms like YouTube and TikTok
  • Video video games
  • Digital AND terrestrial radio
  • Artist and label web sites
  • Music blogs
  • And sure, music providers like Bandcamp and Soundcloud

However even diehard followers of a selected style aren’t all loyal to the identical platforms and apps. And amongst a single class reminiscent of DSPs, completely different platforms are dominant in numerous international locations.

It is best to NOT assume all of your potential followers favor what you favor. You can also’t assume they’ll change their habits or subscriptions to satisfy you the place YOU are at.

The world is filled with an excessive amount of music, and too many competing types of leisure. Your music needs to be available within the locations they ALREADY spend their time.

Correct music distribution solves this, by releasing your music in every single place that issues.

2. The altering of phrases & options

One other downside with placing your eggs in a single basket? It assumes issues will keep the identical (or enhance) in terms of your potential to develop and nurture an viewers on that platform.

However how typically has that occurred because the days of MySpace?

Eventual platform dangers embrace:

  • Your natural attain will get throttled
  • The rev-share percentages tilt in direction of the platform
  • Workers will get laid off and the tech suffers
  • The algorithm begins recommending other forms of issues
  • You’re requested to subscribe for instruments you used to take without any consideration
  • You need to pay advert prices to compensate for misplaced consideration

That’s not even meant as a knock towards firms that have to monetize. In fact they do! They’re companies. However you possibly can’t depend on the phrases remaining the identical. As a result of you aren’t in cost, and the viewers you construct on any platform is simply partially your personal.

I’m additionally not arguing that such platforms gained’t be worthwhile to you as soon as they alter. META, as an example, is now an absolute skilled at taking cash from labels and artists in trade for attain and conversions. I’d nonetheless argue it’s the most effective methods you possibly can spend cash as a musician.

But when ALL your exercise is remoted to a single platform, the dangers to you might be all of the better, if and when the platform evolves.

Correct music distribution helps restrict these dangers, as a result of your music has already been despatched to many competing platforms. And by extension, meaning it’s possible you’ll have already got audiences on these different platforms too.

3. Platforms aren’t endlessly

Not like diamonds, platforms don’t final.

Consideration shifts. Habits change. Codecs die. Corporations merge, or go extinct.

And whereas it could sound absurd to you at the moment to contemplate that (insert your favourite music or social platform) might be out of enterprise tomorrow, it’s occurred earlier than. And it’ll occur once more. Time and again.

Music distribution future-proofs you towards this threat. As a result of whereas any distributed catalog will probably go down with the ship on these dimming or lifeless platforms, who cares? As a result of those self same songs will ALSO be delivered to all the brand new upstarts who stand to interchange the previous giants.


Conclusion

Retaining your music and your neighborhood engagement restricted to 1 platform could sound like the best, most targeted, and even hippest path ahead.

But it surely’s shortsighted.

You need your music to final a very long time, proper? Then don’t depend on ONLY Bandcamp, or SoundCloud, or another single platform.

Correct music distribution is among the finest methods to outmaneuver these three large challenges talked about above. And fortunately, it’s fairly straightforward at the moment to launch your music the best manner.

Try ReverbNation distribution.

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