If you’ve released some music recently and are surprised at how low the stream or view counts are, there are a lot of things that you can blame, but probably most of them aren’t at fault. Before you can fix the problem, you have to look inward first. Here are 3 reasons why your music probably isn’t being listened to, but take heart, there are solutions.
1. You haven’t found your audience yet.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your music sucks. There is a audience for what you do out there, although it may end up being smaller than you’d like, but you just have to find it first. How? If you have any fans already, ask them or your friends what your music reminds them of. If they mention a type of music or a particular artist, go hang out on those forums or groups, or follow those artists. Their audience is also your potential audience. Try an inexpensive Facebook or Twitter ad campaign ($3 to 5 per day) targeting those audiences. If your music resonates as it does with your current fans, you’ll have more new fans before you know it. Remember that this is a long process that happens over time though. You won’t get a huge following overnight, but it can be slow and steady.
2. You haven’t explored all of your distribution options.
You can’t just upload your songs to Tunecore or Distrokid and think you’re done. Videos are an important part of the mix for any artist, so make sure that you have both YouTube and Facebook videos available. In fact, upload your videos to Facebook and then promote them in the Ad Manager (don’t use Boost). You’ll be surprised at the reach you’ll get since Facebook favors videos over static posts these days. Can’t afford a big production? Don’t worry about it. A lyric video or even just a picture of you or your band over the music can perform just as well as a full-fledged music video.
3. Your online presence is insufficient.
It’s surprising how many artists are content to have a Facebook page as their online identity and nothing more. You really need a dedicated website as it’s the only thing online that you can truly control 100%. It’s the place for your bio, contact info, press pictures (meaning for the press if they write an article about you), upcoming gigs, videos, and music. It’s also the best place to get people to sign up for your mailing list (which may be your most important online tool). Yes, you need a presence on at least one social network (Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook – wherever your fans hang out), but make sure you take care of the basics first.
These 3 reasons may not be the only ones that keep the right people from finding your material, but taking them seriously will move your project forward a surprising amount.
For more information on how to build your online infrastructure, check out my Music 4.1 online music guidebook.