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8 Ways To Grow Your Fanbase With Spotify

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8 Ways To Grow Your Fanbase With Spotify
Maximize streaming service features to grow your fanbase and generate revenue

Spotify is the current king of the music streaming universe, boasting 75 million users, 30 million of whom are paying subscribers. (By comparison, the next largest competitor is Apple Music with 11 million paid subscribers.) The service is not without controversy: With so much music being played, and so much money at stake more than $3 billion was paid out to labels and independent musicians through 2015— Spotify has found itself at the center of the streaming royalties war.

It takes many, many streams on Spotify (or any streaming service) to match the income from a fan purchasing music on iTunes or Amazon. Because of Spotify’s low royalty rates and the potential for streaming to cannibalize physical sales (the company is also accused of having lack of transparency regarding label agreements), some high-profile artists, like Adele and Taylor Swift, have removed their music. But unless you have the kind of fans who will crawl over glass to get your music and you can survive without streaming,

Spotify’s 75-million-listener audience, and the resources it offers musicians, provide a huge opportunity to get discovered, grow your fanbase, and generate some royalties where there weren’t any before. If you’re new to using Spotify as a promotional tool, consider the following strategies to make the most of the service. Many of these techniques serve as best practices for internet streaming services, so work them into your master music plan.

1 – Streaming, Spotify, and Social tools

We all know that the internet has changed the way fans discover and consume music, and artists need new strategies to take advantage of these new models. Spotify was one of the first streaming services on the scene, offering an enormous catalog and a simple, streamlined interface. But much of Spotify’s success is due to the fact that it’s a social network that happens to be a jukebox. Because of its robust social tools, it has changed nearly everything about how people listen to and promote music online.

Platforms like iTunes and Amazon have been great channels for distributing digital copies of your music globally, but in the end they serve as storefronts, with no way for artists to engage with fans, and they don’t offer much communication back to the artist beyond a revenue report line item. Spotify’s features empower artists to interact and build fan relationships in the same place where 75 million people listen to music.

streaming spotify

In the past, musicians relied on a “sugar rush” of attention for new releases. While this model saw spiked initial press, album sales, and perhaps radio play (with the accompanying royalties), interest would usually quickly fade, along with the revenue.

Streaming works differently: Because fans “follow” the artists they like on Spotify, they are notified when there’s a new release. Releasing music more often to create steady, consistent engagement with your audience will keep your music “alive” and generate royalties longer as people discover and play it over a greater period of time.

Because playlists are so popular, more than two-thirds of all songs played on Spotify are presented as singles vs. albums. If one of your tracks is added to a popular playlist, it can remain there indefinitely vs. disappearing from radio airwaves. The track stays in the long tail forever, generating a bit of income each time it’s played. And, as your fanbase and streaming subscribers increase, the income will follow.

2 – Keep Streaming in mind

The world of social media has an unending hunger for new activity, and your music release strategy should address that demand. If Twitter is about tweets and Snapchat is about photos and videos, Spotify is about releasing new music and sharing tracks and playlists. It takes a listener one click to follow an artist on Spotify. And once they do so, they’ll get notified every time the artist releases something new.

Considering singles comprise nearly 70 percent of all listens on Spotify, and followers are always looking for new material, some musicians are choosing to release their albums as three or four EPs over the course of the year. They might also put together one-to-two-song releases, a couple of remixes, and finally, at the end of the cycle, the complete album. Breaking up album releases in this way can create a dozen events over the year. Each release keeps the artist in the top of fans’ minds and provides new material to promote within Spotify, on social media, and with the press. To break up your releases, group tracks into EPs and singles and then sit down with a calendar and pick target release dates a couple months apart. Don’t forget that your alternate song versions—live recordings, alternative takes, acoustic versions, and anything else you can dream up—can be added to the mix and will help keep you releasing a steady stream of new material for your fans to enjoy.

MAXIMIZE STREAMING SERVICE FEATURES TO GROW YOUR FANBASE AND GENERATE REVENUE

Think beyond the music, and create additional events based around videos, art, or new merch for sale. Planning out the year with all the events you have in mind will help you manage news and give you reasons to update fans. Once you complete your release schedule, synchronize each music release with all of the digital platforms you use (YouTube, iTunes, etc.). Make sure your release is available to buy at the same time it’s available to stream since purchases generate more revenue, and your streams are excellent advertising for your fans who do buy music.

In the end, the goal isn’t to substantially change how you make your music but instead to change on how you release it to the public. Spotify, like any social network, rewards consistent engagement.

3 – BUILD OUT YOUR PROFILE

To get the most out of the service, and to take control of your artist page, you will need to create a personal account on Spotify. Make sure that your profile art matches your public persona. Also, considering that social networks are a visual experience, keep your eyes open for customizations on the platform as they give a number of places where you can upload art, especially if you become a verified user (as we explain below).

Once you create your profile, follow artists have influenced your music, or who play in a style similar to yours. Visitors can view whom you’re following and your fans will be curious which artists inspire you. You’ll also want to friend people who have influence, such as those who manage popular playlists in your genre. Watch their activity to get a feel for what they’re doing, and share your tracks with people who friend you so they can listen and add them to their playlists. Once your music is available on Spotify, inform your fans through your mailing list, social networks, and website.

Ask them to follow you; when you reach 250 followers, you can “claim” your music and unlock additional social features through Spotify’s Artist Verification Program. To help you grow your followers, Spotify provides tools such as the Spotify Follow Button and other widgets to get the word out. Be sure to ask fans to follow your artist page whenever you reach out, such as each time you release a new track or EP. (Make sure that you have them follow your artist page and not your personal profile.)

Once you hit 250 followers, Spotify will let you claim your artist page and merge it with your personal profile. To do so, you’ll need to follow Spotify’s verification steps. This isn’t an instantaneous process—it can take Spotify up to four weeks to review and approve. When you’re verified, you can begin sharing your playlists and listening habits with the fans who have followed your artist page. You can also brand your playlists with images and descriptions, and automatically inform your followers about new releases.

4 – an artist Page must Be accurate

Your artist page is the first thing Spotify listeners see, so you’ll want it accurate and always updated. Updating your page with proper information will benefit your presence on Spotify as well as other services.

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5 – ALIGN YOUR SOCIAL PRESENCE

Once you’re a verified artist, update your web and social presences with Spotify widgets. Link your artist, song, and album pages, and playlists. You can also embed tracks, albums, and playlists so others outside of Spotify can listen. A bonus is that this generates royalties, in contrast to other services like SoundCloud, which doesn’t pay at all, or YouTube, where income comes only indirectly through advertising.

6 – ADD MORE THAN MUSIC

As a verified artist, you can sell merchandise and promote your live shows on your artist page. Spotify partners with BandPage to allow you to post your merchandise, and with SongKick to allow your artist page to share your tour dates. Verified artists can message their followers with song links, playlists, and more. Again, new releases are excellent times to use this feature, but other reasons to reach out to your followers include when you create a new playlist to share (by the way, this should be a mix of popular music and your tracks), when you discover another artist you like, or when someone else’s playlist adds one of your tracks, to give that playlist some recognition. Don’t forget to echo the messages to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr so you can connect with your non-Spotify fans as well.

8 Ways To Grow Your Fanbase With Spotify

7 – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PLAYLISTS

Playlists drive most of the interactions on Spotify’s social network. When listeners use Spotify’s search tool, many content categories come up such as artist name, song title, album, podcasts, and playlists that include a song or keyword they’re looking for. Fans are trying to create a mood, explore a genre, make background music while studying or working, or DJ a party. So, playlists often have names like “Mellow Morning” (234,907 followers), “Party Mix” (7,059), or “Beer & Wings” (42,001). Listeners discover your music when it appears on popular playlists and Spotify makes it easy for listeners to click on your name and check out the rest of your catalog.

To create a playlist that promotes your music, you’ll want to piggyback on popular songs that fit the track’s style, mood, or theme, or the content or lyrics of the song(s) you’re going to promote. Don’t simply create a playlist focused only on your music. Come up with a playlist name that will grab people’s attention since most playlists are discovered through search. If you’re a verified artist, Spotify allows you to customize your playlist by branding it with your own cover art, description, and links to your website and social media. (Note that you can only do this on the desktop client.) Once you’ve finished your playlist, share and message it to your followers. Refresh and update your playlists on a regular basis to stay top of mind or to add your latest release. Followers will get notifications when changes are made.

In fact, you will want to use the same professional tactics you use when contacting MP3 bloggers: Reach out in a genuine way, let them listen to the track, and ask if they will add it to their list. One of the benefits of getting added to a popular playlist is, curators don’t tend to remove songs, which drives long-term plays. Also, once you’re included in one, you can always go back to that curator if you have another release that matches the playlist.

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to your fanbase and ask them to add your songs to their public playlists or introduce you to curators they may know. If they’re not doing it already, this can boost your plays and get your music to new fans.

8 – TAP INTO THE STATS

Learning more about the demographics of your listeners helps you build your fanbase, target your marketing, and understand who ultimately is paying you. Spotify collects a wealth of information about its music and users and shares insights with you through its Spotify Statistics service. To get access to this information and tool, visit the Fan Insight request page. The information you can get includes demographics; location information; audience trends; listener preferences including how they listen; engagement level of your fans; and playlists your music is appearing on.

As the Spotify paying subscriber base grows to 40 million users and beyond, artists will find that it’s worth being on the platform and getting the most out of its artist tools. Naturally, you should pay attention to other services in this space because streaming is still in its early days. Apple Music may be behind Spotify today, but it also has a huge customer base to draw on, so it has the opportunity to grow quickly.

Although you can and should engage your fanbase using traditional social media and continue your promotional campaigns through other platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify uniquely combines its own music-based social platform with a mechanism to earn income for plays. With its social network tools and follow feature, you can create regular engagement with your fans in the same place they’re already listening to their music. And every time you drop a new track, your users get a message the next time they open it to check it out. Don’t leave money on the table: Build a robust music business plan that takes advantage of everything Spotify and other streaming services have to offer!

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

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5 Ways To Reconnect With Your Art As A Dallas Musician

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art dallas musician

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The most important thing you’ll need to learn as a musician is how to handle a creative lull. If you’re going through this right now, don’t worry. Everyone does!

You might’ve heard all you can do is wait for this musical block to disappear. This “advice” usually doesn’t help; it’s also not true. While you can’t force a spark through force of will, there are things you can do to bring it about naturally.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be opening the door to new ideas, and before you know it, one will take root, and you’ll be back to your old self.

1. Update Your Style

No matter how much we try, we’ll never get away from the fact that looks matter. A musician’s image doesn’t only matter to their audience- it impacts the musician as well.

tattoo artist

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If you’re a tattoo fan, why not consider some new ink? Sometimes all it takes is inspiration from a fellow artist to rekindle our own creative spark. Unique tattoo specialists such as Jeanmarco Cicolini, geometric tattoo artist in Dallas, TX can provide you with a one-of-a-kind piece that might inspire your next song.

2. Fix Your Environment

The area around us plays a huge role in our mood. This means you need to make your living space, especially your workspace, into something that inspires you.

You probably didn’t expect to get a reminder to clean your house here, but it couldn’t be more relevant. Clutter shuts off creativity. Think about what kind of music you want to create, and from there, design accordingly.

music studio

©[Anastasiia Krivenok] /Getty Images

If you don’t know where to start, plants never fail to inspire. Choose a leafy and easygoing friend like a pothos, or take inspiration from the Chihuahuan Desert and go with a succulent.

3. Dabble in Different Artistic Expressions

Many of us have a blocked-off sense of curiosity. When this happens, we’re unable to try new things. The disturbing effect of this is that every day begins and ends the same.

Try something, whether playing a new instrument or delving into a different genre. The worst thing that could happen is spending an afternoon doing something you realize you don’t like. The best is that you gain a new lifelong passion.

That adds up to nothing to lose and everything to gain.

4. Listen to Music You Enjoy

There was never an artist who didn’t draw inspiration from someone before them. You’re trying to create music you enjoy, but when was the last time you enjoyed music at all?

Spend time listening to old favorites. Pay attention to what instruments they use, how they turn a phrase and the mood they create.

Take this time to find new music that resonates with you, too. Explore local songwriters or electronic artists in Dallas and see what fresh sounds are out there. A new addition to your interests is just as inspiring as getting in touch with old ones.

5. Draw from Life Experience

Few songs came from nowhere; a person, place, or event usually inspired them. That’s why sitting alone in a room for hours waiting for an idea to hit is counterproductive. You’re not getting any new life experiences that might create a spark.

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You don’t need to go on a wild adventure to achieve this; a new life experience could be as simple as getting coffee with a friend or sitting in on a music jam at your favorite Dallas bar. When you do this, give the pressure to get an idea a rest. Be present at the moment, and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells around you.

Reignite the Fire

Inspiration doesn’t come back just because you want it. You have to create a place that inspires creativity. And that isn’t all about pushing yourself. Don’t forget what music is at its core: enjoyment. That means you need to enjoy it too.

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Investing In The Music Industry: Is It Worth It?

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The wonders of technological innovation have enabled musicians and listeners alike to manage and interact with music in ways previously thought impossible. Wild things are happening, such as augmented reality concerts, popular artists making appearances in video games, and who would’ve thought twenty years ago that any song imaginable could be played anytime, anywhere?

We’ll promptly go over two avenues in which you can attempt to make smart financial investments within the music industry. These include music royalties and streaming services. Let’s determine whether investing in the music industry is worth it in 2022.

Music Royalties

For the uninitiated, music royalties are essentially payments that are made to both songwriter and publishers once their song has been broadcast on the radio, streaming services, or by less traditional means, such as a Peloton playlist or television commercial. Artists are also known to jack up their streams in order to earn more in music royalties.

Additionally, the use of smart home appliances like Amazon’s Alexa and SONOS speakers deepens the engagement of consumers with music at home. Wireless headphones and other high-tech accessories have also become standard among most listeners, and the rate at which listeners consume materials at home and their place of study or work is now at record highs.

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Intricacies aside, millions more listeners might join the music ecosystem as a result of increased internet usage and technological accessibility, especially in developing markets. More music is being streamed as a result of this trend, which jacks up the rates of royalties as well. This prospect is what makes more and more of today’s financiers invest in music royalties at unprecedented rates.

Music royalties are becoming a more alluring investment vehicle in the present market climate of poor yields and interest rates. More investors are now paying attention to their financial potential because of their low correlation with economic growth and strong potential as a steady income source.

Streaming Services

On the other hand, streaming services such as giants Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music have continued to add users to their mammoth sizes, thanks in part to the new avenue of opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic brought along. Their massive user base enables people from around the world to find new artists every single day.

spotify

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As businesses study listeners’ behavior and habits more closely than ever, streaming platforms are a gold mine of data for musicians. Musicians may utilize streaming data in addition to receiving royalties to choose a tour stop, submit new songs to editors, learn more about the demographics of their audience, and even collect funding for new endeavors.

In a nutshell, the streaming business model is rather simple. Streaming services give access to libraries of millions of songs to users in exchange for deploying advertisements and charging those who don’t want to listen to said publicity. In 2021, streaming services raked in $12.4 billion in revenue, and there’s no reason to think these figures aren’t bound to grow in the near future.

Spotify (SPOT), Alphabet’s YouTube (GOOG), Apple Music (AAPL), Sirius XM (SIRI), Amazon Music Unlimited (AMZN), and iHeartMedia (IHRT) are all platforms in which you can invest and get in on the streaming revolution.

©[Javier Ghersi] /Getty Images

The Verdict

With the music industry burgeoning to unparalleled heights, there truly is no better time to make an adequate investment in your favorite musicians or streaming services. Before making any financial decision, as always, you’d be wise to consult with an experienced financier, and this isn’t by any means clear-cut financial advice. Nonetheless, there seems to be an opportunity waiting to be exploited.

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Playing Guitar With Headphones: 5 Methods To Get You Started

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playing guitar with headphones

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Practicing your electric guitar can be exhilarating, but it can quickly become frustrating when your roommate, spouse, or your cranky neighbor Mrs. Grouch asks you to hush.

There are other ways you can play your guitar without an amp, although it kind of defeats the whole idea of playing your electric guitar—blasting the sound through the amp and rocking the house—and they all have to do with headphones!

However, you can’t simply hook up your headphones directly into your guitar. With our 5 easy methods, you can play your heart out without irritating everyone around you, including Mrs. Grouch! So when you’re looking for the right headphones, make sure you’re looking at the best picks!

The Advantages of Playing Guitar With Headphones

It’s more fun to play the guitar when you can rock the house. All guitar players will agree on this. And while playing alone in the room isn’t much fun, it does feel rewarding to hear your music echo off the walls and floor.

However, people living with and near you may not feel like it. They don’t think it sounds bad or anything. It just feels too loud to them. If you don’t want to sleep on the couch tonight, you may want to use headphones when you play your guitar.

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The best part about playing with headphones is that you can listen to the sound of your guitar more closely, which will help you hear subtle tones you may have missed when playing your guitar with an amplifier.

Also, playing your guitar with headphones on is a simple way to maximize your practice time. Be it day or night, you can play your guitar anytime and anywhere you want, as you never have to haul a heavy amplifier. The more time you spend on something, the better you get at it.
Lastly, if you’re familiar with effects pedals or stomp boxes, you know it’s one way to add grit and energy to your guitar tones. But, through your PC or smartphone, many guitar apps allow you to link your guitar to your headphones so you can create and record your own music with similar sound effects to a stomp box without an actual stomp box. It’s pretty great, right?

Using Your Electric Guitar With Headphones On

The following are some of the ways you can play your six strings with your headphones:

#1: Plug the Headphones Into an Amp
Here’s a way to quickly and easily play the guitar with your headphones. Plug them into an amplifier! The amp converts your guitar signal and delivers enough power for you to listen to the sound by means of your headphones.

If you connect the headphones to an amplifier, make sure you turn down the master volume before putting on the headphones. Gradually increase the volume to a level you feel most comfortable with to prevent the loud music from blaring through your ears.

#2: Using Multi-Effects Pedal
A multi-effect pedal alters your original guitar input signal to produce a range of sounds, giving you an amp-like tone while saving amp space.
Almost all modern pedals with multi-effects feature an output labeled appropriately as the “line out,” which will allow you to plug in headphones if it has amp modeling of some sort. There may also be output labeled as “phones” or “headphones” for that specific device.

#3: Connecting Your Guitar to a Mini Amp
Your regular amp can be utterly loud, and for someone who wants to practice, it may not be the best device to practice with. This is where mini amplifiers exist.

These amps are tiny that you can bring them with you anywhere. They are typically battery-operated, so you don’t have to carry cables and electrical sockets with you. In most cases, all you need to do is plug the mini amplifier into the guitar and play.

©[FluxFactory] /Getty Images

Many of these mini amps are designed with a 3.5mm output intended for speakers and headphones. It’s an excellent choice for your practice sessions mainly due to the minimal configuration it requires.

#4: Using Audio Interface
You can also try using an audio interface. It allows you to record yourself playing through your PC or smartphone, and with a good guitar amp simulator, you can make incredible guitar sounds. Now we know why these devices are quite popular!

To set it up, you can plug your guitar into the audio interface. Then connect the interface to your computer. Once it’s done, you can use your headphones to listen to the guitar sound.

#5: Connecting to Smartphone
To set the record straight, you cannot connect your guitar to your smartphone directly. A regular cable and adapter cannot be used as smartphones, including tablets, feature a headphone jack.

To make this work, an interface of some sort is needed. It’s worth noting that not all audio interfaces will work on smartphones.

The Takeaway

Due to a number of factors, playing the guitar with an amp is not always doable. Sadly, we often find ourselves in scenarios where playing with an amp is not an option.

The quickest and easiest way to keep playing without disturbing everyone around you is with headphones. Make sure your pedal or guitar amp has an output for headphones. If so, all you really have to do is simply connect the headphones!

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