Are Blogs/Soundcloud/YouTube Channels Making Money Off Your Music?

by JM on February 8, 2013

Dear Producers,

You should NEVER let anyone brand your music. I will admit that I’ve done it in the past and had Exclusives but back then Soundcloud and YouTube worked very differently. This is not to say that don’t let others repost your music but noticed how I use the work repost vs brand your music.

If you actually use marketing or advertising techniques (high recommend) you’ll lose all that data and information from people who listen or play your music. There are TONS of analytics that you should be looking at OR have a marketing/advertising person monitoring. When you hand over permission for someone to upload or use your music via their outlet, all of that is gone. You’re ultimately letting them capture your audience and even give them the power to advertise to these people and make money from your audience.

How could you leverage other networks to support you via their Soundcloud, YouTube, Blog, etc… You make sure they SHARE/Re-POST your soundcloud tracks or videos. The major issue is Soundcloud and YouTube. You lose the plays on your account and the opportunity to have the new listeners find you on other social media outlets that you can leverage by pointing them to which ever you want (Facebook Like to Download). If the channel SHARES your track anyone who Follows or Like’s their channel will STILL see it and they are leveraging their audience for YOU not THEM.

There are also advanced strategies that allow anyone who hits their page/channel and plays your track to be added to their list versus yours. All this can be prevented if you simply require them to point to YOUR track or website. YouTube channels are a big culprate of this. I can’t tell you enough how bad it has gotten on Soundcloud. Websites and networks should be building GROUPS not profiles. If they are posting a track on a blog post make sure they are using YOUR account or profile versus theirs.

Don’t be a fool and think that they are helping YOU vs them when pushing your music for you. They are ultimately using your music to help themselves. Just look for banners, ads, sponsored links, etc… All that traffic they are getting for your name and music is making them money. I’ve been running this blog for three plus years now and always made it a point to not advertise or take money for post. I might be running banners for festival events but assure you that all I receive in return is a ticket to cover the event.

I just want to make sure producers are aware of this and it’s a very real thing that’s happening. Times are changing and you deserve the gains versus others. If they are really out to help you they’ll use your links and mediums versus theirs and share it properly to help you not them.

Let me close this rant off with introducing you something that you might of considered… If you’re a moderately successful producer and want to take it to the next level you might want to consider bringing in someone who specializes in Marketing or Advertising. It’s a common practice to have an agent or manager but their roles and skill set usually and almost never in building your market share. PR people help out with this but deal more with keeping your name in the media but not DIRECTLY reaching people. Think about it like this if any business wants to grow or reach more people they invest in public relations, marketing or advertising. This is why I’m building an agency with a talented artist manager to address these issues and make sure artist aren’t taken advantage of.


* Note: The old Soundcloud does not have the SHARE feature. The new Soundcloud allows you to SHARE someone elses track and appears on their feed so anyone who Follows the profile will see that they shared the original track from the Producers profile.

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  • February 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Dear AfroMonk,

    What could possibly give you the right to tell producers not to market their music? The whole point of making music (other then self gratification), is to spread it around to others. There are different people in the music industry who do different jobs. Producers know how to produce, singers know how to hit the right notes, and bloggers know how to proliferate your music. You’re basically telling a newspaper not to print news articles because they’re making money. How do you think newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets survive (off peanuts, clearly).

    Powerful media outlets have the ability to gather viewers in one area to find new music. It is then up to the listener to decide whether or not to follow the artist. The bloggers, writers, and media outlets spend their lives building a brand and a following. They put their time, effort, and lives into making themselves a viable news source far beyond what the artist could generate on their own…and every artist we’ve ever worked with has been extraordinarily thankful for this opportunity!

    You go on to explain,

    “I’ve been running this blog for three plus years now and always make it a point to not advertise or take money for posts. I might be running banners for festival events, but assure you that all I receive in return is a ticket to cover the event.”

    Why would you be putting in so much work for an event pass? There’s a difference between doing this for fun, and running a successful business that excels at branding, marketing, and growing as a company. How are you going to criticize the people who are starting and spear-heading the underground movement? Blogs and YouTube are the whole reason why top 40 tracks and radio have begun to die out. The people had a desire for quality music, not the music that was being pumped relentlessly into their heads, over and over again. If it wasn’t for the blogs, half of the artists that are out there performing and doing well for themselves would still be listening to you rant about nonsense.

    Understand what the power of an underground media outlet does for music. If you can’t understand this, then keep feeding into the Pitbull, Flo-Rida, and other Top 40 crap that the label executives are feeding you.


    Ethan Baer & Alex M3GA

    • February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      I’m NOT tell artist not to market their music. What I’m saying is to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of media outlets by agreeing to let them re-upload their music. I’m informing artist to PROPERLY get their music and art covered. What I’m doing is letting them know that there are outlets who are taking advantage of them because they don’t realize what some blogs and websites are doing is taking away from them. How? Well easy, They re-upload the artist music under the websites profiles. Why is this wrong? Well because the blog or website SHOULD simply use the artist links. Soundcloud, YouTube, Bandcamp, etc… ALL HAVE EMBED CODES. They are there for a REASON. No website should re-upload the content the artist made BECAUSE that’s what Soundclouds SHARE feature is for.

  • February 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    These websites ARE taking NUMBERS away from the artist when the site can easily just REPOST/EMBED where the artist originally posted it on THEIR profiles.

    Same goes for Soundcloud. People who follow a websites/blogs Soundcloud will now see any track the Website/Blog SHARES. This mean NO NEED to have the profile of the website/blog re-upload this original artist work.

  • February 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Very nicely put man. I never really thought of it much in that way before, but it’s really true what you said about losing out on publicity if it’s being hosted by a 3rd party.

    But for some artists, would it not be more beneficial than not to be featured on a blog / channel that gets lots of hits, even if it’s not thier page? I know myself that if I hear something I really like, I will take it uppon myself to search them out.

    I don’t have a whole lot of experience on the marketting side outside of events on a local scale, but I would definately be interested to hear more about what you think and know about it.

    Props! 🙂

  • February 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hello John, Ethan & all other parties.

    To start and I quote, “You should NEVER let anyone brand your music.” is a VERY one sided comment on your behalf!

    Personally, I believe any intelligent producer would have a common “Worth” for their music and can decide for themselves if having someone else market their production is creditable enough or not. There are some widely followed marketing sites who may have intentions to make “money” from posting others music but they also expose Unsigned and even Signed artists to a WIDER audience for NO price to the artist! – It’s this that makes them creditable to feature “Exclusives”.

    From a producers point of view, the idea of giving a marketing site an “Exclusive” track is that of one that is a mutual decision between artists and site, a track that has been posted up previously and has sat on Sounclound for the last 6 weeks isn’t exclusive to the Network as it’s still available in other places. Surely you would make music that is specifically for promotion right?    

    Iv’e have had various features within one particular network who have marketed/published my music online and I couldn’t thank them enough for the traffic they have brought to my personal Soundcloud profile throughout the last 6 months! In soundcloud “STATS” terms it isn’t the play count or download Numbers that allow a track to chart, it’s the amount of favourites and reposts a track receives. With my little amount of followers I wouldn’t ever have the chance of charting within any soundcloud listings but when giving tracks Exclusively to highly established networking site I VERY much do so!

    I see your points about taking away from personal plays and reposting from the personal artist profile would be a more “Fair” way of promoting others music but I’m thankful to anyone who is willing to spread word about my music and would happily give them music if I believed it to be beneficial to myself and of course them!

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