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Direct music sales from artists on HearThis

While SoundCloud is getting worse with each new update, HearThis offers direct music sales on their platform from now on.

I’m not sure yet if I can sell my already released music directly due to contracts signed with labels, but I setup a selling option for a single track to find out how does it works.

First of all you have to “Become Official” (as they call) to getting started. I don’t know what criteria they have, but I’ve got confirmation in 5 minutes after submission:

After that, new “Selling” tab become available in tracks/sets options:


  1. You can choose individually which tracks/sets to sell by clicking on checkbox.
  2. The fee will goes directly do your PayPal account.
  3. You can set up any price for your tracks/sets.
  4. You can upload more files which user will get downloadable after purchase. For example, I activated selling option for Out Of This World (Preview). But no one want to buy previews, right? So I’ve uploaded a full-length lossless version of this track, plus additionally cover artwork and PDF info file — that’s what will be available after purchasing.
  5. You can make your tracks available for selling only within a sets or individually, it’s up to you. You can also set up a different price for the sets, i.e. make a discount for buying entire album.

That’s how purchase window looks like:

I asked my friend to buy one track just to see how it works. Here comes the bad things:
1) I didn’t receive any notification from PayPal regarding payment I’ve got. Although such option maybe available somewhere in depth of PayPal settings, I’m not sure.
2) I had to manually accept payment, otherwise transaction was not finished, so the buyer (my friend in this case) could not get download link. That’s really sucks and I have no idea if it’s possible to change it somehow (perhaps those who familiar with PayPal could give an advice in comment box below?).

3) PayPal took huge cuts, 0.39€ to be more precise. I.e. from 1€ I’ve got only 0,61.

4) Download link went to my friend’s inbox with pretty big delay, about 20 minutes I guess. I actually thought to write angry email to HearThis support, luckily it has worked in the end.

“Your purchases” page:

Oh, and seems like a bug: the download link is still available, and If I wish, I could give to anyone I want, i.e. purchased once, link to downloading that track will become permanent ;-) I guess they’ll fix it soon.

I’d say, the system is yet kinda raw, but I like the way HearThis goes, looks like a very artists-friendly platform. If label allows me to sell music directly, I’ll definitely make my latest releases available there, for those who would like to support artists directly It’s a great opportunity. Let’s see how it goes.

Would you buy music directly from an artist?

2014   HearThis   Marketing

HearThis in-depth review

As a sequence of my “SoundCloud alternatives?” post I have decided to look a little bit deeper on to see how does it works.

What’s make this service cool and unique? Let’s take a look.

Music on the map

One of the unique feature I haven’t seen before is music uploads, tagged on the map. You can upload your recorded live show and tag location where event was held. Result will be displayed on the map:

All events on the map can be filtered by genre (by the way, “Psytrance” is one of the default genres here — many other services miss it) and date.

I think it’s good not only to explore new music, but also a new venues and events near you.

Register as a label

First of all — registration. There are just a few required fields, so the process is very easy, but what’s really catch attention is an option to register as a label or band:

Even if you basically registered as a single artist, but changed in mind, you can activate this option later in your profile settings to connect your page with artists or band members. I registered such account (named “Test Label”) to show how it looks like:

Once you’ve added another artists to your label’s page, their uploads will be displayed on a dedicated streamline on your page:

To make page management even easier, there is an option for quick switching between accounts:

I guess it should be super-handy tool for labels or artist’s managers.


There is a few ways to upload your music, and one of them is import tool from SoundCloud, Mixcloud or direct link of MP3 file. I imported a couple of my mixes from SoundCloud and have to say it’s very useful feature.

Although, only MP3 files is allowed to upload at this moment — that’s bad.

Once your file uploaded, there are several options and I have to mention few of them:

Normalize audio to 0db — could be useful if your mix have a peaks over 0db or it’s not loud enough;
Reshare to Download — although I’m not fan of such force-downloads, feature may be useful in order to get more audience.


Another thing which I love the most is the ability of artists tagging:

Obviously this feature most useful for mixes and podcasts, but could be also handy for collaboration tracks and remixes.

If someone tagged you, it will be displayed on the “Tagged in” tab. For example, Dj Mindflash (I have no idea who is he) tagged me in his mix:


Tracklists at HearThis is something more that just text information in description under your tracks. It’s a mechanism which allows to:
connect tracks to Beatport;
search by this track across whole website;
add timestamp (similar to Mixcloud).

Here how it looks like:

Of course no need to type each artist and title row by row, you can just copy-paste full tracklist to make this process easier.


Basically there are three types of accounts:
— Free: Unlimited uploads until you reach 5000 play / 2000 downloads
— Pro Supporter (1 € / Month): Unlimited uploads until you reach 20000 play / 1000 downloads
— Premium Supporter (2 € / Month): Unlimited uploads with no any limits.

I think it’s fair enough (just to remind, SoundCloud has been started with 59 € per Month for their Premium accounts).

What do I like here is that Premium accounts packed with a cool new features:
— Optional bit rate quality for your sounds: from 320 to 96 kbps;
— Event calendar;
— Waveform colors;
— Extra flexibility for template design.


Although there is no iOS app at this moment, grayed-out App Store icon makes me thing positive about it:

Embed widget

Currently I’m using embed widgets across all my website, so for me it’s crucial. Luckily, HearThis have a looking good HTML5-widges with two different waveform types: soft and digitized.

See how awesome widgets in action

Furthermore, digitized type could be even more adjusted by blocks sizes and spaces, so I could get something like this if I wish:

(it’s all a real widgets, not screenshots)

Or it could be used with background artwork like this:

Love it!

Conclusion:  is the most well-thought-out and functional music-sharing service I’ve seen so far. Yes there are not big audience yet because it’s so new, but the future looks very promising.

2014   HearThis   Marketing

SoundCloud alternatives


First of all, I’m an active SoundCloud user since 2011, and I love it. At least I did, until they blocked my mixes (for a few times) and even blocked my own track. The way SoundCloud is going scares me. Pay for the most expensive music platform (it costs 9 €/Moth since their recent price policy updates, but before it was 59 €/Month) with a chance to being permanently blocked one day — no, thanks.

I don’t want to completely move from SoundCloud to another platform for now, but I want to be ready when it happens. And you guys, too.

So what alternatives do we have?


Sounds kinda weird, but being basically a video platform, YouTube is also the World’s largest search engine for audio content.


— №1 World’s music search engine;
— Many people use it already, so everyone familiar with it;
— Might be good for tracks previews;
— It’s free.


— Although it good for tracks, it’s unhandy for uploading and listening long mixes;
— No widgets with beautiful waveforms;
— Annoying ads;
— No easy way to download content (it is possible using 3rd party apps only);
— Your uploads may be shut down as YouTube have auto content protection system, similar to SoundCloud.


Another big and well-known music platform.


— Although Mixcloud wasn’t good at start, now it looking good, both in design and functionality;
— Mixcloud pays royalties to artists you mentioned in tracklist, so your uploads will not be blocked for sure;
— Waveform widget for website embeds;
— It’s free (for the most part of functionality).


— It designed for mixes only, so tracks could not be uploaded;
Very annoying ads (although you can remove it using pro plans starting at $7/Month);
— No download option at all, streaming only.

Update on 04.08.2014: Bye-bye, Mixcloud?


Being honest I had no idea about this service until saw Facebook post of F-Act, one of my favorite Progressive Trance/House producer (by the way he did an amazing guest mix in Rave Podcast earlier this year). He completely moving from Soundcloud to HearThis, so I decide to check out this service too.


— User-friendly design, pretty similar to SoundCoud with the previous layout;
— Beautiful waveforms and embed widgets;
— Pro plan has a lot of nice features and cost 2 €/Month, which is very fair enough;
— Download option with bit rate you choose;
— A nice way to discover music by locations on the map in additional to tags and normal genre categories.


— HearThis seems a very new platform, so it doesn’t have much audience (although looks promising);
— I didn’t found anything about royalties and such stuff, now once it grew up, there is a chance it will go way as SoundCloud does.

Update on 30.07.2014: HearThis in-depth review


Although I heard some positive feedback about this service, to me it looks kinda outdated and uncomfortable (I tried, really). Anyway, some of you may find it good, so it in the list.


— Established service;
— It’s free.


— It designed for mixes only, so tracks could not be uploaded;
— Pretty outdated design and UI;
— Uploads have 190 Mb limit, so long mixes can be uploaded in very low bit rate only.

Which else services do you know?

Do you know or use any other good services? Post it in the comments below. I’d also love to hear your feedback about services listed above, what’s your experience?

2014   HearThis   Marketing   SoundCloud   YouTube