It’s simple common sense..the more clicks it takes to get to your music, the harder it will be for people to hear it, and without people hearing it, there’s absolutely no chance at making a sale.
The biggest problem here really lies in the way that the internet is structured. The web is a very visual thing in it’s nature. Photos or Artwork can be posted up almost anywhere, and once seen, the damage has been done. With music this is not the case. People mostly have to rely on links to attract people to their music. There’s nothing to distinguish 1 link from any other link. There’s not even a special kind of link for music. It sounds weird, but the web is just not set up to handle music yet.
It seems sales, or even downloads, are directly related to clicks, because of this link phenomenon. The best possible scenario would be that your music just plays, but since that seems like it would be pretty annoying, especially if everyone started ear spamming you all at once, I don’t think that is going to start happening.
What would be ideal, however, would be something like a song recommendation engine, that was built specifically for independent artists, in order to introduce people to new music, but so that people could be almost certain they would like the music even before they hear it. That would truly be the best situation.
The best way I can think of to make sure you like the music before you hear it would be to have your friends hear it first so they can tell you if it’s good or not. This, as it turns out, is not so hard to do online. Social networks are full of sharing capabilities, but none have stepped up to the music problem in the right ways yet.
If there was a system where people could press play on their radios, and it would automatically play the music from their friend’s playlists, with a lot of cool other filters like mood or newest, the click number would tick down to zero. This way, the music would spread quickly, as long as it’s good enough to pass through people’s friends first, giving artists the best possible chance at a sale, and a better way to reach their target demographics. If you like a song, and save it in your playlist, you automatically introduce it to everyone following your playlists. It’s actually pretty standard social network stuff, used in a cool way.
Another way to achieve this is to use a continuos tagging system where music could be tagged by both the artists and the fans, continuously, and users could then type in a bunch of keywords that describe the music they wish to hear, hit a button, and the music that matches their keywords would just begin to play..almost like Pandora but more social.
A music sharing system like either of these could even make piracy irrelevant by allowing artists to track their plays and page views, and begin to generate ad revenue based on popularity, giving them the freedom to give all their music to their fans for free, and allow them to share all they want. The more sharing, the more profits for the artists, and it’s a win-win because the fans get all their music free too. That’s just another example of how the web’s trends can be focused better to work for the public’s common interests, instead of against them.
I am very happy to say that a combination of both of these systems together is currently being developed and tested, and should be made available some time this spring or summer to begin beta testing. It’s called Beat-Play. To sign up for beta testing, visit here.
Until then, reducing clicks is still the name of the game. There’s some pretty cool tools out that are starting to catch on to this as well. One new one out is called tinysong. Here is an article that explains more about it. It doesn’t quite reduce the clicks to zero, but it’s a step in the right direction. The best thing to do is to keep searching. There will be tools made to fix these problems, I assure you that.
If you can’t change the current environment, create your own! That’s what Beat-Play is for independent artists.
Sign up to Beta Test Beat-Play at: http://MusicWithoutLabels.com
Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder, President, & Independent Artist – Beat-Play, LLC