Since 2005, Finnish artist Matti Paalanen has used Jamendo to increase his fan base for his numerous music projects. Matti is the man behind Celestial Aeon Project, Frozen Silence and Project Divinity among others. His music has been licensed hundreds of times through Jamendo PRO and, all together, his music has had 2.3 million listens on Jamendo – pretty impressive! Learn how to increase your listenership, too, by reading Matti Paalanen's top tips for artist exposure.
Internet has been an invaluable tool for me as a composer/producer. I started publishing my tracks back in the day on Finnish mikseri.net which is sort of a Finnish version of Jamendo (although not tied to Creative Commons) but Jamendo truly opened the way for me with its licensing system and widgets.
Other artists have already given really good tips with which I agree, so I'll try to offer a bit different view towards internet publicity and music. I guess my own road has been a bit different also because my genres are not too mainstream - my main projects revolve around instrumental orchestral soundtrack tunes, electronic ambient and piano minimalism. Hence the size of my potential audience is drastically smaller than say trance or pop project's would be. Which leads to my first point:
- Know your target audience
When you know what your music is all about, what your influences are and what makes you enjoy your music, you can start thinking of who the people are who would be interested in your sound and style. Depending on your genre, the road towards internet publicity can be quite unique.
For example my main project, Celestial Aeon Project, is mainly about fantasy themed orchestral soundtrack tunes and a few main ways I have gotten listeners and fans has been via role playing game communities and fantasy computer game communities. I have compiled a few compilations of my mp3s and integrated them into music add-on packs for such games as Oblivion and when the game was published, I managed to acquire quite a large follower-group on the game's modification forums when the pack was released, and most of the people truly listened and enjoyed the tunes a lot! I have also pointed the tunes as a potential background soundtrack for various role playing groups around the world, and feedback has been really good.
So my point is this - try to find the communities and activities that are close to your music and find a way to make them work for you. But don't be aggressive or pushy, you just have to trust your quality and let people find it if it is worth finding!
- Quality over quantity
This is something I personally find hardest to follow. My personal studio work is mainly improvisational and rushed. I rarely have motivation to really tweak and hone the outcome - usually I just dish out one tune in one session and that's it. Luckily the quality of VST instruments and experience with sequencer helps to keep the basic quality decent, but I am really trying to move towards better quality and take it away from release speed. Remember that any tune any listener will hear from you first will be the most important factor in the question of whether he will enjoy it, and more importantly will he share your project with his friends! It's an expensive loss if most of your tunes sound crappy and uninteresting, even when the musical ideas would be good.
Just try to make Google work for you. Try to find as many ways as possible to get your music pages linked with reasonable context and make people find it through ways you'd like them to find it! This can be tricky and technical, but the internet is all about links between sites. But once again, remember not to be too aggressive, pushy and arrogant.
Influences are important, but try to avoid straight copying. You have to have some important twist and amount of personality to make your project sound unique and interesting. This cannot be said too many times.
You have to have faith in your productions and just keep on trying. Every listener is a small victory and if your material is good enough, it will hopefully bring more listeners. If you feel like you are not getting fans, you have to listen to your productions critically and think how could you make them better.