Lots of music promotion information found on the web is for “on-Spotify” playlist promotion. This article focuses on “Off-Spotify” promotion.
There’s a big world out there beyond Spotify. Let’s use it!
Excessive Spotify Playlist Placement Results in Too Many Skips.
On-Spotify promotion methods (which is basically using too many playlist promotion services) are repeated over and over again to that point where many musicians have simply over done it with Spotify playlist promotion, and ended up getting too many skips.
Maybe you can relate with this. Release date comes and goes, and you don’t get that official playlist…again. But you’re not discouraged. If the front door is closed you’ll try the side door – listener playlists and playlist promotion services.
And this process is repeated over and over again to that point where many musicians have simply overdone it with Spotify playlist promotion.
Spotify is the biggest streaming service, and doing well there is really really important. So I understand the frustration. You’re determined to keep trying and trying until you break through. But I just want to stress “don’t overdo it”.
A Lesson About Off Spotify Promotion – Video
I’m going to let you in on some important Off-Spotify promotion tips and I have a freebie for you. These tips might just be what helps you land those Spotify editorial and algorithm playlists.These tips might just be what helps you land those Spotify editorial and algorithm playlists.
And since I was a sales executive at Sony, many people come to me after really overdoing it on Spotify promotion. I run Band Builder Academy to teach music marketing strategy to musicians, managers, and record labels.
I talk one on one with all of my members and genuinely want to help them get past any Spotify challenges and get on with the work of music promotion.
Lots of artists come to me after they’ve pound their Spotify profile into the basement of Spotify’s recommendation algorithm. There’s no shame in it. You’re being prayed on by thousands of digital marketers that know your pain.
Don’t worry, if your algorithm isn’t going well, or your not getting on Spotify algorithmic playlists you can fix it.
Strike a Balance when you Promote on Spotify.
I understand, Spotify displays your stream counts and monthly listeners for all to see. And if you can get those numbers up, it opens doors. I’m not denying that Spotify is a powerful way to grow your audience.
But balance your approach with Off-Spotify promotion. And this work you do away from Spotify will usually go back to helping you get followers on Spotify and help your overall organic growth.
When you’re constantly chasing streams and monthly listeners with On-Spotify methods you tend to get passive listeners. And it may result in lots of streams and listeners, but very few followers, and too many skips.
Maybe you’re thinking, if it takes 100,000 monthly listeners to get 3,000 followers, I’ll do it. But don’t ignore the fact that you can kill your organic algorithm this way. The Spotify recommendation algorithm considers lots of factors, but this is a serious consideration. You’ll mostly end up with lots of 30 to 60 second plays, and actually lots of skips.
Don’t Kill Your Spotify Algorithm.
You will never trigger the Discover Weekly algorithm and long term sustained algorithm play if you get too many skips.
I made this video (here) about how the Spotify algorithm works, and why skips (or lack thereof) are the key to a track going viral on Spotify.
When you have these really high play counts but low followers, you’re not fooling anybody.
- This is why a brand is so Important.
- You need to find audiences that you’re confident will love your music and convert them to “super fans”
If you’ve watched lots of videos or read blogs about Spotify promotion, most of them are about “on-Spotify” promotion. Now we’re going to focus on “Off-Spotify” promotion.
It’s probably something you haven’t heard much about. But it’s what Spotify and Apple want to see more of from artists and their teams. Rather than …“Can I have a playlist?” “Can I have a playlist”, “please”… That gets old really quick.
Off Spotify Promotion.
Let’s not forget the point of all of this. It’s traffic and reaching real people. Traffic coming from outside tells the Spotify algorithm that your music is popular, and they should show it to more of their subscribers. So don’t do these things purely for a talking point in your pitch. You actually want to reach people.
Promotion is publicizing specific things or events and getting traffic (foot traffic or virtual traffic). And Spotify has a lot of users, but many of them are passive.
The first 2 are obvious but need to be said.
Write great music.
Practice writing a few hundred songs, until you’re really really good at it. Brand your music so that it’s competitive with artists that are already making a living from it.
And when I say great music, yes, it needs to react with people and be popular. But I am not just talking about the most popular genres. (indie soul, downtempo bass, dark trap). There are massive audiences for these genres on Spotify.
Be nice to everybody.
Being nice along the way helps a lot.
Create different types of content.
Really study what kind of content you should spend time doing. What resonates with your audience?
My academy members can use their Viberate premium analytics account (4 month free trial) and use the strategy I teach in stage one of the roadmap. This allows you to see what type of content is popular with your aspirational artists.
Sometimes you’ll need to put your energy into producing high quality content that takes up a lot of time. Then you have to make a plan and execute it. Sometimes it’s a :15 second TikTok video that takes very little effort.
Collaborations with musicians, influencers, and brands are the best way to get more fans. This could be songs with other artists or singers, TikTok and Instagram collabs, brand partnerships.
Music promotion is so much more than Spotify and PR. Publicity is only one small piece of the promotional effort needed.
Radio is one of the most effective forms of music promotion. TikTok is probably the best at the moment. But, I’ve got a list of 30 promotional ideas you can grab, that are not related to publicity or Spotify playlist promotion.
You’ve probably heard about Facebook & Instagram ads. It’s a pretty good way to advertise. But, have you tried YouTube TrueView ads? Or how about HTML5 video banner ads on blogs and in game apps? Did you know you can advertise in email newsletters from ticketing websites? Learn all of this inside Band Builder Academy.
Whenever I mention advertising, I always remind people that it’s great for finding cold traffic, but if you don’t do re-marketing and make an effort to warm up these fans, and have great branding, your ads aren’t going to find you high quality fans.
But it’s definitely a good way to spend your promotion budget. And for new artists, I think it’s better than cold email blasts that many PR’s charge $1,000 or more for.
If you plan on being a performing artist, touring and supporting larger artists is key to growing your audience. And it’s not just the night of the show that is the big opportunity. It’s the promotion leading up to that concert where you can really reach some fans.
Outreach and Networking.
Reach out to people that help artists similar to you. I recommend you research a few new artists that are doing well and in your lane. Pick one that’s on the rise, and not already huge. Find out who is helping them, what influencers, what journalists, promoters, curators. Make that list, then do your own outreach.
Now after I tell artists they need to do outreach and collaborations with other musicians and influencers, they quickly ask me “how do you go about that?”
It’s the same way you go about building any relationship. Connect with them on a personal level. Put in the work. Understand that for every one person you connect with, you will get 20 “no thank you’s” or outright ignored. That’s not just in music. That’s in any business.
A lot of times self-releasing artists leave this until the last minute or never build a group of warm industry supporters. I can’t stress enough the time you should be investing in outreach.
Make some friends. Don’t wait for anybody to come to you. It’s not just in music.. In most businesses, people don’t spend enough time networking and doing outreach. Not enough time is spent on collaborations and partnerships.
List of 30 Promotional Ideas That are NOT related to PR or playlist promotion.
If you haven’t already grab this free download of my Big List of Promotional Ideas. This list will get you thinking about your Off-Spotify promotion.
I hope my tips gave you a better understanding of how to balance your Spotify playlist promotion strategy. If you’d like to learn more about how to release your music on music services, get in touch. Take action, get noticed, and start to make money with your music career.
What questions do you have? Leave a comment below.