As independent musicians in the modern era of music, artists are provided numerous, almost unlimited ways of releasing their new music online. Free streaming services like YouTube, and Soundcloud have led the way in digital music platforms. Many artists upload their singles, or entire albums to these services for a few reasons; they're free to use, easy to share to gain views/listens, and they're well known and trusted by fans. Both of these services have their own perks and benefits, and all of them allow your listeners instant access to your music. However, neither site gives musicians easy access to monetizing off of those streams.
Artists should take pride in the latest release. We put many hours of work into writing and recording the song. And if you aren't taking care of the recording, mixing and mastering yourself, you are likely spending a fair share of money on studio time. Then there's the time or money spent on creating album artwork. You finally have the mastered version of the track, some great cover art, and you're ready to share your masterpiece. So why limit your potential reach, stream count and possible income?
Examples of TruDesigns Artwork available on Apple Music & Spotify
It hasn't been long since Apple has released Apple Music (not iTunes) which directly competes against the already mega-popular Spotify. Both of these services give listeners the same streaming uses as YouTube or Soundcloud, however you can count on getting paid for these streams (even if it is minimal). In my experience, the money I've made from streams on Spotify (pre-Apple Music) has been no big leap, but it's allowed me to buy about 3 more instrumental leases online (at around $35 each). However, looking through the list of streaming info every couple of months when updated feels incredible. I have somehow gathered a small following throughout Europe and other areas of the world, likely due to my collaboration with ¡MAYDAY!'s Wrekonize (Strange Music). Seeing multiple plays of the same track by somebody across the world validates that the listener is truly enjoying the music. I doubt the same fan base would have found the connection between myself and Wrekonize using Youtube or Soundcloud, nor would I have been paid out even if they did.
YouTube is obviously the standard in videos, if you have some new visuals to go with the track, or even a simple lyric video, go for it! Putting the tracks or album onto YouTube as an alternate option is never a bad idea either. It requires no subscription for members and is the easiest for anyone to access. The same can be said for Soundcloud, although I still find a soundcloud link on facebook sometimes annoying to get streaming through my phone (having to open the app separately is redundant). Having your music on both of these services is still a good