The State of Soundcloud Promotion
I’ve been on Soundcloud for almost 4 years now and I have accumulated around 140 followers. I am no star. Until just recently I had used Soundcloud as a way to find electronic music from bedroom producers and studio legends. I remember when EDM.com was sort of the banner for the most popular of the bedroom producers but then things gradually transformed with the rise of free download gates and repost networks.
Usually I take about 6 or 7 hours once every three or four weeks to dig through Soundcloud to find good music and mixable music. The reason I have come to dread this task is the reliance on repost networks for new artists to get their spot in the limelight. What this means for me and other music finders is that we come across the same song A LOT. At first I thought this was all very amicable support from the networks that were simply promoting the best songs that have been submitted to them, but after trying my own hand at promoting my latest two mixes I found out that these are nearly all PAID SERVICES and not cheap ones at that! Upon being “accepted” for promotion I have frequently been met with an asking price of $20-$150 dollars! I admit to buying some of the smaller networks repost services from Vibe Collective and OWL-Future because I have enjoyed their selection of reposts in the past but these only cost me six bucks a piece which I thought was a reasonable price. (The results of those promotions have been masked by some influx of 1,100 fake plays which I certainly DID NOT purchase and I honestly have no idea which repost garnered these fake plays. You can always tell which plays are fake because the amount of likes are under a reasonable ratio of about 10 plays per like.)
Back to the topic of finding music, the problem with these networks is that the majority are most interesting in making money than defining their brand. A network will usually have genres attached to their sister channels but when you buy into their service they will repost across all of their networks which defeats the purpose of having any genre labeled to it. It just gives them a larger number to advertise: “over 150k combined followers!” If this was spread across 5 channels you’re probably only getting 30k reach because these are probably the same followers who got suckered into following the sister channels through a download gate requirement.
To outline just how much of a problem the download gates are for an individual downloader: I created a second account for the purpose of outsourcing the like, repost, and comment requirements for the tracks I wanted and as a result this secondary account has followed more than 1,500 accounts solely through these download gates. Some of these downloads had me follow more than 10 accounts for the same network! This is based on downloading about 50 songs every three weeks or so.
I wish Soundcloud had evolved differently but it looks like paid networks are only growing. I only wish they were more specialized in what they accept for promotion. I am sure some networks do specialize and don’t promote one track across all of their networks so if you know any like that please leave me links in the comments. Of course below is a link to my latest mix, hope you enjoy.