Until last month, Consonant Music had been using Soundout to conduct market research on our client’s upcoming releases. Soundout was a great tool because it provided listener feedback on tracks that we submitted along with other valuable statistics. They also offered a discount for labels distributed by The Orchard; until last month. After contacting Soundout to submit a full album for feedback, we were told that they were offering their service as a white label product for Reverbnation and Tunecore.
At first I was pissed off. We strongly feel that these companies do not portray the proper image for our clients. Although Reverbnation is a great option for bands who are just getting started, it’s not a service that we recommend to our clients who are established musicians. We feel the same way about Tunecore. These companies have no “gatekeepers.” There is nobody telling musicians that they need to improve before they will distribute them. They make most of their money off of the number of users that they acquire and not the quality of what they distribute. We don’t want our clients in the same “pool” as everybody else. This move made me think that Soundout was probably doing the same thing and wasn’t the right fit for us either. It was a great business move for them because there are a lot more musicians/customers on those platforms for Soundout to acquire, but their service is no longer for us. I will not encourage a client to build a Reverbnation page just to get market feedback reports.
I began to look for affordable alternatives and after about an hour of research I found a company that looked promising. That company was Audiokite. After speaking with the founders, I learned that their service offered much more comprehensive reporting at a price that was competitive. The service is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth every penny.
Get an Audiokite Report
Audiokite uses Amazon Mechanical Turk, which pays users to listen to music and answer a variety of questions about the music. Some examples of the data that you receive from an Audiokite report listed below:
- General rating
- Your rating vs. other Audiokite reports
- REAL listener feedback. From our experience we know they are listening to the music because they are usually very specific when explaining what they do and do not like concerning the song. ie. “I love the harmonies in the chorus, but don’t like the lyrics.”
- Sync licensing viability (Will it work for film or TV?)
- Vocal performance rating
- Instrumental performance rating
- Lyric ratings
- Rhythm section rating (Does it have a groove? Is the band in the “pocket?”)
- Song structure rating
- Sound quality rating
- Song name rating
- Band name rating
- Listener sentiment (How did the song make you feel?)
- Demographic (Gender/Age)
- Geographic (Where are the reports coming from? They show you a map)
- Listener attention span
- Most used words in reviews
Audiokite not only pays real listeners to give you feedback, they provide you with a pile of data that Soundout doesn’t. These listeners aren’t afraid to tell you if they don’t like something either. They are a very tough crowd to win over, but you know what? Today your music has to be better than the rest to get noticed.
In conclusion, if you want a real alternative to Soundout, use Audiokite. It’s a better service, and the data you receive is invaluable. It can save you a ton of money too. Imagine putting thousands of dollars behind a single that people just don’t like. Audiokite can prevent that. One last note about the service; our clients have gained followers on Spotify and Facebook from the listeners. That in itself is priceless!