SoundCloud has become an important part of the musical web's infrastructure. It plays a particularly strong role in music marketing and musicians are finding ways to make use of it that go far beyond simply tossing up some tracks in hope of finding listeners. Here are 5 examples of music marketing from SoundCloud's SoundCheck blog.
SoundCheck is an excellent corporate blog with news of SoundCloud updates as well as regular examples of how musicians are using the service.
Federal Prism: Offering Stems for Remixes
Federal Prism, a record label co-founded by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, is taking a new approach to remixes by releasing stems for new music before it's available commercially.
"This content will be accessible to fans, remix artists, and aspiring producers who want to access the raw material for songs from all of the label’s artists including TV on the Radio, CSS, Freddie Gibbs, Kelis and more, and who want to take their turn playing with it, repurposing it, and making something new out of it."
As co-founder Jeff Bowers put it:
"All of our artists were more interested in allowing streaming with this level of interactivity with offering stems than they were in just being on a streaming site. It’s about participation. It’s about creating a music experience, rather than just us putting out a song."
Select remixes will be available on Federal Prism's SoundCloud account.
Lewis Watson: Unlocking a Track Piece-by-Piece
Lewis Watson's team pulled a neat trick to unlock a song in pieces based on preorders.
"The biggest challenge in this project was working out how to remove pieces of the song that hadn’t been unlocked yet...We created 100 versions of the audio file, removing 1% of the track at a time. All those files were then uploaded as a secret SoundCloud set, waiting to be called upon when needed."
As preorder numbers grew, more of the song was made available:
"The campaign launched when ‘Four More Songs’ went up for pre-order and helped to instantly push the EP to number 15 on the iTunes main album charts and the number one spot on the singer/songwriter chart: impressive for a product that wasn’t on sale at the time."
Big Sean: Freestyle Competition
Big Sean held a freestyle competition featuring 16 bars from his new single "Beware":
"Best flow will get the HALL OF FAME nod from Big Sean via Twitter & Facebook."
AlunaGeorge: Pre-release Album Streaming
AlunaGeorge chose SoundCloud to stream pre-release music from their debut album:
"Island Records ran an album reveal campaign in late July using our [SoundCloud] API, whereby a new track from the album was available to stream every hour, on the hour...on blogs that supported the band from their early days..."
"Throughout the campaign, every time a new track went live, the previous one was made publicly available for anyone to share, and when all 11 tracks were revealed, the album became playable over on alunageorge.com."
Babyshambles: Customizing The Buy Link
Babyshambles released audio of a new single as it went to radio but before it was available for preorder. So they customized the buy link on their SoundCloud player and turned it into a email newsletter link.
Here's more on customizing the buy link.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.