Musician Website Quick Fix #1: Turn Off Auto-start
This is the first of a series of quick posts we're working on to give simple, actionable tips and advice that can help you make your website a little better and more effective. The first is one that not everyone will agree with, and even within the Bandzoogle team, folks have different opinions. Either way, here's what the CEO thinks 😉
Turn off auto-start music
Top 2 reasons why you should have music auto-start on your site:
1. It's your site, and you should have it the way you want (and we like it that way).
2. Bandzoogle Founder Chris Vinson argues that people know they're coming to a band website, so they should be expecting to hear music. (Restaurant sites however, please…).
Top 5 reasons why you should NOT have auto-start on your site:
1. Remember, your fans are music fans. There's an excellent chance, when they visit your site that they are already listening to some music (iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, their stereo, etc.). Forcing your best track to get mixed with the latest Gaga single isn't the experience you want them to have.
2. You have no idea what volume setting their speakers or headphones are on when they reach your site. Can make for very unpleasant surprises, especially if at work, or at the library. Especially if you're a screamo metal band.
3. Tabs. More and more people use multiple tabs when they're browsing, and they might "right-click-open-in-new-tab" your website. That's how I do it. I'll see a link in a blog post, for example, right-click it, finish reading the post, and then go to the new tab to check out the site. So sometimes I will have music startle me out of nowhere and I'm not sure which tab it's from. Spooky, and a bad first impression.
4. The music that auto-plays competes with your own content. You have a cool new video ? Folks are then forced to pause or stop the player (if they can find it) and then start the video, or the one song they're curious about. Can be annoying. Give them control.
5. Waste. Often people will have their speakers muted or mute them when music auto-starts. That can mean a lot of wasted bandwidth for that fan, potentially slowing down your site for them.
This guest post comes from David Dufresne, CEO of musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle.
So I’m trying to write a review of a band. I have their physical cd they have spent money to send me. While listening to the cd I go to check out their website. I get blasted with their extremely outdated auto-play. Sure that was cool in the 90’s, but the web has grown. Try and grow with it. Stop auto-play!
David Nevue wrote in his book “How to Promote Your Music on the Internet” years ago not to use autoplay for all of the above reasons. All good reasons too!
Not a fan of any site that has something that automatically comes on. I generally close the browser immediately. It’s annoying can be jarring. I like the option to play a song or play a video. Never mind everyone surfing the net doesn’t always have the most up to date comp to surf from some there’s all kinds of mayhem that can occur when opening a website. it’s important think firstly about the experience of the visitor. That’s what’s most important. It’s not about what you like in this situation. It’s about what your potential fan would like. First impressions are lasting ones. It applies to the internet too.
I 100% agree with these comments. Music on a musicians site is a must. Auto-play a must-not.
I preach the same thing to anyone who will listen! Nothing like having the crap scared out of you when you get that unexpected blast of sound punch you in the face!
Thanks for the insights! I’m a dad working on my daughters site and never thought about the auto-play as a distraction… but now I do!
My question: would you turn off auto play on the landing page and then keep it ‘on’ the other pages?
Hey Tim, ideally I’d remove auto-play off from all your pages.
Having a music or video player auto-start on the MUSIC page could be seen as less of an offence (because, hey, you clicked on Music, so here it is), but I still think you should let people click “play” themselves.
Oh, and come build that site on Bandzoogle, we’ll make your life super easy. Check out our free ebook for more advice: http://bit.ly/XeGNXx
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