Soundcloud is a network that I have used for many years, both to find new music and to upload and share examples of my work. Soundcloud has an impressive following among music fans, with ninety percent of all uploaded tracks listened to within the first hour of uploading. My personal page does not garner a massive amount of plays – likely due to a lack of self-promotion on my part.
However, I investigated how best to increase followers and plays using the Soundcloud site, and found a lot of helpful information. For example, using a professional-looking profile picture and using established and popular genre titles to tag my work. The site also mentions that in-depth descriptions on each track help to attract people to your page and create a more professional feel. This is shown when looking at more popular pages outputting similar work to mine. For example, when looking at tracks by electronic producer Mornings, some have lyrics in the description box, some have recording techniques and almost all of them have links to his other sites (Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp etc. – which leads to a large amount of shares across these sites. It is this kind of multi-platform marketing that allows an artist like Mornings to gather a reasonably large following, particularly for music that is not necessarily ‘pop’.
Soundcloud also has an optional ‘free download’ feature that you can apply to any of your tracks. Once the above steps have been taken to try and gather an audience, however small, the free download feature can be incredibly beneficial. There are several sites which are very easy to find which will allow a person to illegally download a ‘non-free download enabled’ track with the minimum of effort – so it makes sense (at least for someone who is trying to get heard by as many people as possible) to allow people to get the track directly from you in the highest possible quality. For my short-term goals, this practice will be incredibly helpful.