I’ve recently fallen in love with a new music discovery/promotion website. I’ve really come to appreciate its simplicity for users as well as its practical potential for musicians. I know there seems to be a new website like this showing up on the web every other day, but this one in particular has stood out to me. Hear me out:
First, The Next Big Sound provides users with a simple, clean interface without all the extra customizable features and options that plague other sites. For now at least, this provides the site with a great focus: good music rises to the top.
Beautifully simple, right?
Here’s how it works.
Artists - If you are an artist, you submit a “demo” which consists of 1-4 songs, and you can enter in some basic information like a bio and your band members. This creates your own page at the site, “yourband.thenextbigsound.com” which makes it incredibly easy to direct potential fans to your demo. Your music is then entered into rotation in The Next Big Sound’s music player. If listeners find your music compelling enough, they can sign your band to their virtual label. The more people that sign your band, the more visible you become on the site.
Fans/Labels - If you don’t have any music of your own to submit, you can join The Next Big Sound as a music label/mogul. No, you don’t really have to be a record label. You create a virtual music label with a roster of music you love. The goal here is to grow your label’s reputation by collecting points. Points are rewarded for ‘signing’ a band to your label. The earlier you discover good talent, the more you are rewarded. For example, if you are the first label to sign an artist, you receive another point each time someone signs the band after you. As a new user, you are allowed to keep a maximum of 10 artists on your label’s roster, but as you acquire points, this number increases. In the mean time, you’ll have to choose wisely.
Initially, this may sound like another one of those gimmicky music promotion sites. Please don’t let that turn you off. This site is perfect for those artists who truly believe that they are undiscovered talent - you know, “the next big sound”. The site’s whole pull is that music listeners are rewarded for discovering good talent early. This means that there are fanatic music listeners (like myself) scouring the site for new demos, doing all of the promotion work for you. The limited roster sizes ensure that they only select the artists they like most.
This doesn’t mean that it’s only going to be Britney Spears and Hannah Montana rising up. Of course, “good” is totally subjective, which is why I believe the site uses the idea of virtual labels with rosters. This allows for labels to cater to niche markets, or in the case of my label, Tour Manure, somewhat diverse taste. The virtual labels can build rapport and trust in the community for finding and signing music that aligns with what they truly love.
If nothing I’ve said so far has piqued your interest so far, musicians, consider this. This is a website that you can join and not have to be a hustler to succeed. As a musician on The Next Big Sound, you can be relatively passive. It’s not going to be a huge time-suck for you, because it’s really the music listeners that do the hustling for you. You submit your demo, they decide what to do about it. There’s no excuse why you shouldn’t take the 5-10 minutes to submit your demo, let listeners decide, and see what comes of it.
This site isn’t just a game; there are some great and useful metrics for bands sitting under the hood. Just look at these screenshots from The Next Big Sound Dashboard:
Simple. Informative. Awesome.
Note: These screenshots are just from an account I created this morning, and the graphs will just become more and more useful as more information is gathered over time.
I’ve noticed that at least two of our readers, Jealous Monk and The Snake Charmers, have joined and just in the last several days are finding a new audience and getting ‘signed.’
If you are on The Next Big Sound, or you have any experiences to share about using the site, let me know. I’m interested to see how this website will grow and be useful to musicians.
RIP - ’Pushing Daisies’, ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ and ‘Eli Stone’
Looks like the bright execs over at ABC just delivered the bad news to all three show’s productions teams today. Each show will be allowed to finish out their 13 episode installments and will cease production immediately after that the 13th episode is wrapped. While not officially “canceling” the series, production on each show will cease after the 13 episode order is reached. The bright-side, there is a slight chance that either one of these shows could return in some form later down the line. Realistically… buy the DVD box-sets and enjoy them that way because new episodes will never happen. Besides ‘LOST’, ABC just lost it’s three other best shows.