The music platforms:
Bandcamp: this is the best one by far for a new or underground band. This is where a huge section of the underground finds new music from fans to blogs. It’s also the most impactful platform for funding your band since it’s super merch friendly. I get most of my cassettes and shirts through bandcamp and if you keep the stock in and the promotion up, it can really help build your band through affording things like equipment, better merch and PR. Bandcamp also gives you tools like generating codes to give away free copies of your album which is a good way to get the ball rolling, it puts supporters on your page and make you visible in fanpage collections so their friends can see it. I run bandcamp code contests if you want a good targeted giveaway outside of your own following who would potentially buy it.
Include all of your social links on the bandcamp page so that when Bandcamp makes your page more visible for various reasons then those people can find their preferred way to follow you. Bandcamp has a lot of algorithms that you can be included in if you set you page up right such as New Arrivals, Bandcamp Daily, under the various metal related tags (For example I search by metal with cassette merch) and being included in collections can often sell an album. I get an email sent to me when someone buys music from my collection page – it happens more often than you’d think.
Include as much information about the release as you can such as music credits, who recorded and mixed it and the album cover artist. This is all information that reviewers will look at when writing coverage so it helps take away the guesswork and research load if it’s all in one place. This is another way Bandcamp shits all over Spotify, by being informative.
The link value of bandcamp is pretty solid. It presents nicely and people know what they’re getting into before they click.
Spotify: This one is good for reach but reach ain’t gonna do a whole lot until you build through the underground first. You’ll just be sitting on spotify with <1000 next your songs. You kind of have to already have a dedicated following for Spotify to work in your favor. The amount of work it takes for it to be successful is pretty ludacris for the return. The main benefit of Spotify are it’s analytics and availability. If you spend a few years really building up every other platform and your promotional work ethic then Spotify will work better, I don’t recommend it as a starting place. Chasing the dream of getting enough streams to generate income will take too long and distract from more meaningful promotion that will build you up to that point anyway. It’s basically the Avon of music platforms.
High link value since it’s a popular platform, most people have it and it shows album art.
YouTube: It can be hard to get your own YouTube channel going as a band. I see a lot of bands with a very small following on there and putting a lot of work into making content. This works better down the line when you have a dedicated following and what you really want to focus on is having a couple of reusable videos like a music video, a lyric video or just a plain album art/audio track download. Have all three and share them accordingly to mix it up.
For starting out my tip would be not to make your own channel but find popular promotional channels that may upload your album according to genre. There’s heaps of good ones out there, check the stats on their videos and get a feel for them. Doom metal for example has 666MrDoom and Stoned Meadow of Doom, if you can get your content on their channels then the videos will immediately do much better right off the bat without you promoting it as they have a dedicated following that likes the same genre you are. Add your social promotion of the video on top of it and you’re gonna get results. People may even be more responsive on the socials if the video is from a reputable source.
You can certainly have your own channel as well but be prepared to work hard and look up a lot of tutorials to get things working in your favor.
Best link value since everyone can access it and knows what it is. It has a bigger user base than most music-only streaming services. It typically has a good thumbnail and title too.
Soundcloud: Stop sending me Soundcloud links. I don’t use it and I don’t know anyone else who does. I want download links or the ability to add a stream to my library and I won’t get that with this platform. I just can’t recommend it for metal, it’s not convenient.
iTunes/Apple Music: I don’t know much about this platform on the artist side of things, I mostly know it from a user perspective. I feel it’s the same sort of deal as Spotify in that it works best if people are already searching your band name. When you get to a point where people on all platforms are searching for you, then you best be on all platforms and probably don’t need this article.
Low link value due to lack of popularity.
I don’t really see anything else shared in the metal community. If there are others than they are probably more of a distraction from doing other more rewarding work.
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