When any band starts one of the first stepping stones is recording that first demo and sending this to their favourite labels. This system classically has taken place with artists submitting demos through the post, sending over MP3 files or bands sending across links to their Myspace pages. And sometimes all three. From a label’s perspective it’s becoming more and more essential to simplify this whole process.
What if this system was streamlined and centralized? Well it can be. SoundCloud has a really useful free tool called DropBox, that enables you to streamline your demo submission process. It’s being used by labels ranging from Fat Cat Recordings to EMI and we think that more people could be making the most out of their DropBoxes.
So here’s a quick post covering everything you’ll need to know to create a quick, simple and cost effective demo submission policy for your label. Hopefully it will make checking demos feel like an interesting discovery process again, not just a chore.
Why use a DropBox?
Your DropBox page is where people can go to send you tracks directly via SoundCloud. By using the SoundCloud DropBox feature it allows you to:
- Centralize and organize all demo submissions
- Stream submissions without taking up space on your desktop
- Enables everybody, even people who are not on SoundCloud, to share their tracks with you
- Embed a DropBox on to any site where you want to receive submissions (including Facebook)
- Receive submissions that can feature links to videos and further information on an act
How do I setup and let people know about the DropBox?
If you have a SoundCloud account then you automatically have a DropBox. So you can get started straight away with receiving demos. There are two ways you can direct attention to your DropBox page. Firstly you can use the direct link to the DropBox and include this link wherever necessary eg. in your email signature. Alternatively you can grab a rather nice looking DropBox widget to embed on your own site eg. on your ‘Contact’ page. The widgets work as a great visual presence on your site as an easy click through for people to follow to go to your DropBox. You can grab the embed widget codes from the right hand side of the DropBox page on your public profile.
With our premium accounts you can customize the look and feel of your DropBox page as well as leaving information on your demo policy, what you’re looking for etc. To customize your DropBox click on the ‘Edit your branded DropBox’ option as shown in the image above. From here there is a number of options you can edit on your branded DropBox page:
- Add header and body background images
- Customize the text and logo
- Edit the color scheme
All your submissions through your DropBox can be viewed from the ‘Tracks‘ section on your SoundCloud account. If you go to ‘Tracks’ from there you can choose to view tracks sent to you ‘from people you follow’ and ‘from others’. By making the most of the follower aspect of this separation it is a helpful filter to separate submissions to other incoming audio. Tick the box saying “Only show tracks shared to my DropBox”
The tracks on this page will play one after another so from a label perspective you can leave the page open while you get on with other asks and listen through all the submissions. If one track hits you with a moment of inspiration then click through on the player for further info on the artist and to contact the individual via SoundCloud. Once you have finished with a track in your DropBox just press the delete icon on the top right of each player, as simple as you would with an email client. If you don’t want to hear any more tracks from a certain user then simply click the ‘mute’ option!
So if you’re a label, why not try this out? And let us know what you think in the comments. If you’re not a label then let us know if you’ve found any other interesting uses for your DropBox.
We’ve put together a nice little selection of screenshots from other labels using the demo DropBoxes to provide you with a bit of inspiration. How about trying to send me a track through my DropBox…