‘Drip’ allows artists to offer private, limited previews of songs to gain early listener feedback. The feature blends AI analytics, short-term streaming, and scarcity to provide data-driven insights on listener behavior. According to Sound Credit, ‘Drip Before You Drop’ will ‘empower artists to make smart decisions about releases and promotions.’
At its core, Sound Credit is a leading provider of music metadata collection and file transfer services for music creators. The company aims to connect musicians to over a billion dollars of lost royalties every year.
But Gebre Waddell, Sound Credit’s founder and CEO, told Digital Music News that the company had identified a prominent missing link in the tech-driven music world: limited-access releases of songs to drive promotions, fan engagement, and track refinement. DMN quickly agreed to help introduce this new release option for artists.
With the advent of streaming services, pre-release exclusives and content scarcity became forgotten privileges. Sound Credit’s new functionality, ‘Drip,’ aims to revive the lost pre-release buzz. For core fans, this ephemeral streaming could offer a chance to listen to their idols’ work before everyone else gets their hands on it. And for artists, Drip could potentially drive the refinement of tracks, optimize album releases, and amplify targeted promotions — all with a data-driven approach.
Beyond conventional songs, anything is fair game for Drip: special versions, remixes, demos, outtakes, and more experimental tracks. It’s also low risk and low cost; instead of pricey focus groups, which are typically a luxury enjoyed by larger labels and companies, Drip enables endless experimentation and pre-release testing.
Waddell believes Drip will revive the long-lost concept of teasing music as it used to happen via radio. Speaking to DMN, he explained, “Artists can leverage modern technology to deeply understand their audience while building anticipation and excitement for a new release.”
With ephemeral streaming and limited user access, Waddell believes artists can stimulate fan urgency, interest, and online engagement.
As fans engage and discuss the tracks, Waddell believes the process could generate just the right amount of buzz to drive an album release to more promising heights. He added, “Drip grants listeners a limited window to enjoy a track before it disappears, instilling a sense of urgency and exclusivity that enhances the listening experience.”
Pre-release promotions aren’t new — streaming platforms have made the option available to artists for years. But those pre-release tracks are merely teasers for albums, and typically they remain open to everyone at all times. Waddell projects that limited-time access provided via artists’ marketing channels will drive user data and analytics — that’s how Drip aims to change the game.
‘Customized Drip links gather granular data, including geolocation data, track-specific likes and plays, listener demographics, and more,’ Waddell explains.
The latest functionality offers detailed, in-depth analytics, identifying which track resonated more deeply with fans. The data can also help identify regions that attracted the highest fan engagement — info that can be used for targeted tours and promotions. According to Waddell, these analytics ensure artists plan tours and promotions with more core info of fan interest within the selected region. It also lowers the downside risk of under-attended shows, which can be costly.
Every listener interaction via Drip brings forth data. Analysis of this data could assist artists in accurately focusing on refining final tracks before release. It may also help artists identify fan favorites or even exit tracks. Waddell describes ‘exit tracks’ as tracks that cause listeners to abandon the playlist. This identification of exit tracks nominates prime candidates that could/should be removed from an album altogether.
According to Waddell, launching a Drip is fast and easy.
Artists will upload all recordings on the Sound Credit portal and generate a drip link that can be published and distributed via email, social media, or other marketing channels.
Artists can choose the maximum number of attendees and set a time frame of availability. Users who click the drip link encounter a countdown timer for the exclusive preview, instilling a sense of urgency and scarcity that propels fan engagement, online discussions, reviews, and feedback. This data feeds Drip’s AI-driven analytics. Moreover, when users complete a Drip (or fail to get in), their emails can be accessed by the Drip creator in their dashboard.
Waddell says the strength of ‘Drip Before You Drop’ lies in these detailed data collection points and analytics. “Every interaction with a Drip link is tracked and analyzed, providing insights into listener preferences, reactions, and engagement.”