I’ve been a fan of Spotify since nearly the beginning. I didn’t mind paying a monthly subscription in order to have access to millions of albums. I also love the fact that you can download music for offline use to your smartphone. As an indie musician, I love Spotify even more. I can release music on a platform where millions of music lovers are. I recently dove into all the things we can do with Spotify as an indie musician. Now, I will show you how to get the most out of Spotify.
What’s the deal with Playlists?
Recently, I noticed a big increase in streams and monthly listeners for my band’s albums on Spotify. In particular, one song was getting a ton more streams. I had recently asked a Spotify playlist creator to check out my band to see if he would like us enough to add a song to his playlist. It appears that my request worked and he added one song to his playlist. What happened next was not part of my plan.
I had planned on slowly finding new playlists and trying the same technique with those playlist creators. In the meantime, other people were listening to that playlist and hearing our song. A few of those people were playlist creators themselves and in turn, added that song to their playlist. I couldn’t figure out how that one playlist was getting so many streams when the number of followers was so small. Then I noticed those other playlists showing up and it started to make sense. The best part is one of the other playlists had a much bigger impact than the first playlist to add us. Now we are seeing a consistent growth in streams because of it.
I found a few playlists that fit my band’s genre and went out searching for who these creators were in “real” life. Finding playlist creator online. Check the social media platforms like twitter, facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. Most of the time if a Spotify user has a profile pic then it is the same on other platforms as well. If you can match up profile photos then you know you probably have the same person. If the photos don’t match then you might have to dig a little deeper.
Create your own playlists
You should start creating your own Spotify playlists while you are submitting for others. This is a great way to reach that certain fan out there looking for your type of music. Do you have a song that is not typical of your music, but it is a great song? Create a playlist around that song and include other artists that fit that theme. You can reach new people who aren’t exactly looking for you, but they would like your non-typical song.
Get collaborative with your fans by turning on the COLLABORATIVE PLAYLIST option. This is a great way to include others in your playlist creation. The band 20 Watt Tombstone made a collaborative playlist and asked their fans to add songs to it. It was their “on the road” playlist that they would listen to while driving from show to show. They even promised to listen to every song. It was a fun way to get their fans involved with their life on tour.
More secrets about Spotify Playlists
I recently listened to the CDBaby podcast where they had a two-part series all about Spotify Playlists. Take the time and go listen to them. You’ll learn all kinds of new tips about using playlists to your advantage. They cover how to find playlists that you should be on, and how to track down the curators. Here are the links to those two episodes: http://cdbabypodcast.com/2018/07/213-truth-spotify-playlists-pt-1/ , http://cdbabypodcast.com/2018/07/214-truth-spotify-playlists-pt2/
Here’s a PRO tip about playlists! There are tools out there that help you do the work. One of the most tedious tasks is finding who a Spotify Playlist curator is. Believe me, I have spent countless hours trying to track down curators. Sometimes, it is just easier and better to get one of these tools instead. One of these tools that I recommend is the Indie Spotify Bible. It contains information for over 4200 playlists on Spotify. They did the hard work for you. All you need to do is find the right playlist and send them a message.
Websites that place your music in playlists
Indiemono is a website where you can submit your music for free to be possibly included in one of their Spotify playlists. There is no guarantee that they will use your music. It is totally worth submitting since it doesn’t cost you anything to do so. I looked at a few of their playlists and a bunch of them appear to have a lot of followers. If you can land a spot on a playlist then you will probably see a good amount of new streams.
SubmitHub is another resource for submitting your music to playlists. SubmitHub covers more than just Spotify playlists so you might try this to kill two birds with one stone. You might be able to land on a playlist that is connected to a certain blog. Ari Herstand of Ari’s Take did a great review of this service. Check it out here: https://aristake.com/post/submithub-review
Should you pay to be included on a Spotify playlist?
I would recommend trying to avoid paying for any submission process to be included on a Spotify playlist. Some submission companies are good, but there are a lot of bad ones out there. Just be careful if you decide to pay an entry fee. You need to really research the company to make sure you aren’t throwing your money in the trash, or worst yet getting banned from Spotify. Again, CDBaby covered this topic previously on an episode of their podcast. http://cdbabypodcast.com/2017/11/198-3-things-will-hurt-spotify/
How do I take control of my Spotify profile?
You need to get Spotify for Artists to really make Spotify usual to your band. This is where you can edit your bio, add images, and even collect stats about who is listening to your music.
Once you sign up for Spotify for Artists, then get your band verified on Spotify. Spotify has a great resource page that talks all about it. https://artists.spotify.com/faq/verification Have you noticed that little blue check mark next to your favorite band in Spotify? That means they are verified! It is easy to do and you will appear more legit once you are verified.
You can add social media links to your ABOUT section. You will need to login via the Spotify for Artists website to access the social media link section. The app version doesn’t include this for some reason. You can add links to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and to your Wikipedia page. I actually noticed that a lot of bands don’t have these added yet. Even the Foo Fighters are missing these.
Add your band’s website in the BIO section as well. There isn’t an official place to add your website, so I just added it to the BIO text. Heck, I even added a little sales copy at the end of our Mojo Radio BIO talking about how to get some free music by visiting our website. Get creative and use the space effectively.
Be sure to check out the video section of Spotify for Artists for more great tips: https://artists.spotify.com/videos/the-game-plan
Do more on Spotify than just streams your songs
Selling Merch on Spotify. MerchBar is a company that links to your Spotify profile in order to sell physical merch. Sell your T-shirts, CDs, etc. right from your Spotify profile. Check out HypeBot’s article about this: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2016/06/spotify-adds-merch-sales-via-merchbar.html Now you can grab some merch sales without the customer leaving the application where they are listening to your music. As you know, you need to sell to a customer as soon as they get the impulse to buy. Making somebody click away to a new website or application could lose you the sale.
Add a concert schedule to Spotify by using SongKick to list your dates. Your concert dates will show up on Spotify automatically under the ON TOUR section of your band’s profile. You only need to update your SongKick account and Spotify will do the rest once you are all set up. Now every time a new listener comes to your profile on Spotify, they will see where you are playing. You might see a few new fans in the audience at your next show because of it.
Use the Spotify library to help your band
I also have to mention that I found Spotify very useful as a musician from just streaming other bands’ music. If my band was learning a new cover then I went to Spotify to find that song. Odds are, that song is already in Spotify’s vast library of songs. You might even find other bands covering the song as well. You can also create playlists to use during your band’s breaks between sets.
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