If you are an independent artist, chances are you’ve gotten hit with every promotion scheme out there. You got all excited when you saw a message in your inbox that said, “We want to help promote your music” or something to the effect of, they can get you thousands or millions of new fans..plays…views. Is this a good idea? Yes and No.
First of all, you need to select who you use very carefully. Google the company or person, read reviews, contact other artists they say they’ve promoted for and ask them if they felt the service was worth the money. It is so easy to get sucked into spending hundreds a month without even realizing it. Seems like nothing when you spend $25 here and there, but it sure adds up!
The downside of this is it gives you a false idea of how many true fans you have. Many of them are paid by the company to view your video or play your song for so many seconds or minutes and more to leave a comment. You might end up with one or two real fans from the thousands that come and listen and say great things about you. More likely, they will just rush through it and never come back. Not only that, but many of these sites use bots and fake plays to fulfill the number guarantee! You can tell if they are using bots or fakes by the fact that they guarantee a concrete number of plays. They can’t possibly do that! ditto for likes and views. So don’t expect that if you have millions of ‘fans’ or views on YouTube that you are going to sell out a show or even sell more than a handful of records. The numbers just don’t add up. The other negative to this is that sometimes you give people in the industry a false idea of how many fans you actually have. So great, you look great, seem popular..they decide to sign you to management or a record deal for the song that seems so very popular on your YouTube page. Then they get you signed and they find out they can’t fill a hall because those fans were not real fans, they were bought and paid for. So, do you think they will come to a show without being paid? Not likely. Or they remix your song and put it on iTunes for sale and they sell a few hundred at best. You are then going to be shelved. Period. I believe this is exactly what happen to Marie Digby.
My advice would be, if you are going to put the money into promotion, you need to follow it up with live shows and you need to work your pages and spend money submitting things on sites like Taxi.com, Reverberation.com and MusicXray.com. These are all reputable sites that actually have obtained some good opportunities for artists and songwriters. But don’t simply pay for plays and views and then sit back gloating at the numbers. They truly mean almost nothing! These companies that do this are a dime a dozen. Not saying they are all bad, just not a real value if you do not use it as just a small part of your promotion. If you want to beef it up a bit by using one of these services that’s fine just don’t really expect it to launch you and there are probably much better things that you can spend your money on as a new artist!