Author: Bob D'Eith
Spotify has close to 90 million paid subscribers around the world and nearly 200 million monthly users. There are now over 40 million tracks streaming on Spotify, with 3 billion playlists. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is the most streamed track at over 2 billions streams.
Apple Music boasts huge numbers too and has more paid subscribers in the USA than Spotify, but one thing that Spotify has dialed in that Apple doesn’t quite have yet is artist interactivity. Apple has a service in beta, but there is a massive backlog of signups. “Spotify for Artists” is a crucial tool in an artists toolbox.
But what are the benefits of Spotify for Artists?
1. It allows artist to submit pre-released tracks for editorial review and possible addition to Spotify editorial playlists;
2. It shows the playlists that artist tracks are being played on;
3.It tracks real-time stream numbers of artist’s catalogue;
4.It analyses streams so that artists can find out their demographics and where each track is being played.
Music streaming is clearly the new consumption model for the music industry. Playlists within these streaming services are incredibly powerful to increase artist visibility. Curators of those playlists are the new radio DJs of the industry past.
Getting songs on Spotify key playlists can make a huge impact on the number of streams an artist can garner. Of course, not all playlists are the same. Spotify for Artists lists a number of different categories of playlists:your own playlists, Listener’s own playlists, Other Listener’s playlists, Spotify algorithmic playlists, Spotify editorial playlists and the enigmatic Other playlists. Over 30% of consumption on Spotify is now a direct result of recommendations made by the platform’s own algorithms and curation teams.
After you have uploaded your track to CD Baby, Tunecore or other digital aggregator service you have an opportunity to pitch a track to the Spotify editorial team. Go to your Spotify for Artists page, click on Catalogue and select Upcoming. Your unreleased tracks will come up here and you can select which track you would like to submit for review. This can only happen prior to the release date. After the release date, Spotify will not accept tracks for editorial review. So, give yourself a long enough window between submitting the track and setting the release date.
There are a massive amount of playlists with huge followings who can really get ears on your music. Spotify for Artists will show you playlists that have already added your tracks and the number of plays on each playlist. This is a great place to start for new tracks. You can easily research on Spotify to find the most relevant playlists for your genre of music. Of course, the curators do not list their contact information, however I have found that most serious curators have Facebook, Twitter or other social media links and contacts.
Another option is to hire a company that specializes in playlist placements. Many of the radio tracking companies have diversified into playlist placement. Shop around as this option can be quite expensive.
There are also some playlist directories with contact information such as The Music Industry Connection. It is vital as part of any marketing plan that artists consider how they are going to tackle getting added to playlists.
REAL-TIME STREAMING NUMBERS
It is often frustrating to get reporting from digital aggregators with very little up-to-date information on how your songs are doing. From a marketing point of view, it makes it difficult to know how successful your new song is doing. With Spotify for Artists you can track your songs as soon as 24 hours, 7 days, 28 days and more. This is a great way to react to spikes in interest.
DEMOGRAPHICS AND LOCATION
Spotify for Artists also drills down into your listener data giving you the source of your streams, the percentage of plays from different kinds ofplaylists, your listener genre and age, the countries and cities that you are played in and other artists that your listeners listen to. This data has an amazing amount of value.
Consider that you are planning a tour and you see on Spotify for Artists that your songs are being very well received in the USA and particularly Boston and Chicago. Wouldn’t it make sense to go there? If you are marketing a single and you see that the number 1 city that loves your track is Mexico City. Wouldn’t it make sense to aim some social media marketing there? If your peak listeners range in age from 25-35 female, then wouldn’t it make sense to market your music where they are already looking? The point is that Spotify for Artist can provide amazing resources for you to target market your music and grow your base.
In the end, Spotify for Artists is only one tool and cannot replace great songwriting, an incredible live show, world-class recording, relentless touring and a clear plan for success, but it is a powerful one. So, sign-up as soon as you can and milk it for all it’s worth.
D’Eith has worked in the music industry for 28 years as an entertainment
lawyer, author, musician and industry association executive. He is the author
of “A Career in Music: the other 12 step program” now in its second edition available at Music Books Plus: