Facebook. Twitter. Reverbnation. Myspace. Bandcamp. Soundcloud.
It seems like there are more ways than ever for musicians to get the word out about their music, but a new site called IndieCastle.Net has got one thing the others don’t: local ties.
Launched officially on Jan. 1, the site, which gives independent artists a place to come and share their music, is run by local artist manager Michael Callahan and his business partner Paul Pickett (aka Paul Ma$on).
We wanted to build a site that is tailored to the independent music community, where the artists can receive digital distribution without all the formalities they have to go through to get it from other sites,” said Callahan.
Though only officially in its first week, the site has more than 150 listed accounts — both artists and fans — many which have carried over from a previous project. UnheardRadio.com, another artist promotion portal, was built by Callahan and Pickett but eventually the duo split ways with the site’s current owner Mark Tower in order to start IndieCastle.
Meet Michael Callahan
Having moved to Myrtle Beach in June He says that, in addition to building up his user base nationally, he’d also like make more of an impact locally.
“I am working on a project right now to pitch to Planet Hollywood here in MB to do an event once a month,” he says. “I am always the type to promote local first, then global.”
In addition, he says he’d like to get to the point where he can feature one local artist per month on IndieCastle.
“I don’t have hard feelings with [Tower] and my partner and I wish him the best,” said Callahan. “But we brought the software to the table...and we’ve added several modules and templates to enhance the social status of the site.”
For artists, the site offers various features including the ability to interact with other artists, share music and status updates with their other social media accounts. In addition, two of the site’s main selling points are the money they receive by selling songs through the site — Callahan says IndieCastle takes a smaller portion than most distribution sites — and the site’s two Internet radio stations.
“One of our key things was that we should also make it where artists get a larger percentage of the money they sell the tracks for,” said Callahan. “We also took some time to decide on some other features that would help the independents out there and so we offer articles about the business and help with their Electronic Press Kits.”
The streaming stations, one for urban music and the other for rock and a mix of other types of music stream 24/7 and are one of IndieCastle’s most popular features. Both are filled with tracks which artists submit through band promotion sites such as Sonicbids.com, MusicXray.com and MusicSubmit.com.
Callahan says he is currently in the process of sifting through about 6,000 submissions from artists to add to the stations’ rotation and that he hopes to register about 10,000 total users in the next six months.
He says that while he understands there are other sites out there that do what IndieCastle does, he doesn’t view them as competition.
“We are tailored to the listener as well as the artists. We have all the same functions as most of the other sites … The wonderful thing about the site is that we cater to every genre of music,” he says. “The only real competition we would have would be iTunes and we’re not even going to try to take that type of market.”