So, you've released a few tracks, maybe even an album at this point - but things aren't growing at the rate you'd expect them to. Your releases are not matching up with your expectations and what should be an exciting day becomes a stressful one. Why is this? Well, the good news is you're not alone. Even major Artists feel this stress on their big day. It's common to set your expectations sky high and assume each new piece you put out into the world should break the internet. The unfortunate news is that even if you have a masterpiece on your hands, music doesn't just explode on its own (99.9% of the time at least). If a beautiful painting stays locked up in the home of the Artist will it ever get the exposure and attention it deserves? Likely not.
Well, it's the same with your music. If you're not actively putting yourself out there, you're not giving yourself the opportunity to showcase your creation. This isn't to say that all promotion will lead to immense success, in fact even when you're marketing your music properly there are still a handful of other things that you'll need to do to ensure that your promotion catches and sticks. This article is to help showcase 5 long term benefits of promoting your music on the most streamed DSP in the world; Spotify.
1. You Never Know Who's Listening.
You know when you hear a new song on a new playlist or a friend shows you a new artist they've been listening to? We've all gone through this, in many cases this is how we find new music and add to our own personal playlists.
Don't forget that most people experience new music this way, including important who could make a difference. Musicians, celebrities, labels, influencers, you name it - they're all actively listening to music, and more or less discovering it the same way as you and I. We've run a number of campaigns for clients who end up getting featured on major artists personal playlists. I wish I could say we knew exactly where to place their music at the exact right time to get heard by the exact right person, but that's not the case. Promoting your music on Spotify will open up the opportunity to reach a wide variety of influential fans. You never know who's listening.
2. More Listeners, More Word of Mouth: It's a numbers game!
The most common ways someone grows their fan base are; great marketing, and word of mouth. Ideally every person that hears your music tells everyone they know and so forth, but we all know that's not a reality. In fact, a lot of people are likely going to skip over your music within the first 30 seconds. This is why this point is so important.
It's a numbers game, and I'll break it down as best as I can with some fairly made-up numbers. Let's imagine your new track pulls 10,000 streams in a month. Let's say 4,000 of those people listened to majority of the track. Of those 4,000 about 1,500 enjoyed the track. Of those 1,500 about 150 of those people saved the track and planned on listening to it again. Of those 150 maybe 15 of them love your music, and are influential in their circles. These are the 15 you're after, and this is what we call Word of Mouth. Streams are great, don't get me wrong, but these 15 people have the potential to bring you real new fans who come back for more.
Don't forget that each time you hear that new track or dig that new artist you've come across, there is a creator on the other end of it. You are another fan who has come across their music either by word of month or well placed marketing. Perhaps you are the spark that sets this artist on a new path, perhaps you tell your friends and they tell their friends, a chain reaction takes place and before you know it you've got something big on your hands.
So if we know that only 1.5% (yes, this is a made up number) of streams might actually lead to a 'save' or a potential 'superfan', we need to increase the number of streams to increase the potential outreach and hopeful Word of Mouth that we're after.
3. Algorithmic Placement.
No one wants to be the first, including Spotify. To have a DSP such as Spotify vouch for you they need to see some sort of existing momentum. Algorithmic playlists are just that, a computer generated list - no one has time to listen to all of these tracks and then determine who might want enjoy it, so a computer does it. When you already have a high level of traction on your music, it's easier for Spotify to consider you for their algorithmic placements such as Discover Weekly.
Discover weekly is an incredible list to be on, because guess who is actively listening to music on the discovery weekly playlist? People who are looking to discover new music! The influencers, the word of mouth-ers.
4. Editorial Placement.
If you've done everything right up to this point then you've prepared yourself for a successful next release. You've put yourself out there, you've earned a healthy number of streams of your last release. You've got a decent bit of 'word of mouth' going on. You've landed a steady flow of algorithmic placements and this had led to even more streams. If you've done all of this right, your odds are greatly increased to land an editorial placement with Spotify.
What's an editorial placement? The cream of the crop. This is when Spotify places you on one of their hand-selected, highly sought after home grown playlists. These playlists have a massive number of followers and often will lead to many more placements. An editorial placement is the ultimate vouch from Spotify, so they're tough to come by. Over 60,000 tracks are released on Spotify every single day, and only a handful of them make it onto these editorials. It'd be impossible to guarantee, but doing all of these things mentioned thus far will give you the absolute best chance at landing an editorial placement.
5. 'Track Record' Opportunities.
What's the first thing a modern fan/artist will look at to determine the success of a musician? Whether you like it or not, the answer is monthly Spotify listeners. This is the one second version of your track record, and allows others to make a snap decision on how this feel about you. This would include promoters, potential fans, other artists looking to collaborate etc..
If you're at the stage where you're looking to work with other Artists, then you'll want to make sure their first impression is a good one. An artist with 100 - or 10,000 - or 1,000,000 monthly listeners are all going to have a different level of difficulty working with artists they admire. What you have to offer when your monthly listeners increase on Spotify is a fan base worth tapping into.
As mentioned earlier, no one wants to be the first. If you've already proven that you've got something worth checking out, it's like a snowball effect. Once the snowball starts gaining traction everyone wants to hop of board and see what the fuss is about. Having a 'track record' is going to open up an endless amount of doors for you.
To sum up: Spotify is the modern radio. If you're not currently running some level of promotion you're missing out on a huge segment of the industry. If you're investing a lot of time into making your music then it's worth investing into making sure that music gets heard. You've worked way too hard to let your creation fall on deaf ears. If you're not sure on how to get started, Playlist promotion is what we do for a living. Feel free to reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our campaigns here.
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