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8 Essential Places to Share Your Mp3 Online

Getting your music online is important for several reasons. It helps reach new audiences, it lets people engage and interact with your music and it makes buying your tracks an easier sale to make (“try before you buy”).

If you want to start using the internet to share your music online, here’s 8 great tools that we consider essential:

YouTube

What?

The biggest video sharing site in the world. You’ve heard about it, right?

Why?

YouTube is the number one place the internet user goes to listen to music online. It is the second most popular search engine in the world, with more people searching YouTube each month than Yahoo or Bing. If somebody hears your about your music, through the radio, from a friend or on a website, they are either going to google your name or YouTube it. If somebody searches for you on YouTube, you probably want to be there.

Besides search, YouTube is also a great way to have your music shared between fans. If somebody likes your video on YouTube they can share it to Facebook, Twitter or by email with a few simple clicks.

How?

Make a video, register for an account and upload the video. We’ll go into further details on how to do each part in later posts, but there are endless options and possibilities. The simplest way to start would be to use Windows Moviemaker or iMovie (which come free with a pc or a mac). Take a picture you use for the album artwork, add the song file to it and make that your video. It may not sound as glamorous as a full video, but it can be effective if the music’s good enough – Owl City’s “Ocean Eyes” has almost 8 million views doing just that. If you want to get slightly more complicated, include pictures of the lyrics and you could get over 20 million views!

Last.fm

What?

The original, popular music discovery site. Each day Last FM tracks the listening habits of millions of its users to understand more about each track and recommend music to people.

Why?

Last.fm works just like the Amazon recommendations “People who liked this artist also listened to X”. Millions of people use Last.fm to discover new music so if you’re not listed, you can’t get discovered.

You can also get paid royalties, but not much. The terms are complicated, but in essence last.fm will pay you a tiny percentage of a subscribers monthly fee if they listen to your track (and only if they’re a paying subscriber). To give you an example, for one of the artists we work with they’ve earned €0.73 for 1,466 streams this month. But it’s important to note that the royalties aren’t what you do it for, it’s the discovery.

How?

http://www.last.fm/uploadmusic

You can sign up as an individual artists or a record label if you represent multiple artists.

Bandcamp

What?

Bandcamp is a really nice, feature rich music hosting site. They describe themselves as not just another place to put your music, but the “home for your music online”. We tend to agree with them. Many of the artists we work with use Bandcamp as their main music section of their website, and it works really well.

Why?

It’s like having your own personal iTunes store for your music. People can listen to your songs, read the lyrics, download, pay, share – all through Bandcamp. As an artist you can vary the price depending on the quality of the audio file, you can give away free tracks in exchange for email addresses and you get some nice analytics too.

How?

https://bandcamp.com/signup

Facebook

What?

The worlds biggest social network.

Why?

With so many hundreds of millions of active users Facebook is usually the place that most artists connect to the largest portion of their fanbase. By uploading your music to the Facebook music player your fans can listen to and share your tracks with friends. New listeners can also use the player to easily preview your music before deciding to become a fan.

How?

When you have created a Facebook fan page for your band, visit the page and click “Edit Page” under the profile picture. Here you’ll find an application called “Music Player”. Click edit and start uploading.

Blip.fm

What?

Blip.fm is like the Twitter of music. When a user sings up they become a “DJ”, meaning they can create a live playlist by “blipping” a song as it comes into their head. If you sign up as a user and follow around 100 other users you’ll be presented with a playlist (much like your Twitter or Facebook newsfeed from your friends) consisting of all the songs they’ve blipped in the past few hours. Think of it like a crowdsourced DJ, with everyone you follow occasionally adding a new song to the playlist.

Why?

There are two main reasons to add your music to blip.fm. The first is discovery. If your music isn’t on the site then your fans can’t blip it and spread the word. The second is the potential to become an influential “DJ” yourself. If you’re willing to invest the time and energy into it you could gather quite a following by blipping a great stream of songs in your genre. This gives you the opportunity to blip one of your own songs every once in a while to get it out to a big audience.

How?

http://blip.fm/ – The sign up form is right there on the main page.

Sign up as a regular user, then browse to http://blip.fm/settings/music. You can add your music by linking to it elsewhere on the web (your site, youtube or elsewhere) or you can apply for a “music manager” account and upload files directly to be hosted by blip.fm. When we applied it was very straight forward and only took a few days to process.

thesixtyone

What?

Some of the smartest websites out there encourage people to contribute by turning the experience into a game – like foursquare do with location based reviews. Well that’s what thesixtyone does for music reviews. Users can get experience points and rewards for reviewing songs and discovering songs before they break. I got 1,000 bonus points for being the first to “heart” a song that then went on to reach the most popular list on the front page. This makes it fun for users to discover new music, but also incentivises them to seek out good undiscovered artists and help “break” them. The gaming elements get really clever (and kind of addictive) when you get into the “quests.” For example, my next quest to reach level 6 is called “Audio Explorer: Listen to seven songs in under-explored genres.(classical, blues, country, hip-hop, jazz, reggae, experimental)”.

They’ve recently redesigned the side and the artist pages look even nicer than before – check out http://www.thesixtyone.com/TheBrilliantThings/

Why?

Like the other discovery sites, if you’re not there you can’t be discovered. They also have download/purchase functionality on the site which probably won’t be a huge earner for you, but it’s a nice little bonus – you get 70c per sale, but the site is centred around streaming instead of downloading so the numbers aren’t huge.

How?

http://www.thesixtyone.com/

Click “login” in the bottom left. Select “join” and then pick either artist or label depending on your needs.

MySpace

What?

MySpace was once the biggest social network in the world, but it has since been overtaken and dwarfed by Facebook. It has always been the most music-friendly social network and has recently tried to rebuild itself as an entirely music-centric site.

Why?

It may be dying, but it’s not dead yet. Because it was one of the first of the large sites to have a big, simple and free music player in the centre of the page it was the default place that people went to to hear new music. YouTube is now the tool that most average fans use, but a huge number of people “in the industry” will still look up your myspace page if they want to hear more of your music.

How?

When you log into MySpace, under the profile menu choose “Edit Song Details” to upload a new song.

SoundCloud

What?

SoundCloud is like YouTube for Mp3s.

SoundCloud: The Tour from SoundCloud on Vimeo.

Why?

We use SoundCloud because it provides one of the simplest ways to upload a song, embed it on a website and let other people listen to or download it. It looks quite nice too.

How?

Get a free account at soundcloud.com/signup

Other notable mentions:

Pandora is the pioneer of internet radio. It’s key attraction is similar to Last.fm – getting your music discovered through recommendations. It would have made the list if it wasn’t so damn difficult to get your music on it! Their latest set of rules state that you have to have a physical CD for sale on Amazon before it gets listed in Pandora. It’s also US only.

iLike and Reverbnation are two good sites for sharing your music, but unlike the list above they’re not “essential.” If you have the time, set up a profile after you’ve tried most of the sites above. Each have some cool little features – iLike has a good Facebook page application and ReverbNation can be used to manage mailing lists.

Spotify has all the great advantages of Pandora, but also all of the restrictions. To get your music listed it needs to be sold through one of their partner aggregators. The site is also only accessible in selected countries.

Suggestions

So that’s our list of essentials, try them out and let us know how you get on. Do you have any more to add to the list?

3 Comments

Andrew Boyd 2:52 pm - 26th May:

Thanks for the Blip tip. hadn’t heard of it before now.

Spotify interests me due to its European appeal.

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