Creating good music is never enough. You might have created a killer track, but unless you can get these sounds featured in the right places, nobody’s gonna hear them.
Luckily, we’ve got your back. These are 5 highly effective but totally free ways to promote your music. Try them out and sound off in the comments for your favourite (free) promotion tips.
1. Let YouTube gamers use and monetize your music
Sure, music channels like UKF might garner the most interest-based attention. After all, subscribers of these channels subscribe specifically for the music. But don’t ignore the non-music related YouTube channels. Send your music out to a few YouTube gamers and offer them royalty-free use of your music in exchange for a link to your channel or a buy link to your track.
Now, keeping these gamers happy and creating a healthy relationship is key here. What you don’t want to do is monetize their videos for a quick quid. You have every legal right to make money from their video given that they’ve used your music, but these gamers won’t even consider your sounds for a second video if it means missing out on advertising revenue. For many of these people, gaming videos is a second income and for a lucky few, a full time job.
2. Torrentify your music (seriously)
“Upload my music to torrent sites, are you mad?” No, we’re not mad and this is an incredible way to promote your music, for free. The torrenting and piracy world is huge, so you should take advantage. Create yourself a Mininova account and upload a free release. You’ll be amazed at how many downloads you’ll get. Yes you won’t get paid, but what would you rather see? 5000 people downloading your music, or 100 plays on Spotify, paying you 0.009p per play?
Obviously you wouldn’t want to do this for every release and it’s not healthy for the industry to give away too much free music, but you’ll gain some huge exposure. Just don’t forget to add metadata to your MP3 and links in the description of the upload. And finally, you can’t do this to releases you’ve signed to a label – that would be illegal.
3. Chase down music supervisors
You might be unfamiliar with the term music synchronisation. In short, it’s the placement of music over visual media. If you take a look on IMDB and choose a film, in the credits you’ll see ‘music supervisor’ – these guys have selected the music for that particular film or TV series. Normally the music supervisors will pay you a flat rate for the use of your music, but services such as PRS/PPL will pay you revenue for every time that piece of music is heard by an audience, but you’ll need to register your music’s ISRC with them first.
Familiarise yourself with these music supervisors and find out who they work for, what music they are interested in and so on. The ultimate goal is to get their email address; politely contact them, explaining who you are and give them a streamable link to your music. They’ll receive a lot of music, so be patient and don’t batter them with another 10 emails. Also, don’t set your fee too high as music supervisors are on a tight budget, be realistic and think about the audience the film or TV is going out to.
Alternatively, upload your music to synchronisation websites and let them do the hard work for you. These websites will add your music to a pool and this pool will be sent to music supervisors to flick through. Remember, these websites will also take a % cut on the agreed sale of your music.
4. Create a killer sample pack
A great deal of work can go into creating a killer sample pack but the benefits can be monumental. Bundle some old and new drum loops, bounce a few creative effects and include a few of your fattest synths, and let other producers use them freely.
Giving away your samples for free needn’t be fruitless however; uploading the zip to your site with a social locker or a mailing list subscription will create opportunities for you to reach out to your fans at a later date.
Which leads us onto my next point…
5. Keep it in the family
You might notice that many artists share fellow musician’s releases on their social pages. And more often than not, these people reside within the same record labels. That’s not a coincidence, it’s planned. Whether you’re a PR guru or a lonesome producer, there’s always opportunities to share and support one another.
Reach out to a few artists with a similar sized fanbase, create a private Facebook group to discuss your tactics and post your links and work out a plan to share your audience regularly.