As an emerging and struggling artist you will want to be as resourceful as you can in the process of creating awareness for your music. You could bang away everyday on social media making new connections, creating and sharing content, reading blogs on how to grow social, all for the sake of getting five likes and two new follows in one week of obsessive attention seeking and in the meantime not spending anytime doing what you should be doing, making music.
So, what other ways are there to get your music in peoples faces?
The answers is Creative Commons.
This is a channel often overlooked by many artists and provides an awesome way to distribute your music around the web. So, let’s take a look at the process involved in launching yourself to a whole new subset of content consumers in the CC space.
What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a copyright license that you can assign to your music and enables third parties and/or persons to download your music for FREE, and use it for whatever purpose they wish, providing they give you credit for it.
WTF, did you just say FREE?
Damn straight. In the early stages of building your fan base and creating brand awareness, using your music as currency to build your exposure is the smartest and most affordable marketing strategy you can employ. Having said that there is nothing stopping you from selling your music on platforms like Bandcamp and iTunes while also offering it to CC producers for free use. This strategy can actually lead to more sales and delivers as a mechanism for awareness that drives sales. Music consumers are a varied bunch and there will always be those that prefer to purchase music while others such as DJs and music professionals, who consume larger amounts of music will tend to explore the free music model.
The FREE music model is fast emerging as the best way to build artist brands and ignite fan bases. With apps such as Toneden, Stereoload or Hypem you can convert FREE downloads into social media followers. Additionally you are creating a much bigger opportunity for DJs to download your music and play in clubs exposing you to even greater audiences.
Now getting back to Creative Commons the thing to keep in mind is that everyday on the worldwide web and in digital studios around the world there are content creators looking to acquire free music for soundtracks, films, commercials, video games and all kinds of creative projects. Getting your music featured on media like this has the potential to expose you to huge audiences at no expense to you, and is a strategy often overlooked by artists.
Did you know 500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute? Nuts, right? Well whenever your music is used for content on Youtube videos, you will be credited which will lead to more awareness of your personal brand, band or songwriting production which will follow with more traffic to your social media channels and website. And it’s not just YouTube, you also have Vimeo, Wistia and plethora of education and training video sites, TV commercials and corporate videos that get made everyday and a bucket load of distribution opportunities to get your music out there and it can all be accessed via Creative Commons libraries and websites.
To start heading down the road of CC publishing you will need to begin by assigning Creative Commons license to your music.
To create a Creative Commons License visit this online tool: www.creativecommons.org
Once you have a CC License just paste it in the description box wherever you post your music such as Soundcloud, Youtube, Fanburst etc.
When you assign the Creative Commons license to your music you are effectively giving permission for anyone to distribute it providing, you are credited for your work.
Get out there
Now that you have your Creative Commons license let’s take a look at distribution which I have broken down into two parts. Youtube and CC Sites.
CC Sites (Creative Commons Websites)
Below is a list of CC music sites you can submit your music too. These sites have massive member bases looking for music so once you have uploaded your music you will begin to see plays and download.
There are an estimated 500 hours of video uploaded to Youtube per minute and a great majority of these videos are uploaded by content creators that need music for their videos. As nearly all commercial music is protected by copyright this creates a huge demand for original music.
The sites I mentioned earlier are where a lot of these content creators visit to find music for their videos but there is also another way to get your music noticed by Youtube content creators.
Contact Content Creators
Create a Youtube channel, upload your music and place the CC License in the description. Once you have done this you can start messaging Youtube content creators with a brief bio about you and your music. You could do this manually or you could use a service such as Tubeassist.com which will help you discover content creators and send them messages in bulk.
Networking with content creators is a great way to build future relationships and negotiate future collaborations. Making good connections could also lead to future revenue earnings.
So that’s it, a whole new outlook for music distribution for you to explore but remember nothing happens overnight but if you put some major effort into populating these channels with your music and start building relationships and communicating with content creators you will no doubt start seeing some results. And remember if you have any questions or feedback hit the comments below.