Arts & Culture

De-Mystifying Music Streaming!

If you are a musician or artist looking to put songs out into the real world, it can be rather daunting trying to figure out which service to use or where you can find an audience. I know it was hard for me to figure out. I started recording music and jam sessions with my friends in 2015. The world of music streaming has changed a lot since then and nowadays, there seems to be a ton of options in terms of where you can put your music. This article is meant for those looking to put their music out there and which service can best suit your needs- for free. 

First, I’ll talk about SoundCloud. This site is great for posting music for free and takes minimal effort. Although it’s not as popular as other streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music, SoundCloud is incredibly user friendly. For free accounts, you are only allowed to post about three hours of material at a time. Advertisements will be present if you don’t buy the premium account. In terms of audience, SoundCloud is mostly popular in the rap, hip hop and electronic music world. However, this does not mean that you are limited to those genres! Although those are the most well known genres on the site, every type of music can be represented and posted. 

The author’s home studio!

Another site you can use is Bandcamp. It is one of my favorite free sites to use. It is also incredibly user friendly, however, it allows for more customization. You can develop your own website (of sorts) through Bandcamp. It allows you to have your own artist profile and even sell your music, merchandise or other products. You can sell digital and physical copies of music and, just like on SoundCloud, you can upload your own album cover art. Bandcamp provides an area for credits like other musicians, writers or producers and also a place to display lyrics as well. The service allows you to stream music and if you really like a song or an album, you can buy a digital or physical form of it from the artist. Another cool feature about Bandcamp is that you can either set a price for music you want to sell or allow people to choose a price and pay what they want. I really enjoy the freedom of that, and it feels more like a donation than a price you need to pay. Again, like SoundCloud, Bandcamp is a place where all music can be represented. However, rock, alternative, and  experimental are the genres Bandcamp is known for. 

I happen to use both services for my music, and I find both to be appealing in different ways. SoundCloud allows users to “like” music, which is a really great way of seeing that your music is getting out there to the public. However, Bandcamp allows more ways for artists to make money off their products. Both can suit your needs and I highly recommend using both services as they are free and can reach different audiences. 

The author of this article, Nick Lawler uses both of these services- check out his music at the links below!

https://nicklawler.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/nicklawler1

Categories: Arts & Culture

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