If you’re a music lover, chances are you’re familiar with Spotify. Since this audio streaming company launched in Sweden in 2006, it has grown to serve over 150 million paid subscribers around the world. Over 345 million active users take advantage of this digital streaming service and that number is expected to top 400 million with availability in 178 countries by the end of 2021. If you’re a recording artist, it makes sense to get on this platform and promote your Spotify music to millions of potential listeners.
For listeners, Spotify offers both paid and free (with ads) services to stream music and podcasts. Over 70 million songs are available from both record labels and media companies as well as individual artists. If you aren’t taking advantage of Spotify, you’re missing out on a ton of great music from the most talented emerging artists around.
If you’re a musician and your music isn’t streaming on this platform, you’re missing out too and not just on royalties. Spotify is a way to earn money from streams of your songs, sure, but it’s also an opportunity to get exposure for your music.
With your singles and albums available on Spotify, it’s possible to increase your fanbase through social media channels like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, and gain exposure by connecting with influencers through a company like SpaceLoud. More on that later, but first, here’s how Spotify works.
Spotify has a two-tier system for users of its services. There is a free and paid membership.
The Free membership costs nothing, of course, but there are limitations. For example, you’ll hear advertisements and see popup ads after every few songs. Music streams at a bitrate of 160 kbps, and streaming options on mobile devices have even further limitations. You get what you pay for.
A paid Premium account means a monthly fee of $9.99, although different options are available for students and groups. The Premium account does away with ads and offers unlimited downloads of tracks for offline listening. The streaming bitrate goes up to 320 kbps and Premium users also get access to songs and albums when artists choose to keep their music behind a paywall until two weeks after release. This gives fans exclusive content as the artist builds up the buzz and takes advantage of increased royalties. That’s something to keep in mind for when you’re ready to release your singles and albums on Spotify.
Spotify offers artists exposure to millions of listeners, but not millions of dollars. Some artists consider Spotify’s pay-per-stream policy to be woefully low, but the exposure an artist can generate on the platform often leads to increased concert ticket and merchandise sales. As an artist, you need to take advantage of this service and promote your Spotify music both on and off their platform. (More on that later)
Spotify’s payment structure goes like this: instead of paying a fixed rate per song or album, Spotify pays royalties. In short, they pay a percentage of the sale for the use of your music. The number of times your music streams as a proportion of the total songs streamed through their service determines the royalty paid. Spotify distributes the revenue from these royalties either to record labels or other third parties who then pay the artists.
A few factors determine the amount Spotify pays artists. For example, the type of user account the music was streamed on and where they live affects payment as well. If that particular stream was ad-supported, that also affects payment.
Yes, it takes a lot of streams to make decent money, but again, you need to leverage any opportunity you get.
There are many companies you can use to get your music on Spotify. These third-party entities take care of the licensing and distribution and payout royalties directly to you. They also grant you access to Spotify For Artists which has additional benefits.
Artists promote their music both on and off the Spotify platform. Social media is the most obvious route to gain traction for a new release. It’s possible to post Spotify tracks directly to Instagram. You can also create Facebook stories around your release and promote yourself on any other social media platform you choose including Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, and Clubhouse. Show.co is another way to promote your Spotify music. Use the platform to entice fans with exclusive content in exchange for following your account.
Other ways to promote Spotify music include:
If you really want to boost your exposure and music streams, Spotify playlists are a sure way to do it. You pitch unreleased songs for inclusion on a playlist once your distributor has them in their system.
The timing can be a bit tricky, you can only submit one unreleased track at a time, and it must be at least seven days before its release date. After the release of your first suggested track, you can suggest another unreleased track. Submitting music to playlists is free. There’s no paid option.
Any information you provide Spotify on the submitted songs gives them data to match it to the appropriate playlist. This information should include:
Of course, all of this promotion and posting to social media takes time and effort. Most up-and-coming artists don’t mind the effort, it’s the time they don’t have. In addition to getting their music heard, they are busy writing, recording, and booking live shows and tours. Oftentimes they need a little help from established influencers with large followings of their own.
That’s where a company like SpaceLoud comes in. It connects artists to influencers to get your music heard.
Promotion is a necessary part of getting your music heard, but many musicians have neither the time nor the desire to take it on. They would much rather put their energies into the creation of new music.
SpaceLoud understands this just as we understand that there are influencers out there looking for new music to share with their followers. SpaceLoud connects artists to these influencers to create a mutually beneficial relationship that helps both grow their followings and increase their exposure. It’s a fully transparent process that empowers artists and influencers alike.
It’s sad to say but talent only gets you so far. As much as the internet has made releasing and promoting music easier for the average person, it’s also created a very crowded field where almost 40,000 songs get released in a single day. That’s a staggering number to compete against.
So, how do you raise yourself above the crowd and get noticed by the millions of users on a streaming service like Spotify? With a little help from your friends, of course.
SpaceLoud is that friend with connections. We put artists together with influencers who’ve built up their followings for years. These individuals are social media power users with the ability to make an artist go viral. As an artist, you’ll increase streams as you gain new fans. Sign up for an account, then create your campaigns.
It’s easy to get up and running with an influencer campaign on SpaceLoud. The first step is to create a SpaceLoud account. You won’t pay anything until the completion of an order and you determine how much that’s worth to you.
As we mentioned, SpaceLoud is about connecting artists with influencers and that’s done in one of two ways. As an artist, you can book an influencer directly from their profile page on our platform. Or you can create the campaign first and let interested influencers come to you. They will submit a proposal which you can either accept or pass on. You’re in control.
You determine which option is right for you, but either way, you will let the influencer know which of your music channels to promote, which could be Spotify or a service such as SoundCloud or Apple Music.
You’ll also let potential influencers know which social media platform to share your music on, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. Let them know the date to start sharing music. This allows you time to coordinate your SpaceLoud efforts with the release of an album or single as you promote your Spotify music. And finally, let them know your budget.
If you’ve contacted the influencer directly they will respond within three days. For campaigns you’ve created, you decide which proposals to accept after reviewing them.
After acceptance of a proposal, the influencer shares your music with their followers on the specific channels you’ve requested. They upload screenshots of the post’s stats directly to SpaceLoud for you to review. You’ll see how many people that particular post reached as well as how many clicks each post received. You pay nothing until you receive this information.