My BandLab Addiction

The loopers just don’t stop coming

I love BandLab and, as far as I know, BandLab most certainly loves me.

BandLab itself is an eye opener for an artist with a smartphone. The fact that I can remotely make music on the fly with a built-in DAW on an app still makes me smile. Discovering loopers... that was just the automated icing on the cake. The communities themselves are also a great way to discover other musicians and, when applicable, shamelessly plug yourself as well.

Cons...

There are some, especially in recent times:

  • Some artists I've noticed with larger followings have reached a "following" cap (hindered from following more artists/users on the platform).
  • Although not as bad as SoundCloud, I have noticed some "spam" accounts every now and then
  • Stats (plays, likes and comments) are not commonly shown throughout all of BandLab views (you have to go to your "Posts" specifically to see stats)

Yet I'm still here?

Yes.

Even with all of the bugs and issues other artists found, there are still some pros. Contests are still a decent way to potentially earn some cash on the side (although popularity does help with winning these...). Loopers, as stated earlier, are just the "funnest" (and easiest) ways to create tracks on the go from the Android/iOS app whilst away from your recording studio (or laptop, or computer, or... even your guitar/keyboard). Sure, I can just use GarageBand and other iOS apps, but being able to quickly create something in the BandLab app to then work on further from the PWA (Progressive Web App) or desktop site on my laptop... that's a true game changer as well.

Another reason why I'm sticking around? The simple fact that all of BandLab is free to use. With SoundCloud, I have to fork over $20/month to get all of the features. Sure, SoundCloud offers the potential "streamshares" income pool (same as what Spotify, Apple Music and everyone else), but I'm just not popular enough yet to receive these shares. SoundCloud requires a minimum 1,000 legit plays in the past 30 days for its revenue pipes to open up and send money flooding your way.

So far, this is a nice place for my music artist life. With my current setup (BandLab as my base of operations, Distrokid for pushing my music everywhere), I'm quite happy with how everything is going. Perhaps, I will go back to SoundCloud once I get popular enough... but that's a medium-sized "if."

Another service I'm considering is Amuse, which is a free-to-use distribution service. As of writing this "story" (blog/post/insert your preferred term here), it takes much longer to push music to stores when compared to more popular services such as DistroKid or CDBaby. However, this is mainly due to how the business model of Amuse. Instead of you giving money to the company for services, it thrives on a cut of your release revenue streams. It also offers a chance for you to promote your stuff through their own Staff Picks Spotify Playlist:

Here's some other pros to consider with Amuse:

  • Android/iOS App that you can both upload tracks straight from your phone and check on your stream status (DistroKid currently has no app—site upload only from a laptop/desktop)
  • Fast Forward service—instant payout of future three to six months stream revenue based on past stream performances. No signing and you can stay fully independent. Only catch is you need to be with the service for some time so they have data to work with... otherwise this calculation wouldn't work and you wouldn't be eligible.

All in all, if Distrokid can match these (at least an app where I don't need a computer to make and/or release music), then I might end up staying with them. On the other hand, I'm definitely keeping my bang-for-buck keen eyes on Amuse as time passes.

For now, to bring this all to a close, I love BandLab. Happy "BandLabbing" to you all and to all a good track drop.

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James Crawford
James Crawford
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