Music promo is harder than it was in the good ol' days, and easy to use services like Soundcloud have become crowded and easily dismissed by industry gatekeepers. In this video, James Shotwell addresses these drawbacks and details some low-cost alternatives artists should consider.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
A smart marketing campaign may propel your next release into the spotlight, but you can’t get there without actionable data.
Music promotion is harder than it used to be, and it’s growing increasingly difficult with each passing day. The old method of compiling a list of contacts that artists then send a generic email to with a single link to Soundcloud or Dropbox page rarely produces results. Even worse, the results such efforts do produce are hard to quantify. Here’s an example:
Let’s say I have a new single to promote ahead of its official release. I upload the song to Soundcloud, set the stream to private, and then send the share link the service offers to 500 media contacts. After a few days, I check and discover the song has 250 plays. That information is good to know, but there are many questions Soundcloud cannot help me answer: Who listened to the song? How many times did they listen to the song? Did anyone start the track, but not finish it? And if so, who?
While the low cost of Soundcloud or Dropbox has long been attractive to artists on tight budgets, the use of such services requires talent to sacrifice the most valuable thing in promotion: Data.
In this episode of Music Biz 101, host James Shotwell addresses the drawbacks to promoting music on Soundcloud and offers a low-cost alternative method of promotion that is used by everyone from Chance The Rapper to Metallica.
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James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.