'LaunchSong', a brand-new platform for Independent Musicians!

Rank new songs across various genres by independent artists! Review: ✭✭✭✭✭

Pros: Free for artists & listeners, Easy-To-Use, Puts your music in front of indie music lovers. Cons: Broad genres, Some navigation issues due to being a new platform.

Overview LaunchSong is a new platform for independent artists. Think of it like a global Indie music chart for new & upcoming independent artists. The platform provides two interconnected services. Music makers can upload links to their music (SoundCloud & YouTube supported currently, with the option to add Spotify Links) on the platform, and their music will be played to audiences with similar artists in groups of 5 tracks. Listeners must listen to at least 20 seconds of each tracks, after which they can rank them from Best to Worst. Based on reviews, the songs are then assigned a point and ranked on the platform. Simple as that!

Example of a ranking match-up. When a song is first uploaded, it's given a score of 1600. From there, it earns or loses points based on ranking. Being ranked in the middle is a neutral score, being ranked in the top two has a positive score, and the bottom two loses you points. Furthermore, the ranking is weighted, meaning that beating out higher-ranked songs earns you more points, and losing out to higher-ranked songs loses you less. Conversely, beating the bottom song on the platform won't boost your score as much, and losing to lower-ranked songs will cause a higher loss of points. The top ten songs of every genre are shown in the Top Songs page, and the best of all are shown on the homepage. Monthly top scorers are also shown in a separate page! For casual listeners, it's a great way of discovering random music from lesser-known artists. I've been on the platform for a while and have discovered at least 5 new artists that I'm a huge fan of now! Artists that I wouldn't have discovered until well into their career. Artists like myself that are grinding their way to the first 100 or 1000 fans! It's a safe bet that people who are seeking out smaller newer platforms like this and upload their content are at least somewhat serious about their craft, so the quality of the music is incredibly high, despite the artists not being the most famous out there! Artist User Experience As an artist, it's easy to get started and hey, it's completely free! Did I mention that? Setting up takes no time, and you can post all social media links, and website links on your profile. When you upload a song for rankings, it needs to be a YouTube or SoundCloud link, but you can optionally post the Spotify link as well, and it'll be shown under your song every time it's in a ranked match-up.

example of how your song appears in a ranked match-up. On the left, you can add the song to your favourites. In the middle you can go to the song on Spotify, and on the right you will see a small clock sign. The clock is red until you have listened to at least 20 seconds of the song, after which it turns Green! Essentially, this a great way to get a lot of new and random strangers to your page in an organic way, and also gives you an idea of how your music ranks against other artists of a similar calibre. This is very useful, because I believe that it's essential for indie artists to find similar artists to compare themselves to. More established artists are great to aspire to, but not to compete with. It should be said that a musician starting their journey right now has a very different path to walk than even a new artist 2 years ago. The industry has changed entirely, therefore it's crucial to track your progress alongside your peers rather than predecessors. This is NOT a platform for advertising music. This is a platform to discover new music! As much as I'm dying to get my music out there, I also wanna be up to date with my scene, and I want to help other indie artists because I know how much of a struggle it is. Expecting people to do something for you that you're unwilling to do for them is a sure-fire way of failing in this industry or any other. To be heard, you must also be listening. That said, this platform will definitely get you new listeners. Bear in mind that this is a very new platform. As you spend more time on there, you are helping it grow, and you are in turn growing your own potential audience! Right now it's also a great time to use it, because due to the amount of music on the platform being quite small, you are likely to show up in many many random match-ups, possibly multiple times for the same user, and if you know anything about music psychology, you'll know that repeated exposure to a song is magic! It can turn a negative or a neutral opinion of your music to a positive one. Think of what you felt about a recent hit. I can think of so many instances where I hated a new hit single when it came out, and hearing it over and over again made me like it after a while. Some music just needs time to grow on you, but in today's world, you often get one chance to show your music to a potential fan, and often in very small chunks of a few seconds only. Catching their attention in such a short time turns into an artform in and of itself, and something that can stifle your creativity and affect your songwriting choices from a "marketing" standpoint. With this platform, you can be sure that listeners get multiple, substantial instances of exposure to your song, and who knows, maybe it'll grow on them just fine! One area where LaunchSong could improve is, for example, having a browse section, or integrating a comments system into the platform. Listeners can always click on your YouTube and Soundcloud and comment there, obviously, but providing them with a way of doing it from the platform could be a neat idea! Listener User Experience As a listener, you can listen to a lot of music, quickly and on one page! No more clicking through YouTube videos or randomly through Soundcloud, gambling at whether the next profile is music or just crap. Now obviously not everything on the platform is gold, but again, the quality of the music is way above your average random link-diving session on either of these platforms, not to mention both YouTube and Soundcloud have made it really hard to do this type of journey by tailoring their related links to content that are more likely to get views, rather than actually related stuff. The one slight downside of LaunchSong as a listener is that right now, there's not a ton of music on there. Chances are you will get through %90 of the music in any given genre after about an hour or two. If you like multiple genres, you could flip between genres at any time, or go on a totally random listening journey. With the latter you will definitely be entertained for a solid 4-5 hours! However, if you are more interested in ranking, prepare to sometimes hear the same song multiple times. In these cases, make the best of it! Maybe you heard the first 20 seconds of the song twice already, so skip to minute 3 and hear the end. Maybe a song you found to have a dull intro really kicks off by the second chorus! Despite the slight downside, this website gives you new music, and gives you a real voice in ranking them. Your votes and rankings matter and significantly affect the rankings in a very tangible way. Share the platform with your friends and you can compare rankings together, and have wonderful conversations about music. If you have artist friends, encourage them to post their music here. It will only improve your experience the more music on there, and it's a totally free and no-downside way for your artist friend to get some exposure! Summary LaunchSong is simple to the point of being genius! It does a simple task very well. It's still relatively new so I can only see it improving from here on out. Currently only 8 genres are supported, so it may be hard for listeners and artists alike to truly nail down their sound or the music they are after, but it also creates more variety in the content you receive. I'd rather hear 5 metal songs from 5 sub-genres, maybe even one that barely straddles the metal sound, but mixes it with a bunch of other genres, rather than hear 5 Djent songs back to back, and the 'Other' genre is a wonderful amalgam of so many styles from Bluegrass to Jazz to experimental noise! Another area where LaunchSong could improve is allowing users to skip songs they've already heard in full. After a month on the platform, there are a few songs I've heard so many times, and while I like them, having to hear them once again as I'm trying to discover more music can be a little annoying. LaunchSong also tries not to show your own music to you, because that would obviously create a conflict of interest. However, I have come across a few instances of my song. In those cases, the decent thing to do is refresh the page, but the point systems will be a lot more reliable if this was not allowed to begin with. Overall, I admire this platform for providing a free service in a time where there are so many fake and "freemium" platforms out there that won't do much but waste your time (and sometimes money too) while giving you little to no exposure, or legitimate platforms that unfairly favour those with more likes, and those who are better at promotion. I can definitely see it grow in popularity and for the code to become more sophisticated, but to make that happen, it needs the first few thousands artists and viewers. After that, it can grow even more, introduce an app, more genres, and so on! I encourage you to visit Launchsong through this link! Using the links will unlock extra analytics for me! Now go on, discover new music and get discovered!

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