August 21, 2018

SoundCloud Is Totally Helping My Friend’s Band Plan Their Tour

It’s a common lament: Band has tons of online fans. Band books tour because, hey, tons of fans! Band hits a new city. Band plays to an empty room. Band drinks beer and salty tears while sleeping in a van outside the venue until the cops come and shoo them away.

Well, a new tool courtesy of SoundCloud could help cure musicians of the empty room blues. (When it comes to lodging, though, they’re on their own.)

If you’re a musician with a SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription, you’ll now find “top countries” and “top cities” in your stats section, allowing you to see where your tunes are played the most. This is priceless info, folks.

When striking out on tour, a lot of bands head to city centers — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago — aiming to play out where people go out. Looking at the stats, however, this might not be the best recourse — at least for up-and-comers.

Take my musically inclined friend, Russ Marshalek of the band A Place Both Wonderful And Strange. Dude gave me a peek under the hood of his account and I was kind of blown away.

Despite residing in Brooklyn, his cities were a pretty festive melange: Atlanta, Georgia; Redding, California; Berlin, Germany; Black River Falls, Wisconsin; and Melaka, Malaysia.

New York and all the rest? Noticeably absent. Have fun in Malaysia, Russ! Send me copious postcards!

Now, I don’t know if Russ is really going to spring for that international plane ticket, but at least when he visits California he knows to play Redding in lieu of LA. They really dug his remix of Sky Ferreira’s “Night Time, My Time” there.

The idea of booking tours based on where the fans are isn’t really new — Demi Lovato is planning a tour based on Shazam tags and services like Songkick’s Detour have been helping artists plot cities based on fan activity for a while now. Still, it’s pretty early days when it comes to the Every-Artist getting access to this data.

Every-Artist deserves that data, though — because no artist should have to play to an empty room.


Brenna Ehrlich is a reporter for MTV News as well as the senior writer/editor for the O Music Awards. In the past, she served as associate editor at Mashable, penned a netiquette column for CNN and co-authored the blog and book "Stuff Hipsters Hate." She likes trying not to die in moshpits and listening to songs on repeat. Follow her on Twitter @BrennaEhrlich for news on cats and punk bands.

About the author  ⁄ Brenna Ehrlich

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