As the music industry continues to evolve and change, promotion has become more important than ever but has, unfortunately, gotten anything but easier. That said, there are a number of promotional platforms which can help artists market their music at a minimal cost. Sadly, free doesn't necessarily mean effective.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
Just because a service is free does not mean it’s right for your promotional needs.
Promotion is the name of the game in music today. As consumers spend less and less on physical media with each passing year, the need to promote music in a way that resonates with influencers and industry gatekeepers enough to produce coverage is greater than ever. The challenge of accomplishing this has never been harder either, as the competition for coverage has grown as quickly as consumers’ attention spans have diminished.
The good news is, there have never been more avenues for music promotion and conversation. From traditional publications and music blogs to YouTube critics, playlist curators, Twitter feeds dedicated to music discussion, Instagram pages curating beautiful scenes from concerts, and countless other digital avenues, the paths to exposure in the modern age are limitless.
Getting the attention of influencers, radio, and journalists is where the battle for exposure begins. Fan support can go a long way, and it can certainly make an impact on the decision of these so-called gatekeepers to cover your music, but there remains a great value in getting exposure from people and companies that lie outside your already established circle of supporters.
Companies like Soundcloud and Dropbox are among the numerous platforms offering free or low-cost streaming and sharing of music. These services also offer private streams, which are usually protected by secret access links, as well as the ability to share that same material with the public if the artist desires to do so. The ease of access and friendly price point has made both, as well as their competitor Box, popular, but for artists and the people who represent them the benefits of using such services very minimal.
That is why most artists who succeed today, as well as labels who continue to thrive, rely on promotional distribution platforms such as Haulix to share new and upcoming releases. Haulix and its competitors match the offerings of Soundcloud or Dropbox, but they also give (much) more power and insight to artists and their teams.
Using Haulix as an example, here are just a few tools the service offers that free and low-cost streaming platforms do not:
- Customizable landing pages complete with numerous branding opportunities.
- Customizable messaging with branding opportunities.
- Contact upload and contact list management.
- In-depth analytics that reveals who is engaging with your music, how often they listen, and what songs are getting the most attention.
- Sub-administrator accounts that allow for team interaction and company organization.
The two biggest advantages Haulix users have over those who choose to use Soundcloud or Dropbox is their ability to brand and to track individual user engagement. Soundcloud may tell you how many plays a song has, but how do you know who on your massive mailing list has been listening? Dropbox may make downloading material a breeze, but how can you showcase your brand and build name recognition when every download screen looks exactly the same?
Here’s a Haulix promo, which as you can see reinforces the artist’s name and the title of their record while conveying the aesthetic of the material.
Haulix is trusted by artists at every level of the music business to do everything from attracting press coverage to securing management, enticing promoters, developing material while members are recording in different locations, and more. You can find a list of clients currently relying on the system, including Chance The Rapper and Metallica, by visiting their official website.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.