Music’s success goes through the fans

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I have this habit of promoting music that I’ve crossed from one indie station or another. “Promoting” means sharing songs on one form of social media or another. Sometimes I post the act here on my blog (Tomas Fornstedt is who I’ll cite) and there are also the write-ups I have done for local indie acts such as the Pretty Voices and Gypsy Star. Someone will see what I’ve posted – those reviews or individual song posts – and take it as simply blog content: I’m a blogger and I content is king. Writing about an act you may or may not have heard of. It’s nothing more than just content for a blog, right?

There’s actually a specific reason I do it, and it’s not just for content: If someone doesn’t do it, if someone doesn’t try sharing a tune they’ve crossed or talk about a band they have interest in, how does that song/act go any further?  

That’s a serious question. Are you a fan of an indie group or a small artist on a label who hasn’t gotten much attention or exposure? Is there a song you’ve been drawn to that you don’t hear on the radio, that you’ve noticed it has limited views/listens on YouTube, Soundcloud, ReverbNation or elsewhere? As a fan, you can help this act along by sharing content on social media and telling your friends to give a song a listen because of you love the arrangement, you love the vocals, you love the lyrics or some quirk in a performance or something about the act that makes you think others will like it.

Maybe the angle to take is to go so far as write a review on AmazonMP3 for a song you like? Or write a review for an album that sold you on a group, using Amazon or Google Play? Writing a review isn’t an act isn’t intended to bring you attention as-so-much show others what you like in what you’ve heard. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll draw someone else in and help things go further. Maybe.

There’s also the act of the performer here that matters. I’m not just talking about sound quality/recording quality and what not but the fact music needs to be someplace people can access it in order to share it. It’s bad that major recording artists of yesteryear regularly block or take down recordings that get posted on streaming audio/video sites for the sake of pushing for profits first (Apple Corps LTD doesn’t exactly look past songs by the Beatles being kept on YouTube and reaching young fans freely). It gets worse when a little known act or artist isn’t accessible on these platforms. I’ve run into this a few times with acts that have promoted their songs on Music Tampa Bay; you can find clips of their music in online stores but you can’t gain access to the songs themselves on streaming sites. Famous or not, if you do a shit job making music accessible (not buyable, accessible for discovery sake) to the masses, how the hell is it going to go anywhere?

I cited Tomas Fonstedt not having had his music viewed or listened to on YouTube. In Fornstedt’s case, I found out (from Tomas, via Twitter) he both didn’t know the song had been promoted on YouTube and didn’t have the best of access to YouTube due to being in Sweden as the country does not having wide and full access. Those aren’t his fault, but it does stifle his exposure in Sweden and beyond by not knowing about things and having a limited ability to promote them.

On the other hand, too often when researching the Top 100 lists of Music Tampa Bay, I crossed plenty of acts or their songs specifically can’t be found with ease on the common streaming sites. I was going to cite Highly Rhythmic White Boys and “Big Booty is My Kryptonite” here as an example – it appeared on the 2016 and 2017 Top 100 lists – but lo and behold, the song is finally available on YouTube for listening. I’m not planning to research other acts, such as Jimmy Pickett and the Great Lakes Band, but I wouldn’t be surprised if certain listed songs have finally seen the time of day on stream sites. Maybe. It’s still a chore for the Highly Rhythmic White Boys (or any other band offering songs for stream listening) to actually go out and tell their fans a song is public. In the case of “Big Booty is My Kryptonite”, it had been viewed only 3 times at the time I crossed it. Odds are the group has their own social media branches (Twitter, Facebook, etc) where they could say “the song is now on YouTube! Take a listen!”  It’s after they make that push that they can start hoping fans take it further and share the tune with others.

There are other ways that songs should be promoted and that’s left up to the artist. Every individual fan has a reach of their own. A song going viral on the web (through blogs or social media) is like a lightning striking an exact target by chance. That lightning strike isn’t the song or act you’re trying to promote. It’s the promotion effort and how others respond to it that is.

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