You shouldn’t use Soundcloud to promote unreleased music. Here’s why:

soundcloud promotion, bad promotion, music promotion

Getting people to listen to your new music is important, but knowing who is listening and how much of it they consume matters more.

Your next release is the most important thing that has happened in your career. Whether it’s your debut single or your third studio album, everything that has happened in your life lead up to this moment. The record you’re preparing to share with the world is incredibly special, but to reach a wide audience you will need help from influencers and tastemakers all over the world. Successful music promotion will play a pivotal role in determining what happens next in your life, and it’s important that you do everything in your power to market your materials to the best of your abilities.

The problem is, every other artist with a potentially life-changing release is also seeking help from the influencers and tastemakers of the world. There are far more artists releasing music today than there are people in a position to help artists get ahead, and that has increased the already high difficulty of being noticed (let alone covered). 

For many artists, Soundcloud and Dropbox are go-to promotional platforms. Both services are free and easy to use, which makes them ideal for cash-strapped talent with limited time. However, the simplicity of both services comes with a drawback that is increasingly placing artists who rely on those platforms at a disadvantage.

Soundcloud and Dropbox, as well as the numerous sites like them, may make it simple for anyone to upload tracks and share them using a private URL, but that one URL is more of a hindrance than a gift.

Let’s say you send your new release to 500 media contacts. You watch the streams rise on Soundcloud, and after a few days, you’ve accrued dozens of plays for your new material. That’s a great start to any promotional campaign, as it means people are actively engaging with the material. That’s where the good news stops, however, because the services mentioned above cannot tell you the data that matters, including who listened to your music and what songs they streamed (or downloaded). It can’t even tell you who opened the email, which means you have to keep contacting the same 500 people with generic messaging in hopes someone replies to express their interest.

That approach to marketing is incredibly passive and impersonal. You’re engaging with an audience you cannot properly identify, and because of that, your ability to connect with those who care about your music is limited.

Active marketing requires data, which is why more and more artists are turning to services such as Haulix for their promotional needs. Haulix not only tracks email performance, but it offers in-depth analytics that tells artists who is listening to their music and how they’re engaging with the material (streams vs downloads) in real time. The platform empowers artists to create personalized follow-ups that only people who care about the material being promoted, which allows for better relationships to be cultivated throughout the music business.

The Haulix activity feed

Haulix also outshines Soundcloud and Dropbox when it comes to presentation. Every single private stream on either service looks exactly the same, offering little to no opportunities for branding or customization. Haulix, on the other hand, encourages artists to create beautiful album promos that showcase the art and aesthetic that accompanies your latest release.

You can try Haulix for free today by signing up on the platform’s official website.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.