Releasing music online? See if others can find you
In 2020, record labels still run the industry. They have a hold over all the biggest artists in the world, and most musicians see them as the only way to succeed. However, that narrative should have been left in the past years ago.
While a contract at a label may help you get big, it also comes with many caveats. They famously exploit artists by taking control of their creative output. They see money as success, at the cost of good creative expression.
These days, you don’t have to become famous to have a large fanbase and earn good money. On the contrary, if you know how to release music online, whether through Bandcamp, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, or other mediums, you can gain loyal followers who love what you do.
But most artists struggle to get a real idea of how easy it is for fans to find them. Analytical tools only get you so far. If you want to see what fans find, you need to become anonymous.
The reason you need to become anonymous online is because our web browsers, along with Google and other monoliths, know everything about us. When you search for music, you will be directed to results based on everything you’ve done online.
So, if you want to know what listeners who have nothing to do with you, and who even live in different countries, see when they search your genre, you need to let all that go.
Here is how you can do it.
Download a VPN
The first thing you need to do is download a VPN at www.VPNPros.com. A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of security software that routes your connection through an external server, hiding your location and IP address and encrypting your data.
It is important that you use a VPN to maintain control over your data and keep yourself safe from cyberthreats. However, it has the added advantage of making you anonymous. You can choose a server anywhere else in the world, and you will see search results based on that location rather than your own. Also, your connection will not give away everything there is to know about you.
A good VPN costs around $10 a month, although you can get huge discounts for long term subscriptions. There are free options, which are perfect for this kind of basic anonymity, but won’t be enough for your security in the long run.
In 2020, you probably don’t need anyone to tell you what incognito mode is. But, to sum it up, it is a window in your browser that works independently of all the information your browser has on you. It is not logged into your accounts and does not access your cache. Nor does it store your activity in your history.
With your VPN on and set to a server in a different location, open up an incognito tab and search with different terms to see how easy (or difficult) it is to find yourself. You will get a good idea of what potential fans around the world can see, so that you can use this information to optimize your reach.