Beatchain is a new digital distribution platform for independent artists. At least, that’s what I had heard. I decided to check it out for myself. What I found was that the site is indeed a distro hub. However, it is also much more than that.
Signing up was easy. I logged in with my Google account and answered some standard profile questions. Once inside I found that the user interface is divided into five functional areas; Insights, Launchpad, Distribution, Media Library, and Marketing. It is a clean and deceptively simple layout. The site is really well put together. Navigating through its menus I was struck by the wide range of tools available. No individual applet here is revolutionary on its own. However, I have never seen them all in one place, and so logically assembled.
There are three membership levels at Beatchain, two paid and one free. Each user level grants you access to an ever-expanding list of features. For now, I just have a free account. Even so, that gives me full access to the first three areas of the site. Within them I have already found tools for which I am currently paying on other sites.
This section provides a dashboard which displays important stats from my accounts on all of the major Social networks. It also keeps track of all the big distribution channels, including; Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. In most cases you can click on each box individually and drill down even further on that channel’s stats.
I really like the “Fan Map ” feature as well. Obviously the data will provide invaluable for targeted promotions.
The applications available in this area were probably the biggest surprise of all. From the Launchpad I can compose and schedule Tweets and Facebook posts, and manage the resulting schedule. As a blogger, I have tried out a lot of different social media management suites. Hootsuite and Buffer are two of the big ones. They are great tools. Their developers built entire companies up around those features and they charge real money for their use. Beatchain.com offers exactly the same functionality as just one of many free features..
Much like the rest of the site, the distribution interface is simple and straightforward. The process will be familiar to anyone who has released music on other platforms like CDBaby, or DistroKid. But again, here it is free. Under the free plan I’m able to release up to three titles each month.
Finally, the Media Library is exactly what it sounds like. I can easily manage artwork associated with my musical projects. The nice folks at Beatchain also threw in a free photo editor, because why not?
More to see at Beatchain
This site really surprised me. After using it for just a few days I find myself reassessing the wisdom of maintaining subscriptions on other paid services. And there is much more to see. For example, I need to finish recording and mixing my next single so I can use the platform to release it. Also, if I ultimately decide to start a paid subscription, less than $20/mo will open up all of the site’s long list of marketing tools. They include custom domain web design and hosting tools, and unlimited use of the mailing list management software. Anywhere else, these same programs would cost at least that much on their own.
There is a lot to unpack. Fortunately there are some excellent instructional videos and documentation included. Within them, the Beatchain.com team provides valuable music industry insight along with directions for using their site.
I am looking forward to getting to know Beatchain better. So far, I am really impressed by its intuitive design and its inherent usefulness. The site was built with functionality in mind. Time to get to work!