One disturbing trend I see with artists and musicians is that they are too associated with social media. What I mean by that is that they are driving people and fans to other people’s websites like Facebook, Soundcloud, etc rather than building up their own website. Nothing wrong with building a presence on social media, but you should be pushing those people to your site, where you silicon valley internet company. Let your domain be the place where people go to find your music and engage with you, the way it used to be way back in the B.M. days(Before Myspace.)
You can build quality content now, too. Bands used to have crappy Geocities pages,(I had several, as well as Tripod and Angelfire) and just having an mp3 file play on your website was a huge hassle in terms of bandwidth and compatibility. I can’t tell you how many times I had a site set up to play music files, and I would go on a different computer to find that they wouldn’t load.
Now however, there are sites with high quality music widgets you can use that will actually host the files for you, so you don’t need to worry about bandwidth. Soundgine is one company that provides such a service. Their music players even have built in Paypal and credit card shopping cart systems so people can purchase albums and tracks right from the player itself. Pretty badass. Let’s face it, people today lack the attention span to even look for a place to purchase your music even if they like it. The players look cool, too. Just having one on your site might boost your cred a bit.
You can see some of the music players in action and try them out here. They can integrate YouTube videos as well. There are a few different styles available,(you can see them here.) and if you insist on driving traffic to Facebook they have widget options that can be put on your FB wall. I personally would recommend the “Mobility” player, as in my opinion everyone checks out and purchases music with exclusively from their smartphone(it works on tablets as well.) Desktop computers seem to be used mostly by cubical workers in corporate America now. Recreational use takes place more on portable devices.
As far as cost goes it looks like these will run you about 20 bucks a month, so make sure you think you can sell 2 or 3 albums every thirty or so days to make it pay for itself. There are some places out there that offer free players out there you can get for your site, but most of them suck as far as features, and they are usually not very aesthetically pleasing. Also, free stuff on the internet tends to be slow, filled with annoying ads and broken(anyone remember free dialup internet with NetZero.) My friend once joked that he was about to have an epileptic seizure from all the blinking banner ads after logging into NetZero for the first time(no offense intended.)
In my mind the best thing about these kinds of players is that they host the files for you. One of the reasons people use sites like Soundcloud is that to play large music files on a website uses quite a bit of bandwidth, so hosting them on your own would lead to your webhost shutting you down after a couple thousand downloads,(or bumping you up to a high cost plan, dedicated server, etc) which defeats the whole purpose of trying to make your website more popular.
Think of these types of players not just as widgets but as forms of content to build value in your band’s page. Look into these and other methods of attracting fans directly to you.