It’s all the time a shock once I hear it.
It shouldn’t be, as a result of I’ve heard it a whole lot of occasions.
But it surely surprises me all the identical, at any time when I ask an artist if their music is on Spotify and so they say, “No, I’m solely on Bandcamp.”
Or “I’m solely on SoundCloud.”
Or sound.xyz, BandLab, Beatport,…
Solely this, or solely that.
The issue isn’t these platforms. They’re all nice and have unimaginable music communities with distinct habits, cultures, and alternatives.
The issue is that phrase: ONLY!
After years within the enterprise, I can assure one factor: whereas YOU would possibly ONLY be in a single place, your potential followers are NOT.
I get it although. It could really feel extra manageable, streamlined, and connective to pay attention fully on a single platform and user-base. You would possibly assume it’s saner and extra community-minded. Which might be why it’s such a typical mistake artists make.
Now, let me caveat this argument by saying the apparent: It’s your music, and it’s best to do no matter is greatest for you, your creativity, and your followers. Nonetheless, when your music is on the market in ONLY one place, you’re not accounting for three fixed challenges within the digital age:
1. The fragmentation of listenership
We used to solely have a handful of choices:
- CD or cassette or vinyl (relying on the period)
- Reside exhibits
- After which (following the Napster years) “obtain” principally implied a single dominant platform — iTunes
At present listening is unfold out throughout:
- Dozens of DSPs
- Livestreaming platforms like Twitch
- Video platforms like YouTube and TikTok
- Video video games
- Digital AND terrestrial radio
- Artist and label web sites
- Music blogs
- And sure, music providers like Bandcamp and Soundcloud
However even diehard followers of a specific style aren’t all loyal to the identical platforms and apps. And amongst a single class equivalent to DSPs, totally different platforms are dominant in numerous international locations.
It is best to NOT assume all of your potential followers favor what you like. You can also’t assume they’ll change their habits or subscriptions to fulfill you the place YOU are at.
The world is stuffed with an excessive amount of music, and too many competing types of leisure. Your music must be available within the locations they ALREADY spend their time.
Correct music distribution solves this, by releasing your music in every single place that issues.
2. The altering of phrases & options
One other downside with placing your eggs in a single basket? It assumes issues will keep the identical (or enhance) in relation to your potential to develop and nurture an viewers on that platform.
However how typically has that occurred because the days of MySpace?
Eventual platform dangers embody:
- Your natural attain will get throttled
- The rev-share percentages tilt in direction of the platform
- Workers will get laid off and the tech suffers
- The algorithm begins recommending different kinds of issues
- You’re requested to subscribe for instruments you used to take as a right
- It’s a must to pay advert prices to compensate for misplaced consideration
That’s not even meant as a knock towards corporations that have to monetize. After all they do! They’re companies. However you may’t rely on the phrases remaining the identical. As a result of you aren’t in cost, and the viewers you construct on any platform is simply partially your personal.
I’m additionally not arguing that such platforms received’t be helpful to you as soon as they modify. META, as an illustration, is now an absolute professional at taking cash from labels and artists in alternate for attain and conversions. I’d nonetheless argue it’s among the best methods you may spend cash as a musician.
But when ALL your exercise is remoted to a single platform, the dangers to you’re all of the larger, if and when the platform evolves.
Correct music distribution helps restrict these dangers, as a result of your music has already been despatched to many competing platforms. And by extension, meaning you could have already got audiences on these different platforms too.
3. Platforms aren’t without end
Not like diamonds, platforms don’t final.
Consideration shifts. Habits change. Codecs die. Corporations merge, or go extinct.
And whereas it could sound absurd to you as we speak to contemplate that (insert your favourite music or social platform) shall be out of enterprise tomorrow, it’s occurred earlier than. And it’ll occur once more. Again and again.
Music distribution future-proofs you towards this danger. As a result of whereas any distributed catalog will seemingly go down with the ship on these dimming or useless platforms, who cares? As a result of those self same songs will ALSO be delivered to all the brand new upstarts who stand to switch the previous giants.
Holding your music and your neighborhood engagement restricted to at least one platform could sound like the simplest, most centered, and even hippest path ahead.
But it surely’s shortsighted.
You need your music to final a very long time, proper? Then don’t depend on ONLY Bandcamp, or SoundCloud, or another single platform.
Correct music distribution is likely one of the greatest methods to outmaneuver these three massive challenges talked about above. And fortunately, it’s fairly simple as we speak to launch your music the correct method.