From profiles to playlists, we tackle the streaming maze for artists.
Posted: 13 December 2018
According to Business Insider in the first 6 months of 2018 Americans streamed 403 billion songs, which is a 50% increase on just two years ago. In fact, streaming accounted for three times as much music consumption as album sales and track sales combined. There’s no doubt that in the modern age streaming is big biz.
But how exactly do you get your music onto streaming services and then how do you get more listeners and eventually monetise your music?
Spotify and Apple Music are currently testing ways for artists to directly upload their music for free, but until this service is opened up to everyone the only way to get your music onto streaming platforms is by using a music distributor. Some of the most popular are CD Baby, Tunecore and Ditto Music but there’s hundreds out there so selecting the right one for you is key. Make sure to take note of the variations in each distributors offering:
Once you’re set up with a distributor who will pass your music on to the streaming services then you can get online and be discovered right around the world. This isn’t the end of the line however, and updating your profiles with new gigs, merch and information is often an overlooked way of keeping your fans up to date.
You probably already have a network of engaged fans across your website, social media and mailing lists, so let them know you’ve got music out and where they can listen to it. Encourage these listeners to become followers on each streaming service so they will be kept up to date with new releases and give them incentives to help spread your music far and wide. If you’re looking for tips on boosting your fanbase make sure to check out ‘making plans to grow your fans’.
Additionally, each distributor and streaming platform offer their own analytics services that can help you learn about your listeners. When used wisely you can see who's tuning in, what money you’ve made and use a raft of stats to help influence everything from where to tour to what song to put out next. Once you’ve accrued a decent amount of revenue you will simply be able to withdraw it from your account.
The most common way of being discovered on a streaming service is to get playlisted. Yahoo Finance estimates that getting included in Spotify's Today's Top Hits playlist can raise streams by almost 20 million, worth somewhere between $80,000 and $163,000.
So how do you get on a playlist? All playlists are created using algorithms or by official curators. For algorithm defined playlists such as personal recommendations on new music, the more followers you have then the more likely you are to be included. For curator defined playlists such as Spotify's Friday Feeling, you will need to contact the curators and pitch your music to them directly, or upload for consideration via your artists profile. How likely you are to be successful is down to your pitch, your reach, and ultimately the curator's tastes. Here's a list of independent playlist curators to get you started.
Whether looking to make money or increase your reach, streaming is undoubtedly critical to success in the modern day. If you keep creating, promoting and hosting then streaming can help you make the most of your potential and is an ideal platform to showcase your music.