Music sharing sites have a lot of potential for marketing and the following sites are worth considering if that's part of your approach. This Is My Jam is currently getting a lot of attention for its requirement to feature just one track at a time which seems to appeal to overloaded music fans. Herd.fm is focused on making mobile music sharing an easy process and is another way to have a mobile presence. Cred.fm is a Facebook app with a Turntable.fm look and may have the hardest path ahead in terms of gaining users.
Here are three key points to keep in mind when approaching music sharing as a form of music marketing:
- Even if you have new music out, share some other people's as well to interest your listeners.
- Make your music available on sites like YouTube and SoundCloud since they are becoming the primary music streaming options for an incredible range of sites.
- Learn to quickly assess sites for such key aspects as user involvement and appropriate fit for your marketing style.
If you become easily impatient with the often slow nature of processes like music sharing or if you're just hitting the wall with too many things to do, it may not be in your best interest to choose such a route beyond more obvious sites like Facebook and Twitter.
But if this is your thing, please consider the following options for marketing via music sharing:
This Is My Jam
I was initially rather dubious of This Is My Jam and subsequently surprised at the amount of positive press it received. The basic concept is that you choose one track to feature on your account that will be playable for up to a week. TIMJ offers you various versions from sources like The Hype Machine and YouTube. You can do such things as follow other users and like or share specific tracks. But the focus on one song per person initially struck me as not quite enough to hold my interest.
Now that I've spent a bit more time with it I'm beginning to understand the appeal for listeners who may be overloaded by social networking and having to constantly share things to get attention. For artists, it offers a chance to feature a current single or highlight earlier releases. On the discovery side, I particuarly like browsing popular tracks. Given that individuals can be browsed as a way to discover the tracks they've chosen, it would be nice to have a similar gridlike display of members for browsing.
Laura Snapes has a nice interview with Matthew Ogle, one of the cofounders.
Herd.fm recently launched an iPhone app which is a further development of an app launched at last year's SXSW Accelerator that used geolocation as a key source of music recommendations. The new app focuses on mobile music sharing and has some interesting elements. Herd.fm starts by checking out your iTunes listening history and/or Facebook sharing activity to display your recent favorites and to recommend music. When a user shares a song or makes "mini-mixes" via their iTunes collection they also receive an automatic recommendation.
Herd.fm also employs what they call a "Trak Journey" that "displays a map showing where the [shared] song travels and who is listening across the country, and the world." Songs are sourced from SoundCloud and YouTube. The core concept is to create a consistent and easy mobile sharing experience using music streamed from free sources on the web so Herd.fm is another way to have a mobile presence while circulating your music.
Cred.fm is a Facebook app that is self-described as a "music-based social networking game started by a group of gamers who could not stop listening to their favorite tunes." It was demoed at SF MusicTech by creator Chris Swain who cofounded USC's Game Innovation Lab.
Swain wanted to combine social game elements with recommendations from friends and came up with what seems to be a variation on Turntable.fm sited on Facebook. Cred.fm does have potential but given the ebb and flow of Turntable.fm and related projects, it's similar look may be an obstacle to broad adoption. Worth keeping an eye on to see if there's real uptake and worth checking out more closely if the social dj approach fits your style.
More: I'm still finding Musicplayr to be a promising place for music sharing and believe it's one of those networks that's worth adopting early.
Any early adopters seeing strong user activity on promising new sites?
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.