by Nick Hardy on Aug 12th, 2011
On July 14th Spotify was finally released in the U.S. after much anticipation.
Since 2008 there’s been a similar service available in the U.S. called Grooveshark. There is an ongoing debate that’s trying to determine the future of music industry where many think streaming subscriptions could be the answer. People as consumers of music have been conditioned to want as much as possible and everything now. Streaming music services could be the answer to the failing industry as it offers nearly an infinite amount of songs, for a low price and all at your fingertips.
Both Spotify and Grooveshark offer premium rates at only $10/month. For now, Spotify has a leg up on the mobile functionality as iTunes and the Android market will not carry Grooveshark’s mobile app. If you’re not smart enough to jailbreak your phone or side load apps on your Android, you’re stuck waiting for litigations to clear for Grooveshark land.
While both of these services have their pros and cons and I could rant on how much I love Grooveshark compared to Spotify as an average consumer; there’s a couple of features that Grooveshark provides artists and their management team to help them fine tune their song’s push into the market place.
Within artist.grooveshark.com, artists can create an account and upload music and artwork. After the songs and artwork have been verified the music will be stream-able in a few days (I’ve had it appear as quick as 24hours). From here you can keep tabs on play analytics such as total plays, which songs are getting played most and which songs are being included in other Grooveshark users’ playlists. All of this is great data to monitor; for instance, when you release a new track from an upcoming album or perhaps trying to determine your next set list for tour.
One of the best services Grooveshark gives artist is through their radio promotions. Their radio functions in the same fashion as Pandora: you pick an artist to start with and the platform will choose similar artist to play next creating the potential of finding your new favorite band.
Pandora makes it difficult to submit your music for play. You must submit:
- a full-length CD
- the UPC
- have the CD available at Amazon as a physical product
- submit mp3’s for exactly two tracks from the CD
If you get all those ducks in a row – Pandora has a system of comparing styles based on a number of features, but they don’t let you pick who YOU think you sound like. There is the potential of missing the mark all together when left up to a math equation.
Grooveshark on the other hand lets you submit a list of artist you think your band sounds like and they will pair your songs up to those that you select. On the lowest scale, for $20 you are guaranteed 250 plays for a song you choose to run in a campaign. On the highest scale, for $2,500 you are guaranteed 75,000 plays.
When a campaign is started you’re able to keep up with the progress. You can view how much of the campaign has been completed, show many song plays you’ve accrued, how the overall campaign is doing and view data charts much like the above image. Grooveshark will put a “good rec” icon next to the artist that you’re pairing well with. According to Blaise DeAngelo, Grooveshark’s Director of Artist Relations, “A ‘good rec’ is an indicator of the approval rating of listeners who heard the song after another given song. To get “good rec” status, >50% of the people who were recommended your song after that given target artist liked it. We define “liked it” as listened to it without skipping it.”
As of this date, there are no other platforms offering stream-able music for free or at a small rate that’s working for the artist, except Grooveshark. I’ve heard they’re in beta for a few more extremely powerful analytical tools and I hope soon they will be able to push through the iTunes and the Android market. If you are an artist or manger and have yet to upload your music to their system, I strongly encourage you to do so. The social sharing options the platform provides are seamless and playable across the Facebook platform. If you’re just an average fan of music looking for a new way to acquire it, again I highly recommend Grooveshark. Compared to Spotify the overall layout is more visually aesthetic and customizable. Finding songs and albums are simple and your account can be accessed anywhere there is a computer, where as Spotify is a stand alone application that must be downloaded. Check out the website at: www.grooveshark.com and start uploading your music at artist.grooveshark.com