Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last.FM for Indie Bands and Music Marketing

So I got whim of Last.FM making some major upgrades for Indie Musicians looking to get on the site, get streamed, get played and get paid. Using these features can add to your online distribution and big picture music marketing plan.

The set-up is very simple and easy to browse through. Lucky for you, I have outlined the basics and have a quick 6-step plan to getting your tunes on Last.FM asap. (Note: I will follow up with a post tonight containing the back end tools, tracking and any interface issues I come across as my laptop does not have proper .mp3 or .wav files of music for me to upload, thus the need for a part 2)

1. Head on over to and check for the Artist or Label sign-up link on the lower right corner above the fold. Click the appropriate category and you will be sent to the sign-up process.

2. The first step is to enter your basic information, such as usernames and passwords as well as an email address for reference. The screen below follows the quick set-up screen on Last.FM’s backend. Here is the spot to enter Artist / Band Name and address for payment and other generic goodies.

3. I missed a screen that details your Publishing Rights and Terms of Royalty Payments. It basically breaks down into 4 sections. If you have no ties to any 3rd party Publishing company select the first option. If you have a 3rd party publishing group, please read carefully through the other options.

4. Next comes the music.

5. While on the ‘Upload Music’ screen there are a few tips and procedures to take into account before uploading your music. They are broken down below the screen shot.

6. When uploading please follow these steps.

1. You can only upload one album at a time. Your files must be MP3 or WAV encoded at 128kbps and above. If you are not familiar with these files types, please send me an email and I will get you squared away.

2. Click ‘choose file’ to locate the files on your computer. Now you may add another file. Once you’ve queued all the correct tracks, click the ‘upload’ button.

3. You can also upload a single .zip file of your music, rather than individual tracks.

Not tech-savvy? (although you should be digital savvy by now, but that’s another day)

You can send your physical CD right to Last.FM and have them do the file transfer for you. Send your CD to:

Music Department
Karen House
1–11 Baches Street
N1 6DL

For those of you looking to see how Last.Fm will pay the artists, here are some clips from their FAQ:

How will record and report plays and royalties due to me?

You will be able to see weekly streaming statistics for your tracks in the Music Manager at any time. However, the weekly streaming statistics do not necessarily represent the total number of streams you are collecting royalties on (see why below). The royalties due to you will be displayed in the Music Manager at the end of the quarter and will be broken down into each revenue category (free radio, subscription radio, free on-demand, subscription on-demand).

How will royalties accrue?

You will accrue an amount each time one of your tracks is streamed on the service. The amount will vary depending upon which service your track is played. A brief rundown of the various royalty levels can be found below:

- If your track is played on our free radio service you will accrue a 10% of the Share of’s Net Revenue (see the definition of “Share” and “Net Revenue” in the terms and conditions) from the free radio service.

- If your track is played on our personalized premium radio service, you will accrue the greater of either 10% of the Share of’s Net Revenue from the personalized radio service, or US $0.0005 for each complete transmission on the personalized radio service.

- If your track is played on our free on-demand service, you will accrue 30% of the Share of’s Net Revenue from the on-demand radio service.

- If your track is played on our premium on-demand service, you will accrue the greater of either 30% of the Share of’s Net Revenue from the premium on-demand service, or US $0.005 for each complete transmission on the prepaid or subscription on-demand service.

If you have any questions regarding these definitions, please don't hesitate to contact us at

That’s a lot of Last.Fm for now; I will do some more recap soon as I get into the back end on tracking and payment structure. In the meantime, any artists that have been using Last.FM like this, please let me know how it’s going for you. This could bring a good spike in streams and hopefully digital download sales of your music.

Just another tool in your music marketing arsenal.



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