Once you’ve got your music skills in order and have recorded your music, the next step is to get your music heard. “Where can I upload my music” is a common question, and since there so many choices it can be difficult to focus on the right places to release your music. Below we go over what are the best musician websites to spread your music with.
There is one thing to remember when looking at different websites for musicians. There is a big difference between getting heard/being discovered by people vs. connecting with fans. For example, right now Facebook is great for connecting with existing fans, but not so great for getting new listeners. We’ll cover the two sections, more so on being heard aka getting your music into people’s living rooms.
Good Ol Youtube
Youtube is one of the best places to upload your music and get heard. There are a number of reasons for this: there are millions of people watching videos on Youtube every day, and your videos will pop up alongside other videos in the recommended section getting you more viewers. Another benefit is that people can share your Youtube music videos on places like Facebook and twitter, and they can easily embed the videos in their blogs and websites, getting you more viewers. It will also be easy to install these videos on your own website later.
Unlike the other websites mention later where you can just upload mp3 tracks, you will need to create and upload music videos to Youtube. These music videos do not have to cost much, and the more creative they are (usually low budget videos are creative) the more likely they will spread. The key thing to remember is to have as much lighting as possible when filming a low budget music video. Fill the room with lamps and lights and it will boost the video quality of normal cameras.
Spread Your Music on Spotify
Spotfiy is a legal music service that gives people access to millions of tracks. There is a free service, a premium service and an unlimited service, which grants people different levels of access to the music: such as the amount of music that can be listened to, being able to take the music mobile, playing it on your desktop, etc. It is also getting heavily integrated with Facebook – it can be said to be the music player for Facebook.
There are a number of benefits when you upload music and share it on Spotify. There is getting your music in front of new listeners, people who listen to your music will have it automatically show on their Facebook feed and on their friends’ news feed, and you will also earn a royalty every time someone listens to your music.
You can be an unsigned artist and still have your music on the professional music service platform. There are a number of ways to get your music up. Right now you can get your music on Spotify by being on CDBaby, Ditto Music, Record Union, or Zimbalam. (In our post, how to sell music online [coming soon], we take you through these web services.) These websites set you up with the right agreements to get your music properly online. They get you registered so that you can sell your music on iTunes or Amazon and license your music to places such as Spotify.
BBC Introducing – Get Played On Local Radio Stations in the UK
Where to upload music in the UK: If you are a UK based musician or band have a look at ‘BBC Introducing’. This is a unique website that gives exposure to unsigned and undiscovered music artists. You upload your music to the site, and if they like what they hear they will play it on one of their 30 local (where you are based) radio stations. If you are really good, they will take your track and play it on national radio stations such as Radio 1 or 6 Music. Every week unsigned artists are having their songs played locally and nationwide through BBC’s Radio stations.
If getting played on the radio was not good enough, BBC goes even further during the Glastonbury, T in the Park, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and Reading & Leeds Festivals, by having a BBC Introducing stage where the best artists from the site get to perform. BBC also invites the best musicians to record their music at the Maida Vale Studios.
Musicians Using StumbleUpon
If you have awesome music or a viral video, StumbleUpon will help spread them across the web. StumbleUpon is a platform that lets people go to a random website around a specific subject. For example if you list music, or more specifically acoustic music as an interest, SumbleUpon sends you to a different acoustic music website every time you click on the SumbleUpon button. It is a very popular way for people to discover new things on the web, and not just music – there is fashion, tech, business, etc.
So you can submit a website with your music, or you can just submit and upload a video from Youtube straight into StumbleUpon, and let people discover your music.
Here is an example of what popped up when we StumbledUpon our acoustic music interest: link.
Bonus: Getting A Foot In The Door With Guest Blogging
This could be one of the most effective ways of getting your music heard. To do this, you need to find bloggers/websites that are somewhat related to you as a band or a musician. Here are two examples of types of websites to look for:
- Location Based: Look for websites that talk about a specific location (where you are from). It could be a travel website, news site, or even a business website – more on this in a bit.
- Personal Bloggers: Find blogs that a certain type of person would love. Your job is to figure out who your fans are (female teenagers, male rockers, eclectic artsy people, etc.) and what type of blogs do they visit. If you are a rock band that has songs about being in high school, then seek out high school bloggers that have a large following of high schoolers. Or if you have dance songs, why not seek out dance studio websites that have their own blogs and have large followings of dancers. If you are an R&B artist, why not seek out graffiti related sites. Whatever your style or interests are that can be seen in your music, these are the types of sites to seek out.
Writing With an Angle
Once you find these sites, then the next step is to introduce yourself and get yourself on their site. You will need to give the site owners something unique and valuable, whether this is an interview of yourself or a unique story.
If it is a business website, give them a story about your music business. If it is a graffiti site, then show them your album cover which has graffiti on it (give them the behind the scenes to it: show how it was made, etc.) At the same time, include your music tracks or a music video to be included in the article they write.
It does require more work to get in touch with these individual sites than just uploading a profile to a music site. But this method can be much more rewarding. The loyal fans of the website could easily become loyal fans to you, if you matched yourself up with the right website.
Something that will help with this method is to give incentives to the website owner that they can pass on to their audience. Like a competition, free or discounted merchandise (from your online store), a free downloadable track, or access to unreleased tracks.
Your Own Website: Connecting Everything Together
Since there are so many different places where you can upload your music video and tracks for people to discover, having your own website is the best way to connect everything. This is where your true fans that are in love with you will come to, to find out more. Places like Spotify and Youtube are great for getting your music heard, but they lack the personal touch which your own website would be able to give. Plus, building an email list of your fans (with the use of your website) will become a very powerful tool later on – when you have new releases, tour dates, etc. that you want to announce.
Using WordPress + The Best Musician Website Templates and Themes To Build Your Site [coming soon]
After Getting Fans: Connecting and Engaging With Them
- Facebook: Right now Facebook is a better tool for connecting with your fans, rather than exposing your music to new people. Someone ‘Liking’ you will show up on their friends news feed, but that is alongside all the other information and feeds going on their walls. You would need to target a specific location or group of people (people in the same college) to make the ‘Likes’ have an impact on new people. Right now, Facebook is best used to keep in contact with your fans. Spotify is a better for growing your fan based on Facebook, because when people listen to your music, a playlist will appear on their Facebook and their friends news feed where people can play the music instantly – as shown in the screenshot earlier.
- Twitter: Another tool that is great for keeping in contact with existing fans is Twitter. People who already know of your music and visit your Youtube channel or your own website, will then find your Twitter profile and subscribe to it to stay in touch. Therefore it is better to use Twitter to stay in touch rather than using it to share your music with new people.
So there are a number of sites to upload music to and get it heard and discovered by new people. Even though they are all free music upload sites, it would be best to focus on 1-3 of them to build up a presence. Right now Youtube is probably the best musician website to upload to, while Spotify looks like a second best as it becomes more mixed in with Facebook.
image credits: pierofix