Free smart links for music promotion

With RouteNote distributing your music to so many stores, which streaming service’s link should you share to socials? All of them in one with free smart links.

Fan Links or smart links collect all of the places that hold your music in one URL, this includes stores, streaming services, social media platforms and more. Our partner site Push.fm offer free Fan Links to RouteNote and non-RouteNote users.

Push.fm’s interface is super easy. Just create a new campaign and enter a link to your music on any streaming service. Push.fm will automatically enter the track title, artist(s), artwork and find many other stores and streaming services that hold the track. All of these as well as the URL itself can be edited. Enter any additional streaming services you’d like such as a custom merch store, change the order, logo or button text. Be sure to not forget these top streaming services. Then simply share your URL to all of your social pages and friends.


Push.fm don’t just offer free Fan Links, we can also hook your up with free Pre-saves and Content Unlocks.

Push.fm provide you with key in-depth, day-by-day statistics across all of your campaigns.


Push.fm offer all three campaign tools for free to all, with unlimited campaigns available to Premium members at just £4.99/month.

Push.fm pricing

Head to Push.fm now to get started with Fan Links.

See how Push.fm stacks up against the competition here.

Top 3 smart speakers under $100 – Apple HomePod mini vs. Google Nest Audio vs. Amazon Echo 2020

In the space of a couple of months, the smart speaker game at $100 has seriously heated up, with devices from Apple, Google and Amazon.

Two months ago, we put together our pick of the best smart speakers at each price point. In the under $100 section, both Amazon and Google’s offerings were weak, with nothing from Apple. At the time, Google’s Home speaker was discontinued and Amazon’s best offering was a two year old Echo Plus.

Fast forward just two months later and the competition for the best $100 smart speaker has heated up, with the three biggest smart assistants coming in the form of Alexa with Amazon Echo, Google-Assistant with Nest Audio and Siri with Apple HomePod mini. Amazon’s new Echo speaker replaces last generations with bumped up sound quality and a new design. Google’s new Nest Audio replaces the Google Home speaker with similar improvements as Amazon. Apple’s new HomePod mini is the companies new HomePod in a smaller physical package at a lower price point.

With many around the world still in lockdown, how do these home speakers stack up? If a decent music player, assistant to answer your questions/set timers and smart home controller is what you’re after, one of these may be the perfect Christmas present for you or a loved one.

Amazon Echo 4th Gen
  • New look, new sound – Echo delivers clear highs, dynamic mids, and deep bass for rich, detailed sound that automatically adapts to any room.
  • Voice control your entertainment – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Sirius XM, and more. Plus listen to radio stations, podcasts, and Audible audiobooks.
  • Ready to help – Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, play the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
  • Smart home made simple – With the built-in hub, easily set up compatible Zigbee devices or Ring Smart Lighting products (coming soon) to voice control lights, locks, and sensors.
  • Fill your home with sound – With multi-room music, play synchronized music across Echo devices in different rooms. Or pair your Echo with Fire TV to feel scenes come to life with home theater audio.
  • Connect with others – Call almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms or announce to the whole house that dinner’s ready.
  • Designed to protect your privacy – Built with multiple layers of privacy protections and controls, including a microphone off button that electronically disconnects the microphones.

Size:

5.7 x 5.7 x 5.2-inches

Speakers:

3.0-inches neodymium woofer and 2×0.8-inches tweeters

Note: at the time of writing, Amazon’s Echo speaker is currently on sale with 30% off for Black Friday week, at just $69.99. Come back to RouteNote’s blog later this week to see if the other two speakers go on sale.


Apple HomePod mini
  • Fills the entire room with rich 360-degree audio
  • Siri is your do-it-all intelligent assistant, helping with everyday tasks
  • Easily control your smart home
  • Designed to keep your data private and secure
  • Place multiple HomePod mini speakers around the house for a connected sound system
  • Intercom messages to every room
  • Pair two HomePod mini speakers together for immersive stereo sound
  • Voice recognition gives each family member a personalized experience
  • Seamlessly hand off audio by bringing your iPhone close to HomePod

Size:

3.3 x 3.3 x 3.9-inches

Speakers:

Full-range driver and dual passive radiators


Google Nest Audio
  • Designed to protect your privacy – Nest Audio comes with privacy built in. You can delete your Assistant history by saying, “Hey Google, delete what I just said.” Or to turn off the mic, just use the switch on the back.
  • It’s all about sound – Just say, “Hey Google, play some music,” and crisp vocals and powerful bass fill the room. Nest Audio adapts to your environment and whatever you’re listening to, so music sounds better.
  • Music here. Music there. Music everywhere. – Create a home audio system that fills your home with sound. Nest Audio works together with your other Nest speakers and displays, Chromecast-enabled devices, or compatible speakers. And it’s easy to set up.
  • Connect with family and friends – Nest Audio helps you stay in touch. Just say, “Hey Google” to broadcast messages on every Nest speaker and display in the house. Use your Nest speakers as an intercom and chat from room to room. And make audio calls with Duo.
  • Huge help around the house – You can say things like, “Hey Google, what’s the weather this weekend?” Ask Google about the news or sports scores. Hear your schedule. Make calls. And set timers and alarms. Even turn on the lights or turn up the heat. All with your voice.
  • Thoughtfully designed. Environmentally sound. – Inspired by your home, Nest Audio’s colors, size, and shape fit beautifully into any room. It’s also designed with the environment in mind.

Size:

4.89 x 3.07 x 6.89-inches

Speakers:

2.95-inches woofer and 0.75-inch tweeter


If you’re after pure sound quality, Amazon Echo will offer you the most bang for your buck, however none of these three smart speakers will let you down. All will produce excelling sounding, room-filling, loud music. If you are neatly tied in with Google, Amazon or Apple, I recommend staying with your existing smart assistant. That is to say, for example if you own an iPhone, MacBook and use iMessage a lot: buy a HomePod mini, if you own an older Echo Dot, Fire Stick and want to order items on Amazon: buy an Echo, if you own a Google Pixel, Chromebook and use Gmail: buy a Nest Audio. These speakers shine when they interact and pair with their own products.

Get Deezer Premium and HiFi cheaper than ever for Black Friday!

From November 27th until December 13th you can subscribe to Deezer’s best music listening experiences for half price in their best deal ever.

Deezer‘s Black Friday offering is an incredible snatch for music lovers, offering the best the streaming service has to offer at their lowest prices ever offered. For a limited period both their ad-free Premium experience and their high quality HiFi offering are available for 12 months at 50% off.

12 months of Deezer Premium will be on offer for $59.99.
Deezer Premium offers uninterrupted, unlimited streaming from their entire catalogue of music, podcasts, and radio stations. Premium subscribers can also listen offline.

12 months of Deezer Hi-Fi will be available for $89.99.
Hi-Fi offers all the benefits of Premium but with the gift of the ultimate in streaming quality. 52 million tracks in lossless FLAC quality are available with limited albums in 360 sound experiences.

Deezer’s Marketing Director for North and Central America, Thalia Rybar said: “We want you to enjoy your music and podcasts for a whole year with just one simple payment. Now users have the ability to pre-pay, without needing to worry about monthly instalments in the coming year. Our Black Friday promotion also offers outstanding value to music fans.

“For a fraction of the cost, users can enjoy the best of Premium, including unlimited music and skips, ad-free and offline listening. Also, music aficionados seeking high-definition sound quality can benefit from our biggest deal of the year, 50% off our HiFi subscription.”

Deezer’s Black Friday Premium and HiFi offers are available for all music fans in Brazil, Canada, Colombia (Bancolombia customers only), Egypt, Germany, France, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, The UK, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey and USA.

Deezer’s Black Friday offer is available for all Free users who have not signed up for a prior promotion or special offer before. The offer is also available for users who left Deezer before August 27 this year. This offer is only available between Nov 27th and Dec 13th 2020.

The 10 most popular YouTubers in 2020: top 10 most-subscribed channels

Here’s a list of the current top 10 most-subscribed YouTube channels of all-time, ranging from 61 to 162 million subscribers.

1. T-Series

162 million subscribers

PewDiePie

2. PewDiePie

108 million subscribers

Cocomelon - Nursery Rhymes

3. Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes

98.6 million subscribers

SET India

4. SET India

88.7 million subscribers

5-Minute Crafts

5. 5-Minute Crafts

69.6 million subscribers

Kids Diana Show

6. ✿ Kids Diana Show

69.5 million subscribers

WWE

7. WWE

69.4 million subscribers

Zee Music Company

8. Zee Music Company

65 million subscribers

Like Nastya

9. Like Nastya

64.6 million subscribers

Canal KondZilla

10. Canal KondZilla

61.7 million subscribers

Amazon Music adds more background info to songs with X-Ray feature

The X-Ray feature on Amazon Music shows lyrics in real-time. Now Amazon add trivia for songs with the feature.

X-Ray on Prime Video shows many facts alongside the streamed video such as a list of actors on screen, actor’s bios, background information and more via IMDb. The feature has been available on Amazon Music for some time, showing lyrics in real-time. Much like Spotify’s info from Genius, Amazon are adding extra behind-the-scenes info about the song such as artist’s backstory, the song’s release date and its top spot on the Billboard chart.

The feature can be accessed by simply swiping up on the X-Ray icon on the now playing screen. Swipe through each fact or tap Credits at the bottom to see a complete list of who worked on each track.

The additions to the feature is available globally, across “tens of millions” of songs, with extra “fun facts” for popular songs in the US and UK. No word yet on where Amazon are getting this info from or whether you’ll be able to add piece of info on your own tracks.

UK Vinyl Sales Heading For Best Year In Three Decades


Image by  Natalie Cardona

Vinyl Sales Continue To Grow During 2020

The sale of vinyls in the U.K are set to reach a three-decade high, partly due to music fans not being able to attend live music during the pandemic. Vinyl sales are up 10% and is set to break the £100m mark by the end of 2020. It will be the best year since 1990 when Sinead O’ Connor and New Kids on the Block topped the charts. 

For the past decade vinyl sales have been slowly creeping up with each year showing a steady growth. The music platform once considered to be dead or dying is now going from strength to straight each year. More mainstream artists have also been heading to wax in recent years, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and most recently Kylie Minogue

It was uncertain ground for the physical market this year as vinyl, CDs, cassette and DVD sales plummeted by almost half in April as the first lockdown shut down the high street across the country. 

Speaking to The Guardian Drew Hill, Managing director of Proper Music, the UK’s biggest independent distributor of vinyls and CDs explains: “We have seen 250% growth from the bottom of lockdown to where we are now.” continuing: “I thought it could be catastrophic for the industry but during lockdown the kind of people buying records also probably went to a lot of gigs. They can’t do that so it seems fans are spending the money they used to on going to gigs each month on records.”

Interestingly CD sales dropped by 30% (according to the Entertainment Retailers Association), arguably due to the increase of streaming platforms. If this trend continues into the final weeks of this year CD sales will be its lowest since 1987. It is predicted that CD sales will reach £150m.

Kim Bayley, chief executive of the ERA describes it as an “extraordinary turnaround” adding that, “Thirty years ago the compact disc was the aficionados’ format as people pursued the dream of ‘perfect sound’. But with the mass market turning increasingly to streaming, vinyl and even cassette have become the aficionados’ formats of choice.”

According to the ERA the high street shut down means that 2020 will be the first time that more than half to the total physical music sales will be from online sales. Amazon taking the largest share with HMV and independent outlets also benefiting.

Although the pandemic has certainly pushed physical sales in replacement of live music; there is no doubt that physical sales, especially vinyl has been on the increase for the past few years. It’s a fantastic trend that is as exciting for artists as it is music fans.


Top-selling vinyl albums of 2020 so far

1. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis (Sony Music)

2. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (Warner Music)

3. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse (Universal Music)

4. Nevermind – Nirvana (Universal Music)

5. Ultra Mono – Idles (Partisan)

6. Fine Line – Harry Styles (Sony Music)

7. MTV Unplugged – Liam Gallagher (Warner Music)

8. Disco – Kylie Minogue (BMG)

9. Chromatica – Lady Gaga (Universal Music)

10. Greatest Hits – Queen (Universal Music)


Where Can I See My Spotify Statistics?

There are a few places an artist or a record label can see their Spotify statistics.

Firstly, you can check out your Spotify for Artists for real time statistics across your discography – which includes play numbers, types of listeners, playlists, countries of listens, cities of listeners, ability to edit your Spotify profile and more.

Secondly, you can always take a look at your RouteNote statistics and reports pages that provide you will a full run down of your stats across Spotify and all the other stores you have distributed your music.

Chill Your Mind – Chillout Deep House Mix from Nora Van Elken (Video)

Nora Van Elken seems to be a solid favourite on Chill Your Mind – as she is back with another amazing mixtape. This new mix is around Chill Deep House music and is a great mix to put on in the background while trying to work from home in these crazy times.

Chill Your Mind!

Top 5 Free VST Plugins

Here are the Top 5 Free VST Plugins that you can currently download. I know they aren’t going to be to everyone’s style or taste, but they are free.

1. Sweetcase

Sweetcase is a great sample-based electric piano VST plugin.

Download Sweetcase Free

2. Orion Sound Module

Orion Sound Module is a Royalty free loops and samples at your pleasure!

Download Orion Sound Module Free

3. Acoustica Nightlife

Acoustic Nightlife is for windows users and EDM, dance and trance makers, this synth is the one for you!

Download Acoustica Nightlife Free

4. Grooove BPB

Download Grooove BPB Free

Grooove BPB is one of the best free drum samplers around.

5. Synister

Synister is described as an easy to use and flexible synthesizer.

Download Synister Free

What does RouteNote do?

As well as free music distribution to all major online stores and streaming services, RouteNote offers the complete package for independent artists and labels.

RouteNote have many free features to help artists take their music from their bedrooms around the world with distribution, marketing and analytic tools.

Music Distribution

RouteNote offer free music distribution to all major stores and streaming services around the world, such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Tidal and many more. Simply upload your music to RouteNote, we’ll help you add the relevant metadata and a few days later, get your music onto the world’s largest platforms.


Social Media Monetization

On top of generating revenue across streaming services, we can help you earn revenue from content on social media platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.


Marketing

Proper online promotion is more important than ever. Our partner site Push.fm provide artists with three key tools to simplify music marketing. Pre-Saves allows fans to save music to their library, prior to it being released. Come release day, your release will be ready for streaming. Fan Links consolidate all of the places your music lives into one beautiful, fully customizable landing page. Content Unlocks allow you to share exclusive rewards in exchange for social actions, such as a tweet on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube or share on Facebook.


Analytics

Both RouteNote and Push.fm provide in-depth statistics, showing you exactly who is listening to what tracks and how they’re accessing them.

Monthly earnings are paid into your RouteNote profile and can be securely deposited into a PayPal account.


Free users experience zero fees or recurring costs and keep 85% of the revenue. Premium users keep 100% of the revenue for a small fee.

We don’t hold any features back for our free users. Everything is available to everyone. You always keep 100% of the rights to your music and have full control of what goes where.

Sign up to RouteNote today to get started.