Download Gates or Fan gates
A fan gate is when you ask users to “Like” or “Follow” your social media profile before they see a piece of content – in our case as DJs/producers, it’d probably be a download of a mix or production. Some electronic music artists go as far as to provide remixes or bootlegs of popular tracks or stems of a track, while at the other end of the scale, some DJs simply exchange their mixes for a follow.
You’ve probably seen this before – you wanted to download a cool track from an artist on SoundCloud, but when you clicked on the “free download” link, your download didn’t automatically start, but rather sent you to a Facebook page prompting you to “Like” the page first. You then got the download in exchange for a “Like” of that page.
How to fan gate
Now just setting your fan gate up doesn’t necessarily bring tons of eyeballs to your music. While some artists’ results may look remarkable at first (and they are impressive), they results aren’t mysterious. Their success is because they ditched the “Upload and Pray” approach and embraced more strategic track promotion. If you want your music to get results, you can’t rely on the ol’ “Upload and Pray” approach either.
Why? The fact is: there are at least 10 hours of audio uploaded every minute as of 2014 and perhaps that number has doubled for 2015. And no one will see or hear your music unless you get off your behind and promote it. That’s why the DJs and producers quoted below emphasise the importance of promotion.
Here are the steps to take to ensure your music gets proper promotion:
- Have great artwork – Before uploading your music, the importance of having great artwork is important to make sure you grab the attention of those who come across your track. “A professional looking cover art or album art is deemed as a sign of legitimacy and plays an important roll as well,” says Frank M. Murray, from the old Facebook Like to Download App days
- Make playlists of your music – After uploading, some artists add or create playlists of similar sounds. This helps the listener seek out more of the same sounds you offer. “I create a new playlist with the track I am offering as a download. This way I can retain the play count metrics and if I decide to stop the promotion I don’t have to change anything about the track itself, just remove the playlist,” says Levi Whalen, Gumroad User
- Get the word out – Next, create ways to post your music or get it featured in a place that your target audience hangs out. “I network with various promotional pages that share/repost a comparable style of music to their audience. An audience that I feel is my ‘target demographic’. For example, I will find a page that is promoting ambient, chill electronic, as opposed to finding a DnB promotional page. Once they’ve shared my song with their audience, my traffic will increase temporarily. During this time, I hope for positive feedback and to know people are enjoying what I’ve created and want to hear more,” says Ian Campbell (NoxTros), a Hypeddit User
- DO NOT pay to promote on Facebook – We don’t mean paying for likes, but legitimate promotion here. If you want to pay to promote, do it on Twitter. It is more efficient, will reach the right audience, and costs only a tad bit more than Facebook, but the benefits outweigh the cost.
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