By Sharon Florentine
Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from data center technology to holistic veterinary care and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
The advent of the Internet, social media and digital music has completely revolutionized the traditional recording industry. Music communities – whether general “gatherings” for music appreciation or virtual spaces for fans of specific bands – are springing up all over cyberspace, and giving musicians a highly visible and affordable way to promote their music and expand their audiences.
When deciding on a web hosting provider for your music oriented website, make sure the one you choose offers an easy-to-use interface that enables you to update your music, graphics, images and news quickly and simply; you’re most likely a musician, not a tech support specialist!
Most web hosting providers have the ability to host email as well, a tool that can be invaluable for a band or musicians. Building and maintaining email lists can help you keep your fans informed of your upcoming shows and upcoming releases, in addition to the connection and exposure you’ll get through social media sites like Facebook and Google+. A few music-specific web sites also offer radio broadcasting access and the ability to stream music and videos digitally.
If you are going to take advantage of these capabilities, however, you should consider using a Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network (CDN) to deliver your videos, music and images quickly and efficiently to viewers and fans.
Basically, a CDN is a number of highly optimized web servers located around the globe that cache static content. When users access your site, static content – like images, videos, digital music files and the like—will be delivered from the server that’s closest to their physical location. For musicians, bands and other music industry specific sites that are heavy on graphics and photos, or for media-heavy and streaming media sites, a CDN is especially valuable. Combined with a cloud storage service, you can store, manage and distribute your music to fans around the globe.
When music lovers visit your site, they don’t want to wait for long load times, choppy video streaming or interruptions to the song they’re trying to listen to. With a CDN and a web hosting provider optimized for music, you’ll more easily be able to distribute your music, video, images and other content to users and fans almost instantly, and delivering that kind of instant gratification they’ve come to expect. And the better their experience with your site, the more likely they are to share your music, generating an even larger audience for you.