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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bandcamp & SoundCloud are NOT sufficient (Why you want music distribution)

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

It shouldn’t be, as a result of I’ve heard it lots of of instances.

Nevertheless it surprises me all the identical, every time I ask an artist if their music is on Spotify or Apple Music, and so they say, “No, I’m solely on Bandcamp.”

Or “I’m solely on SoundCloud.”

Or sound.xyz, or BandLab, or Beatport…

Solely this. Or solely that.

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

The issue is that phrase “ONLY!”

I’ve been round lengthy sufficient to ensure one factor: YOU would possibly solely be in a single place, however your potential followers are NOT.

I get it although. It could really feel extra manageable, streamlined, and connective to focus on a single platform and user-base. You would possibly assume 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 it is best to do no matter is greatest for you, your creativity, and your followers. Nevertheless, 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)
  • Stay reveals
  • After which (following the Napster years) “obtain” principally implied a single dominant platform — iTunes

At this time 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 specific style aren’t all loyal to the identical platforms and apps. And amongst a single class reminiscent of DSPs, totally different platforms are dominant in numerous international locations.

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

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

Correct music distribution solves this, by releasing your music in all places 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) relating to your skill to develop and nurture an viewers on that platform.

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

Eventual platform dangers embody:

  • Your natural attain will get throttled
  • The rev-share percentages tilt in the 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 as a right
  • It’s a must to pay advert prices to compensate for misplaced consideration

That’s not even meant as a knock in opposition to corporations that have to monetize. After all 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 just partially your individual.

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

But when ALL your exercise is remoted to a single platform, the dangers to you’re all of the higher, 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 you could have already got audiences on these different platforms too.

3. Platforms aren’t eternally

In contrast to diamonds, platforms don’t final.

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

And whereas it might sound absurd to you as we speak to contemplate that (insert your favourite music or social platform) will probably be out of enterprise tomorrow, it’s occurred earlier than. And it’ll occur once more. Again and again.

Music distribution future-proofs you in opposition to this danger. As a result of whereas any distributed catalog will probably go down with the ship on these dimming or useless 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

Maintaining your music and your neighborhood engagement restricted to 1 platform might sound like the simplest, most targeted, and even hippest path ahead.

Nevertheless it’s shortsighted.

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

Correct music distribution is without doubt one of the greatest methods to outmaneuver these three large challenges talked about above. And fortunately, it’s fairly straightforward as we speak to launch your music the precise means.

Try ReverbNation distribution.

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