So over the last few weeks and months, I’ve been looking into ways to market myself and my music, without spending a penny. The internet being the internet, theres plenty of places out there which will happily promote your music for you, or will allow you to upload your music to them.
Of a lot of the composers who I have interviewed, the majority of them have all made an important point – networking is one of the most important parts of the music industry – so the more lines of networking you are in, the better.
I’ve been making a list of these websites lately, and thought I’d share them with you all. This is in no way a full list, but just a few places I’ve found – I haven’t tried them all.
“Last.fm is a music service that learns what you love… Every track you play will tell your Last.fm profile something about what you like. It can connect you to other people who like what you like – and recommend songs from their music collections and yours too. …and as you use Last.fm, you make it better for you and everyone else. When you recommend some music to a friend, or you tag it, or you write about it – even just listening to it – you shift the song’s importance on the site. It’ll be recommended to different people, because you’ve listened to it. It’ll move up our music charts and maybe more people will hear it because you thought it was good.“
My personal opinion: Very popular way of promoting your music online – I know a lot of people that use this. You get paid royalty fees each time your music is played – need to be part of a PRO to claim these fees. Cool site – definitively worth having your music on. Licely laid out site, and people can comment on your tracks/album.
“Upload Music and get music codes for blogs. Find music you like and follow by iTunes or Email. Upload Music and get feedback on your music from a great audience”
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it myself – might be worth trying. I had a quick look at it, and there seems to be an active community on the forums (A large Indian community from what I can see), but the idea is good.
“Every day, approximately 500,000 unique visitors come through Newgrounds. Many of them are regulars, while others were simply passed a link from a friend”
My personal opinion:I know of a number of people who have had great feedback and popularity on this site. The users on here appear to be young (correct me if I’m wrong), and hard to break into as a group, but are loyal followers. A very popular site, and has a very active forum aswell – definitively worth getting into, especially if your music is video-game orientated.
“Download.com Music is a free service for artists and consumers. Artists do not need to pay to submit songs to CNET Download.com Music, and our users do not have to pay to download files from it.”
My personal opinion: Download.com is a hugely popular site – ranked 133 overall on Alexa. I tried uploading some tracks, but they didn’t accept them due to encoding rates not being correct, however it was an easy process. I know of one composer who said he had his tracks up there, and was approached by a very large game developer company, and asked to score a soundtrack for a popular game, just because they found his music on there.
“ArtistServer is a social media site with a focus on independent music.
* Be Seen and Heard – We provide charts, playlists, a favorites tool, an email to friends option, and more.
* Earn Money – all upgraded accounts receive 100% of the ad revenue from their pages (or can select to remove ads).
* Check Stats – All unique streams and plays are tracked and displayed as graphic charts.
* Share Media – post your songs, photos, ringtones, and video (video coming soon).
* Promote Yourself – Use playlists, RSS feeds, friend networking and a blog to promote your music and art.
* Be Yourself – Customize and design your site with ease, post your thoughts to your blog.
* Use the Best – Upload high bit rate mp3s, assign Creative Commons licenses, create podcasts and benefit from a well organized music site.
* Interact With Fans – Your fans can download and stream your music, post comments to your blog, add your band as a friend, post song reviews, discuss topics in our forums, and more.”
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it – haven’t heard any feedback on it – it lets you upload 5 songs for a free account, or 300 if you have a premium account $40/yr. Might be worth looking into.
“Jamendo is the world’s #1 platform for free and legal music downloads. Available in six languages, it offers the largest catalog of music under Creative Commons licenses. For artists, it’s an easy and efficient way to publish, share and promote their music, and also to make money, through ad revenue sharing and commercial partnerships.”
My personal opinion: Joined it, uploaded some tracks, but didn’t get very far. seems to be a great site – based on the creative commons license – you can upload tracks using the creative commons license and people can download it. You can create an album cover and upload it aswell for your tracks.
” Since 1999, dozens of bands discovered by GarageBand.com have been signed by major record labels, and one has already gone double-platinum! Many more have scored publishing, production, or licensing deals, in some cases directly because of exposure on GarageBand.com. Of course, we can’t promise that you’ll get signed. But 275,638 bands can’t be wrong! “
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it myself. They give you the ability to sell albums and mp3 on the site, and make your own profile. Meant to be quite a popular site, but I haven’t got around to using it yet.
“The Music Hutch offers free space for anyone to upload music. Anyone may:Upload, search, browse, rate and listen to music and watch music videos. Create a profile, browse & search members, and share music with friends. Add songs and music videos to his or her The Music Hutch playlist & profile, webpage, blog, social network profile, etc. All for Free and more”
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it, and I haven’t heard any feedback from anyone about it at all. I can’t really comment on this one!
“At JukeBox Alive (JBA) you can use a multitude of music services. Upload music, listen to music, share music with your friends, and even make new friends. Most of the services are available with a free musician account and advanced features are available for less than 20 cents a day. If you have music you want to share with the world, JBA is the perfect music promotion website for music marketing and exposure. You can sell CDs online, write a blog for your fans, and keep them up to date with your own online calendar.”
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it and I haven’t heard anything about it at all. I can’t really comment on this one either!
“Record Scout – the online directory for artists around the county. All styles catered for – from house to hardcore, and grunge to metal. With our Record Scout publication going to hundreds of music and record shops around the country it is a great place for exposure for your group, productions to get reviewed and noticed.”
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it, so I can’t comment on it
“A slick, all-inclusive music site, MP3.com is fueled by an active community of musicians and fans who live to spread the word about music. The site caters to artists looking to promote their material and connect with listeners, and to fans that thrive on discovering new music and expressing their opinions.”
My personal opinion: Used to be a hugely popular site around the napster time. I haven’t heard much about it lately, but I know its still a popular site with a lot of traffic so possibly would be worth having your stuff on it.
“We provide innovative marketing solutions that musicians need to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in an increasingly noisy online environment. Unlike typical “closed” communities, artists use ReverbNation as their home base for approaching marketing and promotion across the Internet as a whole — be it via social networks, blogs, or the artist’s homepage. Tools like TunePaks, FanReach, and Widgets give the artist the power to spread their music and information virtually anywhere. Real-time stats then provide a 360-degree view of how the music is spreading, who is listening, and which fans are actually passing it on to their friends and posting it on their pages.”
My personal opinion: Give you your own music player to embed in your own websites which is a handy tool. I know of quite a lot of composers who use this site and the feedback has been positive. Seems worthwhile to be on if you need a music player for your website – there seems to be a large quantity of composers on there too, so there are networking possibilities there.
“SoundClick offers free member profile pages, mp3 downloads, streaming audio and video, music charts, custom radio stations, a proprietary music store, message boards, lyrics and music e-cards. SoundClick also offers users the ability to promote their favorite music with viral widgets. With 3.4 million members and 70+ million monthly pageviews, SoundClick is the ideal destination for original music fans and marketers who want to engage them creatively.”
My personal opinion: I know a number of people have their tracks on here. Seems to be easy to use, and again, I know quite a few composers who use this service. Worth having your music on here to at least have your name there.
“YouLicense is an online music licensing marketplace. We have developed a platform which enables artists and those seeking musical content to conduct business directly with one another in a safe and secure environment. Our unique search engine and standardized contracts allow for a quick and easy process.”
My personal opinion: In my opinion a great website – one of my favourite things about them is that you get a mp3 store to embed in your own webpages or website – very handy! Theres a review system on it, where people can review your tracks, and you get to track how many listens each of your tracks has. Still in beta stage – worth getting on it in my opinion
“MySpace is an online community that lets you meet your friends’ friends. Create a community on MySpace and you can share photos, journals and interests with your growing network of mutual friends! See who knows who, or how you are connected. Find out if you really are six people away from Kevin Bacon”
My personal opinion: Perhaps the most popular online music promotion website. Not my favourite at all – had a very hard time trying to make a skin for it, and trying to get rid of all the ads on it – which is possible somehow, but not easy to find an explanation anywhere on how to do so. Absolute headwrecker in my opinion. However, pretty much every single person/band seems to be on it, so if you can bare the torture of making your profile on it, I’m sure its worthwhile being on there – great networking on myspace – although at least 50% of people that will add you will be strangers, and people will leave absolute crap on your page for comments.
“Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.”
My personal opinion: Some people have said its a great way of promoting your music online. I haven’t tried uploading my tracks to facebook, but a number of composers I know do have their music on there and say its a brilliant place to have your music – great networking on there too. Worth joining and having your music up on if you can.
“Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends.”
My personal opinion: I love twitter – I’m almost addicted to it. Its a great way of connecting with people, getting your name out there, meeting other composers and directors, learning from other people, and just overall networking in general. Definitively worth joining. Networking is an important part of promotion.
“Our mission is to help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have. This isn’t networking—it’s what networking should be. Forget exchanging business cards with acquaintances that don’t know your work, or trying to renew professional ties when you need a favor.”
My personal opinion: I haven’t had much success from this site, but I have barely used it or done anything with my profile on it. I know a lot of professionals use this, and a lot of people I know said its important to have a profile on here. Its almost like an online CV – shows your work experience and references from other people who you have worked for/with. Good site – worth having a profile on, and trying out.
“Everyone can watch videos on YouTube. People can see first-hand accounts of current events, find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and unusual. As more people capture special moments on video, YouTube is empowering them to become the broadcasters of tomorrow.”
My personal opinion: A lot of people forget about youtube as a promotion tool. I know some people who have had great success uploading a video (copyright free) with their music on it to youtube. Think about how many viewers there are on youtube – if your video is good, and the music is good, it could become popular and you could be getting job offers from people – you never know until you try! Worth having a demo reel on there aswell in case anyone ever asks you for one on the spot.
Join forums – Forums are perhaps one of the most important forms of promotion in my opinion – although I’m sure people will disagree with me on this. If you are active on forums which relate to your skills, you are then in essence speaking with prospective clients. I myself am active on video game modification forums, student film making forums, webmaster forums etc. – get your name out there, and show off your music (but don’t spam!) in the forums – saying that you’re available for work. Get to know some of the people on the forums, and you could be asked to do work for them 😉
Stock Audio Sites: Having your music on a number of stock audio sites is in my opinion a very important promotion tool aswell. Someone might be doing a small project, and then spot your music and ask you to do some custom work for you. I was asked to do some work for a major American television network after they saw some of my music on a certain stock music site – so it is worth having your music out there on some of them
Personal Website: Having your own personal website which is well laid out and looks professional is a very important part of promotion online. You could have the best music out there, but if someone comes to your website to try and contact you, and can’t figure out where you contact information is, or why your website looks like it was made in 1995, they will most likely be very turned off, and not interested at all in contacting you anymore. Learn some html coding – get a free html template – theres literally thousands of them out there – and try make your own site. Or alternatively, theres some great website templates over at Themeforest and Flashden for $15-$40 – well worth it in my opinion.
And there you have it – I’ve barely touched the surface here, but you get the idea – theres plenty of places out there to get your voice heard!