As if it wasn’t hard enough being a musician. The last few years have brought COVID, declining live music, streaming wars, etc. And while those of us at the bottom of the ladder struggle to hang on, those at the top seem to be booming.
I’ve always been into music for the love of creating it. For the pure joy of pulling together some random noises into something that transports you and pauses time, something that is far more than the sum of its parts. For me, it’s all about creativity, the fact that other people seem to like it as well is a huge bonus. 18 months ago when I started making electronic music I never dreamed I’d be with an amazing label releasing tracks. It’s been an incredible journey, especially in the middle of lock-downs, work and families. But it does create its own problems.
No longer am I just making music for its own pleasure. I’m designing artwork, making videos, learning how to master properly and the hardest one of all, learning how to promote my music!
I’d quite happily not have to worry about this side of things and just carry on making music but there’s something quite addictive about people enjoying something you’ve created. But how do you let more people know about it? How do people even know your music exists?
Spotify offers no way of promoting yourself. Neither does Apple Music. They are what they are – big libraries of music that you play, nothing more. Soundcloud is better as you can communicate with artists and fans. There’s nothing better than being followed by another artist you admire. Same with Bandcamp. But there should be more.
I’ve been playing around more and more with Go To Hear. Not because it’s better or earns me more money (which it actually does at the moment) but because it offers a few extra things that seem to help with self-promotion.
Firstly, it uses affiliate style links so you can share all your tracks and articles and your artist page. Why is this important? Because it means you can incentivise other people to promote your music. But why would they do that? Hopefully, because they love your tracks and want to tell everyone about them but also because they can make some money as well. If someone shares a link to your track and someone else buys it then you get some money and so does the person sharing the link (Obviously, they need to be a user in the system as well). I haven’t come across any other streaming platforms that do this AND pay more for streaming AND let you sell at your own price without taking a huge cut.
I see lots of artists removing their work from Spotify at the moment. It’s great to see, but I wonder how far this will go. We still need alternatives. Let’s move everything off Spotify and onto Go To Hear!