There are plenty of places to upload your music online – whether to showcase it, sell it or get it reviewed. In fact, there are so many of these sites available that it can often be a nightmare trying to work out which ones to use.
Here are some of the better ones and what they’re best for. We’ve referenced a few elsewhere in this guide, but there are plenty of new faces too.
Soundcloud is the best site to start with, and it looks great too.
They say: “SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. Recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets people easily share them privately with their friends or publicly to blogs, sites and social networks.”
We say: You’re looking at the gold standard for uploading music in a shareable format. Simple, brilliant and works just about everywhere.
They say: “Mixcloud’s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. We are re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes.”
We say: Mixcloud is best for when you’ve got a mix or a podcast you’d like to upload. It’s not so good for individual tunes, but when used in conjunction with Soundcloud it’s brilliant.
They say: “Discover amazing new music and directly support the artists who make it.”
We say: Its templates are limited, but you’re not going to find an easier way to sell your music online, or track where the sales come from.
They say: “Upload music and audio for free with no size and time limits or limits on the amount of uploads that can be stored in your account. Create your account today and you are ready to go!”
We say: An alternative service to Soundcloud. Worth investigating if you’re looking for something different, but while it has similar functionality, Soundcloud just feels more professional.
They say: “SoundOut is the market leading research and audience insight tool for new music that guarantees accurate and objective insight into your music, 100% powered by real music fans. SoundOut will help you select your strongest singles, decide where to focus your marketing effort and identify which demographics you should be targeting.”
We say: Judging by their reports, they give you some pretty thorough data. Be warned: the service does cost. But if you’re looking to control every aspect of your promotion, it’s well worth checking out.
They say: “Music Xray is a platform where artists can submit their music directly to Industry Professionals. When you submit to an opportunity, your track goes directly to the decision makers: no middle-men, no pre-screeners, just a direct link between artist and Industry Professional.”
We say: Hmmm. Indie acts or those from niche genres are unlikely to get much here, but it’s an active site and has some big names attached to it.
They say: “We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you.”
We say: Crowdfunding, tried and tested. If you’re confident that a wider audience will support your work, and you’re prepared to graft bloody hard to make it happen, dive in.
They say: “OurStage is a site that brings artists and music fans together in a truly democratic environment. For artists, OurStage is a place to make your music available to your fans, to find new fans, and to have your songs independently judged in competitions for some pretty great prizes.”
We say: The site rewards fans for reviewing your music, so it’s an attractive proposition. The design is fresh and funky, and we’ve heard good things from those who have sent their music in.
They say: “MadeLoud.com is a music website that incorporates the content of an indie music publication with the services of an online music retailer. Our intent is to create a site that empowers independent musicians to be who they are while maintaining creative control over their music and financial control of their sales.”
We say: Er…what? Get past the jargon, and you’ll find a site that acts in a similar way to OurStage, although the presentation leaves a little to be desired.
They say: “PledgeMusic is the most creative and interactive way for you to be part of your favourite artists’ journey in releasing new music. Through PledgeMusic, artists create new music projects, and when you Pledge on a campaign, you gain access to new music as well as exclusive content and often experience the creation process alongside the artist, all before the album officially hits the masses.”
We say: Kickstarter for music. The advantage? Narrows the audience, connecting you with dedicated fans of your genre.
They say: “Designed by web enthusiasts and skilled application developers, LastPass was created to make the online experience easier and safer for everyone.”
We say: Why are we recommending a password management site, you ask? Because being hacked sucks. Lastpass is, hands down, the most secure way of managing passwords known to man, and essential if you’re signed up to lots of sites.