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Thread: Online music Distribution???

  1. #1
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    Online music Distribution???

    Kind of decided to put my next release up to stopify papple etc in addition to the usual Bandcamp.

    Have always hated the notion of " Pay to Play,be Played" and that puts me off.
    I was checking Distrokid when I discovered this operation who don't charge a sign on fee.

    https://levelmusic.com/features

    I've plenty of time as my COVID lingers still making singing and playing horns a real c2hore

  2. #2
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clivey View Post
    Kind of decided to put my next release up to stopify papple etc in addition to the usual Bandcamp.

    Have always hated the notion of " Pay to Play,be Played" and that puts me off.
    Or in my case, Pay to Be Ignored.
    Celebrating one year of the legendary RATS' ALLEY on CD and LP
    "His best album yet. Mix of Prog, electronica, jazz and experimental." - Amazon review
    https://michaelpdawson.bandcamp.com
    http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Pr...MCD-spc-6.aspx

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Or in my case, Pay to Be Ignored.
    There's a whole Industry backed up by education programs designed to relieve the content providers of their gold .
    That really puts me off. I just know that there will be something sneaky hidden away in the smaller print all these contracts you agree when you subscribe.
    That's why I posted. Hoping for favourable reviews of the scene.

  4. #4
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    The internet has definitely democratized music, which also led to too much clutter. It's hard to notice or be noticed through all the clutter. Particularly in a niche genre like Prog.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    The internet has definitely democratized music, which also led to too much clutter. It's hard to notice or be noticed through all the clutter. Particularly in a niche genre like Prog.
    Yeah as a musician I have intensely mixed feelings about that... I honestly don't think I'd be able to record and release music without digital editing, plugins and the Internet, but the prevalence of those things has also increased the clutter you mentioned, which makes it harder to achieve an audience. The paradox of modern music.

    Haven't heard anything about Level Music; I'll take a peek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBES View Post
    Yeah as a musician I have intensely mixed feelings about that... I honestly don't think I'd be able to record and release music without digital editing, plugins and the Internet, but the prevalence of those things has also increased the clutter you mentioned, which makes it harder to achieve an audience. The paradox of modern music.

    Haven't heard anything about Level Music; I'll take a peek.
    There appears to be a great hurry to get artists to join before they are able to check the small print within the contracts of most if not all of these distribution outfits.
    I have read elsewhere that the minute you sign up you basically lose the rights to self publish/share the same material. There may be even sneakier devices lurking.
    Obviously it's all about what a writer wants .Money recognition,plays .
    I think personally I would always baulk at handing over any cash at all. That smells like " Vanity Project" to me but I suppose all this stuff is about exposition of Ego.

    Still I would love to hear feedback from folks experience.
    I do know / am aquainted with one old-timer who has amassed about 11k followers on SoundCloud since going with Tunecore I think.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by EBES View Post
    Yeah as a musician I have intensely mixed feelings about that... I honestly don't think I'd be able to record and release music without digital editing, plugins and the Internet, but the prevalence of those things has also increased the clutter you mentioned, which makes it harder to achieve an audience. The paradox of modern music.
    Yes, I think you are right on that one.
    In the past musicians of course could release an album without a record company, but one needed money to hire a studio and to press a record. Some guys I knew did this and it worked out well. But well, the drummer had his own recordstore, where he could promote the album. Besides they send a record to a prog radioshow and it was played there. Some day after that, the owner of the recordstore had a hard time to get into the store, because of the amount of post from people who wanted the album. They had some problems with the cover, because they picked something from a British artist, without asking his permission. They considered it could be done, because the guy wasn't in The Netherlands. Alas he moved to The Hague, where the recordstore was displaying the record with the picture he had drawn. For the next pressing they asked a friend of mine to do the artwork, which was black on a white background. With a pressing after that a mistake was made and the cover got a black background with white. I suppose things were setled with the artist who did the original artwork, because that was used for the CD edition.

    I wouldn't be able to create music, if it wasn't for computers. Well, of course I could write stuff, but not record is.

    A lot has changed, if I only look at my instruments and VST instruments.

    I used to have a neighbour, who played with a drummer, for parties or things like that. He had a Farfisa organ and if there wasn't a piano at the location, he rented a Fender Rhodes. If I look at my instruments I have to think of him. With my Nord Electro he would have had both organ and piano at hand and with a laptop and Arturia VST instruments, he would have even more choises.

  8. #8
    Shrug...with both my band albums and my last solo coaster, when we did CDs through CDBaby we got online distro packages. I'm guessing there was a cost associated but it wasn't much when bundled with the physical media order. That gave us access to as many (or few) of the online services as we wanted. In terms of ROI, it brought extremely low value...we made more from Bandcamp and sales via more focused vendors like Laser's Edge & Wayside than we ever made from the other outlets. But if you just want to BE on those platforms to "grow an audience" then that's one route.

    IMHO: I openly question exactly what one means by finding an audience nowadays. If you're here on PE, then congratulations: you've already found that audience. Especially if you're one of the folks who actually engages with the community and doesn't just post self-promotions and nothing else (all of us here in this thread are quite comfortably in the former category ). If one believes that there is some vast untapped market out there beyond what is already present here....well, best of luck. In my decades of experience, it doesn't exist.

    To that end, it's why I really just use two services: YouTube for those who want the universal experience, and Bandcamp for folks who (sorry) actually matter to me as an artist. Spotify is no better than YT and at this point YT is still more widely used. Other streaming platforms are almost literally pointless in my opinion. I know some folks like Soundcloud but I personally don't think SC offers anything that YT doesn't also offer, and with a far wider reach than SC will ever have.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

  9. #9
    I use Bandcamp, mostly for old stuff and completed albums and SoundCloud for new stuff. YouTube would be an option, but I don't know how to do that and you have to add visuals. I rather spend my time on composing.

    But my audience is very small.

  10. #10
    FWIW, I use some built-in app in Windows to make quick videos using a static image and a WAV file. Free to upload, and as of now unlimited uploads, to YouTube.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    I use Bandcamp, mostly for old stuff and completed albums and SoundCloud for new stuff. YouTube would be an option, but I don't know how to do that and you have to add visuals. I rather spend my time on composing.

    But my audience is very small.
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    FWIW, I use some built-in app in Windows to make quick videos using a static image and a WAV file. Free to upload, and as of now unlimited uploads, to YouTube.
    Yes, I agree with you John, it's quite easy Renate to just upload a single image and use that for your wav file for YT.
    The software John is referring to is very easy, you just upload your wav and then the image and it will load the image to fit the audio file from start to finish.

    I really only make videos most of the time so I can embed(Facebook video) my new songs on my Facebook page. I find most people don't click on a SC or YT link on Facebook and have to leave the FB page, but if it's right there on your feed then you get more looks. Mainly just for friends and family, and half of them don't respond.

    SC will allow people to download your file in the quality you uploaded such as WAV or FLAC, but for streaming it's compressed.

    I think most of us can agree, building a fan base is not in the program and a follower to me, is my cat following me around the house waiting to get fed. lol
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

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    Quote Originally Posted by clivey View Post
    I think personally I would always baulk at handing over any cash at all. That smells like " Vanity Project" to me but I suppose all this stuff is about exposition of Ego.
    You've captured the essence of what drives me as a musician...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I really only make videos most of the time so I can embed(Facebook video) my new songs on my Facebook page. I find most people don't click on a SC or YT link on Facebook and have to leave the FB page, but if it's right there on your feed then you get more looks. Mainly just for friends and family, and half of them don't respond.
    Yeah YouTube is the only venue where my play stats have ever cracked double digits. I also like it for posting music because the comment feature makes it easier to interact, both as a musician and as a listener. I'm not at all a visual artist and have no particular skills in videography but I've actually had a bit of fun making a couple of videos for my own things. There's so much slickly generic content that people respond to things which feel authentic even if they're kind of ridiculous or poorly made. And if you can edit audio then you can teach yourself basic video editing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBES View Post
    Yeah YouTube is the only venue where my play stats have ever cracked double digits. I also like it for posting music because the comment feature makes it easier to interact, both as a musician and as a listener. I'm not at all a visual artist and have no particular skills in videography but I've actually had a bit of fun making a couple of videos for my own things. There's so much slickly generic content that people respond to things which feel authentic even if they're kind of ridiculous or poorly made. And if you can edit audio then you can teach yourself basic video editing.
    I've enjoyed both your music and videos Hans. I especially like the creativity you used for the video where you printed the lyrics on notes of paper..
    I have no idea what my stats are for any of the places I post.
    Bandcamp broke my heart when I first posted there and saw the stats for a upload I'd done.
    And Youtube will tell you how long someone watched before bailing out. Too many 20 second and out views, so I quit looking. lol

    I haven't developed a thick skin yet, but find the Ray Charles method of checking stats works well for me.
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  15. #15
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    IMHO: I openly question exactly what one means by finding an audience nowadays. If you're here on PE, then congratulations: you've already found that audience.
    Could have fooled me. I try not to toot my own horn too much, but I post in the appropriate forum when I make a new album and I always advertise in my sig, but the silence has been deafening. Totally understandable, of course, for reasons that have been well explicated here. Even for the last album, which was relatively proggy. What does it take to at least get a review?

    But I’ll keep at it until I’m too weak to press a key. I may be yelling into the void, but what else can I do? If I couldn’t make the music that’s in me I might as well just check out. Even if it’s like my next album, which is going to be an avant-garde electronic piece inspired by Subotnick that will bomb so hard it will make Rats’ Alley look like a Beatles album.

    The fuckers can ignore me, but they can’t stop me.
    Celebrating one year of the legendary RATS' ALLEY on CD and LP
    "His best album yet. Mix of Prog, electronica, jazz and experimental." - Amazon review
    https://michaelpdawson.bandcamp.com
    http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Pr...MCD-spc-6.aspx

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Could have fooled me. I try not to toot my own horn too much, but I post in the appropriate forum when I make a new album and I always advertise in my sig, but the silence has been deafening. Totally understandable, of course, for reasons that have been well explicated here. Even for the last album, which was relatively proggy. What does it take to at least get a review?

    But I’ll keep at it until I’m too weak to press a key. I may be yelling into the void, but what else can I do? If I couldn’t make the music that’s in me I might as well just check out. Even if it’s like my next album, which is going to be an avant-garde electronic piece inspired by Subotnick that will bomb so hard it will make Rats’ Alley look like a Beatles album.

    The fuckers can ignore me, but they can’t stop me.
    I was simply referring to potential audience, not guaranteed audience.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

  17. #17
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    I was simply referring to potential audience, not guaranteed audience.
    Oh sure. But it gave me an opening to vent. ��
    Celebrating one year of the legendary RATS' ALLEY on CD and LP
    "His best album yet. Mix of Prog, electronica, jazz and experimental." - Amazon review
    https://michaelpdawson.bandcamp.com
    http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Pr...MCD-spc-6.aspx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Oh sure. But it gave me an opening to vent. ��
    My biggest view count was a vid I did of a short flight between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
    Guys how exactly do you embed YouTube vids. I try to use the film icon but no joy occurs.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=innROxTo0Cw

  19. #19
    That looks like a mobile link (m.youtube). I am guessing it needs to be the standard link instead.

  20. #20
    Here...I clicked your link, got to the video and then picked the link generated by the Share option, and this happened:

    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Here...I clicked your link, got to the video and then picked the link generated by the Share option, and this happened:

    Thanks for the advice.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Or in my case, Pay to Be Ignored.
    This is why we need to help each other out.. Fiverr kept rejecting my EIN #, but it seems to be very popular. I've tried upwoke (also free) to no luck. I've had better luck on YouTube, but lately, I've been selling on accident.. I'll be in a chat room, and someone asks if I have anything on YouTube, and when I send it to them, they'll ask for more, and it's very convenient to be able to send an entire album over the internet and get paid in less than 10 minutes. It's also good because I'm not doing any business with Amazon anymore. I stopped getting royalty checks when they switched over their publishing service from CreateSpace to whatever, and to make a long story short, I even tested it out and bought a few copies of my own CDs! And I didn't get paid, and it's been a few years, and they are required by law, even if it's a $28 check, which I have received before.

    Maybe there's just too much saturation? I don't use "social" media, but even when I used fakebook, out of the 420 "friends", not a single person would even buy an album or a book for $5. No likes, no comments. BUT, you could always use them to advertise your ... whatever.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortSahlFan View Post
    This is why we need to help each other out.. Fiverr kept rejecting my EIN #, but it seems to be very popular. I've tried upwoke (also free) to no luck. I've had better luck on YouTube, but lately, I've been selling on accident.. I'll be in a chat room, and someone asks if I have anything on YouTube, and when I send it to them, they'll ask for more, and it's very convenient to be able to send an entire album over the internet and get paid in less than 10 minutes. It's also good because I'm not doing any business with Amazon anymore. I stopped getting royalty checks when they switched over their publishing service from CreateSpace to whatever, and to make a long story short, I even tested it out and bought a few copies of my own CDs! And I didn't get paid, and it's been a few years, and they are required by law, even if it's a $28 check, which I have received before.

    Maybe there's just too much saturation? I don't use "social" media, but even when I used fakebook, out of the 420 "friends", not a single person would even buy an album or a book for $5. No likes, no comments. BUT, you could always use them to advertise your ... whatever.
    I keep hearing and reading about the resurgence of vinyl and about how that's the way for independent musical acts to go regards getting heard and plays.

    The problem is it's just so damned expensive.
    Until someone actually addresses this and there is a possibility of really limited small pressings, then I can't see me investing in what would for me just be a vanity release.

    We live in hope though. Until then. digital at least gets your stuff out . However pathetic the numbers may be

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by clivey View Post
    I keep hearing and reading about the resurgence of vinyl and about how that's the way for independent musical acts to go regards getting heard and plays.

    The problem is it's just so damned expensive.
    Until someone actually addresses this and there is a possibility of really limited small pressings, then I can't see me investing in what would for me just be a vanity release.

    We live in hope though. Until then. digital at least gets your stuff out . However pathetic the numbers may be
    Maybe they're like basketball cards and fluctuate? I bought my first records in the mid-90s, wasn't even an adult yet, and they were so expensive. 5-10 years later, records were so cheap. I remember a friend wanting to sell 225 great records for $25. I was going out of town, so I made sure my cousin got it, but also still waiting for him to reveal a good song he discovered! But now, I think it's a status symbol thing. You should check out garage sales, thrift stores, who get their stuff from donation, and have no idea how much records are worth. Maybe Craigslist or Ebay -- lots of people are desperate and need to pay bills and will sell a bunch of albums for real cheap to get a quick sale.

    This documentary isn't too old, but I enjoyed it very much when I saw it about 3-4 years ago


  25. #25
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortSahlFan View Post
    This is why we need to help each other out.. Fiverr kept rejecting my EIN #, but it seems to be very popular. I've tried upwoke (also free) to no luck. I've had better luck on YouTube, but lately, I've been selling on accident.. I'll be in a chat room, and someone asks if I have anything on YouTube, and when I send it to them, they'll ask for more, and it's very convenient to be able to send an entire album over the internet and get paid in less than 10 minutes. It's also good because I'm not doing any business with Amazon anymore. I stopped getting royalty checks when they switched over their publishing service from CreateSpace to whatever, and to make a long story short, I even tested it out and bought a few copies of my own CDs! And I didn't get paid, and it's been a few years, and they are required by law, even if it's a $28 check, which I have received before.

    Maybe there's just too much saturation? I don't use "social" media, but even when I used fakebook, out of the 420 "friends", not a single person would even buy an album or a book for $5. No likes, no comments. BUT, you could always use them to advertise your ... whatever.
    That's a problem with the "democratization" of the internet in general. Yes everyone has a voice, but can one voice in billions of voices truly be heard? A couple of decades ago my parents asked me to help them set up a website, to sell their crafts. This was before Etsy. I told them they'd also have to pay for advertising. It's one thing to have a website. It's another thing entirely for people to actually find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by clivey View Post
    I keep hearing and reading about the resurgence of vinyl and about how that's the way for independent musical acts to go regards getting heard and plays.

    The problem is it's just so damned expensive.
    Until someone actually addresses this and there is a possibility of really limited small pressings, then I can't see me investing in what would for me just be a vanity release.

    We live in hope though. Until then. digital at least gets your stuff out . However pathetic the numbers may be
    With our current high oil prices, you can expect those costs to spike even higher. Sooner rather than later.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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