I may not be old enough to bathe in the nostalgia of digging through crates of records, but I do remember the excitement of waiting in line at Sam Goody when a new CD came out and even searching through a giant book of disks to find THAT song when I first started driving. Soon after came MP3 players, Napster, the iPod, the iPhone, and finally streaming music. I now pay $9.99/month for instant access to any song I could think of, commercial-free. While that convenience is invaluable to me, I wonder how artists—and podcasters for that matter—are making any money when I had to pay twice that for one CD in 1999??
Streaming services, Spotify being the untamable goliath of the group, have become a necessary evil for musical artists, comedians, and podcasters alike. Luckily, Anvil Media has been gaining experience in using Spotify as a marketing tool and has developed an outline of best practices when using the platform. We have two general conversions, or main goals, when it comes to Spotify. The first is leveraging it’s massive userbase to grow an artist’s pool of listeners and the second is to drive listeners to buy albums, tickets to a show, or even merchandise. Since artists generally receive an average of $0.004 each time a song of theirs is played, the second goal is the one that keeps dinner on the table.
Make a “Spotify for Artists” Profile
As an artist, view this profile as your digital merch table. You want to promote yourself in the best way possible. General best practices here are to upload a high-quality image of yourself, write a catchy bio, and make sure all music if high quality, well-mixed and mastered. You also want to utilize the ‘Artist’s Pick’ feature of your profile. If you have new music, rotate some of your songs as the Artist’s Pick. Also use other artist’s songs as your artists pick from time to time. This exposes you to their audience and essentially works the same way backlinking does with Google.
Pitch Songs to get on Editorial and Algorithmic Playlists
The main way to use Spotify as a marketing tool is to leverage the platform’s massive user base to grow your pool of listeners. Getting onto a Spotify created playlist is the best way to do so. Spotify has two types of official playlists: Editorial and Algorithmic. To get on these playlists, you need to be heard by the editors at Spotify. These ‘playlist curators’ listen to millions of songs and digitally sort them by genre, mood, and other themes (remember, anyone can create a profile—that could be a really good or really bad job—William Hung?).
In order to get on an official Spotify playlist, you must utilize the “Pitch a Song to our Editors” feature in the Spotify for Artist’s profile. You can only pitch one song at a time but after it is listened to by an Editor, you cross your fingers and hope it makes it onto an Editorial Playlist. These are the playlists, categorized by genres and moods that a listener will be shown on their homepage or when searching for music.
Spotify’s other type of playlist are called Algorithmic. These are personalized for each user based on their consumption habits. Every user is fed unique playlists each day. You might see them commonly as “Discover Weekly” or “Release Radar.” This is another benefit to gain more followers as anytime you release something new it will come up on your follower’s “Release Radar” playlist.
Get on as many Organic Playlists as Possible
Similar to Facebook or Instagram, the goal is to get as many impressions as you can. Get your friends, family, sponsors, other artists etc. to put your songs on their playlists. There are a few benefits here. People often make their playlists public so more people will be exposed to your music and Spotify’s playlist curators consider how many organic playlists you appear on when creating their official playlists.
List Your Gigs and Albums on Songkick
Here is where the money is made. Spotify links to another platform called Songkick. If your upcoming gigs are listed on this site, they will appear on the bottom of your Spotify profile. In addition, an artist can create a similar profile on Songkick and add links to purchase physical or digital versions of their albums.
Use Other Social Platforms to Grow Followers
Finally, you should make sure your other social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok) are optimized. Use a call to action in your posts to encourage your friends and fans on these platforms to follow you on Spotify.
Whether you are a budding artist, trying to gain traction for your podcasts, or a karaoke hero who wants to post music for your friends to listen to, follow these best practices to make Spotify work for you. Connect with us at Anvil to learn more about how we can get your music, podcasts, and comedy off the ground or how we can strategically support all of your business goals through our digital marketing services.