How to get your music on Spotify
Before you’ll be able to work on Spotify promotion you first have you get you music on the streaming service. You may think you need to be signed to a label to have you music on Spotify. And some labels will tell you that. Well, this is wrong and right at the same time. It is right that you can’t just upload your music to Spotify like you may be used to at Soundcloud or other open music platforms. Appearing on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and other streaming services requires official distribution.
Official Distribution is easy
Thanks to the modern online music infrastructure this is super easy. It really is. There are several online services like CD Baby, Routenote, Distrokid, Symphony and many more. They all allow you to officially distribute your music to all stores and streaming services. They may differ in some features; some allow you to distribute only in specific countries or very few stores; others may have all territories and stores on their programs but lack in service. You have to compare and find the one that best suits your needs. We at The Gentle Fox and most of our artists prefer working with Routenote. It is a small company from South England who do a really great job. In our eyes they’re providing the best conditions and have very responsive customer service. Sometimes it only takes 3 days to have your music up on Spotify! Officially you’ll be appearing as your own label that they’ll ask you to name. Another plus is, that Routenote covers collecting revenues from Soundcloud too. More info how this works and deep insights on Soundcloud promotion to be found HERE.
How to promote your music on Spotify (Actual Spotify Promotion)
We have seen many guides preaching over and over again to share your Spotify link across your social profiles, Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Or even to put your Spotify streaming link in the “Buy” or “Free Download” Section on your Soundcloud upload. This is all ok and not wrong at all but you won’t give the big return you would expect.
A musicians struggle
Numbers are money when it comes to Spotify and there is nothing wrong about caring about money. Music is your job or at least you want it to be! (And this guide to Spotify Promotion will hopefully get you a step further in that direction.) Every day we come across some posts on Facebook complaining about producers or musicians who aim to earn money with their art. I mean do they want us to starve? We really have to boos your earning because musicians like everyone else needs to earn to live. Furthermore you surely want to be signed to a bigger label sooner or later. Taking your Spotify promotion up on the next level, skyrocketing stats and making money will get you closer to the point of signing a good contract. Labels want to see that you already have a solid following and the ability to gain income from your music.
In terms of Spotify promotion, the key to promote your music on Spotify is playlists! In the best case scenario you will land a spot on an official Spotify playlist with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. This would obviously give your tracks a huge push. A few thousand plays a day aren’t uncommon. However achieving official spots is super hard and you have to be real lucky as there isn’t a way to submit your tracks to Spotify playlist curators (If you know one, please share that contact with us lol).
Best Practices in Spotify Promotion
There are other ways to gain placements on Spotify: Independent Playlisters are constantly searching for cool tracks to add to their playlists. And these guys are just normal people like you and I. It’s best to search for relevant keywords like “chill”, “bounce”, “electro”, “deep house” in the spotify search, that represent your style. Then do your research and find out who is running those playlists.
Do your research
It’s important to take a listen to the playlists and find out if your track really suits its style. It’s important that you don’t waste the playlisters time listening to irrelevant music. And you don’t want to waste your own time reaching out to people who won’t add your track to their playlist anyway. Being on the Spotify playlists profile can only see the playlisters name and picture. This is usually their Facebook profile picture. And that’s great because it allows you to search for the playlister on Facebook easily. You unfortunately cannot drop messages to people you aren’t connected with on Spotify. Once you figured out who runs the desired playlist, you can either send them a friend request or a message and hope it’ll be accepted/read. Make sure to always be nice and show how you can add value to their playlists. Keep in mind you want something from someone you do not know, it goes a long way to simply express gratitude to them for simple listening to your track.
Sooner or later you’ll surely land some spots and you may even make some new friends while working on your Spotify promotion. By the way, most of the people you’ll be reaching out to are young scandinavians because Spotify was first launched in Sweden and Norway. Of course those were the first creating independent playlists. It’s funny that most of the guys don’t even know how they gained their followers. You see, they really don’t see their playlist as a business. It’s just a hobby. They are adding music they like personally so again: Be nice!
“Spotify Playlists & Radio”
And now listen up! There is a very very cool side effect of promoting your songs on Spotify by independent playlists. Because you won’t gain tens- or even hundreds of thousands of plays by a couple small placements. But you can fortunately trigger something bigger by these small lists: your placements on the Discover Weekly or Release Radar Spotify playlist. You probably know it from your own usage. It’s the official playlists curated by a Spotify algorithm exclusively for every single Spotify user based on their listening behavior. And once your track performs great on smaller playlists, you’ll be added to Discover Weekly or Release Radar of many many Spotify users.
Quality & targeting
Great performance is a result of good quality music reaching its target audience. A situation you can induce by placing your music in the right spots, means placements on perfectly fitting playlists. Performance is measured by a wide range of statistical tools like number of plays, listening duration, ratio of adds to plays, skipping rate and so on. On the other hand this means if you push your track to playlists that don’t fit your tracks style your song may be recognized as low quality content by the Spotify algorithm. And thus less shown on the platform and its official playlists.
Take your time, create good music, do your research carefully. Do Spotify promotion wisely and be nice! We’ll guarantee this practice will push your track to tens- or even hundreds of thousands of plays. And this means great exposure and more money for your living as an artist.
How to get verified on Spotify and Spotify Insights
It’s become very easy. You don’t even have to reach 250 followers anymore. Just get access to Spotify’s Artist Insights, confirm your identity and submit your request to Spotify. Verifying your artist account is a must when you’re ready to take your Spotify Promotion to the next level. You’ll be able to change the designs (profile picture and banner) of your account, you can create artist playlists and you’ll be able to pick a track or playlist as spotlight to appear first. Not least you’ll get access to your Spotify Insights. Spotify Insights will show a great overview of all your statistics on the streaming platform. Just check it out yourself and get yourself an impression on how your music performs. You can even check out which user has added which of your releases to their playlists. You can then reach out to them in future when you come up with new tunes. Furthermore you’ll be able to see your listeners’ listening behaviors and your audiences age, gender, location etc.
Covers and Remixes on Spotify
Distributing offical remixes or unofficial covers is not illegal on Spotify or other streaming platforms. Not even stores like Itunes once you have the needed rights. Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as you might think. Well, of course you cannot use uncleared samples or files from a track you remixed. Make sure to create everything on your own but it’s no issue to use someone else’s songwriting. All info about this you’ll find on Ari’s take and you can buy all necessary rights on Easy Song Licensing.
You basically don’t have to buy a license for Spotify because they have to cover those expenses themselves but your distributer will ask for a document to make sure you have the rights. Since you’ll most likely push your tracks to stores like Itunes too. Simply buy 50-100 download licenses and once you reach those numbers get yourself some more (Don’t forget!). This shouldn’t cost you more than 20-40 €.
Alright then, it’s time to push your Spotify promotion to the sky and get your tracks on some decent playlists! Good luck and be patient if it doesn’t work the first time. It will eventually, trust me!