Last.fm is a great site for music listeners, but it also has great potential for bands to promote their music. In this article I'll show how you can promote your music using Last.fm. In this article I assume you're in a band, and you have recorded your songs.
Last.fm combines social networking and online radio. After signing in, you install the Last.fm software, which will detect your music player (for example Winamp, Windows Media Player or iTunes) and Last.fm will collect your listening habits on your profile. Last.fm uses this to calculate which bands are similar to the bands you listen to and which people have similar listening habits. This way LastyFm can recommend new bands to people based on their musical profiles.
Besides tracking what you listen to in your regular music player, you can also use Last.fm to listen to different kinds of online radio stations. You can listen to 'Similar Artist Radio' of your favorite artists, to 'Tag Radio' or to 'Neighbour Radio'. All these kinds of radio are based on your user input.
If your band is similar to other bands according to Last.fm, and your music is available, people will be getting your tracks on their individual radio stations. So, how do you get that to happen? Here are some simple steps you can take.
1. Sign up
Joining Last.fm is easy. Installing the Last.fm software is slightly more work, but still nothing major.
2. Claim your band/label & submit your songs
First check if your band name is still available, it's possible another band with the same name already uploaded music. If that's the case, well, I hope you aren't attached to your current name. It's possible to claim the name, but you'll have to proof the rights to the name belong to you.
If there's no music uploaded yet, check if the songs on the band profile page are your songs. If there are more than a few listens and they're not your songs, chances are you're gonna get a name conflict.
After you make sure you can claim your band, it's time to upload your music. Last.fm has made sure every step in this process is easy, and well explained. Make sure you have the songs you want to add to Last.fm ready in mp3 or wav format.
Added songs have a few extra options:
- You can choose if the song is available on the streaming radio stations
- You can choose if the song is available for complete on demand streaming or just 30 second previews
- You can choose to make the song available for downloads
If you want to spread your music as fast a possible, I recommend to make the songs as freely available as possible.
3. Tag your music
On Last.fm people can add tags to bands, albums and songs. After you have added your music, add tags to your band page, and to your songs. One of the streaming radio options is Tag Radio. If you tag your songs 'ska punk', and someone listens to 'ska punk' Tag Radio, there is a chance they get your songs. Try to add all tags that seem to make sense. For example, if you play in a German death metal band, add german, metal and death metal.
4. Start listening music
Listen to both your own music, and bands that you think are similar to your music. It really helps if your band mates do the same. This way your band will appear on the Similar Artist radio stations of those other bands.
The more music you listen too, the better this will work.
5. Make friends
You can add other people to your friend list. Search for some bands similar to your band, and check out their top listeners. If they like those bands, they might like yours. Add them as your friend, and use the recommendation system to recommend your band to them.
6. Join groups
There are hundreds of user groups on Last.fm. There's groups for major genres, obscure subgenres, bands, regions, websites. You name it, and there's a group about it on Last.fm. This is a great way to reach the right people. Join a few groups with people who like music like your bands, and use the recommendation system to recommend your band to them.
Try to use the system sensible when recommending your band to users and groups. Spamming is not done, and you don't want to turn people off of your band, before they even heard you.
I hope these steps will help you and your band to get some exposure. Tell me about how you use it. If anyone has other ways to promote their music on Last.fm or other places online, I'd be happy to hear about it!
Using Last.fm to promote your band in 6 easy steps
February 2nd, 2008 | 17:11 in Band Promotion
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