Online music platforms for connecting, distributing, and networking

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The indie musician has any number of online music platforms and musician resources at his fingertips – get online and start using them!

Online Music Platforms

This article on online music platforms was written by Jonathan Bond at Music Gateway.

It is now easier than ever to work globally to push and promote your music as an indie musician, artist, or band through the use of various online music platforms that are now available to you. These online music platforms provide access to a wide audience of potential fans and industry professionals, and with so many out there, it’s worth taking a look at some of the innovative and essential online resources for indie musicians that can help boost your musical career and profile.

Connect with fans

To connect with fans, using the obvious social networks that aren’t specific to the indie musician is a practical necessity. The usual suspects include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram. It’s likely you know about these social media platforms, but here are a few tips on using them to their best advantage.

Don’t spam. Yes, you can let fans know about your new releases and gigs, but keep in mind that many users of social media platforms are online to socialize and wind down. They don’t want to be constantly sold to. Keep your updates, posts, and tweets conversational and about interesting topics or insider knowledge of your artist and band life beyond the music. Give them something engaging and different.

Appeal to your target audience. You should have some idea of who your target audience is when you establish your music marketing strategy. What kind of social media posts will engage them? What a 14 year old may be interested in on your Facebook band page may not apply to a 21 year old. You want to generate interaction with your fans through these social media platforms, so think well about what will get them interested or may spark debate and comments.

Keep updates short. I mainly address this to Facebook band page updates and YouTube videos. Many frequent users of social media have a short attention span. With the great variety of content available to them, you must keep them engaged to get them to listen to you, so keep it short and snappy. I know whenever I see an essay of a Facebook post or 10-minute YouTube video, I instantly switch off. Keep updates to a few lines at most and videos between 2-3 minutes or 5 minutes if you are REALLY good. Longer posts and ideas may be better spent on a musician blog.

Distribution

There are a variety of ways to make your music available online. The easiest ways of putting up your music is through online music platforms such as Bandcamp, SoundCloud, RootMusic, and ReverbNation. They allow you to put your music up for free and for optional download.

When you’re stepping it up a notch, get your digital music and physical CDs on the big online stores and music aggregators like CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

Of course, music streaming platforms are the newest ways of consuming music online. The debate on how beneficial they are to musicians is ongoing, but the theory is you either have a large following, get many listens, and generate royalty payments, or use them as a promotional tool to get people to listen to your music, which may result in CD sales and attendance at live shows.

The online world has also made it possible to take control of your career and manage your direct-to-fan interaction. Online music platforms such as Topspin allow you to grow your audience, communicate with fans through efficient mailing list tools, and sell music, video, merchandise and ticket bundles. As a result, the average transaction across the Topspin platform is more than $20.

Networking

Once your music is posted and you’re building a name, think about networking through the online world. Work with others through collaborations, get your tracks remixed, or network your way to signing your first record or publishing deal! Networking can be accomplished through attending music conferences, working locally in your music scene, and via innovative online music platforms such as Music Gateway, the music industry’s global business platform which connects indie musicians and people in the music industry.

There are a variety of online music platforms and social media outlets for the modern indie musician to use, it’s just about finding the right ones and using them effectively. Get out there, explore, and utilize the online world. The power is in your hands.

Music Gateway is an innovative new business platform for music professionals offering FREE project work opportunities globally. The site already has 9,000+ registered users comprising of musicians, singers, producers, record labels, publishers, and studios. Music Gateway aims to level the playing field for everyone in the industry by providing a simple and easy to use platform that generates a wealth of opportunities for professionals. Find Music Gateway on Twitter @Music_Gateway and Facebook. Find out more and start collaborating at www.MusicGateway.net.

Play button image via ShutterStock.com.

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10 thoughts on “Online music platforms for connecting, distributing, and networking

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  6. Good article, and good advice about distribution. Bandcamp, Reverb Nation, etc. are definitely good platforms now, and sites like CDBaby (as you mentioned) seem to be at the forefront of the future of distribution.

    The Berklee College of Music recently put out a video series discussing the future of distribution, publishing, etc. for musicians. It is really interesting…check it out here: http://adamackbeats.com/video-what-does-the-future-hold-for-independent-music-artists/

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