Why should a band be on SoundCloud?
July 31, 2012 6:12 PM   Subscribe

For a band, what are the benefits of using SoundCloud?

Note that I know nothing about any of this stuff, but my band wants to know. Thanks!
posted by smartypanties to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a moderately successful Soundcloud user, and I also moderate a few groups.

Soundcloud is good for submitting your music to groups dedicated to niches of music, where people will find it. You can tag your music with all the appropriate tags, and people looking for music like yours will find it. Think of it as Flickr for audio. The search tools are really powerful.

The bands that I see on Soundcloud which are NOT successful are the ones who don't put anything into it. They throw their music up there with no tags, and they expect it to get played. Crickets chirp. To be successful, I think there's a few things you need to do:

-Submit your tracks to appropriate groups. Do not submit your tracks to any any all groups, because that's basically spamming.
I find it's only worth my time submitting tracks to moderated groups, because the open ones turn into free-for-alls because of people trying to game the system. This means that open groups aren't any good, and nobody listens to tracks there.

-Engage with other artists whose music you really like. Follow them. Comment on their tracks, offer constructive criticism. Again, don't comment-spam. Every comment should be honest.

-If you offer tracks as free downloads, for christ's sake MAKE SURE THE ID3 TAGS ARE RIGHT! I have gotten so many promos from reasonably hyped indie bands whose promo MP3s had filenames that (a) had no ID3 tags, (b) had ID3 tags where the song title differed from the title in the filename, or (c) the BAND NAME differed from the band's current name. If a blogger is going to blog about your track, or if a radio DJ like me is going to play your track on their show, they're not going to play it if they don't know what it's called.

Finally, I think it's totally worth the 29 euros a year for a paid membership. You get way more storage, proper stats to show who's been listening and downloading, plus the ability to submit a track to more than one group. This last feature is worth its weight in gold, if you concentrate on the moderated groups.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:29 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Apart from using SoundCloud as a community itself, SoundCloud also makes for handy storage of audio files, including for sharing with any other communities. For instance, I occasionally participate in a musicians' group that trades info on gear, and when people pass around audio samples the preferred methods are YouTube and SoundCloud. My music career predated the modern Internet and file-sharing so I never really got to know that scene, so maybe there's a better option for sharing audio files out there but SoundCloud is the one I'm familiar with and it works great.
posted by cribcage at 7:53 PM on July 31, 2012

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