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A Few Services to Stream Your Music

If you are looking for new music, or just want to be able to find your favorite bands to listen to them anywhere and everywhere, then you will need to find a good streaming service. In theory, you could just listen to music on YouTube or use one of the “pirate” radio stations, but this is not the best idea. Those services tend to be poorly curated, and they are also often lower quality. Do you want to listen to a lossy, low bitrate audio file? Do you want to run the risk of putting together lists of songs and albums, only to have some of them deleted or the accounts shut down because of repeated DMCA notices?

Let’s take a look at some of the legitimate, high-quality streaming services?

Spotify

Spotify is perhaps the most well-known of the social media services. It is an excellent choice for people who are serious about their music. It has a vast library, and you can discover new artists, you can make your playlists, and you can publish other people’s playlists too. You can even share what you are listening to.

Spotify is free, but the free version is ad-supported. If you want to get rid of the ads, you will need to subscribe. There are tiered monthly fees for this.

Last.FM

Last.FM is more of a “track what you are listening to” service, rather than a “streaming” service but there are some songs on there that you can listen to. Last.FM calls music listening ‘scrobbling.’ It logs the content that has listened to, and it helps you to find artists that you might like based on what you have listened to in the past. It’s a great discoverability tool, and it is one of the reasons that a lot of artists still engage with Last.fm even though there are so many other services out there.

Pandora

Pandora is a radio service that is only available in certain territories. It is a great tool that is useful for people who want to discover new content – if you are in the right place to be able to listen to it. Pandora has some great algorithms for picking music based on whether you liked the most recent song. It also offers pretty good audio quality.

SoundCloud

Soundcloud is a less public service. It has a mixture of brand new artists and famous ones. It offers free songs to download or stream, and there are options for people to restrict the way that content is used as well. People can comment on specific parts of a song – and that’s one of the best parts of the service. While you’re listening, you can click and say “that drum solo is excellent”.

Band Camp

Band Camp is good for up and coming artists. It is something that anyone can upload music to. The problem is that the quality on there can be quite variable. Some of the releases on there are incredibly good, but some of them are basically “auto generated noise” from people who just want to build up a large list of uploads. If you can find the good content, though, band camp is incredible.

Don’t forget that there are streaming services that also have the option of buying content. For example, you can stream from Google Music, and also buy content and download it to your device.

Why would you want to download content? Well, when you stream content you are using your bandwidth allowance every time you listen to it. With a download, you only download it once then it is on your machine’s internal storage, so you aren’t eating into your download allowance.

While some mobile phone contracts have limited bandwidth allowances (often just a few hundred MB or a couple of GB), others are quite generous. Make sure you know what your allowance is before you stream on mobile data. Try to be connected to a wifi hotspot as much as possible to save your download allowance. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of your allowance, leaving you unable to use social media or surf the web for the rest of the month.

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How to Have Your Music Album Explode on Social Media

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for any musician. These days, most bands simply don’t have the money to invest in getting their music to appear in big publications, and it’s hard to justify them appearing on TV or the radio. So, instead of focusing on those more traditional forms of media, you need to get creative. Social media is a brilliant promotional avenue.

The best thing about social media is that when you start promoting, you get a team of fans. These fans can become your most passionate advocates – and you will find that your reach will grow and grow as time goes on.

Social media is a competitive place. While the vast majority of people have a social media account (usually Facebook), it is quite hard to get people to follow you on those sites. A few years ago, it was not uncommon to have people follow anyone and everything, but now social media is near ubiquitous, and every brand has a profile, people don’t want to see that much spam.

 

That’s why you need to work hard to engage with your fans. This is a key to success and if you are wondering how some sites and companies are dominating this is one of the strategies they use. So be patient and come up with a plan that will be highlighted what you do for the next 6 months.

The ‘rules’ for sharing on social media are quite similar across the board, whether you are thinking about music or something else entirely. The important thing is to remember that social media is not print, radio, or TV. The key word is “social.” We need to talk to people and give them a reason to talk back.

The most successful bands share content online and build engagement using that content. They give away a song or two as a way of promoting an album. They talk to their fans, and they build up relationships with other bands so that they can, collectively, benefit from the promotion. They pick issues that matter to them – and that aren’t likely to alienate people – and they take a public stance on them.

This is one area where you need to be careful. Taking a political stance could lose you fans. Supporting a mental health charity – if the message is authentic – is something that will help everyone.

During an interview, someone mentioned that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t the only social networks. If you’re looking to reach as many people as possible that are seeking out music – instead of people who are already fans – then you should market on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. These are great places to reach engaged and excited users who are looking for new music to listen to.

You could try running remix competitions – pick a ‘hidden gem’ song from your album and ask people to remix it. By doing this, you will get attention for your album from the fans of the artists doing the remix, as well as from your existing fans.

Reach is the number one thing that you need to consider when you are marketing your album. You can do a lot without spending money if you know how to talk to people. If you have a marketing budget, then you can significantly expand your reach. Even spending a few dollars per day will help you to get lots of new followers. Before you spend money, however, you need to pick the right target audience. Think about age groups, think about localities (perhaps targeting listeners in areas where you are touring), and other bands that they like. With the right target audience, you will get huge ROI on your social media marketing.

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