Trudee Lunden, Singer/Songwriter/Lyricist/
Sharing Your New Musical Online
by Trudee Lunden
Sharing your new musical online has never been easier. In addition to creating a website for your new musical, innovative digital platforms of all kinds now exist to promote and sell your music, and also live performances. The possibilities are endless to expand your creative efforts and globally connect with audiences via “virtual” distribution. Here are some notable options worth trying:
If you want to promote the songs, score, or any audio portion of your new musical, create an account on SoundCloud and upload whatever you prefer, from partial to entire songs or show. You can spend money for a “Pro” account, but you’ll likely find there’s enough space to simply start with a free account and test the waters. Remember, anything posted online that you do not own the rights to use may be removed at any time by the legal copyright owner.
Your SoundCloud account also provides “connections” to other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn. There’s a section to include as much personal bio or information about the musical as you like. For example, my own profile has multiple social media connections along with songs posted from my new show Life In Harmony (A Green Musical):
Actors and screenwriters are now creating their own channel and content for webisodes to be discovered and seen worldwide. Productions and sample versions from many musicals can be found on YouTube, from professionally staged work to educational institutions. This method is more about promotion than monetization, since views on YouTube pay very little. You will need millions of views to see any financial gain from this through Google’s AdRev program, and it’s typically minimal money at best.
I wanted to make mention of other online services like OurStage, which is one of many websites featuring independent music artists or bands. OurStage acts much like a digital radio station, and has monthly competitions in various genres called “channels” where members compete to gain recognition and sometimes win prizes. They currently do not (!) have a Musical Theatre channel. Perhaps if enough people inquire, they will start one. For now, a solo artist or band can register if their music falls within one of the popular music categories such as Hip-Hop, Rock, Jazz, etc. I like this website because it is great for test marketing original music to see if the listening audience reacts favorably. I was surprised and pleased to find songs in my musical charted in the Top 10, and Top 40, and actually shocked when my co-write of WIRED achieved #1 as Pop winner under my innovative “concept” group, Electric Car Muses:
CD Baby founder, frequent TED Conference speaker, and all around nice guy Derek Sivers knows a thing or two about marketing and building a multi-million dollar music business. CD Baby is one of various music distribution websites through which you can sell or stream your music online. Using CD Baby you can also release physical CDs of your musical. Want to get your music on iTunes, Amazon MP3, or Spotify? CD Baby can handle this too, along with other digital music “aggregators” like TuneCore and AWAL. Each company out there offers different terms, so shop wisely to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck year after year.
Bandcamp’s mission is to “discover amazing new music and directly support the artists who make it.” Similar to CD Baby, here’s another distribution site for all genres including Musical Theatre. Bandcamp earns a percentage of digital, CDs, or vinyl releases and other merchandise on free artist accounts. Check their pricing page for more details: https://bandcamp.com/artists
Consider the unprecedented Livestream broadcast that producer Ken Davenport and Davenport Theatre arranged last December with their online premiere of Daddy Long Legs. This became the first Broadway or Off-Broadway show ever to be viewed simultaneously by over 150,000 people in 135 countries (WOW!). I myself curiously tuned in to watch the show, and was astounded by the uniquely personalized dynamic of seeing this wonderful production right on my home computer.
This is a trendsetting way to further monetize your production by combining it with a virtual presentation. The statistics and tweets Ken Davenport has shared from that event reflect a huge untapped potential for Musical Theatre. Details about how this broadcast created many new fans are posted on the Daddy Long Legs Musical website: http://www.daddylonglegsmusical.com/livestream/
Stageit is another option similar to Livestream that’s currently used mostly by popular music performing artists and bands as a ticketed and semi-private online concert venue.
Ustream is a hosting service where users can publish and transmit video live from a computer, mobile phone, or iPhone.
Many more choices for live and recorded video streaming can be found with a quick online search. Here’s one example:
Remember, the world is virtually yours now with increasing options for sharing your new musical online. Bonne chance (= good luck)!