Much of this will be pretty much common knowledge but I decided to piece together your options for sharing your music with the world as a DJ or producer.
As A DJ with a relatively substantial following, over the years I have tried a few different sites for sharing my mixes and productions and all the time there are more and more becoming available… this list is by no means THE definitive list and please, if I’ve missed any option for hosting and sharing your mixes, then feel free to add it in the comments.
In crude terms, the internet is a massive, MASSIVE filing cabinet and all websites and mobile phone companies need to rent space in that cabinet to exist on-line. When you use the web your computer/mobile is simply looking through the files. The bigger the company, the bigger the space they need to rent and therefore the more money they need to generate. That is what you pay for when you use most web-based products, the space (or bandwidth).
Audio Hosting Options
This is by far the most popular and is one of the best to use, with a great mobile version and sharing platform across social media. Listeners love Soundcloud, whilst more and more people who load their DJ mixes there are coming up against copyright issues, meaning many mixes get removed, basically because DJs are putting up music they don’t own therefore don’t have the right to share.
** Want to get around this ? Leave 20 seconds dead air gap at the start of your mix, or begin with a jingle that doesn’t contain any recognisable songs **
I use Soundcloud myself, I think it’s great , however as one of the first group of users I have over 10 hours of music I can upload for free but other people won’t be as fortunate.
A free account gives you a mere 2 hours upload time and limited downloads. This means you can only really have 1 DJ mix on there at a time. The more popular choice costs £25 a year but you only get to share 4 hours of music (let’s say that’s 3 mixes at any one time).
For unlimited mixes on Soundcloud you pay just under £85.
Soundcloud figures appear to be the most accurate (when people aren’t paying for inflated views). You can always tell genuine stats from the amount of comments in relation to the amount of plays. Something with 10,ooo plays and 2 comments is definitely fraudulent (IMO) !
I also used Podomatic for sometime and that platform also works really well across all devices, for listeners and ‘uploaders’ alike.
It’s the same principal for all these sites, you get a basic free account with a limited amount of bandwidth. As your bandwidth grows (and you have no real proof to show how much you are GENUINELY using) so you have to pay (if you want) for more web space.
Storage here is measured in file size as opposed to hours.
Your Basic plan gives you 500mb of storage a month. A normal 90 mix at a medium quality (most DJs know all about mp3 quality variations so I won’t bore you with that) is around 200MB. So again let’s say you’re getting roughly the same amount of space here as Soundcloud. However you are also limited to 15GB Bandwidth use per month.
1GB = 1000 MB, therefore you get 75 plays OR downloads per month(200mb mix) before your fans get a message saying “Sorry, this account is too popular, wait until next month for more space”. If you wanted to use the higher quality sound, then you’d only get around 45 plays/downloads (although I don’t think the downloads would be high quality if I’m reading correct). 75 plays isn’t that difficult to amass, especially if some of those are you yourself listening !!
The Pro Plan gives you a whole heap of fancy features to spruce up your page as well as 2GB of storage and 100GB Bandwidth. That’s 10 DJ mixes (approx) and 500 plays/downloads per month. This should be more than ample for most DJs, at the risk of offending anyone, experience tells me that DJs of a certain level will rarely get more than 500 plays/downloads per month of any one mix or radio show.
One thing that just occurred to me is that the bandwidth is also used up if someone loves your mix so much they play it on line again and again instead of downloading it, that’s worth bearing in mind ! Imagine the Bandwidth is like a bath tub of audio.. you only get so much and every play or download sucks the amount down the plug hole.
The annual fee for a Pro Account is around £85.
My only concern with Podomatic is there is no way of policing just how much bandwidth you are REALLY using. People get blinded by the fact that they are apparently really popular now and feel an investment to a Pro account is the step to their world-wide domination… but I ask this – Where are all these new fans of yours ? How have they heard about you ? Are they messaging you ? Are they joining you on Facebook or Twitter ? You were a fast-mover this week, surely ONE person messaged you to say how happy they are to have found you ?
I am not outright accusing anyone of underhand tactics, I’m just asking you to stop and think about it for a while ! I actually wrote a lot more in depth about this on my personal blog here.
I’ve never used Mixcloud myself but I know many that do.
Another fantastic site, very easy to use and totally FREE. The only downside to Mixcloud is that listeners cannot download the mixes. With all-you-can-eat data plans, that’s fine because people can stream to their heart’s content, but with more and more people now restricted to the amount of data (bandwidth) they use this isn’t an option for many.
I’ve just listed the three (apparently) most popular ways I see DJs sharing their music on line and the pros and cons of those. There are of course HUNDREDS of alternatives. If you have a great one you use then please feel free to add it below.
More and more there are new apps/sites appearing where you can actually broadcast for free from your own home/club night for people to listen live, whether in video (Vimeo, Ustream, YouTube etc) or audio only like Mixlr and Spreakr. It is also relatively simple to actually create your own on-line station and website although that costs considerably more as you get more listeners.
An alternative is to load your mix to any of the on-line storage companies like Sendspace, Hightail (formerly YouSendit), WeTransfer etc etc or of course in the cloud like on Dropbox etc etc. Again you will be faced with either space restrictions or a limit as to how long the files are stored and people cannot play the mixes on line. Once you load the mix, you simply share the link across your social media networks and depending on the site can access download stats.
Owning your own website to share your music/productions
We have ascertained that it costs roughly £85 per year for you to pay for the privilege of hosting your music with some of these companies, to get any kind of decent use from them, with certain restrictions.
If you own your own website this amount could be as little as £45 per year (even cheaper in some cases).
For this price you get:
- A full site selling yourself with unlimited pages like About Me, Events, Videos, Contact, Merchandise etc etc
- Your own website address and emails i.e – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Downloads/on-line plays
- Total Social Network integration
- Embed Videos
- Sell advertising space
- Sell tickets and merchandise
- Share photos
- Write regular blogs and share with your friends/fans to create more awareness
All of the above are currently possible in one way or another via various different platforms but to see the benefit of owning your own site, read this blog… it makes total sense if you want to be taken seriously in any field.
Prices for the construction of your site can be as little as £150.
When I build your site I will also take the time to give you advise on how to market yourself better and a few other tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way. I didn’t do too bad myself in creating a strong network of loyal friends.
[infobox style=”alert-info”]Click here for an impressive list of satisfied, well known clients[/infobox]
The reason for this blog:
Almost two years ago I decided to use the knowledge and skills I had learned down the years to set up my website business.
Part of this was driven by a desire to pass on my skills and knowledge to my friends, I honestly never imagined it would take off the way it has.
This blog is more about exploring your options but of course it also gives you the reasons why you should consider yourself for a website if you want to be taken seriously in today’s flooded marketplace.
An idea for you and your friends
Before I continue, it’s worth pointing out that YOU can build your own website. Sharing is caring. Read here to find out how.
If you don’t have the time or the knowledge to take on a project of this scale, why not let me bring your ideas to life ? I guarantee to provide all you need for any kind of music site and a little more you wouldn’t have thought of.
If you have a few friends, why not pool your resources and get a collective website ? This would give up to four of you your own collective site, with you all being able to load mixes and expand your fan bases.
The initial cost could be as little as £60 with an annual upkeep of only £10 each
I hope these words have helped and that you consider employing WardsWebsites should you feel the time is right to step up your game.
Thanks for reading… please share if you found it useful or let me know if any of my figures are incorrect.