As the world of online music remains an extremely cluttered place, music identification apps such as Shazam and SoundHound that help fans pick songs out of the crowd continue to gain popularity, along with some competition from the likes of Facebook.
Let’s face it: it’s easy for music fans to get overwhelmed with options when it comes to finding their next favorite songs and albums. For the snobbier musical explorers, there’s blog after blog covering everything from Swedish black metal, to slacker rock. For hip hop fanatics, on top of blogs there are forums, and even platforms hosting mix tapes and singles that are uploaded seemingly by the minute. Music fans are constantly being inundated with new artists they’ve never heard before thanks to their favorite streaming platform’s “Related Artists” suggestion features.
With so much noise out there, it’s no wonder that artists are concerned about cutting through the clutter and standing out, so their work can be discovered and appreciated.
How Will Fans Identify My Music?
As fans find new ways to discover and connect with artists, the methods by which they choose to do so continue to evolve. But even with all that noise, has their mentality really changed all that much? Think about it: fans can spend hours of their week reading blogs and listening to suggestions from their friends, but at the end of the day, nothing compares to the gratification of hearing a new song while you’re out and about that immediately leaves you wanting more.
That’s why, thanks in part to our collective addiction to smartphones, audio recognition apps play such a crucial role in modern music discovery. As an artist, it’s important to know what music recognition apps are currently leading the market, how they work, and how they can help your fans go from enjoying your music to supporting your career.
Shazam continues to work wonders for the uninformed music fan who need to know more about that killer track they just overheard. (Not to mention, it can be a great method for solving that classic argument, “Who sings this?!”) Beyond just allowing a user to identify a song’s name and performer, it also connects a user to purchase or stream opportunities, offers lyrics, creates playlists of recently discovered songs, and much more. These features not only benefit fans, but make Shazam an appealing partner for artists hoping to turn listeners into lifelong supporters.
As Shazam’s market share continues to grow, their service continues to evolve. “Shazaming” (yes, Shazam is trying to make their name a verb) can now help fans learn more not just about music, but about commercials, movie trailers, and more. Keep an eye out for Shazam as it continues to grow – who knows what trick this popular app will learn next, and how it might benefit your career.
Similarly, SoundHound remains a strong competitor allowing music fans to identify music and even save those discoveries for later. While SoundHound has been less active in expanding the functionality of their service, many of your fans could be using SoundHound’s trusted app for song recognition rather than Shazam, making it worth keeping an eye on as well.
Up and Coming
Facebook, the worldwide leader in social network active users, is rolling out features on its mobile apps allowing musical adventurers to automatically identify and share their most recently discovered songs. We’re not sure who you’re following on Facebook, but beyond pictures of food and babies, and often poorly scribed political rants, we tend to see a LOT of music being shared in our news feeds. After all, next to wanting to be the first to discover an awesome new song, the second most important thing to folks in 2015 is letting everyone know that they were the ones that heard it first! Facebook’s music discovery offering may not be as well known yet, with Facebook’s powerful reach, seemingly infinite resources, and potential to turn music discovery into a social event, it may not hurt to begin thinking now about whether integrating your music with Facebook is right for your career.
So, if you think there’s too much noise out there for your music to stand out like it used to, don’t forget: people’s desire to hear a new song, identify it, and share it, isn’t dead, it’s just revamped; and you, the independent artist, can surely stand to benefit from it.