Since the fall of Myspace, up and coming and amateur musicians have been in need of a similar platform to showcase and market their music. As much criticism as Myspace received after the rise of Facebook, – let’s be honest, its dynasty still reigns supreme for music marketing and has yet to be rivaled. However, there are several services that allow recording artists/musicians the opportunity to upload and promote their work with Soundcloud being among my top choices.
SoundCloud is a media sharing social service that serves as a hub for audio/music creators. Just as other social networks; users provide an e-mail address, set up a profile and upload files (mp3, wav, aiff) onto the cloud sharing network and your sounds are ready to be shared with the world.
Unlike MySpace however, there is little need for mere fans to use the service unless they simply want access to rare and remixed material. There isn’t too much social networking as the interface and profile pages are extremely simple and basic. No flashy profiles or picture sharing, just sounds and music. However, every song does have a comment bar where you can share your thoughts and other users can see and reply.
It does have many features that cater to your average musician, producer or DJ. With the profile set-up; you can link all your social networks and no matter the service fans will have a means to access virtually all of your music pages. There is a detailed information form for every file uploaded, including link options for songs you are selling on Itunes.
If you have a blog or official website, there is a share option to embed the player using basic html codes. Users can even create compilation ‘sets’ of their best works for sharing on other sites and social networks. You can set tracks for free download to your fans, or simply set your music player to streaming only. There is even a ‘Private’ sharing option if you only want the music shared with a specific list of users.
I believe the best function of SoundCloud is the smart phone/mobile capability it provides. As long as you have a smart phone using updated software within the last 2 years, you can stream music on your mobile device anywhere using a 3G/WiFi connection. Because it uses cloud-based streaming technology, with a smart-phone device you can play your music for anybody virtually on the spot if requested.
A major advantage to using SoundCloud for an indie artist is its social networking capabilities. Similar to Twitter, instead of adding friends, any user can ‘follow’ you offering you the chance to follow back if you interested in hearing other’s work who are enjoy yours. It’s very simple and fast to connect with DJ’s, producers, artists, instrumentalists, etc. It’s almost a musically exclusive network, therefore no unnecessary social rhetoric to distract from the purpose, to share music. Increase your sounds’ exposure by joining various groups that cater to the needs of any music enthusiast.
I love using SoundCloud more than any other service to promote my music because of its simplicity and networking capabilities. I’ve found more producers who appeal to my desired sound and am surprised by the number of plays, favorites, and downloads I receive on a daily basis. If you know how to properly ‘Tag’ and ‘Promote’ your music, it is a tool I encourage every artist,producer,DJ to use on a daily basis, several times a day.