I’ve gone on record as saying that in almost all circumstances, I’m generally opposed to the 30-second sample. 30-seconds is not enough time to learn to like a song. It might be enough to recognise one, but that’s about it.
As a rule of thumb, if you want people to like your music, you have to let them hear it. And that means give them the whole track. I still maintain that this is far and away the best way to build an audience for your music.
But I was lucky enough to bump into a musician friend of mine who hops between London and Birmingham (making the most of the strengths of both places for musicians) and he played me a sample track that takes a slightly different approach.
It’s a smart one and not one I’d considered.