Top 4 Sites to Host Your Music On and Grow Your Fan-base
As an artist you should be reaping the rewards for your hard work, and regardless of what genre of music you make, you should not be giving your music away for FREE. That doesn’t mean you have to necessarily sell it, but exchanging a download for an email can be just as valuable in the long run. So we have compiled a list of the best websites to host your music on in which you can do just that. Excluded from this list would be sites such as Itunes, Google play store, Tune Core, CD Baby, Soundcloud, HNHH, Datpiff and PureVolume. The reason being is that you either get NO fan contact information or you get one hell of a commission taken out of your sales. So unless you’re up there in popularity with the likes of Adele, or Rihanna, and know your music will go viral on its own, you should undoubtedly be using one of these sites to distribute your music and strategically grow your fan-base.
“NoiseTrade is a service that helps artists connect to music fans. By way of our remarkable and embeddable widget, artists and fans can work together, exchanging music for a little information and giving fans ways to share music from artists they like.”
- Advertising on website
- Social & Email Sharing
- Upload up to 20 songs
- Name your price tips
- Gather fan information
Pros: What makes NoiseTrade so great is that there are NO, I repeat, N-O download limits which are common with most music hosting platforms of this caliber. In addition to that, instead of just giving your music away for free, your supporters have the option of tipping you. So if your music is worth anything to them you can expect maybe a little more than what you’re used to. Not to mention it’s free to use! They do take 20% of any tip you receive but that’s nothing compared to what you get in return.
Cons: Unfortunately, NoiseTrade doesn’t track the number of plays each track gets.
See It In Action: Click Here
Our Thoughts – NoiseTrade is AWESOME! You’ll love it! Try it, and see for yourself. Although, we’ll never use it because we’re not in the business of getting tipped.
“Topspin is a direct-to-fan marketing and retail software platform. You used professional software such as ProTools, Logic, or Final Cut Pro to create your art. Topspin’s software provides tools to help you increase awareness, build relationships with fans, and turn those fans into customers.”
- Manage your music, videos, images, and other digital assets
- Manage your physical merchandise and ticket inventory
- Create exclusive offers such as fan clubs and VIP memberships
- Bundle and sell all of the above in any combination you’d like, worldwide, in many currencies, without needing to worry about taxes, privacy, etc
- Book your own shows, sell your own tickets, and check people in at the door with your iPhone
- Build awareness with web, iPhone, and iPad-compatible streaming video players and sharing tools
- Gather email addresses as well as fans’ geographic information, personal interests, and more
- Build a relationship with your fans, gain their trust and communicate directly via email, Facebook, and Twitter
- Integrated ecommerce, marketing, fan management, asset management, and ticketing tools in one software package
- Bundling of digital audio, video, images, and/or any other file with physical merchandise, tickets, and fan clubs/VIP access, with break-out accounting of bundle contents when sold
- iPhone/iPad-friendly streaming players, widgets to collect email addresses, Facebook, and Twitter connections, and more
- Social and distributed commerce, placing your offers anywhere including your web site, Facebook, blogs, music discovery sites, plus plugins for WordPress, Drupal, Expression Engine, and Ning and easy integration into Goodsie, Virb, Bandzoogle, and more
- A solution for physical fulfillment which scales, from your kitchen table to integrated Topspin Fulfillment to the largest logistics companies in the world
- Ability to target emails to fans by their geography, purchase history, social influence, or how they found you originally
- A self-serve ticketing platform and iPhone ticket scanner which has sold tickets to Eminem in Yankee Stadium, movie theaters, 6,000 Pixies tickets in London, and your house party
- Ability to sell a membership, then sell any other product to members only. Fans login to your site with their Facebook, Twitter, Google, MySpace, Yahoo!, AOL, or other account
- Ability to pay multiple rights holders, from promoters to labels, merchandise, and fulfillment partners, with net accounting to the artist
- Fan payment via credit card, PayPal, and international debit cards such as Switch and Solo, plus support for many foreign currencies including USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, CAD, and AUD
- Payment of sales tax, removing the sales tax burden from you
- Reporting to Soundscan in the US and The Official Charts Company (OCC) in the UK
- Compliance with lots of things artists shouldn’t have to worry about such as COPPA, TrustE, EU Safe Harbor, etc
- A knowledge base and community forum for self-help, educational options with Berklee Online and in Topspin’s offices, plus dedicated customer support when you really need a personal touch
- No ceiling! Topspin is a professional-grade software tool for any level of artist, from the amateur punk band I rocked in high school to former Beatles!
Pros: Topspin is TOP-NOTCH! Get an MTV Page which would allow you to possibly get your video or song on an MTV network show(like my friend Ashlee Munn did and complained about). Integrated ticket selling application. Ability to sell merchandise. Professional recording artists use it(so you know it’s good). Profoundly low fees for bandwidth usage associated with offering free downloads. (15 cents a gigabyte)
Cons: Obviously nothing is free, but there is nothing wrong with frowning upon a company for charging us fees to use their service – $10.00 a month, 15% of merchandise sales, and standard Paypal credit card processing fees. Free account limits the number of fans and plays your profile can receive each month.
Our Thoughts: Did you read all those features? Topspin is a definitely a power-house in direct-2-fan music distribution, which is why a lot of the heavy-weights use it. Of course like most, there is limits to it being everything you could ever hope for as a band, which is why it’s not at the top of our list. However the ability to sell tickets AND possibly get your music on an MTV show is pretty friggin’ awesome.
“We’re a publishing platform for bands, or, anthropomorphically/arthropodically-speaking, your fifth, fully geeked-out Beatle — the one who keeps your very own website humming and lets you get back to making great music and building your fan base.”
- Multiple file formats
- Name-your-price downloads
- Real-time Statistics
- Search Engine Optimization
- Viral distribution
- Mobile friendly
- Physical + Digital sales
- Sell within Facebook
- Fulfillment Partner integration
- Discount codes
- Bonus downloads
- Design customization
- Multiple currencies
- Soundscan reporting
- Build your mailing list
Pros: 200 download credits. Free basic account.
Cons: 15% Revenue sharing. Tacky design.
Our Thoughts: Well if you’re reading this you probably know that everyone and their Momma’ uses Bandcamp. It definitely serves it’s purpose very well, but the interface isn’t as snazzy as others on this list. It also doesn’t offer as many of the features as others do. I think bands just use it because, like we said, everyone and their momma’ uses it. Chances are it was probably the first of it’s kind which gives it so much popularity.
“Stereoload helps you increase your Twitter and Soundcloud followers by requiring your fans to follow you before they can download your music.”
- SoundCloud Integration
- Unlimited Campaign Creation
Pros: Clean design. Social sharing. It’s FREE. No download limit.
Cons: Only utilizes Twitter and Soundcloud.
See It In Action: Click Here
Our Thoughts: StereoLoad is a pretty new platform as far as we know. While it doesn’t allow you to grow an email list, it does offer the ability to grow your social media followers which at the end of the day, is still better than giving your music away completely free. With it being a free service, there’s really no downside to using it. The cool thing about it is that if you make really good music and know how to market it correctly, SteroLoad can help you gain a significant amount of new followers on Twitter and SoundCloud.
In conclusion, if you’re serious about making a living doing what you love, you need to focus on growing your fan base, because in the future those numbers will need to convert to dollars. Anyone of these sites can definitely help you do that by capturing a simple email. I don’t know about you but most people check their email very often, and are much more likely to hit play on a track that is sent directly to them via email compared to hitting play on social media “marketing”. You have nothing to lose…
If there’s any other notable music hosting sites you think we missed and should add, please feel free to comment below. Make sure you like our Facebook page for valuable updates!
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