It takes hours and hours of hard work and talent to create great music, but how do you actually get people to listen to it and build your fan base? Any artist can provide their music on the vast array of platforms currently out there; whether it's iTunes, Spotify, 8Tracks, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, BandCamp, live in concert, or pretty much anywhere else you can upload your tunes.
You spend your limited marketing dollars promoting your music through the chaos of the millions of other advertisements that your limited attention spanned potential fans are hit with on a daily basis in hopes that someone, anyone, will actively visit you on one of your platforms and press the play button. According to Google's Double Click, the avergae click through rate as of April, 2014 for online advertisements related to Arts & Entertainment was 0.12%. That means on average, 0.12% of the people who view your ads actaully click on them with an even lower percentage hearing your music let alone sharing it. How can you expect people to actaully hear your music with such a low conversion rate?
In the modern era, it's clear that more and more people listen to music through online digital streaming radio and services. According to a Q4 2012 study by NPD Group, about 37% of time spent listening to music for ages 13-35 was spent on Internet Radio or On Demand Streaming.
According to a 2014 study by Edison Research, 2/3 of people age 12 to 24 and half of people age 25 to 54 listen to online radio monthly.
With the exponentially increasing rate that people listen to online streaming services along with how people discover new music, it's becoming even more important for artists to reach fans where they listen to music. It's more about bringing the music to the fans than it is bringing the fans to the music. You want them to hear your music while passively listening to streaming radio rather than have them sift through tons of online content to find you.
If a listener hears a song they like and don't know what it is, they are more likely to then make the action to find out and share it with friends. Getting your music not only heard, but then shared is also key to building your fan base. According to the same study by Edison Research, 21% of people use friends and family the most to keep up with music, second only to radio.
In the age of information, where we have the entirety of information known to man at our fingertips, you need to take measures to promote your music in a way that parallels how people listen to and interact with music today. We are in a complex digital age that is only spawning more complex distribution networks for music and media.