I wrote about this a while back giving advice about sending CD promos and the early days MP3 file promos. So it’s time for an update. I want you to see this from the other side of the fence. The side of the fence that drives me and others mad! What you guys don’t see is the massive amount of promos we receive each and every day. I’m not joking when I say I get around 30 – 50 promo links each and every day.
The internet has changed everything. When producers sent out CD’s there was a cost involved:, CD’s, envelopes and international shipping, so they choose wisely. In today’s World there is no cost, so people gather a database and send out links to the masses in one hit. It’s time consuming downloading each track, and annoying when people send the wrong style music to you or the label. You can see exactly who these guys are from the main mail (addressed to themselves) with the group bcc’d. The problem you have here is the loss of respect from the DJ/record label because you’re sending the wrong music style to the wrong label. We get to know their names and end up deleting them instantly in the future. The danger is you may actually change your style and have something interesting but you wont get listened too.
My advice is to do your homework and make a short list of DJ’s and labels that you think would actually like your production. Send a personal email to each and every one of them and make references to some of their releases you like, or previous tracks the DJ has played. This way it’s more personal, and the recipient will see you have an interest in their label etc. Importantly keep the email short. A longwinded blabbering hype email falls on death ears to us industry guys, the amount of times we see theses and the music is terrible at the end of it. We pretty much head straight for the download link and let the music do the talking. Honesty is a great asset. Simply saying, ‘hey I’m a new producer I have this idea but need help finishing’ will help and may get a reaction. I myself have signed a few tracks this way, I ended up getting involved helping the producer get the track finished with my advise. We can hear when someone has potential.
They way you send the files makes a HUGE difference. I’ll repeat again, we get sent on average between 30 – 50 promo links every day. It can sometimes take us 3 – 4 weeks to get through these. It’s a constant battle. Using file transfer sites like Yousendit and Sendspace are bad news, because the files expire after 7 days. We click on the link, get the message ‘file expired’ and usually end up deleting. I’m being honest. It’s time-consuming writing back to all of these guys saying please resend. It takes up a huge amount of precious time. Also many people using the ‘free’ version of Sendspace don’t realise a couple of things; 1) They have a daily download cap, meaning we get the message at the other end saying ‘you reached your daily download limit’. Again this gets deleted. 2) Here at the receiving end, we can only download one Sendspace link at a time. If we get multiple Sendpace links from various producers (at a capped slow speed because it’s free), it becomes a tedious task and I’ve known many just to delete them all. Imagine a UPS delivery guy coming to your door and saying I have 30 small parcels for you but can only deliver one at a time. You then watch him take a slow long walk back and forth to his truck bringing you the parcels. That’s how it feels!
Companies like Rapidshare and Zshare again have a capped slow download speed with a bloody annoying feature that makes you wait a minute before the download begins. Doesn’t sound a long time, but you end up opening multiple tabs for other files while waiting and completely lose track of where you’re at downloading. The countdown ends, then after a while (if you don’t take the file immediately) turns the page into a load of adverts for online casinos or Russian dating sites! So you have to refresh and start again, or delete. My best advice here is to use your own server that you can send out a private link. This way it’s a simple case of the recipient clicking and listening/downloading at a superfast speed. There’s plenty of free companies around like; www.getdropbox.com.
I’m not convinced with Soundcloud. Problem here, everyone lets their tracks be available to the public hoping they will get popular or signed. There’s no way I will sign a track that’s the World has already heard or downloaded. The same goes for my DJ set too, we all like to play exclusive tracks.
Oh…don’t send attachments of the tracks either. Many label owners/DJ’s maybe constantly on the move internationally and get really pissed off when a huge MP3 file is holding up their mail while on a crappy hotel Wifi connection. You get instantly deleted!!!
I hope this gives you an insight to how it works from the other side of the fence.