They would not listen, they're not listening still
It’s been a month now since the release of my new album "At Home At Sea" — which in Internet time is a dog’s age. I meant to write this post just week after it’s release, but was deep down in the milieu of promotion of the latest EGPhest so it’s even more ancient now than when I first wrote that line. I recently saw a rather depressing tweet saying that the press cycle for a newly released album is 11 days. Such is our attention span and the constant churn of a hungry, hungry content mill we call "The Internet."
The activity streaming wise has not been nothing, but it’s not been overwhelming either. Since I was pretty quiet about my first album and this is the first time I’ve done an all out PR campaign, I don’t have a lot to compare it to. I did try running my own social media campaign with associated music videos back in September and November of last year for some singles without the benefit of a third party and even though the number of streams is still small, it’s clear that I’ve gotten many more times the streams than previously. Alas, CDBaby cuts off your data at 90 days (why so stingy with your storage/reporting metrics, my friends?) which makes it hard to compare campaign to campaign unless your diligently saving this data on a regular basis. Spotify is a little more generous, but won’t let you narrow the scope of your request to anything but “since 2015.” Still, in terms of number of streams, there’s a distinct spike around the album release that is discernibly larger than previous peaks.
In terms of absolute numbers though it's still rather disheartening — the upper limit of the graph for streams is 100 and a mere 16 for the graph of listeners. Clearly the overall publicity effort had its effect — the impact of my previous home brew campaigns are barely distinguishable from the occasional random spike. But, even keeping in mind this is just one platform among many (way, way too many), the totals do feel a bit paltry in comparison to what went into the campaign in terms of time and resources.
It also appears that the current theory about albums vs. singles is likely true as there’s a noticeable drop off from the 1st album track to the 2nd and even more by track 3. Now I could be a negative nellie and assume people just don’t like the sound of my voice (that feels like the "go to" excuse for bloggers when rejecting songs I submit through SubmitHub), but I’d suspect part of it is just the difficulty of carving out time to listen to a full album in this day and age. Especially one that requires some actual engagement by the listener and not what passes for engagement in the world of so called “social computing” — I have more thoughts on this as well as the whole process of going through a PR campaign. Suffice to say you can spend your whole life worrying what other people will think about what you're creating when the fact of the matter is, you'll be lucky if they think anything about what you're doing at all.
But for the moment, rather than dwell on that and impersonal things such as numbers of streams and listeners, I’d like instead to encourage you, if you have not already, to give the album a listen.
More importantly for those of you that already have, first, thank you — and second, I’d like you to share your thoughts on the album in the comments section of this blog, or on Facebook, or even on iTunes or Amazon.
Here are some relevant links:
The extended musings of a songwriter.