How the heck does Feedbands work?
In our nonstop efforts to improve every aspect of the Feedbands experience, one of our goals is to bring a whole lot more transparency and excitement to the voting and artist selection process. There’s a lot going on at Feedbands with music submissions, members and voting, Daily Dose features, and vinyl pressings. So, we figured we’d take the opportunity to update our community of listeners and artists with an exact play-by-play of the Feedbands process.
1. Artists submit music.
Everything starts with an artist submitting music from our music upload page here. Artists can upload their entire discography for free, link a paypal account, and receive 100% of all the sales instantly and directly to their paypal.
In addition, artists can also add to their page:
2. Music videos
3. Band photos
4. Tour dates
5. A mailchimp list ID to allow visitors to their page to join their mailing list with a single click.
The agreement for artists is non-exclusive and can be terminated at any time. That means their music can be on any other site, and they can take it off Feedbands whenever they want.
Artists must own all the copyrights and publishing rights to any music they submit -meaning you cannot upload cover songs, songs with samples that are not authorized, and so on.
2. All New Music Lands in the Submission List
Our Submissions List is where all newly uploaded music appears. This is also where the Feedbands community curation process begins. Through the diligent efforts of our staff and power users gems will be discovered.
We depend on help from our listeners and members to find music to feature.
Feedbands members can listen and vote on any music on the submissions list, but most people don’t because it can be unpleasant for some to listen to a non-curated music stream. That being said, it’s essential to our process for at least a few folks to listen to all these songs. And so, our staff are paid to do it. Our power users do it for the love. Slowly, but surely, the better submissions start gaining votes. We realize “better” is a subjective term, but for the purposes of Feedbands, “good,” “better,” and “best” music is determined by the collective voting of everyone involved.
It’s easy to filter the submission list by songs with 1 or more votes, 2 or more votes, and so on to see what other members are voting on.
3. Graduating From Submission List to Daily Dose
If songs on the Submission List get enough votes, we feature them on the Daily Dose. We also feature songs on the Daily Dose if our staff or power users just really like a song. At this time, there is no set number of votes a song needs on the submission list to get onto the Daily Dose. This is because the number of users who actually go through and listen and vote on the submissions fluctuates, sometimes it is a lot, sometimes it is less. Generally, if a song in the recent music submissions gets between just 5 to 10 votes, it is likely to be featured on the daily dose.
So, your vote counts. You are in control of the artists that make it onto the Daily Dose.
4. So What’s The Daily Dose
The Daily Dose is our daily song feature. It goes to the top of our homepage, gets posted on Facebook and other social media, and gets blasted out to our email list. We have a videographer on our team who chooses Daily Dose songs that she feels inspired by to make a one minute teaser videos that get posted on our Instagram and Youtube. If an artist has uploaded any music videos to their profile, those are more likely to be featured Daily Dose videos, especially if they are done well.
As artists accumulate more votes across more of their tracks, a vinyl release becomes more and more likely. Again, there is no magic number here, but generally if an artist has accrued at least 125 votes across four or more tracks on an album then we would engage them in talks to release the album, and if they’ve gotten it across several albums then we would likely offer to do a compilation that included that artists’ top voted tracks.
When we release an artist on vinyl, we pay them in cash, records and ask for no rights to the music other than to press the vinyl one time.
There are many gray areas that come up with our vinyl pressings. For example, if an artist has one hit track, but none of their other tracks on their album got any votes, we would might deem it more appropriate to release that one hit track on a compilation since our members only expressed intrerest in the one song and not the album as a whole. For an entire album to be released by an artist, they need many votes across tracks on the album. There is no hard limit here, but generally we look for at least 25 to 30 votes on four tracks from the album.
Sometimes, an album may gain the votes it needs for a release, but the release would coincide with a new album the artist is releasing, and the artist may opt to wait for the new album to release to see how that does, since it might not make sense to promote an old album while releasing a new one.
Sometimes, the artist just might not want to accept the vinyl offer. They are under no obligation to.
Sometimes, a band may have broken up by the time they would have had a vinyl release.
These are just some of the gray area situations we deal with.
Only subscribers can vote, since they are the ones paying to receive the release each month. This helps prevent fraudulent voting.
Since every vote is tied to an account with an active and unique credit card that is being billed each month, it helps ensure the validity of the voting. It is possible, if this gets a lot bigger, we’ll need to implement more features to ensure each unique human is only casting one vote.
We do not display vote counts publicly, but artists can see their own vote counts. This is because we don’t want artists to feel disadvantaged if they get negative votes, and we don’t want vote counts to influence the tastes of listeners. Subconsciously, you will naturally be less likely to like a song that has less likes, and more likely to like a song if you think lots of other people like it. So, we decided to take out that element.
However, you can still see song rankings on our Charts page.
Commenting is also restricted to paying subscribers, since any song that is commented on jumps to the top of the “Talk” section of the homepage and helps bands gain more votes. Commenting is a powerful way that listeners can help artists they like gain more votes and recognition.
Not a Competition / Not a Contest / No Winners / No Losers
A lot of people mistakenly interpret Feedbands as a competition; that bands are pitted against each other. This is not the case. Any band who gains enough votes across tracks on an album will eventually get pressed to vinyl. Sometimes, we go back and offer to press artists who submitted their music a year ago, just because it finally got enough votes to get pressed. No artist is ever out of the running if they didn’t get enough votes in the month they submitted. It is a long term process. It can take months and several daily dose features for enough subscribers to have listened through enough tracks of a given artist to give them the votes necessary for a vinyl release. The choice at any moment to release a band to vinyl never excludes any other band from a vinyl release.
An evolving process
No one has really done this before, so we’re figuring a lot out as we go. That said, we think it’s really important for us to be really excellent listeners to what our members want since they are supporting this whole crazy endeavor. If you have an idea for how we can improve, a feature you’d like to see, we’d love to hear it! Of course we can’t promise to shift or implement in any given way, but we want to build the strongest possible service for our members, listeners and the artist community.