It's Friday night, and you're out with your friends enjoying a live performance at your favorite bar featuring talented local artists. When the show ends and you're ready to either head home or visit a go-to late-night food spot, a musician suddenly greets you pleading to take his free CD – or even worse, attempts to sell it to you. Many of us have been through this situation before, and it's rarely that pleasurable of an experience.
It's fair to say the CDs are a relic of the past, and while a small portion of music fans still head to Best Buy when their favorite artist releases an album, they're certainly not in the majority. Whether it's through iTunes, YouTube, or the plethora of streaming platforms, the internet is the medium by which music is consumed. This has been a longstanding reality, yet many artists still struggle with the dilemma of how to share their music during face-to-face interactions.
Handing out clunky CDs is no longer the ideal means of accomplishing this. But luckily for artists, there's a solution to this quandary, and the answer is Dropcards. Here's a handy introduction to Dropcards, why you should use them, and what the future holds for this growing music platform.
How do Dropcards work?
If you've never heard of a Dropcard before, don't worry, because this isn't an advanced technical platform that will take weeks to learn. Dropcards have the same look, feel, and size of your standard debit or credit card. The name is a branded solution from the company which has a stronghold on their niche industry; Dropcards has been a leading provider of integrated download card solutions since 2004, and for good reasons.
Signing up for your free account is a breeze, and from there, it's a simple process. If you want Dropcards to become your hip version of a CD, all you have to do is submit album artwork and upload songs for download. Once a new fan arrives at the designated website URL that appears on the card, the redemption process is simple. Users are presented with a field to enter their unique access codes found on the back of their cards. Once this code is entered, your downloads are unlocked and the user has immediate access to your music.
Why should artists use them?
Using Dropcards as the means of selling your music has a remarkable number of benefits. The manufacturing cost of making them is low, your cards are fully customizable, and they provide fans with an exciting user experience. The latter point is by far the most important, because using Dropcards is now one of the best ways to promote your music and give the fans what they really want: digital access to your music. Handing out Dropcards at shows and other promotional events is much cooler (and lighter!) than lugging around several dozen CDs. Dropcards help garner interest among folks who have not yet heard of your EP or album, and you have the ability to lead them to a customizable website that you can build according to your needs.
And if you want to increase the chances of developing a long-term relationship with these fans, you have the choice of prompting the user to enter their email address in order for them to access the music. Artist management teams know the importance of building email lists all too well, and Dropcards provides a non-intrusive method of acquiring them.
All in all, Dropcards are a win-win because your fans enjoy a fun consumer experience when buying your music, and the Dropcards platform allows you to accurately measure and track your results.
What does the future hold for Dropcards?
The future of Dropcards is promising, as they continue to rise in popularity. With quotes coming from labels such as Universal Music Group saying, "Dropcards have been a huge asset to the success of our artists. This is the new way to promote music," it's a legitimate sign that the power of Dropcards will evolve as more artists catch on to the benefits of utilizing them. Indie artists have made it a staple to include Dropcards on their merchandise tables, and music fans continue to be intrigued by the simplicity of the product. CDs are becoming an intimidating purchase for even the most devoted of music lovers. The upward trend and futuristic quality of Dropcards make it seemingly clear that they won't suffer the same fate.
While the music industry is constantly changing, I would suggest that all independent artists be ahead of the curve and take advantage of Dropcards. Life as a performer will become easier and, most importantly, your fans will love you for them!
Have you ever used Dropcards to sell or give away your music? Let us know in the comments!
Eric Bernsen is a marketing/public relations professional and music journalist who specializes in the genre of hip-hop. You can find more of his work at HITPmusic.com (where he is an editor/writer) as well as HipHop-N-More.com, where he contributes album reviews. Follow Eric on Twitter @ebernsen.