Immediately after the final mixing was done and I got the master recordings, I started creating online profiles. It was reasonable to accept at the time that online resources and opportunities should be used. Very soon after creating a bunch of online music profiles I realized that this might not be what I thought it was, and it would not bring the results I was hoping for. Especially because I don’t think my expectations were all that high anyway. However, the one expectation that was totally unrealistic was the thought that no matter where it is music matters to people.
The only proven thing is – music trully matters to people only if:
1) It gets on TV.
2) It is played on radio.
3) If you play live.
4) If you hit the jackpot of creating a viral video of your song or cover.
5) If you are in a business that uses free music as their main bait for customers.
6) If it’s free.
Everything else will bring you a few (valuable though) listeners and followers here and there, in return for hours of online presence – if you got time for all of it.
The first profile I created was on MySpace.
It’s amazing how much things changed in regards to this online media for music promotion in only a few years. I couldn’t wait to post songs on there, so I posted 7 full songs thinking everybody will jump on the new thing curious to hear it. What a joke! It was only the first song that got a bit more listeners, and only after I would spend an hour or more online trying to communicate to people and pitch my profile. Looking at the activities and reading the comments of other people trying to figure out why they are there, I realized it’s not the music. For the most part, the social part of it was the reason to hang out. Mostly to get laid actually! At the time Myspace was the biggest online music promo thing, but who was mostly listened? You guessed it: the biggest acts in the music industry. The ones from TV and the radio. The little guys and gals, including myself, were trying to piggy back their popularity by working really hard to get them as Myspace friends. I even talked to some who were claiming to be the actual artists, but very quickly I realized it was people they hired to work on their online presence.
Aside from my enthusiasm rapidly melting, the website itself was quite buggy and unreliable. The design changes they kept introducing were screwing up my habits, slowing down my computer, crashing it even. At times it was really frustrating.
Initially I started spending a few hours a day on Myspace working on acquiring friends. One of the strategies I thought logical at the moment was to friend the most famous artists who in any way influenced my own music or I for any reason respected. My hope was that having their names on my friend list would benefit my own music. That proved totally wrong and useless. The only thing that was beneficial there was the free promotion THEY all got in return for pretty much nothing. Soon I realized that I would have to spend many hours daily to gain any significant number of friends. The percentage of them who actually had listened to my songs proved to be very minimal. In 4 years the top song (and one of the best on my album – You and I instrumental) has gained less than 2000 listens!
Now I only occasionally go there to check my profile. The interface has changed completely, and the music seems to be even less important. Last time I checked I couldn’t even stream the songs on my iPhone because of some incompatibility issues they were blaming on Flash Player or something – I lost interest in trying to figure out all the reasons they come up with. At the moment, it is possible to stream the music on your mobile device, but it’s somewhat cumbersome to access your own profile and find the music. Reading the latest comments of the people, MySpace still keeps losing its popularity over Facebook as much as it keeps trying really hard to become a relevant social media site where people would come and hang out for longer periods.
The second profile I had created was of course Facebook. My page was up and running very quickly. However, getting people to like my music on Myspace from Facebook was a challenge. I hoped that linking it and promoting it on Facebook, and creating the presence on the page daily would make a difference. At times it felt the opposite – the more presence I created the less interest I provoked. Later I learnt from some research that only 5% of all people you friend on social media sites will actually click on your page and take a look! Not to mention the % of people who would actually reach to buy your music, which is almost insignificant!
So, needless to say, as soon as my presence on MySpace subsided, so did the interaction with people and the number of listeners.
To be continued…