Thursday, May 6, 2021

How (and WHY) to send out download codes on Bandcamp


TLDR; Send free download codes to reviewers and super fans to quickly get the word out on your music. Here's how!
This post is for all the bands out there who are trying to get the word out on their music. Well, that should be EVERY band regardless of their size, but especially new underground bands who don't have a label and a PR company and all that. Bands have to get things done yourselves.

Bandcamp is not always the place where most fans will find your music. More often, that is YouTube, Instagram, and Spotify, or maybe Facebook or SoundCloud.

But the reason Bandcamp is important is because Bandcamp is where the super fans and reviewers will find you.

And just as importantly, Bandcamp makes it SUPER easy for a reviewer such as myself to listen to your music. All I have to do is hit PLAY, then I read your bio, check out the tags, etc. But if you send me a link to Spotify it won't let me play all of your tracks or SoundCloud which won't let me download .... then it's a huge PIA and if I'm busy so maybe I won't have time to check out your music. THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT!

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! When you send me a download code, now I can DOWNLOAD your music (hence the reason it is called a download code right) and play it on my big ass ancient analog speakers along with Mrs. Cracklins while we enjoy some beverages. You want your music to be enjoyed the right way so help me do it.
AND ANOTHER THING -- now I can pull a clip out of your track so I can post it along with my review. Fans love clips! I love your music! You love your fans! 
If you only have one album on Bandcamp, then you have 100 free download codes by default.

AND -- this is MUCH more effective (and cheaper!) than buying ads or hiring a PR service. (Those can be effective later on in your career, but a band with a debut album will get much more exposure using Bandcamp codes.)

If you release more albums, then you have to buy more codes. You have to assign 100 codes at a time to each album separately.

HERE'S HOW TO GET DOWNLOAD CODES
  1. See if you have any codes for the album. Maybe you already bought them. Or if you only have one album, you already have 100 free ones. Hit your artist page on Bandcamp and click on TOOLS (hiding in the menu under your avatar)
  2. Scroll down to TRACK / ALBUM CODES
  3. If your album does not have any codes, generate some new ones. It is 100 at a time.
  4. If you need to buy new codes, it is only three dollars. That is 3 cents per code. You cannot buy publicity any cheaper than this. IMPORTANT! You probably want to buy codes for an ALBUM rather than an individual track. 
HERE'S HOW TO SEND THEM OUT
  1. EXPORT the list of codes. 
  2. Copy a code. Paste it into an email.
  3. Make it easy! Include the link so I can redeem the code. Your account only has one link to redeem codes which is shared by all your albums. That is why you had to generate download codes for each specific album. Go to any of your album pages and copy the link for REDEEM CODE. It will look something like https://theswamprecords.bandcamp.com/yum 
  4. Send the email to fuzzycracklins@gmail.com 
  5. I listen to everything that I can download. It might take me a while but I will listen to your music and get back to you if I am able to write a review. 
WHO TO SEND DOWNLOAD CODES TO
  1. Send me one. I'm at fuzzycracklins@gmail.com so that I can hear your music for a review. Or, send me 50 if you want me to share them with The Swamp Krewe (my monthly subscribers who are all Bandcamp superfans), or 100 if you want me to send them to my massive mailing list of Bandcamp followers. 
  2. Send them to other reviewers. I'm going to keep it real and tell you right off that many reviewers are not interested in getting asked to do a review AFTER you released your album. (I don't give a shit, but then I'm not most reviewers.) So ideally you are doing this 4 to 6 weeks before your release.
  3. Do a give-away on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media you are into. Just paste in 5 or so. Not too many. Fans get excited when it's special. 
  4. Give away some codes to your Bandcamp followers. They follow you because they like your music. So reward them with some free stuff. And now they appear as supporters on your album page, and your album will appear in their Bandcamp feeds, etc. Getting the word out!
Questions? Comments? Contact Fuzzy Cracklins at fuzzycracklins@gmail.com

Listen to THE FUZZY UNDERGROUND with interviews with bands, artists, and presenters about music and news from the heavy music scene. Listen at https://fuzzycracklins.podbean.com/ or on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/show/18cV8dnYIzx9OhMjsiIcRZ
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