Guest Post by Matt Benn on Soundplate.com
Having worked as a Label Manager, in PR and of course receiving hundreds of promos from DJ’s and producers hoping to be featured on the music section of Soundplate.com; I have a fair amount of experience in both sending & receiving promos. I hope this article can provide some useful information for anyone planning on starting a label or just getting their music heard.
Here are 5 of the main services used for sending promos and the experience I have personally had with them. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. If you think there is something better out there we would love to hear from you so please do leave a comment or tweet @Soundplate.
FatDrop is considered by many to be the industry standard. Their impressive online system makes it very simple to manage lists of DJ’s, send promos, protect music from being shared, gather feedback and get in depth analytics.
We have used FatDrop in the past for several promo campaigns and have always been impressed by it’s ease of use. One of the huge benefits of the system is that DJ’s seem to love receiving the promos as they come in a standard format , can be streamed before downloading and look great.
The slight down-side to the product is the price, it’s a little more expensive than most of it’s rivals and the pricing based on bandwidth used seems out of date and a little over the top. Having said that, you get what you pay for and there is no question the system is very reliable, professional and the customer service is brilliant. For more established labels and those willing to spend a little more this is a serious option.
Setting up a Fatdrop account costs £50 with a monthly fee starting at £35/month.
Find out more at www.fatdrop.co.uk.
Label Worx offer a range of tools for labels and artists but they are perhaps best known for their promo sender. It works in a pretty similar way to FatDrop and has been running for over 7 Years. It’s trusted by several top labels and also boasts ‘promo box’ which is a fully native mobile promo app and gives DJ’s the ability to flag tracks and send to various cloud areas such as DropBox, Google Drive etc. The Promo Box app makes it easier for the DJ’s to organise and download their promos to their preferred cloud storage.
Label Worx offer a flat fee / release no matter how many times you send the tracks out or how much they are downloaded / streamed. This pricing model may suit labels with a less regular output or those that sometimes use radio pluggers or other pr services. The analytics offered after campaigns are sent are in-depth and easy to understand. Feedback from DJ’s is also easy to find and export.
I’ve had no real issues using Label Worx and much prefer their pricing model to a monthly subscription but I would say that our open-rate has always been a little lower with Label Worx than it has been with FatDrop.
Label Worx charge £7.50 / promo campaign.
Find out more at www.label-worx.com.
InFlyte offers a bit of a different solution for sending promos to DJ’s. While we have not actually used the service ourselves yet we have met the founders a few times and had a good look at the product. InFlyte is designed as a mobile-first service. Their app allows DJ’s to receive promos on the move. They can check previews on their phone or tablet (even offline) and decide which promos they would like to download directly to their Dropbox account the next time they connect to the internet.
This is a really slick solution for sending promos, especially if your mailing list includes busy international DJ’s who travel a lot as it allows them to check out the latest promos and line them up for their set’s while flying. InFlyte have really upped the technology behind sending promos and are we think they are on to something pretty exciting. It will be interesting to see if their competitors follow suit..
Pricing starts at £40/month.
Find out more at www.inflyteapp.com
We actually use Label Engine all the time for their brilliant Accounting System which helps us create royalty statements, manage licenses, invoices etc but we will come on to that in another article soon! We have not actually used their promo sender to send any campaigns but we have received some and taken a look around the back-end. From what we know the service is pretty similar to Label Worx, it offers a cost effective way to send promos to your list(s) of DJ’s, gather feedback and analyse results. Based on our experience with their accounting system we expect this to be a really good service but if you have used it yourself we would love to hear from you!
The main USP’s seem to be the ability to share music directly from your Soundcloud and a follow-to-download system which could be a nice additional promo tool for labels trying to covert a strong Email list into a social media fan base.
Pricing for the promotional system starts from $23.99 / month.
Find out more at label-engine.com
Soundcloud / Dropbox / Email Client
Perhaps the most under-rated and cost effective way to send promos is to send private Soundcloud links with downloads enabled to your DJ list or individuals. We have recently been sending our label promos using Sendy, a server side Email client which offers brilliant stats. In the Sendy Email (mailchimp, constant contact or any other could also work) we send, we include private Soundcloud links to promos thats can be easily streamed / downloaded and an alternative Dropbox download link for those that prefer to manage their promos that way.
While the Emails may not look quite so professional and we can’t force feedback using this method, we can get in depth reports on who has opened or clicked a link within our promos and can also use the advanced stats Soundcloud offers to check out who is downloading, listening etc. Pretty much every DJ on the planet is familiar with Soundcloud and knows where to find the download button. We have experienced much higher download rates using basic Emails with Soundcloud and Dropbox than on any other promo service and also find we receive a surprisingly high amount of feedback replies.
Most of you reading this will use Soundcloud and Dropbox regularly when promoting your music anyway so why not test out using it for sending your promos too?! So far the results we have seen have been pretty promising..
Find out more:
Ultimately all of the services above provide the same thing in slightly different ways and the quality of the music your sending and the relationships you have with the DJ’s receiving the promos are far more important than the way they are sent. All of the products have their advantages and disadvantages so experiment and find out what works for you. I hope this is of some use to anyone trying to decide which service to try out!
Over to You….
So that’s been our little run down of services for sending promos out, but this is the important bit.. Tell us about your experiences using any of these services or if you have found a better one by tweeting us@Soundplate or leaving a comment below.