In this series, we’ll take a closer look into the tools and platforms available to musicians online and how they can help you publish, promote and monetize your music. Reaching your audience online is more complex than you may think, with many moving parts to consider. That’s why, as an independent artist, it’s important to learn about digital service providers and how to utilize them in a way that benefits you.
Tunecore is a service platform for independent musicians and labels. It offers packages for publishing, distribution, promotion, and administration of the earnings. This helps your music reach your fans and ensure the revenue generate from streaming and downloads makes its way back into your pockets. But there are a few key aspects to using systems like Tunecore. Our aim here is to demystify the process of publishing your music and make the world of online platforms a little easier to navigate.
1. Get creating before publishing with Tunecore
Now, as obvious as this may sound, here’s one of the most common mistakes made by independent musicians and creators: A singular song, album, or podcast does not constitute content. Baking a loaf of bread at home does not make you a bakery. Before you even think of publishing your music, you should have a steady and structured creation schedule on the go with a realistic goal in place. This means having a target of how many songs you will release each month with Tunecore, and a strategy of how you lead into your album release with each single or clip you publish. Research how independent and major labels approach this; it will help provide a template to work from when creating your own release schedule. Note that this is an active process, from planning to gathering and analyzing the data from your streams and downloads. Simply uploading your album to Bandcamp and expecting that action alone to reach your potential audience just isn’t going to cut it.
2. Content isn’t only about audio
More than ever before, the platforms we use to consume music are changing and as creators, we must change with them. Branding is one of the most important components in the success of any online media and it has become even more crucial when marketing music. The careful curation of the visual side of your output and the way you link it with your music release schedule can engage your audience with a lasting impact. See this as an opportunity to rarify yourself as a solo artist or band and help your music to stand out in the most unique way possible. Whether that means photoshoots or using claymation in your next video, you need to explore the extent of your creativity. Tunecore is one of many ways to publish your music online, so we know there is a staggering amount of music being released constantly and artists need all the help they can get to stand out from the crowd.
3. Social media becomes your ally with Tunecore Social
With your content factory churning out new content for release, you’re going to need the tools for rolling it out to your audience across the various platforms. Not only does Tunecore Social centralize your output, it also gives you the ability to edit and format your photos so you can optimize them for Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You can also track user engagement and compare your analytics and quickly gauge which content is working and which areas can be improved upon. These types of insights allow you to be constantly setting new targets for yourself and improving as you go. Monitoring your performance long-term makes it possible to mold and customize the strategy of your content roll-out to suit your audience. You will quickly learn how to make use of the strengths of the different social platforms to benefit your growth, engaging your fans every time you release something new.
4. Tunecore’s artist services can be useful in the long run
Tailored services like Tunecore Rewards offer benefits with a tiered system suited to your current trajectory. This gives you access to promotional opportunities through Tunecore’s partners, as well as the Artist Accelerator program and unique content from music industry pros. Once you’ve reached a certain level you qualify for the Tunecore Direct Advance program giving you a cash injection that deducts exclusively from your Tunecore account balance. Services like these maintain your position and keep pushing you onto the next stage in your career. The initial cost might be steep, bearing in mind that your music isn’t paying you back just yet. However, investment in the business side of your music raises the chances that you will reach sustainability as an artist. These expenses are as important as your equipment, mixing, and mastering costs, so try to cover all areas.
5. Promoting your music is an active process
Distributing your music to the 42+ digital stores and streaming platforms with Tunecore is only a start. Each time you release music, video, merchandise, or other visual content, you have access to data from your audience engagement. This is an opportunity to build your content strategy around those that want to hear your music. Pay attention to the countries where your music is most played and which platforms are most used. Your music may thrive in avenues such as internet radio which also provides listening stats from a new audience. At first, the workload of dealing with so many platforms can be overwhelming, but the more music you release, the more you’ll be able to focus your attention on the specific areas where your fans are accessing your music. Consistency and quality control are key factors, as they are in any other business.
More about Tunecore
- Tunecore official page
- Tunecore’s social media guide
- Audio rooms for musicians
- Facebook and Deezer’s new partnerships