Reposting is the process on music sites whereby a third party can promote your music on their profile page at the click of an online button. Anyone following that user will see your track either on their page or in their stream if it was reposted within the time your stream is updated.
Its been an ok method for promoting music, but nowhere near as effective as Soundcloud’s groups function. I’ve spoken to a lot of other musicians on Soundcloud since they got rid of this useful function …you’d subscribe to a group and submit your music, listeners would then use groups like they might use internet radio – select the genre of the type of group and go to a page to stream music… the trouble is artists miss this feature quite a lot. It was handy, very good at getting large amounts of plays and at reaching new subscribers and listeners!
Soundcloud were an arse for removing the feature in my opinion. They said reposting was more effective – here I will outline the problems and the reasons why this is not true.
Number 1 – if you’re already a big listener on Soundcloud subbing to repost pages means the artists you care about disappear into the noise of your now overcrowded stream. This often means having to bookmark your favourites (who does that in this day and age?) just to see if they’ve released anything new.
Number 2 – You don’t just click a button. You’re relying on another human being to see a message or read an email. Some of these repost pages have well over 30,000 followers. That is a lot of communication for people to wade through.
Number 3 – these accounts often come with criteria you have to follow before being reposted. This can include following their account, reposting a track or a playlist of the artist involved (the old you scratch my back), even payment in some circumstances.
Number 4 – here is the rub. Soundcloud sets limits on the number of reposts a page can handle. This is to stop spam and to limit the noise in people’s streams. I had a short twitter conversation with their help team about 2 months back over this issue. I don’t repost a lot, yet they’ve put my accounts on restrictions a couple of times – they suggest this is to stop re-reposting, however that wasn’t what had happened in my case. I had a repost page whereby I would select around 20 of my favourite tracks and repost those on a Wednesday and Sunday evening. I had around 250 followers on that account. In the end the restrictions Soundcloud put in place meant I closed the page down. I occasionally now repost a couple of tunes a week on my main profile but that’s as far as I go now.
Scale this up to large Repost pages and we have a problem. We have problems with trying to be heard above the noise. We have problems with actually getting your music promoted in the first place.
And there are other problems. Repost account users often aggressively target new followers in private messaging. I’ve personally lost count of the number I have had to block and report as a result. Another tactic they use is to click like without ever actually pressing play, and often on genres that are unrelated. When I signed up for the Pro Unlimited account on Soundcloud this enabled me to see exactly every user who pressed play. A play is recorded when a user listens past a certain length of a track (although I’ve heard different takes on how far through a track this is). None of these Repost account actively listen to any of my music, they just click the like button. I’ve spoken to other Pro Unlimited users who have told me the same. The stats are that powerful.
All of this leads me to conclude two things. One is that Soundclouds own actions lead me to believe that they will phase out reposting at some point (possibly in favour of paid promotions). Secondly that the ordinary Soundclouder is simply not going to get any advantage from these schemes.
However – if you’re friends with one or two people who have their own small repost pages these are the sorts of accounts where you do gain listeners. The reason for this is because those accounts are respected, their creators do listen and followers to those in turn say to themselves “if he/she like that music, then I might too!”