How We Got Over 14,000 Downloads In 48 Hours

by Moe Arora on December 1, 2008

14000 Downloads In 48 Hours

How did we get over 14,000 downloads in 48 hours?

Last Friday, I spoke with Mack Maine and he told me his upcoming mixtape with Don Cannon, “This Is Just A Mixtape” is finally going to be released and he wanted to get some buzz going around it.

Maine and I go back a few years, so when he asked me to help get the word out, I didn’t need to think twice.

I was on the road all day so I didn’t have a chance to listen to the songs until about 9:45pm on Friday night. I was debating on whether to wait until the next morning to take any action but I was anxious to hear them so I decided to listen and prepare a plan right away.

One of the songs prominently features Lil Wayne so I posted a message on Twitter stating that I have a Lil Wayne exclusive and asked which top hip-hop blog/site I should send it to first before sending it to the rest.

Twitter Exclusive - Considering Options

I decided to put Wayne’s name first to grab more interest but also because several Twitter applications cut off the message after a certain number of characters; so this way we can capture the most interest immediately, but I was careful never to say it’s Lil Wayne featuring Mack Maine – I just emphasized on the exclusive cameo from a well-known name.

Several Twitter folk suggested different major hip-hop websites, but the after thinking it over quickly, I thought “why not just post it on Twitter and have it spread organically?”

There’s always so much talk about how effective social network marketing is, but we don’t really have too many solid examples to go by; not in urban music anyhow. So why not create it ourselves?

That prompted the following tweet:

Twitter Exclusive - Breaking New Ground

As I began to upload the song, I  asked my Twitter network to kindly retweet my upcoming message featuring the song & download link so that we can showcase the real power of social media as well as the influence of online tastemakers. (A retweet is when you re-post someone’s message on Twitter verbatim and include their username to give source credit).

The result?

Song breaks on Twitter. Twitter Exclusive: Mack Maine ft. Lil Wayne - Throw It Back

That was the initial reaction from Twitter, however it doesn’t stop here.

Tastemakers emailed the song to their mailing lists, bloggers posted it, torrent users seeded it and DJs already began playing it in the club that same night.

You can see some of the websites where it’s already been posted on by clicking here. (Search results may vary since there are always typos and naming differences)

Another unique point about this; I posted the song on SoundCloud as opposed to another online file distribution site – so all zShare, Sharebee, MegaUpload and other links you find online were all created from other websites, bloggers and users.

Interestingly, most people completely overlooked the online streaming option and went straight for the download button (likely to race being the first person to post the song on their site).

This is interesting because the main focal point of a SoundCloud page is the online streaming player, while the download button is not as highly visible.

SoundCloud page for Mack Maine ft. Lil Wayne - Throw It Back

My Twitter message with the download link was posted at 10:35pm on Friday, November 28th.

Within 24 hours the song had been uploaded to several top hip-hop websites & blogs as well as a plethora of smaller, upcoming websites with thousands of downloads and hundreds of comments.

It’s a little difficult to track ALL the download links and it took a while to find the ones I did and then eliminate the repeats. Once I did that though, I calculated the total number of downloads after 48 hours of my Twitter post.

So, as of 10:35pm on Sunday, November 30th, the total number of downloads from the links I was able to track?

14,281

Over 14,000 downloads in 48 hours!

Skeptical?

I don’t blame you, although I do invite you  to check it out for yourself.

Do a Google search for the song and track all the download links from the websites listed. Eliminate the repeats and then add them up. The number will be higher now that more time has passed.

This just goes to show the true power of not only social networking but also of a great network.

I just posted a few tweets and one link; now there are dozens of download links, dozens of articles/posts, hundreds of tweets and thousands of downloads.

This result is thanks to everybody who participated in this experiment. Together, we created a great example of the power of social media.

In case you missed the song, you can check it out here.

Not bad for an impromptu idea on a Friday night, huh?

UPDATE: I’ve posted a follow up to this post to address some questions I’ve received regarding this whole experiment. You can read it here.

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