I recently read an article about about how to choose between Soundcloud and Mixcloud. The author chose Soundcloud, and the final argument was: the music gets more plays.
It’s a common opinon but it’s pretty lame, isn’t it? Is the amount of plays really the most important thing? When I quit Myspace in 2007, some artists said “I would like to follow you, but it’s just not possible for me in my position”. Despite the epic crapness of Myspace, artists used it because … well, everybody else did! And now they’re using something else, for pretty much the same reason I suppose.
But Myspace wasn’t replaced by one, but several sites. A real musician today should be on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify and Bandcamp. Atleast. Because a sensible musician has to be easily available: quick access in as many places as possible simultaneously. If you’re not making yourself available, you’re either stubborn, stupid or lazy.
But content is everywhere these days. It’s like running water, except that it’s not necessary for survival. If it’s good we don’t really care so much, and if it’s bad we look for something else. It’s pretty much expendable. Right?
Modern distributors (such as iTunes) make money from ‘indie artists’ because they feel like they have to be there. And why? Because we are egocentrics who search for recognition and dream about fame, or money, or recognition, or something else. But if you look at it statistically, it’s not going to happen. Ever. It helps for promotion, you might say? Probably not, I’d say. Why would it? You don’t get promotion by “being on www”, do you?
A sensible solution is: use your own distribution channels and work on your communication skills. Inform the right people about your work, at the right time/place/blabla. Do quality work but remember that form is often more relevant than content, unfortunately. Don’t get bitter, just realise that all the smart kids think in terms of PR – intentionally or not – and so should you if you want to “succeed”.
The hardcore solution is: anonymous music distribution. Do you really need personal recognition for what you do? Maybe not? Put your music on 5TFU and feel the freedom of anonymity. Use silly aliases and troll your way through life. Fuck money and fame, just do it for the lulz. Have fun. Piss on social media and burn the flag.
A good example of ’troll distribution’ is to hide the music within videos. I found that a f ew years ago. The artist had interlaced an mpeg-video and an mp3 audio file. If you played it in VLC you’d see the video (with gaps every know and then) and if you played it in Winamp you’d get the music (with gaps). The music was some kind of beepy funk electronica.
It sounded great when I first heard it. Almost magically cool. Secret music! I still don’t know who did it. And you won’t know it if you find it either, I hope. What made it even better though, was that the video was an episode from Beverly Hills 90210. Original version, yo. Season 3, I think.
Yeah, I watch 90210. Hmm. Well, atleast I’m not using Spotify! :D