Make no mistake. We are in the midst of a music revolution. It’s not a revolution in style, or in sound, but rather an opening-up of the industry. The power of the internet is making the music of indie artists increasingly visible and accessible, which is translating into more opportunities for the little guys to break through on their own terms in this notoriously tough business.
Getting Your Music Out There
As we sit here and wonder how-oh-how we will ever get heard, smart indie artists like U.S. trip-pop duo Hungry Lucy and Canadian pop-rockers Uncle Seth are battling for sales and fans alongside major labels by conducting homegrown promotional assaults via the “indie-net.” A strong online presence can allow any artist to put up a slick, professional front, connect with audiences in a meaningful way, and create a global community eager to buy their music and go to their shows.
Here’s what you do:
If you don’t have one yet, crawl out of your cave and get a website! And an account on Myspace-or-its-equivalent. Pack them full of songs and videos, and get fans hooked on you!
Next, get connected with a digital distributor such as CDBaby or the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). These guys are just like regular distributors, except that distribution of your music all happens online in inexpensive digital format. For a small royalty fee, they put your albums up on digital music stores like iTunes where they’re sold alongside those of major labels.
So how are your soon-to-be-drooling fans going to find out about your newly grab-able music? The next step is to submit tunes to indie podcasts, and podcasting networks (just do a quick web search — there are a ton of them). Instant free publicity!
Ready to go all the way? Start up your very own podcast. A weekly show is the ultimate way to make fans feel connected and involved with your very important, very happening work.
All this may sound a little intense at first, but it’s really pretty simple. “You certainly don’t have to be a web-geek to build an online presence,” says War-N of Hungry Lucy, “so technophobes shouldn’t shy away from setting up a website and building an online community. The visibility they’ll gain makes it well worth learning a few new skills.”
For those of you who have, in fact, crawled straight out of your cave and come directly to Sonic Weekly to find out how you can make your caveman band rich and famous, a brief introduction to the wonderful world of podcasting are in order.
Podcasting is a method of distributing multimedia files over the Internet via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. Music podcasts are kind of like radio shows. New episodes come out at regular intervals, and are generally hosted by a DJ that intros and discusses the music featured on the show.
Podcasts can be subscribed to via podcatchers like iTunes, which grab new episodes for subscribers as they come out. Often, podcasts are also made available on the podcaster’s website. Having a nice site where you blog, post news, and suck fans ever further into the heady and intriguing world of your personal mythos is part and parcel of the podcasting culture.
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