By Vergel Evans
Recently I got a message from Chill2006, he let me know he’d just successfully posted his ambient music online under the artist name: Susperia-Electrica. I thought I’d take a minute and share some thoughts to all of us who read the Lx7 blog some ideas I’d proposed to him.
In the past, I’ve spoke at length at how amazing Last.fm is…. An artist account on Last.fm is the easiest low risk access point in exposing music to a very wide audience of potential listeners. The environment is bred on discovering new music.
If you’re looking to establish a network of opportunities for people to discover and listen to your music, this is the #1 site in creating that ‘ah-ha’ moment for listeners.
I’ve also learned a couple of tricks that can help in establishing the largest impact on the site, and hopefully expose the music to the most listeners possible WITHOUT spamming the system… these options are low risk, but require some work.
Most importantly, these Last.fm hacks should deliver the music to more listeners then simply posting the music and waiting to see what hits. Regardless of how long your music has been on Last.fm, if you’re looking to push your music a little further may I make some suggestions?
1. Free play your music into the Last.fm environment. If your music is on Last.fm make sure people can FULL PLAY of your song. If you’re more adventurous make it free to download as well.
2. Write a Last.fm Journal post about your artist and cite some of the the musical influences behind the music. These connections will show up as journal entries about the other artists, it will help connect your music to the other artists on Last.fm.
3. If you have friends who use last.fm suggest they give your album a listen and scrobble their listens. Their listens will help establish your ’similar artists’ references. This is critical because it’ll allow new listeners to discover your music via an artist they’re already familiar with.
4. Tag your songs. tag your album. tag your artist. Suggest your friends from point #3 tag your music as well. Common tags are useful, but if you have specific terms that describe your musical sound, use them as well. Taking some time to tag other songs that a similar sound to your music is also useful. The more music you tag, the more likely tags you’ve attributed to your music will match up with other tagged songs in Last.fm.
5. Learn the Last.fm comment/tagging code. Use their tagging code liberally when commenting in shout boxes. Pasting HTML links in a shoutbox are not only lazy, they scream the desperation of being a Last.fm nOOb spammer. Take the time and craft your inter-page links properly.
6. Join groups who support your “sound”. Ask the group admin to link your artist to the group… It’s a longshot, but maybe some adventurous soul will check out your music.
As with all these… these’ are LONG SHOTS in growing an audience. Listeners still have to listen to the songs and actively participate in loving, tagging, and writing about them. These hacks are options in using the Last.fm environment to expose your music to the maximum number of listeners.
Why bother with these hacks? Exposure to an audience that will appreciate your music is better then spamming an audience who’ll hate that you’ve wasted their time. Case and point.. mySpace!
Bonus: For those who are copyright liberal: Get a content distribution account on Mininova, and give away your music. upload your music there. Write a Last.fm journal entry about it. Link to the Mininova description; and back to the Last.fm post from Mininova if possible.
Written by Vergel Evans