If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Indie Music Embraces Streaming Music

image from www.google.comIt's no secret that some in the indie music community believe that Spotify, Rdio and other streaming music services don't pay enough to musicians and labels, and may cannibalize sales. True or not (and I'm in the, "it's far too early to know" camp), fans love streaming music.

Knowing that a core tenant of modern music marketing is to listen to the fans, some indie musicians are embracing streaming – not just by making their music available there, but by now also treimage from 28.media.tumblr.comating services like Rdio, Spotify, MOG and Rhapsody as important marketing channels.

Some, like Readymade's Young Hines debut their entire albums on music streamers Hines was on Spotify weeks prior to release. Others are sharing playlists of music they're listening to with fans on Facebook. Some marketers are using a trick they started on iTunes, and seeding playlists with their artists' songs alongside similar, but more popular, music. 

M83 Fans Build Ultimate Rdio Playlist

image from blog.rdio.comMute Records' M83 has put the music streaming playlist making in the hands of fans with a new Rdio contest on Facebook. The band is inviting users to build "the ultimate pre-show playlist". If chosen, they'll win a trip for two to Austin and have their playlist played for the crowd at the M83's sold out show at Stubb's.

  • Is it time for indie music to embrace music streaming? 
  • How are you marketing music there?


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  1. hype machine, stereomood, blogs.. at least they’re focused on indie music and discovery, unlike other sharks..

  2. The M83 album “Before the Dawn Heals Us” (not its most recent album) used to be available at Rdio but is currently unavailable. Its “Dead Cities” album is also unavailable at Rdio. Neither are available at Spotify either, by the way.
    So it’s really strange that M83 is doing a Rdio promotion that asks fans to create a playlist that ostensibly should include a lot of M83 songs when songs from two of its albums cannot be included in that playlist.
    The band’s latest album, “Hurry Up…,” has actually done quite well at streaming services. It looks like the band has flipped the approach of typical streaming holdouts. Rather than make available its full catalog and hold back its new release, the band is making available its latest album and holding back some of its catalog. So it looks like the band is embracing streaming only to the extent streams of its new release can drive purchases of its catalog. I’m not judging the tactic, but that’s what appears to be happening.

  3. These “legit” streaming services will be interesting to watch. Unlike “unauthorized” file sharing sites, artists can control if they’re music is included on the site OR NOT. One notification and they’re done.
    For unknown artists needing exposure, why not. For established artists it is your choice to decide if you want to continue to see your compensation ravaged by the next big thing.

  4. I started out with Indigoboom in order to get my songs out to folks using the internet. As part of my annual package, I keep all of my rights and get my songs on Rdio, Zune, Grooveshark, Rhapsody, and Spotify as well as 98 other stores/distributors. This seemed like a way to get my music out in the world and expose people to it that I would never come into contact with otherwise. This has been a much more affordable way to share my music with the world than thousands of dollars invested in cds. Not sure yet if it will be profitable but songs are selling. The first quarter for revenue will be the end of the month so I’ll know more then. There have been some bumps and quirks with meta-data that are still being ironed out but so far things are looking good. Some like Zune took a bit longer to go live, I’m not sure why. The CEO of IndigoBoom claims it’s their backlog. For some reason they still are not up on Grooveshark or Rhapsody. I’ll be cheching in with IndigoBoom again to see why. I’m a songwriter and it’s most important that my songs are heard, I’d like to have someone (a performer or producer) want to buy the rights but mostly I want to know that people value my music and get something out of it.

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