In the year 2011 I spent a lot of time trying to break into internet radio with the hopes of increasing my fan base and brand awareness, while also increasing my royalties. I knew that SoundExchange existed for the purpose of collecting royalties from internet and satellite radio so there had to be a way to break into that system. I wasn’t very sure of how or where to start so I approached it the same way I did with music licensing. I googled it. It turns out that there are many different internet radio services out there and they all differ in the way they let you listen to and share music.
I looked over the more popular ones and checked out their requirements for submitting music. It seemed like the easiest way for me to get taken seriously and get my music on some good stations was to release some music commercially. I chose to use Tunecore to distribute some songs just to see what can happen. About a month after distributing two singles through Tunecore I started seeing my music pop up on sites like Spotify, and Jango. My songs were live on the iTunes store and several other big music stores like Amazon.com. Once I had this foundation built up, I was able to go to sites like last.fm to submit tunes. After of week of internet hustling I had music on Spotify, Last.fm, Jango, and turntable.fm. Pandora rejected me for whatever reason but I figured it was because I don’t have a big enough following or enough music released yet. The response from the listeners was positive. I’ve gotten some good response from people all over the world and it feels good to know that someone out there enjoys my work. I believe some of those listens were even converted into sales and that was nice to see.
Promoting the music on internet radio stations can be tricky or costly. With Jango, and last.fm you can buy promotion packages that give a guaranteed number of spins. I guess this can be helpful if you have the money for it, but I’m too cheap and broke to go that route. What I did was set up a couple of computers at home and set them to play the Logistical Styles station. I also had another computer running playlists of all of my music on Spotify all day long. In the end this didn’t accomplish much. I can see the increase in spins and listens but over a year later I have still yet to see very many results from my efforts. Tunecore paid me 2.85 for 2766 streams through Spotify. I have not seen any results from the other stations. I believe this may be like the licensing world where it takes a while to see the results of your work. In the licensing world it may take a year to see the end results from a license sale. I have noticed that Sound Exchanges PLAYS database now shows some of my music. I’m hoping this means that the spins are now being recorded and royalties are being accrued. I’m hoping to one day come home to a nice royalty check for the past year. I’ll just have to wait and see.
For now my strategy will be to continue running my computers listening to Logistical Styles radio on last.fm and jango, and to keep running playlists through Spotify. I really don’t have enough time to work turntable.fm like I want to but it’s good to know that the music is out there. I think I will continue to upload some new music through tunecore and try to increase my efforts to promote it. The whole process is fun and has been a learning experience. If you are a listener of Jango or last.fm check out my station to see if you like the tunes.