March 6, 2017
SoundCloud changes repost rules. How to adjust your music promotion strategy.
A few days ago, SoundCloud made a significant change to the way it handles reposts of your tracks. Have you noticed?
Reposts are without doubt one of the most important features of SoundCloud, allowing users to easily share music they like with their followers. This is particularly important for music artists and DJs on Soundcloud, who can hugely benefit from the viral distribution of their music via reposts.
Until a few days ago, SoundCloud allowed users to repost the same track multiple times. Users could repost a track, then un-repost it a few days later, and repost it again (also called a re-repost).
While some music fans considered re-reposted tracks a little “spammy” (because the same track would repeatedly appear in their feed), this feature actually added a lot of value for artists and content publishers on SoundCloud.
The goal of pretty much any artist – from bedroom producer to experience professional – is to reach the largest possible audience. SoundCloud profiles with an international following could use re-reposts to make sure more music fans in different time zones would see a new release towards the top of their feed when online.
This makes a lot of sense. The time of day when most of your fans in Germany are online to discover new music probably doesn’t overlap much with the highest online activity on SoundCloud for music fans in California for example.
From targeting fans in different time zones to simply increasing the percentage of followers on a SoundCloud profile that would check out a specific track, re-reposts were a useful feature for music promotion. But: this is no longer the case.
R.I.P. SoundCloud re-reposts.
A few days ago, SoundCloud modified it’s repost feature. Although there is no official statement from SoundCloud yet, it looks like only the first repost of any track ends up in users’ music feeds.
You can of course un-repost a track – but reposting it again will not put it back on top of your followers’ feeds. Instead, the track will go back to the slot of the initial repost. The effect is the same as if you had never un-reposted the track. No new distribution, no new boost, no new fans reached.
Understandably, a lot of SoundCloud users are pretty frustrated and vocal about this change. SoundCloud remains the number #1 platform for most music artists to reach an audience and build a fan base – so when they change the rules, it matters.
But even if re-reposts used to be a part of your music promotion strategy, this change by SoundCloud also presents an opportunity for artists!
Here are our three tips and tricks on how to turn SoundCloud’s new repost rules into an advantage for yourself:
#1 – Post and push new content more frequently
It’s common knowledge for most artists that there is a direct correlation between the amount and quality of content you post and your follower growth on SoundCloud. The more often you thrill your fans with great new music, the more engagement, support and hype you will get.
Re-repost could help “re-cycle” content to the top of fan feeds, even though it wasn’t brand new content.
The fix? Post new content even more often than before. This might seem daunting at first – how are you going to get more time to create more music? – but ‘new content’ doesn’t always have to be full, new, release-ready tracks.
Instead, break out one new production into multiple SoundCloud posts. For example, release an early preview of your track. Then publish the full track when it’s ready for your release. And finally, consider posting a mini-sample pack or vocal track of your song for other artists to remix. Now you turned one production into three different high-value posts on SoundCloud – and you may find that new, original content is even more powerful than re-reposted content for building a bigger and better fan base.
#2 – Use download gates with an auto-repost function
Since influencer channels on SoundCloud are no longer able to re-repost your music, it’s even more important that your fans do in order to maximize your tracks viral reach and distribution.
For any tracks you offer as a free download, make sure you use a download gate that supports auto-reposts – such as Hypeddit (shameless plug 😉 – and that you have this feature turned on. This will ensure that any fan who downloads your song automatically supports you with a new repost.
#3 – Take advantage of SoundCloud’s Playlist feature
There is a very simply way on SoundCloud to mimic a re-repost, even with the new repost rules:
Users can create SoundCloud playlists with a single-track in them. A new playlist will show up on top of your fans’ music feeds, even if the track has previously been reposted.
And there is even more you can do with single-track playlists to make them really legit and less “spammy”: Use the playlist title to share updates about your track with fans and spread the buzz.
For example, let’s say you released a track on Monday. By Friday, your track has charted in Hypeddit’s Top 100 Charts. This is an opportunity to create a single-track playlist and name it something like this:
“Chart Breaker Alert: ‘Artist Name’ – ‘Track Name’ hits #15 in Hypeddit Top 100”.
Now you’re not just re-sharing a track. You are sharing an important update about your track’s success with your fans, giving everyone a great reason why it’s time to check out your music again.
Is this the perfect work-around? Not really.
Followers who discover your track via a single-track playlist may now like or repost the playlist – not your track directly. That means not each fan interaction is going to grow your track’s stats.
A second disadvantage is that SoundCloud playlists don’t display comments/avatars on the tracks’ waveform. You may have a really great track with hundreds of comments – looking just as successful as it is – but inside a playlist it will look like it doesn’t have any comments.
Focus on releasing high-quality content often, use an auto-repost fan gate to maximize your track’s viral distribution, and add single-track playlists to your posts when you can combine a re-share of your track with a news update to your fans about the track’s success.
Now over to you:
How have you used re-reposts for your music promotion? How does this change in SoundCloud repost rules affect you?
We would love to hear from you and discuss in the comment section below. Keep it coming 😉