CDs won’t preserve your music

photo taken from

A post by Thomas van Wijk, Songflow founder and CEO


That’s right. I’m going to say it: All CDs do is end up on in some storage box. Somewhere out of sight out of mind. Yesterday I had a meeting with Hoite Polkamp, marketing manager Netherlands @ Deezer. We talked about our passion for music, our past as avid CD collectors and how time and technology changed the way we consume and use music and how we can convince artists to step into the streaming / social music game with both feet.




Because music isn’t limited to one physical shape, product or delivery method. It never was and never will be. In the end it’s really just about the end result: soundwaves creating an experience in the ears of listeners based on a combination of sense, emotion, memory and ratio. Well not always that last criterium, but you get the idea.


If it doesn’t stream, it doesn’t exist


Shocking fact: My 4 year old son has never ever heard a single note played by The Beatles. Not because I don’t like them, or didn’t get Sgt. Pepper for my sixteenth birthday (and Abbey Road for my seventeenth). I did. The reality is that at home our CD’s lie in the attic. They were never restored to the living room, after our last move. Why would I? My connected devices streams all music to my stereo. The Beatles don’t stream, so for my son and even a bit for myself they don’t exist. Isn’t that sad? As the streaming market expands to more homes, families and devices, a part of our musical heritage will never reach the young kids. Keep this up for 20 years and The Beatles will be made obsolete for an entire generation.


Illustration by

Illustration by


What can independent artists learn from this?


If you want to invest in printing CDs that you can hold in your hands and show off with, that’s fine. Maybe you can even sell some to fans at shows. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re investing in something lasting, something worth holding on to. All CD’s do is end up in a storage box. Most of them won’t even leave to box the factory supplied them in. You wouldn’t be the first artist to end up with hundredths of copies of their own album.


Release your music, reach listeners


If you’re serious about reaching listeners, focus on delivering the experience of your music, not the way it’s packaged. Nowadays this means mobile streaming and social music platforms. For a relatively tiny investment (USD 6 / EUR 5 p. year) Songflow delivers your content to the main music services in the world. So your audience can find you and make the connection.  Make sure your musical legacy lives on in the minds and hearts of people, not tossed away in dark storage boxes.

Posted in:News

10.000 hours to perfection


Last week I posted about the six steps for artists to get discovered by a wide audience and/or music professionals. One of the main points I made was that it always takes a LONG time before any artist experiences any kind of breakthrough. Even if it appears to the public as being overnight. In that same post I wanted to tell something about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10.000 hour rule . In short: it takes a person at least 10.000 hours to master a skill or talent to perfection.

Eventually I left this theory out of the story because it’s equally criticized as loved. Obviously simply repeating a task for 10.000 hours doesn’t make you a master at it. I could still be rocking my Marshall JCM800 amp on max. volume as I did ten years ago. That still wouldn’t have made me anything close to the musicians I admire. On the other hand if MUSIC is my thing, then it sure took me 10.000 hours to find my place as the music startup entrepreneur I’ve finally become.

So why write about the 10.000-hour rule now?

macklemore_gold_349145The other day I decided to check out the full Macklemore and Ryan Lewis album. Their opening track TEN THOUSAND HOURS exactly covers what I want to say to artists about getting discovered. It’s about believing and investing in yourself to become the best you can possibly be.

Instead of reading, listen to Macklemore tell his story:

Posted in:Blog, News

How artists get discovered

A step-by-step guide for musicians



Thomas van Wijk

Are you having a hard time getting people to find your music? Don’t despair. All artists big and small at some point faced the same challenges you’re facing right now. It’s a fairytale to think you can become a superstar overnight by a single stroke of luck. With Songflow I want to help you in your effort to get discovered by both fans and music professionals. Let’s do it smart, keep things simple, so you can focus on what’s really important: making your music and connecting with fans.

Step 1: Find your voice

Needless to say: You must create, produce and record super, amazing, awesome music! I cannot help you with this. It’s your creative journey. Don’t worry about being good enough at first. Experiment, play around and learn to find  your “voice”. Dave Growl talked about this in his inspiring  SXSW 2013 Keynote speech. Later on you will get help  from other artists and creatives (see step 5).

Step 2: Force yourself onto listeners

Rehearsing in a soundproof black box under the ground can make you feel awfully rock ‘n roll. I know from experience ;-). The truth is you’ll never be a star without an audience. So you have to force yourself onto listeners. Get acquainted with the idea of public performances. Share your demo’s on Soundcloud, Youtube, Bandcamp or (the new) Myspace. Play at local venues and, most importantly, invite your friends to the occasion. You can have a party! Meanwhile you’re building the foundation for the story of how you became an active, respected musician in your local scene. You’ll need this story for step 3.

Step 3: Release your best work

Now it’s do, or die! If nothing changes you’ll never get out of this boring town. Make the decision to invest in your music. Record the best work you’ve got. One brilliant song is enough. Make it look nice. Create your b(r)and image and write the story of how you came to be. Now if all that is finished release it to the world as widespread as you can. I mean Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, AmazonMP3, Rdio, Beatport,  Google Play and more. Your official online presence is vital for the next step. HECK you can even earn a buck from that multi billion digital music market!

Step 4: Share, promote, play

Time for a metaphor: So in the first three steps you’ve assembled your car, pumped the gas (or electricity) and started the engine. Now it’s time to put your vehicle into gear and start driving. In other words: You’ve found your voice, recorded great music, setup your social media profiles, released your first song(s) and got a hell of a story to tell. What are you waiting for? Go promote yourself! Connect with people who might like your music. Post your songs on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Get reviews. Play gigs. Talk to fans. Create those lasting memories that make fans tell their friends about you.

Step 5: Build a team

Here’s the catch. The DIY movement from a few years back tells you artists can make it on their own. You don’t need a label and huge successes can come to completely independent artists working on their own. I hate to say this isn’t true at all. There are always more people behind the music than just the performing artist. What HAS changed is how much power those people need to have over your career. Your direct relationship with fans has never been more important and music professionals know this. In a way your responsibilities have only increased by the fact that you need to be able to run your own social marketing activities besides your artistic talent. Our approach is that hard work and obvious talent WILL be rewarded with outsiders (labels, managers, publishers, bookers) stepping in to help. The keyword is NETWORKING. The more people you know, the more choices you have to form the perfect team that will take your artistic vision to global superstardom.

Step 6: It’s only the beginning

Here’s another buzzkill. Steps 1-5 usually take artists years and years. Just listen to this (Spotify) track  on the latest Daft Punk album for a perfect example from pop history. What may appear to the public as an overnight success, usually hides years of struggling to make ends meet. Sound familiar? Besides talent, perseverance is often what makes artists successful in the end. Stick with your artistic vision. Dream freely about the artist you are deep inside. CREATE, PLAY, LEARN and become the best you possibly can. If you make it to step 6, you’ll realize you’re only at the beginning.

About Songflow

Songflow is here to help you get discovered. Not by selling a bullshit story about DIY and distributing your music to “act” like you’re a professional artist. We build and provide solutions for you to actually thrive in today’s social music industry. So join us, talk to us. Let us help you on your way to GET DISCOVERED.

Posted in:News

Three reasons to release your music beyond the Soundcloud


In this post Thomas van Wijk (@thomasvanwijk) explains three key reasons why relying solely on Soundcloud won’t help your music career. Thomas’s startup company Songflow is building solutions to solve these problems for independent artist around the globe.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Soundcloud a lot. They provide some powerful tools for sharing music online and connecting with listeners. It’s no wonder 180 million people actively use the platform. However for artists seeking to boost their career in music Soundcloud’s strength is also it’s biggest downfall. We live in a world where attention is everything. It’s the most sought after and scarce value driver for any online media/entertainment business. Yes that includes you: the musicians, band member, producer or artist manager.

SpaceShuttleSoundcloud is so broadly accepted, that it should play a significant role in the discovery of upcoming artists. Yet I’ve never heard of a success story from Soundcloud as we did in the days of MySpace. Thinking about this problem I finally came up with three reasons why relying on Soundcloud isn’t helping your music career and what you can do about it today:


1. Too much music

It’s said that users upload 10hrs. of audio to Soundcloud every minute. Almost all the artists I ask use the service. Now think about your prospective fans. Are they exclusively listening to new artists on Soundcloud? Do they magically discover your songs while surfing the platform? Sharing your tracks on Soundcloud might be convenient, but it’s hardly a unique selling point if millions are doing the same thing every day.


2. Where’s the money?

Soundcloud doesn’t provide a way for artists to get paid for the use of their recordings. Services such as: Spotify, Deezer, and Rdio account every streams. So in addition to being valuable to listeners they also provide an income for content providers. I don’t mean this to attack Soundcloud in any way, but music streaming is the fastest growing market in digital music sales. It has already taken over downloads as dominant type of music service in some European countries and will continue to take over the world in the coming years. Artists who take their career seriously and want to be discoverd should try to create maximum value around their content and fan base. If that means shifting your sharing activities to more commercial social music services. Go for it!


3. Reach out to streaming subscribers

Who do you want to have as fans? Yes, the premium subscribers to streaming services: loyal active music lovers who pay ten bucks each month to have unlimited access to the world’s greatest music. For example: I use Spotify. I pay for it. Think about the work I have to do to come to your Soundcloud page and listen to your tracks. My phone is already filled with offline playlists. Remember: attention is everything in today’s online music market. Make it easy for me and the 20+ million other subscribers by distributing your content to a service I actively enjoy and use, not just one you find easy and is free to work with.


Building solutions

I know it’s not easy to deal with the technical, legal and financial issues of a full-blown digital release. It might even be a bit scary to reach out beyond your own social circle. I often meet artists who dream of “making it” in music, but with no clue on how to get there. I founded Songflow to help those artists with a simple solution. Soundcloud made sharing sounds across the web simple and fun. Songflow is doing the same thing for releasing your music to popular music services, sharing your discography with fans and collecting sales revenue. We want you to feel good about taking that next step in your music career. Experience it for yourself at

Posted in:Blog


CELIBRATION28 years ago little Thomas was born.
To celebrate this lovely fact, Thomas wants you to enjoy €3 or $3 off of every  release!


So starting from today (27th of March) to  the 4th of April you get a discount on the releases you distribute using

Please use this following coupon code when you checkout your release in Songflow!
For  a discount in Euros please use:

For a discount in US Dollars please use:


Rock On!

Posted in:News

The RED17 takes over twitter to find singer


This evening the little rascals of THE RED17 will take control over the Songflow Twitter account. The band is hosting live auditions to find their new lead singer on national radio and TV in Holland.


During the ‘Freaknacht’ between 01:00 and 04:00 (GMT+1),  three mystery singers will show their talent. The winners of this audition round will still be in the running of becoming THE RED17. You can listen and watch the auditions on Nederland 3 and 3FM.


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Posted in:News

The Musician Comes First


Sometimes it’s easy to forget what it’s really all about.  Music today seems so much about technology and internet. Yesterday’s keynote speech by Dave Grohl at SXSW is very inspiring. It reminds us that all artists start small. Probably in a small town with crappy gear and no clue at what the future will bring. Dave really urges artists to “find their voice” and do things themselves before getting caught up in the business side of things. “The musician always comes first” is his main message. … continue reading

Posted in:music industry, News


Do It Yourself! is the title of Dutch hiphop artist Diggy Dex‘s latest single and quickly becoming our daily anthem. Our team keeps wondering if Songflow inspired him to write this song? Ah well, we’ll just have to ask him someday.


Songflow gives you the power to distribute your music to fans on the music services they love. Don’t wait for the middle man to discover you. In the digital age it’s never too early to officially release your music. Why? Because you CAN Do It Yourself. This is recently proven by one of the biggest DIY acts from the US: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Their independently released single ‘Thrift Shop‘ went No.1 in the pop-charts.


You must see this hilarious video they posted on Funny or Die about their “talk” with an old school label exec.:


Posted in:News

Valerius releases new single soon!



Valerius had a great weekend at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2013, playing multiple gigs throughout the weekend. Today Valerius announced that they will release a new single soon. Enjoy their last single: We Can Not Put Us Back Together on YouTube. You can follow Valerius on Twitter and find them on Facebook.


Stay tuned for more info on artists using Songflow!


Posted in:News

Spotify web app is good news for artists

Important news for artists from Spotify. Engadget announces Spotify has started beta tests of their web version.  Spotify in the browser will make it even simpler for fans to listen to your songs directly on Facebook. (Check the original article)


Until now Spotify users had to open the application behind their browser if they wanted to listen to a song on Facebook. New users will no longer be forced to download and launch the application. They  login directly to the web app with their Facebook account and start listening.

Sharing your music on Facebook and Spotify will become an even more seamless experience. This allows any artist to benefit from the rapidly growing source of income that Spotify provides. Songflow is excited to provide a platform that allows any artist to distribute and share their songs online.


Mario comments: “I really like web apps for streaming services. This has the Spotify Feel which is great. Prior to this I used Deezer when streaming music from the web.” 

Posted in:music industry, News

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