There is a growing number of artists who are taking their music promotion directly to their fans by offering streaming access to it online. Why not – it’s a great way to give people a sample – and if they like what they hear they might buy a song, share it online, or buy a ticket to a live performance.
Singer songwriter Ryan Adams‘ latest album Ashes and Fire went on sale this week. For the past few weeks, listeners could sample songs or listen to the entire album online at NPR Music, SoundCloud, or at the Ashes and Fire website.
Some might think he’s crazy, offering his entire album upfront for all to hear. How on earth will he sell albums? In fact, I think Adams and a growing number of artists understand that the formula for selling songs has changed, and restricting access to your songs isn’t the way to get folks to buy your music. Instead, offer a listen to everyone. In fact, offer them the chance to hear your whole album! If they like it, do you think they’ll be satisfied with returning to the website every time they want to hear it? Of course not – they’ll buy it, or the songs they like from it. And maybe they’ll come see a show as well.
NPR has been making a name for itself as an online platform for streaming music – and doing a nice job of it. Their First Listen series has debuted music by artists like Norah Jones, David Lynch, Shaangan Electro (new wave dance music from Africa), Herbie Hancock, Bettye LaVette, The National, Josh Ritter, and David Byrne. Are you getting the idea of the diversity and stature of the list? Seems like everyone wants to debut their new tunes on NPR Music…
The number of people coming to the site continues to increase, to about 1.7 million unique users in May.
The platform has provided listeners with excellent front seat coverage of big music festivals like Bonnaroo and SXSW. Kinsey Wilson, NPR’s general manager of digital media told the NY Times that since the music site went live in 2007, its staff has “provided a hub where things can originate,”. Wilson says the site expands on the reputation that NPR has for helping folks find unusual things they might not otherwise come across.
The new app enables listeners to easily listen to music by genre, build playlists, and purchases songs. On new iPhones, listeners can do all of this in the background while multitasking. It’s another in a long list of great digital tools that NPR continues to develop – NPR’s digital platform has been leading broadcasters who are looking to extend and expand their brand online…