Remix competitions can be really great. They allow fans to engage, producers to get creative and an artist to promote their song to whole new audiences who might not previously have listened. With the right artist and the right campaign you can also turn the competition into a great marketing tool.
Previously used by the likes of Röyksopp or Bloc Party, combining your SoundCloud account, your personal artist or label website and the SoundCloud Group features is a great way to set up your own remix competition. Here are five easy steps to get going.
1. Getting Started
First, upload the track parts to your account or create a new account for the remix contest specifically. Selecting more than one file (MP3, AIFF or ideally WAV), will automatically create a set which is recommended to have all the different parts in one player. Make sure to make your set public, downloadable and streamable to let people embed it to other sites. If you like, add the original version of the track for reference. Don’t forget to add metadata around the tracks and in the Set description, add more information like deadlines, prizes and link to other relevant pages on the web.
(Note: if you’re selling the stems, don’t make your tracks downloadable and instead, add “Buy links” to the required field)
2. Get your landing page ready
We recommend to set up a special remix page on your own website or blog. That way, you’ll have one place on the web to direct people to where they’ll find all the relevant information about your contest, the track parts, the DropBox and the submitted remixes. On your page, embed the set widget player with the stems. Simply click “Share” above the waveform and grab the embed code and paste it to your page or blog post.
3. Set up your remix group on SoundCloud
Your remix group will be where people submit their finished remixes. It’s quick, free and easy to create a group: add a logo, background info and let people know if you want the submissions to be downloadable or not.
We recommend you to moderate the group so you can pre-listen to a remix before it added the the group which gives you more control about the submissions. To do so, untick the box “Automatically approve tracks”:
4. Embed the Group DropBox to your landing page
Your DropBox is the eyecatcher for remixers to know where to submit their remix. You can easily embed it to your landing page. Remixers then click the DropBox and get redirected to your group where they can submit their remix. You’ll receive an email notification when a new track is waiting for your approval.
5. Embed the Group player to your landing page
You can embed the group player to your website so that people can listen to the latest submitted remixes. Here’s the cool part. Once you approve a track in your group, the embedded player on your site gets automatically updated with the newest additions in your group, saving you a lot of time to keep your embedded players up-to-date.
Grab the code by clicking the “Share” button on your group page:
Here are some top tips we’ve picked up from people who have already done remix competitions on SoundCloud:
Setup a dedicated page or blog. By setting up a dedicated space for the competition it not only shows you care about it but also serves as a great place for marketing messages, newsletter sign-up forms and similar. If you’re not technical there are plenty of great services like WordPress or Tumblr that you can get up and running very easily and customize just like you want.
Get the artist involved. If you’re a label or a third party putting on the competition then make sure to have the artist or band as involved as possible. Get them to tweet about it, comment on their favourite tracks, maybe even ask them to put together a video of them talking about what sort of mixes they’d love to hear. Imogen Heap was a perfect example where she managed to engage her fans and the response was amazing.
Get your timings + rules nailed. Create a schedule for the competition. When does it start, when will you close submissions, when will you make a shortlist of the best tracks, when will you be judging the entries. When will you post up the winning remixes. It’s nice to have all these different steps to keep people engaged all the way through the contest and be as transparent as possible about the rules of the contest.
Get great prizes. Some people will want to remix your music anyway, but prizes always help! Give away a day in the studio with an artist, team up with a music software/instrument company, offer a recording contract, include their mix on a special vinyl release. There’s lots of cool stuff you could do.
Team up with a media partner. It’s really helpful to spread the word about the competition. So why not team up with a magazine, radio station, brand or blog? You don’t have to pick just one partner. Because it’s so easy to distribute the SoundCloud player and/or DropBox you could get the remix competition to any number of music bloggers, websites etc. Also feel free to add it to the SoundCloud forums.