It’s a tough world out there for up and coming artists trying to make a name for themselves. There’s a lot of competition and it’s frustrating when you feel like you’re music isn’t getting heard.
Buying SoundCloud plays and SoundCloud Likes is something that many of you will have had suggested to you, but is this practice a good thing or not?
Similar to buying Instagram followers, buying Soundcloud plays has its advantages, but also a lot of downsides… we explore the pros, cons and our conclusion in helping you make up your own mind.
When you’re a new artist, one of the main challenges faced is getting your music heard and shared with a wider audience. This can be really hard and can take time to build up your fan base.
It’s natural that artists want to get promoting your tracks and out there as soon as possible and the temptation is therefore to employ some quick-fix methods, such as to buy views or tap into free SoundCloud plays.
There is a whole industry sector around this practice and it doesn’t come without its pitfalls.
Similar to buying Instagram followers, the idea behind buying cheap SoundCloud plays is to hopefully get more people listening to your tracks and sharing them with their friends.
However, generally speaking, buying plays and buying SoundCloud followers, is not considered good practice and officially against the terms and conditions of the site.
It has a lot of potential for spam and at the end of the day, these plays are essentially ‘fake plays’.
They are not building genuine fans and followers of your music, even if some services offer you to buy real SoundCloud plays, are they really? How do you know?.
So, what are the Pros and Cons?
– Buying plays can kickstart your campaign to get things going and it can potentially attract attention from record companies, agents, media etc, but this is not guaranteed and if there are spikes in your engagement and long-tail drop, that’s not going to look good.
– It can help to strengthen your profile on social media and make you look popular (temporarily anyway) and potentially get people talking about you and your music.
– However, it’s fickle and temporary and to the trained “music industry” eye (A&R at Record Labels included), pretty obvious when someone has been buying plays.
– So, it does have the potential to have the opposite effect to what you’re intending and can undermine your credibility as a genuine artist.
– Just be aware that bought plays are not targeted. It is purely a numbers game.
– So, like buying Instagram followers, you may get loads of people suddenly appearing on your account, but you don’t know who or where they are and only a small percentage are likely to be your target audience, so essentially there are a lot of wasted plays.
– You are open to scams. There are some legitimate and effective companies out there, but there are also a lot of scams. There are companies offering to “buy SoundCloud plays for $1”, not a good look.
– Only ever use a company you have really researched and have been recommended, we recommend you look for people doing organic SoundCloud music promotion.
– Don’t fall for the ones who contact you directly or ask for your login details. Generally speaking, these will be the scammers. You should only ever need to supply a link to your SoundCloud track (if you do decide to get SoundCloud plays).
– Despite paying for it, your success is not guaranteed. You still have to put an element of hope into play and people can unfollow you just as easily.
– The main thing to consider is that building yourself up as an artist should take time…
– You want to be around for the long-term and it takes time to build up a genuine following. Don’t forget, you can win X Factor or The Voice and literally never be heard of again after the post-show interviews are done!
We’re not saying never buy any Soundcloud plays. We’re just saying there’s a lot you can do without doing so that can be just as (if not more) beneficial to your future as a Billboard-topping artist.
Top tips to building your social networks and following:
– Patience is a virtue. It will happen if you put the effort in.
– Quality Music. Believe the adage, “Quality over Quantity”.
– Focus on producing quality music that will stand up alongside established artists. Be creative and different. Stand out from the crowd.
– Get out there and be heard. Busk, play tiny gigs and grow your real fan base… we all have to start somewhere and getting in front of real people in real places with a real interest in music is crucial.
– Start with small venues, bars and pubs and grow in your own time. A lot of being successful in music is about being confident – and this comes with experience.
– Music Marketing. Work on a genuine marketing campaign through media and social platforms and get together the tools you need to do this: a simple website, a video channel (e.g. YouTube), a great bio to use for media, some quality photos, video clips (not too large) and cover artwork (you can find some great artists on Fiverr).
– Make sure everywhere you go or whoever you work with includes you into their own marketing and social media.
– Social Media. Focus on growing your social media and online profile across all platforms and share your music through them.
– Keep your social media current and regularly updated. Use key hashtags to be found; follow others and they are likely to follow you back.
– Old School Approach. Before the advent of social media, Soundcloud and Spotify, people actually still got their music played! Who knew?!
– So try the old school approach. Reach out to music media and radio producers. Do a bit of sleuthing (it’s easy via websites and Linkedin to find producers of your local, regional and national press and radio stations) and pitch yourself to them directly.
– Collaborate. Contact your favourite influencers, local personalities and other artists. See if they’d be happy to work with you.
– Organic Spotify Plays / Playlist promotion.
This is a great way to get your music heard and gain SoundCloud plays that really mean something longterm.
You can try to get your music featured on the playlists yourself, but there’s a lot of competition and music curators and Influencers tend to work strictly with trusted sources.
Having said this, we (Music Gateway) have built up key relationships directly with curators on Spotify, so get in touch and see how we can help you.
Read our blog and helpful ‘how-tos’ to learn about how best to promote yourself to a wider audience.
Or if you’d rather a bit more structured help, we provide a wide range of music promotion and PR services designed specifically to increase your number of plays and streams, matched to each artists music styles.
Aside from the passion and experience, we have a powerful influencer network at our fingertips and direct contact with tastemakers in the UK.