I was recently involved in a discussion on a group frequented by DIY musicians about the merits or otherwise of making your music available on streaming platforms like YouTube or Spotity. One musician held the belief that making the album available on such services was the equivalent of ‘giving it away for free’.
The same day, I went shopping and saw this stall
The shop was giving free food samples away to attract attention, to build an ‘audience’ round the table and to have an opportunity to engage and chat with the people tasting the free samples. They could chat about the quality and benefits of their products, serving suggestions etc.
In some respect, that’s how DIY musicians have to treat Freemium services like Spotify and YouTube. Think of them as platforms where people can ‘get a taste’ for your music. You can go on to develop a relationship with that person using social platforms.
Finally, at some time in the future you can monetize that relationship with gig tickets, merch, experiences etc. Allowing them to listen to your music online in the first instance gives them a ‘sample’ of you and your world. It’s a ‘hook’.
Whether you like it or not, streaming is here to stay. If you don’t put your music online for streaming, another musician will and you will lose the attention of that potential fan. It’s that simple. That’s the way that the market operates today. It’s up us as DIY musicians to find ways of using the current system to our benefit. Using Freemium streaming services is one such way.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?