In the shifting landscape of the music industry, more and more artists are turning from traditional record labels to streaming services to get their songs and their names out there. Streaming platforms like Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Pandora and many more offer free online access to fans and new marketing channels for musicians, known and unknown.
Technology Offers New Tools
Savvy up-and-comers and seasoned music veterans alike are choosing to go with the flow of technology and take advantage of the ever-widening audiences provided by streaming music services. These sites offer good streaming quality, millions of music options and the ability to customize playlists. Technology has opened the music market to a worldwide audience that both fans and artists can take advantage of.
But the Internet is a double-edged sword. While it can take an unknown such as Justin Bieber and make him a star, it can also bring him?and anyone else?crashing down into notoriety, with a long-lasting, negative image. Let’s take a look at music streaming platforms, followed by a closer look at musicians and the need for reputation management through a professional service such as Reputation Defender.
Music Streaming Platforms
There is plenty of competition in this arena, with more and more platforms coming online every day. Below are some of the top sites and some of their features.
- Spotify: Great streaming quality and millions of music tracks. It offers individual artists, bands and albums and a user-created playlist. Access from all major platforms, including Windows, Android and more.
- Deezer: Launched in 2006, this site has a catalog of about 30 million music options and is available on most platforms. Try it free for the first month, then you will be limited to two hours, or you can pay for the upgrade and listen to high-quality tracks on demand.
- Google Play: Users can access the entire catalog, not just those available in streaming format. High-quality streaming available on all major platforms, including iOS.
- Pandora: Free streaming of about 100 radio stations with just a few skips. Good streaming quality and listeners can customize.
- Grooveshark: Large list of music and a simple search-and-listen format. Upload Mp3s and even friends’ playlists. Listen free with ads or access more features with paid subscription.
- iHeart Radio: Access to more than 1,500 live radio stations. Offers personalization and features more than 18 million songs and 4,500 artists. Available on Android, Blackberry, iOS and Xbox.
- Mixclouds: Get the free app to access radio, longer audios and more. Create playlists from 3 million-plus mixes. Available on major platforms, including Android and iOS.
Musicians and Their Online Reputations
So you’re using streaming sites to build a fan base and it seems to be working. Listeners are paying for your music and your name is creating a buzz. The best time to start monitoring your online reputation is at the very beginning, but now that you’re on your way, it is a necessity. Reputation management is not something you can achieve with a post to your Facebook page here and there or a tweet now and then. It’s not something even your manager can manage, and here’s why.
Everything Has Potential to Go Online
Every time you make an appearance, whether you’re shopping, eating or getting your nails done, someone might take your photo and post it online. Every time you sign an autograph, walk the red carpet, release an album, it’s a given that several people will Instagram, Snapchat, review or criticize you online. Heaven help you if you do something wrong, like drive while intoxicated. Your photo, especially if it’s a police mugshot, will be available to anyone.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management helps shape the public perception of someone by influencing online information about him or her. The first step is to monitor references on social media and search queries, then use analytics to understand public opinion. If results are negative, that means people, and lots of them, are Googling your name and misdeeds together and they now see you in a negative light.
Online search engines return information in order from most popular to least. If you and your misdeeds are at the top of the list, you need the help of a professional management organization such as Reputation Defender to counter with positive content, enough of it to push negative results off the first few pages of search results. Your strategy may include new, positive online content pushed out via press releases, interviews, blogs and a variety of public relations efforts. It can include responses to chats, posts on social media, tweets and more.
It may sound simple, but reputation management is a labor-intensive function that requires a strategy and enough people to carry it out. It should be an ongoing effort with daily monitoring that will keep you on top of any negative information. Your misdeeds and most unflattering photos will live forever on the Internet. Your good reputation should last just as long.