SoundCloud has turned into a thriving ecosystem that hosts not only musicians but also record labels, artist collectives, promotional stations and networks. We covered these in our SoundCloud advertising & repost trading manual. Big channels favor trading with large channels. At exactly the exact same time, the offering of paid advertising is increasing, which makes it simple for artists to resort to paying for their reposts.
It is a trend we are seeing with record labels also. As the significance of SoundCloud expands beyond digital music, labels of all sizes are catching on to the value of getting their SoundCloud plays on stage. Their marketing efforts now are also led to SoundCloud, such as repost trading and occasionally paid campaigns.
While the research methodology of the article was originally meant to address only paid repost marketing, the findings apply to reposting generally. We were shocked by the results, even as they confirmed the belief that we’d already shaped by instinct — that the value of reposts was being diluted. It turns out that followers aren’t the best indicator for the number of plays you can expect to receive from a repost. The worth of a repost is directly connected to the character and behaviour of this reposting SoundCloud channel. How often they upload, repost and who their audience consists of are impacting factors.
As the SoundCloud trading setting resembles the Wild West, these findings will help you choose your repost partners, in addition to better estimate the value of a paid promotional offer.
The normal repost generates plays equivalent to 3-4percent of that station’s following.
Quite simply, if a 100.000 follower channel reposted your path, it would probably only create 3.000 — 4.000 plays. You, like us, had probably expected this number to be much greater.
The majority of stations had scarily low play-to-follower ratios, between 1-5%. Some were as low as 1 percent, whereas a small part of stations ranged between 10-18%.
The majority of the low-ratio accounts were the repost stations, who reposted frequently throughout the day and had few initial uploads in their accounts. By comparison, the high-ratio accounts were the artists and labels, who reposted less and uploaded more often. The distinction is important, and reinforces the notion that you will need to be careful in who you group up with.
The key behind powerful reposts
So why do artists and labels have greater engagement ratios?
Labels and artists often curate more in regards to reposts and uploads, favoring quality over quantity, permitting them to create dedicated superfans.
The trend on SoundCloud, especially with promotional channels, would be to pair consistent reposts with like-to-download gate addition to be able to accelerate follower development. That other station may then do the same, and get consistent uploads also.
The end result is a perpetuating cycle, in which the increase in followers leads to more exposure (although not per se more plays). If multiple stations repost the exact same song every day, you’re not likely to click it. Finally they end up dismissing the stations, or unfollowing them.
That is not to say that all repost networks have bad engagement prices. The outliers are those which repost less often and upload more, behaving more like tags.
The greatest ratios are found with celebrity stations, who not only repost less frequently and upload over promotional channels, but also exhume a character that fans can connect with. It’s a lot easier to appreciate an artist than a repost station or tag, because there’s little personality it is possible to join with there.
The more a station reposted daily, the less engaged their audience. Repost frequency had the strongest correlation to a station’s play-to-follower ratio. Audience engagement falls significantly at 5 daily reposts and outside, with the majority of the examined channels reposting between 6 and 17 times daily. They see the value in saving their viewers and are rewarded with out-of-the-ordinary response each time they do upload or repost something.
Improving your station’s engagement
You will need to be careful not to exhaust your viewers.
There’s an important tipping point in engagement with reposts exceeding four a day, which everyone should take to heart as their everyday limit.
Reposting more frequently to overcompensate for the lack of plays is in fact counter-productive and decreases engagement farther. There’s a whole lot more to be said for reposting 4 times per day consistently and optimizing for perfect repost (or upload) times, leaving ample time in between every repost.
The trick then, in optimizing results from paid advertising, is examining which stations have greater play-to-follower ratios, by taking a look at the frequency with which they repost and the quality of the music. Another optimization strategy may be to need your paid repost is scheduled in that station’s optimum engagement time, which is usually when the majority of their audience has arrived in the office or school. For many digital music promoters, the lion’s share of the audience is at the West Coast of the USA.