Guest post from the ReverbNation Blog
You may have heard the news concerning SoundCloud’s future. No one can see into the future, but what if SoundCloud does go away? What will happen to your music? How about your fans? Where will they go? IS IT TIME TO FREAK OUT YET?!!!!! Well, no. But, also, kind of yes.
Regardless of what actually happens to SoundCloud, this should be a moment of awakening for artists of all types. There are a few actions you can take – right…dang….now – to protect your music and your digital relationships with fans in uncertain times like these. And yes, before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room:
Is ReverbNation a good replacement for SoundCloud?
That all depends on what your individual needs are. We’d be willing to put our song player up against anything you can find out there in the online music stratosphere. It’s easy to setup, easy to use, and easy to share. You can customize the colors and size, as well as upload and share individual songs or playlists and albums. It works on mobile phones and tablets, and can be embedded on social media, your own website, or pretty much anywhere you want it to live online.
There’s another “secret weapon” of sorts hiding in the ReverbNation song player. When you share it anywhere online, we automatically track fans who play your tracks. Later on, when you have a new song or show you want them to know about, you can alert them using Promote It. This is all done for you, so you don’t have to worry about becoming a professional marketer all on your own.
Okay, let’s talk about what else you can do to protect your music and prepare yourself for a site like SoundCloud peacing out of existence.
Back up your music
If you aren’t already backing up your music, go do that right now. Song uploader sites should not be used as a method to backing up.
We recommend implementing two methods: 1) cloud storage and 2) an external hard drive or flash drive. You can use cloud storage software like Dropbox or Box to easily save your music files. Then, you can access them anywhere you have an internet connection.
It’s also a great way to share your music files with artists or remixers you might collaborate with, as well as managers, bloggers, or labels.
Dropbox is free up to 2GB of storage. Box allows up to 10GB of storage with a limit of 250MB file upload.
Once you’ve backed up using a cloud storage website, you should also buy an external hard drive or flash drive. Then, you can manually back up all of your song files or you can set it to automatically backup at whatever frequency you choose.
Be on all platforms
Having your music on all of the song uploader websites ensures that if one of the sites goes down, whether that’s temporarily or permanently, your music is still online somewhere else where it’s easily accessible to fans. There’s no reason not to be everywhere fans are.
ReverbNation is a great option for music uploading. We offer unlimited song uploads with our free account up to 8MB per song. We also have millions of fans engaging with artists on our site and the free Discover app.
However, remember that these sites should only be used as a promotional tool to share your music and to get more fans. Do not use these websites as a place to permanently store your music.
Own the relationship with your fans
As new song uploader websites come and go, and technology changes, it’s important to have a channel that you own to maintain a relationship with your fans. The best way to do this is through an email list.
Unlike social media or third party websites where you keep your music, you have full control of your email list. It’s also a direct channel to your fans through which you can communicate new releases, tour dates and other news. So, if any of those sites go down or social media algorithms change, you still have a way to get in touch with your fans.
With ReverbNation’s Fan Reach tool, you can easily design, send, and track messages through email, Facebook, and Twitter. We also have a Fan Collector widget that allows you to collect fan emails anywhere online.
Whatever happens to SoundCloud or any other song uploader website, be smart and be prepared. Make sure your music is accessible everywhere, it’s backed up, and you have an email list to broadcast news to your fans.