The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
To stream or not to stream (unknown artist, new "label")
Old 16th May 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 

To stream or not to stream (unknown artist, new "label")

I'm starting a small "label" for my own stuff but with the intention of releasing other artists as well and building it into something bigger. For my first release I'm torn between doing a wide digital release that covers all streaming and download services or using paid download stores only (either way there will be a physical release as well).

I'm approaching this first release as primarily a learning experience and a way to test the waters, so I'm not worried about the money side of streaming. But the thing that bothers me about streaming is that it wouldn't give me any kind of useful feedback or metrics. I hope to get some coverage from blogs that are focused on my particular niche, but if I got attention from a certain blog and 100 people went to stream my music on Spotify because of it, how would I even know?

So I'm tempted to keep the digital release focused to download stores that will give me actual stats so I can hopefully learn something useful and gauge interest. But as a new artist is it a mistake not to try to reach as many people as possible? I'm potentially turning away listeners who exclusively use streaming services. Which is more valuable, those listeners, or the information?
Old 16th May 2012
  #2
if you're not concerned about money, but want better metrics on streaming stats you might want to look into one of the soundcloud upgrade accounts.
SoundCloud Premium - Extra storage, advanced stats & other great features on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

there's also this:
Musicmetric
Old 16th May 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, my plan is to have a song streaming on soundcloud to send to blogs and then have the physical + download available for sale on bandcamp. They both show you pretty good stats.
Old 16th May 2012
  #4
you should also be replacing native links with bit.ly links so you can track everything...

https://bitly.com/

not only does it make the links short for tweeting, you can customize them.
Old 16th May 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Thanks. So which do you think should be more important to me starting out? The information -- possibly learning that a mention on one blog leads to 10 hits and no sales while a mention on a different blog leads to 1000 hits and 25 sales. Or just trying to reach as many people as possible by making the music available everywhere I can?

I just know that there are times that I've read about a band and then checked to see if they were on Spotify and if they are I listen to them there. If not I might actually spend the time to listen to their streams on bandcamp or soundcloud in which case the artist or label can actually see how many people listened and what percentage of them chose to buy.
Old 16th May 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Thanks. So which do you think should be more important to me starting out? The information -- possibly learning that a mention on one blog leads to 10 hits and no sales while a mention on a different blog leads to 1000 hits and 25 sales. Or just trying to reach as many people as possible by making the music available everywhere I can?.
my opinion is... when starting out, information and exposure is important. Ive haven't checked tunecore lately to see how their metrics are, but I think that soundcloud is a really active community for engagement, and if you can get metrics there, all the better.

I've never listened to a band on bandcamp, ever. But I've listened to a lot of music hosted on soundcloud. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
I just know that there are times that I've read about a band and then checked to see if they were on Spotify and if they are I listen to them there. If not I might actually spend the time to listen to their streams on bandcamp or soundcloud in which case the artist or label can actually see how many people listened and what percentage of them chose to buy.
I have mixed feelings about it, but I'd say, for the first time out, put your music EVERYWHERE than you'll have your own experience about what works and what doesn't for you. That's the most important thing, you having your own experience and learning the truth for yourself.

I'd pay the $50 to tunecore and put the record everywhere they distribute. Knowledge is power.

Maybe after essentially giving away your first album, but gaining a following, you might be able to use kick starter to finance your second album? Who knows? The reality of the marketplace is that you have to be smarter than the average bear to stay alive.

I'd love to see any combination of these new models actual work well enough for artists to work full time professionally on music. As you may know I'm pretty skeptical about it. One thing that was great about labels is they took on the risk of investment, and supported the artists for at least a year or two of making an album and the initial release.

Now, you have to do it all yourself, on your own, without help, while working another job. It just sounds like a race to the bottom to me.

Here's a little case study:
iTunes - Music - Particle Salad
Sold 18 copies but 17 of those were physical CD's and only one was digital. Which is kind of amazing considering there's a lower barrier to entry on digital distribution. But, that's information you'd want to have. On the other hand, there is a total of 100 song downloads spread across the album. So that tells you the consumers of this band prefer a physical CD for the album, but will buy songs digitally.

I'm sure the artist who uploaded this album also has whatever metrics are provided by CD Baby from streaming and subscription sites.

Here's more:
http://www.particlesalad.com/news2.html
http://www.amazon.com/Particle-Salad/e/B001LHS7VA
http://music.yahoo.com/particle-salad/
http://www.mevio.com/music/?artist_id=14436
http://mp3.com/artist/Particle%2BSalad
http://www.myspace.com/particlesaladmusic/music
http://music.aol.com/artist/particle-salad/albums
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p717717
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...type=band&id=1
http://www.mattgalligan.com/genre_El...ck_Inside.html



I wish you luck man.
Old 26th May 2012
  #7
I'm wondering if you've come to any conclusions?
Old 26th May 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I haven't! I'm still just as confused. I'm about two months away from being ready to release, and at the moment I'm probably leaning toward just putting it everywhere, streaming included. My thinking is that the people who use spotify are probably already spoiled by it and if it's not on there they won't hear it because they won't bother paying for anything. And for the people who don't like or use spotify it won't matter either way if it's on there or not.

I still can't help but feel that Spotify just cheapens and devalues things. But at the same time it seems impossible to avoid. The idea of windows seems appealing but then any initial promotional push would be lost on the people who use streaming only. I was thinking of the idea of windows per release, so when a new release comes out, the last release goes to streaming, but that's kind of a longer-term idea that probably dumb to think about at this point.

My wife is into the whole Kindle self-publishing thing which is weird because they force you to price your first book at 99 cents, then the sequel can be $1.99 and the next one $2.99 etc. She's had some luck with giving the book away for free for a limited period of time and then after that the sales pick up for a while. For some reason that got me thinking of this crazy idea of reverse windows. Which would be releasing to Spotify for the initial exposure and then taking it down after a while, possibly forcing people to then buy it if they really liked it.

It's probably all academic anyway because I'm sure I'll be met with a resounding silence.
Old 26th May 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
Hey BB, could you post or send me a link of something of yours to check out?
Old 27th May 2012
  #10
BB, I think you have the right idea with the "reverse window." Which is actually how we used to do it when we had control over how and when we could turn off the "faucet of free."

Generally I'd say the first 6 months to a year of a new release by a new artist (first album) we would give away more than we would sell, and by far. The most important thing in the beginning is to get people to hear your music, and to be able to discover it.

Than once you have an established the base you cut off the "faucet of free." Essentially you reward the early adopters with free music as they become the ambassadors of your band.

Of course the unfortunate thing about the climate we are currently in, is that you can never turn off that faucet. But, I think you have the right idea - get it out everywhere, and maybe at the end of a year, you only renew distribution on Itunes and other transactional outlets.

The pre-internet record business functioned like this:

Initial Release Window:
- Tons of Free Music
- Introductory List Price

Early Established Window:
- Introductory List Price
- Limited Free Music
- Paid placement & promotion (retail discounting)

Established:
- Front Line Pricing
- Very Limited Free Music (by request only)
- No Paid Placement

Catalog:
- Reduced List Price to Midline

food for thought at least...
Old 27th May 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Cool, thanks. You've convinced me. There's no reason not to put it everywhere at this point.
Old 31st May 2012
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE MAN IS BACK. View Post
Whoa, hold on SpaceCowboy....

First off, what makes you think you've got a grade A product that ppl are willing to spend $$$ for? might wanna check into that part first, as you don't wanna waste your OR anyone's else's time hustling down in TurdTown...
How do you know he doesn't?

Generally the way to tell is to put it out and let the marketplace sort it out.

Quote:
knowimsayin?
Actually, no, we don't.
Old 31st May 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by THE MAN IS BACK. View Post
Whoa, hold on SpaceCowboy....
I prefer "Gangster of Love" thank you very much.
Old 31st May 2012
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
I prefer "Gangster of Love" thank you very much.
Now, now, Maurice!
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Forum Jump
Forum Jump