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What next with our music?

October 30, 2018


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Making music is easy. Getting anyone to listen to it is hard.

We’ve been making music since about 1988. We’ve lived through huge changes in the music industry and have seen entire genres, scenes and release formats come and go.

We’ve churned out many cassettes, CDRs, CDs and downloads, to varying degrees of success. Fortunately for us, we do it for the love of making music and not for money – because there has been very little of that. Just an observation, not particularly a complaint.

A very significant development has been the arrival of subscription streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music etc. We resisted for a while, not least because of the incredibly small amount of money these outlets pay to the artists, but it is now the case that more than half of all music consumption is by streaming. If we want to be heard, we need to be on there. Also, it seems that the Playlist has replaced the album for much of the public.

We initially decided to use an aggregator, Tunecore, that we have used before for other distribution. There is a relatively small fee for each album, renewable annually. However, we have no money and don’t want a large annual renewal bill to pay by having multiple albums online. So, we put together a “greatest hits” compilation of tunes by Secret Archives of the Vatican and Thousand Yard Prayer called Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science. Then we added separate compilations for each of these acts, Chronicle and The Story So Far.

The Story So Far cover  Chronicle SMALL

Then we discovered another aggregator, DistroKid,  which has a slightly different payment model. There is a single annual fee (roughly similar to that for a single album on Tunecore) and you can upload as many albums and singles as you like. So. we’ve been uploading various items from our back catalogue. The process is quite simple and they send it to many online stores and streaming services, including some specialising in China and the Middle East.

Just after we did this we heard that Spotify is now allowing direct uploads by independent artists at no cost. However, it’s still in trial mode, among about 200 American artists only. There is no information about when the rest of the world will get access to this. Seems like a good thing to us, though.

However, the big problem with Spotify is that they get 20,000 new tracks per day. Holy cow! How can anyone get heard in that sea of noise?

Get on official Playlists!

Easier said than done. New material can be presented to Spotify‘s curators for consideration a couple of weeks ahead of release. That’s no use for our back catalogue. We could present new material (there is some ready for release) but our life-long difficulty still exists: we don’t fit into any standard genre. None of the official Playlists are right for our music.

Our next battle, then, is how to get noticed on Spotify, how get on popular unofficial Playlists and how to get added to individuals’ Playlists.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2018 5:11 pm

    I for one very much enjoyed your podcasts. They introduced me to your music and a slew of other new (to me) music. Can you take that idea over to Spotify to get more listeners? Also note that musicians, both established and new on the scene, are having to make their dough by playing live…

    • November 1, 2018 6:36 pm

      Thanks for taking time to comment. Actually, we’re already trying that. We’ve created a few Playlists (including one based on artists who have appeared in the podcast). Same problems, though. How to draw them to people’s attention when there are thousands already.

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