How to promote your music online

Create and Publish Music has never been easier, but promoting your work has never been more confusing. Should you focus on TikTok or the tour? And when you don’t have a lot of followers, is online advertising worth your time?

To crack the code, we talked to indie musicians, marketers, flavorists, and even a professor. While there’s no guaranteed formula for success, we’ve found tons of tips and tricks for all types of musicians. Let’s dive in.

Get playlist

Streaming is by far the most common way people consume music today, and accessing the right playlist can make your music career. While anyone can create playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, only a small percentage have a large following. If you don’t have your own popular playlist, how can you get a big one?

Services such as SubmitHub and Push playlist allows you to send to playlist creators, music blogs, and social media influencers. SubmitHub has free and paid submission options, but Playlist Push is paid only. Favorite playlists IndieMono and Alexrainbirdmusic There are free submissions in many categories. While Spotify doesn’t allow playlist owners to charge for inclusion, it seems that Spotify does allow (or at least accept) submission fees.

Are these strategies effective? Yes, but artists should be prepared to “go through a lot of rejection,” says Jonathan Teeter, head of indie band Charlottesville, Virginia. Movie about song. A single addition from the playlist BIRP.FM led to over 10,000 live streams for his band’s single “Ritual Day”. “It’s not ideal when you have to pay $1-3 to submit through SubmitHub, but if you know what content blogs and influencers like, it can be helpful.”

Rejection is part of the game and it’s important to keep your head up. “Music is art. Art is hard,” says KCRW DJ Jason Kramer, who was one of the first tastemakers to discover Billie Eilish and Finneas. “Artists just have to be them. Play something they need to play,” he continued, “Take the chance, don’t be afraid. “

Create your own playlist

You don’t have to rely on other people’s playlists to listen. On both Spotify and Apple Music, if the playlist is public, anyone can find it and follow it. The exact algorithms aren’t public, but playlists with names based on iconic lyrics, new albums, locations, or emotions (e.g., “New York Autumn Vibes”) seem to sometimes work. works well on Spotify even for users without existing followers. Seemingly effortless, some users have created playlists that have racked up thousands of listeners. Artists can post their favorite playlists to their artist profiles, gain new followers, and show off their favorite tracks. Apple Music doesn’t show playlist follower counts, making it harder to gauge which strategy works there.

Which playlist are you on? The Apple Music for Artists and Spotify for artists The app will give you the song play count, information about the playlist you have been added to, and other useful information.

Using Resources from Streaming Services

Apple Music for Artists there is a page with tips and tools to promote your work. You can even create your own QR code that links to your song or album. Spotify has a similar resource called code makerand they even explain how you can submit songs for inclusion in a playlist. SoundCloud also has a page with tips to help creators monetize and promote their music. QR codes that link to streaming or social media are great for stickers, posters, or other promotional materials.

Collaborating on Tracks and Covers

Collaborative features and songs are perhaps most common in hip hop, but can be a great way to expand your audience regardless of genre. For example, the indie rock band Surfer Blood released an EP called Hardboiled, which featured other artists covering their songs. Songs are displayed on Surfer Blood’s page along with pages of covered artists, maximizing visibility for everyone.

Covering a popular song can be another great way to attract new listeners. This article is not legal advice, but remember, if you cover a song, you will have to pay royalties to whoever wrote the song. Fortunately, services like DistroKid can handle it for you.

Hone your image

Social media has become so essential for the promotion of music that even artists died decades ago have an active presence on Instagram. Although it is a powerful tool for artists, music influencers Ari Elkins warns artists not to neglect their music. “Acquiring thousands of followers on TikTok is fun but it’s important that these followers are there for your music and not just for irrelevant viral videos that don’t relate to you as a person. is an artist.”

While social media can lead to success, the game is always changing. Cehryl, a Hong Kong-based indie pop artist, started by uploading self-recorded tracks to SoundCloud and now has a record deal and over 100,000 monthly streams on Spotify. But she warns that what worked before may not work now. “If I were to start over today, I wouldn’t start on SoundCloud. I just want to distribute it to all streaming platforms and promote it mainly on Instagram. “

When you’re on TikTok or Instagram, which strategy should you use? “It’s not just likes,” said Kas Robinson, a social media strategist in Sydney, Australia, who noted that social networking algorithms look at various factors like “time spent for your content, engagement rates, shares and saves. If you’re not sure what to do, Kas recommends getting started. “Give yourself a starting position and try to improve your content over time.”

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