Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Some Things Need to Change


So to keep in sync with making changes this year that are beneficial for me, I've been looking at the fact that I've supported particular brands for a good chunk of my life, simply out of brand loyalty. I still have the same email that I had in high school. I've been using the same website blog for probably more than 10 years now. I've been using the same music website for about 4 or 5 years now. When I really look at it, times are changing, but these services are not really helping me in the way that is targeted to me and my specific needs.

First of all, I think that it's time to change out my website a lot. I'm not even sure if I'm going to remain on Blogger after I do this. To be honest, the only reason that I've kept blogger this long is because I have learned a lot through editing HTML on that blog. But I could definitely take my skills to another platform, something with greater engagement Factor. In the last month or two I've been using Tumblr quite regularly, using it as a reflector of my blogger account. And one thing that I've noticed is that I've gained a lot of attention from total strangers who have discovered my blogs based on the hashtags. While I don't particularly care for the Tumblr Community, I like the way that the platform works. Since since every block template seems to since every blog template seems to be a ripoff of Wordpress anwy, i may just go that route.

 another thing that I've noticed is that music sales are way down from where they already were. I already don't make very much music from downloads. I won't get specific, but I can definitely say that if I used my music downloads for gas money, I'd be walking. No one seems to be downloading music from my bandcamp page. I see a few streams a week, but nothing significant. Nothing worth getting excited about. Just when I was getting ready to give up on bandcamp, they introduced a bunch of features that I thought would really be cool. Now don't get me wrong, the features are cool, they're just not useful for me. If you're Amanda Palmer, then yeah, use band can't because you have thousands of fans and you can utilize that tool. But for someone like me who is still building a core fan base, of the niche theme music of Christian Pop EDM (of the Michael Jackson Style), it simply doesn't work for me. There is little-to-no music discovery on Bandcamp, and they don't pay for streams. So while it's cool that I get unlimited hosting, even enough to do a audio blog, I'll never see a penny for the strings that I see running every week.

I've noticed features like download cards with something that I got excited about in the past. There was a while where I would staple download cards to every t-shirt that I sold, and pass them out at festivals. To this day, I don't think I've ever seen more than 10 download cards redeemed in the four or five years that I've used them. I've sold enough CDs to pay rent, but nobody cares about download cards.

However, people are willing to pay $10 to $20 a month to listen to my music on streaming sites along with other people's songs. So what that tells me is that streams are literally worth less than a dime a dozen, and download cards are worth less than that. That means that download cards are basically worthless. I can recall getting download cards from other artists and never redeeming them myself, so it's not that I'm complaining that no one uses them, they're just worthless.

So, I think that it's time to switch to a new platform, and I can definitely say it's not going to be SoundCloud. SoundCloud is more worthless than bandcamp. Because it doesn't even let you sell music or anything like that. There is a music Discovery Factor, but there's so much software out there that lets you rip songs directly from SoundCloud that it's almost dangerous to host there. The songs that get the most streams on sites like Spotify and Deezer (and my bandcamp page), are the songs that are not on Soundcloud. That probably means that they're being ripped right from the server, and there's nothing SoundCloud will do about it.  Anothe thing is that music blogs love to use soundcloud because it saves them from having to pay royalties. So, whenever I get a song featured by a music blog (like Rapzilla os someone like that, the 3000 - 4000 streams are basically wasted on my ego. No stream in the bank.
Not even YouTube does that.

So in conclusion, I'm going to be trying to find a website that suits my needs (which is fan discovery and engagement), and a new music hosting strategy that also allows for the same things, but at least let me collect royalties for streaming. These free sites are literally killing my career, and it's not like streaming sites don't let people have free accounts. To be honest, if people are willing to pay $10 a month for a Spotify account, then that means that they're a lot more serious about music than someone who visits SoundCloud.

As always, I'm open to suggestions.

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