When it comes to online marketing, promotion and networking, Instagram is undoubtedly the go-to platform for musicians and creators. Instagram, essentially is a visual app but has diversified its tools to more than just a picture-sharing app.
There is no denying that a musician can’t get an optimal reach through Instagram and Facebook but artists are diversifying with their needs and the available platforms at their disposal.
Discord, Clubhouse and Spotify Greenroom are the three main platforms we will be touching upon in this article.
What is Discord? How can I use it?
Essentially used as a platform by gamers, discord slowly made its way into the music scene as well in India. Discord has been used as a tool in the Indian music industry roughly since 2020. Publications and record labels such as Gully Gang also have their discord server. This platform offers a variety of options such as networking, having conversations in real-time via audio, having listening sessions, and many more. Overall, these features make the platform more engaging for its users where they can share songs to be played, have a discourse about songs, music, and even connect with like-minded people.
The Indian Music Diaries also has a discord server which was started in 2020. It offers a range of tools such as networking, not only for musicians but also for other people involved in the independent music circuit such as writers, PR/marketing professionals, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, etc. This makes the entire discord community more wholesome and helpful for the musicians. It acts as a one-stop destination for a musician who is looking for any service related to their music and release. Another channel on TIMD’s discord server offers new musicians to share their music, thus giving a wider audience from the same community.
However, one major drawback of Discord is its not so user-friendly interface. It is still mainly attached to be a ‘gamers’ app’ and appears to be difficult and daunting to use for many people who aren’t well versed with technology.
What is the hype about Clubhouse? What am I missing out on?
I’d like to believe that as a musician you are missing out on a lot of networking opportunities by not being on Clubhouse.
Clubhouse recently rolled out their app for Android users as well and since then it has blown up. This audio-only application has provided musicians and artists with a completely different space to connect, network and play their music. With the latest updates, the app also gives you the option to message a person. Clubhouse, which is officially out of beta, is now accessible to everyone irrespective of getting an invite. Combine the best features of most social media platforms and apps and what you get is Clubhouse!
Clubhouse is often compared to video calls or even normal phone calls but what makes this application stand apart is that you can be in a room with literally anyone and can interact with them. Besides, musicians can get real-time feedback through its audio feature which makes the experience more wholesome. As a musician, you can be in the same room as your idol and play for them and know their feedback, listen to their voice and interact with them as if you are on a call with them.
Clubhouse has worked exceptionally well for singer-songwriter Anirudh Deshmukh and also the owner of the room Late Night Jam on Clubhouse. “This one platform is also helping my other platforms as a musician. I have gained more than three thousand followers on Instagram without even posting anything on Instagram,” says Deshmukh because he has linked his social media accounts on his Clubhouse profile. He believes that on this app, people listen to his work and the process of conversion is so real-time and organic, which isn’t always on Instagram because people only decide to listen to your music after reading your captions, consuming your content, etc.
Many publications and known musicians also have a Clubhouse presence where they host rooms to either give industry insights or act as an open mic to perform their music.
“Being an indie artist can be very lonely – and it’s good to connect with artists who share your struggles and passion for music. I have also found people in the audience outside of the music field – who have a genuine love for indie music and discovering new talent,” says singer-songwriter Hanita Bhambri who has a weekly room called Indie Musicians which is an open stage for musicians.
The sense of community is something to put a lot of emphasis on in this app. Deshmukh has built a strong community on this platform and he says, “I have noticed a pattern that any day I don’t show up on clubhouse my streams increase on Spotify and YouTube. When I’m missing Clubhouse, my audience is listening to my music elsewhere and I just have two songs out right now.” According to Deshmukh, this community has now become like his family who help him when he faces technical glitches.
The connection between the artist and the audience is quite real and there is no façade which makes the conversion rate to other platforms quite high. “I have played my songs in so many rooms that by now a few people have started to recognise me by one of my most popular songs (Clumsy) and I now have a set of audience who didn’t even know about me before Clubhouse,” says singer-songwriter and music educator Akash Chopra.
What is the new Spotify feature about?
Spotify Greenroom which is still in its beta testing stage has been rolled out less than a month ago. It follows a similar principle of Clubhouse with its audio facility and the sense of community through its rooms. For users residing in USA, there is a Greenroom Creator Fund which is created to support creators as they grow and build their community.
There is no denying the privacy concerns raised by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) against Clubhouse but musicians are still capitalising on this application. In a country like India where sustaining oneself by being an independent musician is tough, they have to use every means available.
It is not necessary to use all of these platforms or even be compelled to use them, but it is worth a shot. As an artist, you have to try, experiment and know which platform works best for you. For some, Clubhouse’s audio-only tool might be restrictive, while for some Discord might work wonders because of its diverse tools and community, and some might just wait for Spotify Greenroom to become more popular. Either way, it is okay! Use what works best for you and gives optimum results.