Top 5 Tips for Independent Artists in 2020
The music industry can be incredibly difficult to navigate, especially without the right guidance. There are countless agencies claiming to provide artist services, but with so many being artificial statistic generators, it can be difficult for artists to trust agencies. To provide transparency behind our organization, and to provide needed assistance to artists without budgets, our team has consolidated five important tips for independent artists.
With so much content released on digital platforms daily, artists may feel they need to fight back against quantity with quality. While the quality of your product is undoubtedly important, the consistency in which you release content is equally as important. Releasing multiple tracks per month is a necessity in the digital future of music. This makes it more difficult for artists to keep up, especially when working with a limited budget. That’s why we recommend artists stick to their main craft, and outsource their engineering, artwork, marketing, etc. so that they can continue working efficiently on what they need to accomplish. While releases need time to be prepared and marketed, having a team behind you can speed up this process and allow you to compete more easily with the thousands of other artists releasing music.
Release a Quality, Marketable Product
With an influx of users on free streaming platforms such as SoundCloud, Datpiff, Bandcamp, and YouTube, many are finding it easy to upload a track, find a stunning image online, and get your track out and generate new followers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite this easily in practice. While artists may not be experts in marketing, they need to understand what it takes to release a quality product, the content of the song, the engineering quality, and cover art and marketing assets, all factor into the song’s potential reach. Ensuring each piece of content is ready to hit the market before posting it is absolutely critical.
While artists may want to build up a fanbase on one platform, and slowly convert those listeners over to social media, paid platforms, etc. artists should be distributing their work everywhere possible on the day of release. While the converting to another platform strategy works in theory, in practice, it is slow, and ineffective. By simultaneously releasing your content on all platforms available, from music streaming, to video streaming, to social media, to blogs, your content is able to reach the most listeners at a coordinated time, generating greater traction than the individual pieces would bring by themselves.
Monetize Your Content
Releasing your content everywhere is great, but if the content isn’t monetized, than you’re working for free! Distributing your music onto paid platforms simultaneously through a distribution company, such as Distrokid, will allow you to collect your digital streaming royalties seamlessly. Organizations such as Distrokid will also provide you with an ISRC and UPC code, which can be used to register the tracks with Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP, BMI, and SoundExchange, validating your copyright, protecting your property, and allow your to collect royalties from performing, internet radio, and other means.
Perform Wherever Possible
There is no shame in performing for free. There is no shame in performing in front of a small crowd. For many independent artists, performing to a small, unresponsive crowd can be the fear of their lives. However, performances like these are actually incredibly beneficial to artists. They teach how to perform and work under pressure, improve stage presence, and while the fans may not appear ecstatic from the stage, you may be surprised how many come up to you after the show. These fans will be the ones who will continue showing up to your performances and continue purchasing tickets. In addition, if your music is registered through a Performance Rights Organization, you’ll be compensated by your PRO for performing, even at an open mic!
In conclusion, independent artists have many ways to grow and prosper in the digital stage. Interested in more? Check out our guide on artist branding. For artists interested in blasting off their career with our artist services, DCR offers services ranging from marketing, to management, to engineering, to video editing and graphic design, and more. Check out our packages online if you are interested in getting started.