There were various articles last summer predicting doom and gloom for Soundcloud before they were rescued. This prompted a little research into what alternatives there are to Soundcloud – this is the second of a series of posts into what I found out.
Drooble’s website states, “We want to create a community that unites musicians. A place where you can connect with others to exchange ideas, share knowledge and start bands. A place where you can get your music appreciated and receive feedback from other musicians.”
The look and feel of this site is very much like Facebook, but with a musical twist. Like Soundcloud, this site is geared specifically for the music community, and there seems to be a mixture of musicians present, from keen amateurs to professionals, plus some music fans. You can advertise and search for new band members and arrange jam sessions online.
Drooble is not a blockchain based site, but if listeners comment on or ‘applaud’ your music, you earn ‘karma points’. You also earn ‘karma points’ for being a good Drooble citizen: using it regularly, recommending friends and helping other musicians out. You can spend the points on promotional tools – it costs 400-700 points to get most of these, but additional airplay is just 100 points.
Songs uploaded to Drooble for hosting get automatic airtime on the site’s ‘radio’ station, which you might not want for work in progress. For getting feedback on unfinished material, it could be better to use host work in progress on a site like Clyp, and only reference it from your Drooble feed.
The site is beginning to incorporate apps – so far there is a chromatic tuner and a metronome. They plan to include a built-in DAW further down the line, but I suspect that may be a while. I wouldn’t expect the Drooble DAW to have as much functionality as the DAW on your computer – unless the site’s creators work with one of the commercially available DAWs – but it could eventually be a useful tool for collaborating on co-writes with other Drooble musicians.
-You can post your music to the Drooble ‘radio station’, the built-in music player which allows commenting and likes.
-There is scope for being promoted as eg Artist of the Week or Video of the Week by spending your ‘karma points’.
-Built-in electronic press kit (EPK) as one of the promotional tools options.
-The genre communities are quite vaguely defined.
-Currently there are over 30,000 accounts* on the site, so the potential audience for your work is still quite small.
-All your instruments and genres are grouped together, so if you only play folk-style guitar but play rock keyboards and orchestral flute, this won’t be immediately clear to someone reading your page. That said, the level of detail you provide is way better than you can give on many sites.
This site is well designed, easy to use and has a lot of potential, especially if you collaborate with other musicians, and it is good for music discovery. It is probably geared up too much towards musicians rather than fans at present to draw in huge numbers of fans who aren’t musicians themselves. I would hope that this will be addressed as the site develops, though.
(This article was updated to state more than 30k accounts, on further information supplied by Drooble, as the number had increased since the article was written. It previously stated around 27k accounts existed).