As streaming services grow to be the norm and more and more people turn to YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp and SoundCloud for their music listening experiences, it might seem overwhelming to bands trying to maintain an online presence. Do you have to use them all? Should you focus more attention on one over another? Which one is even best for your particular brand?
We here at Rocks Off don't particularly have a preference; we'll seek out music wherever we can find it. However, we've been thinking lately that for some bands, SoundCloud might be the best service of any for a variety of reasons.
It's not that we're in SoundCloud's pocket for any reason, but that site offers a few key advantages that might make it more ideal for your band, depending on what you do and what you're looking for.
5. Embedding Lots of services offer easy embedding into blogs, but Bandcamp's embedded player leaves a lot to be desired. SoundCloud really has this market cornered, and if you look for a stream of an album on almost any website, you'll find a SoundCloud player embedded. It shows you how many plays each song has, features a user-friendly layout, and works nicely on any blog.
4. Easy Downloading Not to pick on Bandcamp again, but oftentimes it can make downloading an album harder than it needs to be. The whole system of going to your e-mail to retrieve a link to the download makes it a lot more of a drag than the ease of simply clicking the download link on SoundCloud and having your download start automatically.
3. Comments One of SoundCloud's great features is that it offers you the ability to comment on songs, including leaving comments at specific times. You'll see any number of popular tracks littered with comments like "here's where the awesome starts" or something like that.
It might seem like this wouldn't be a huge feature, but in this day and age, everyone wants to be heard and everyone loves to interact. This also allows instantaneous feedback on your releases, which can really help smaller artists putting up early demos of their tracks.
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2. Playlists Another great feature of SoundCloud is that it allows users to create their own playlists composed of tracks uploaded by their favorite artists. As a band, this allows users to share your music with their friends through their playlists. It also allows your fans simple, quick access to their favorite tracks, so they don't have to look up your page every time to hear your songs.
1. It's Perfect for Demos and Mixtapes The informal nature of a SoundCloud release allows bands to drop any kind of tracks they want. This means demos, studio experiments and mixtapes. You can do this on other services, but SoundCloud features the ideal setup for this since it's not a service designed to sell your music.
You can embed links to buy your music on SoundCloud, but the service itself is more about free sharing and expression than it is sales. That means an anything goes mentality that can allow you much more freedom with your output and constructive criticism as you work through the process of creation.
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