Forget about the old guys whining about streaming.
It’s happening, and to quote a crazy man I met on the street yesterday, resistance is futile. Listeners are probably already streaming your music everywhere- Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify, or any number of other streaming services, and if that’s the case, you might as well get paid for it.
Whereas Soundcloud and Bandcamp aim to use streaming to drive album sales or audience growth, Spotify is focused on streaming as the end product, and it’s the best-paying streaming service around right now, so it makes good sense to direct your listeners there to consume your music. I’m not saying you should pull your music from any website, but if you were able to turn a portion of your thousands of Soundcloud plays into Spotify streams, you’ve got a new revenue stream right there.
Beyond just telling your audience to listen to your music on Spotify, you can turn this into a powerful earning and marketing tool by engraining your music into their Spotify experience, via building a profile and playlists for them to follow. That way, they’ll be reminded of you and your music every time they glance at their sidebar or notifications areas. Without further ado, here are three steps to take to get started with building your Spotify presence and earnings:
Create a branded band profile – Whether you’re a band, label, or other music-related brand, you’re able to send a form into Spotify and have your profile re-designed and verified to represent your brand. Besides creating a easy way to see your entire discography and any created playlists, setting this up will allow fans to “follow” you on Spotify, meaning they’ll be notified every time you upload something new! Instant streams!
Create and curate public playlists – When you create playlists and publicly share them, Spotify users can follow them, and your music will show up in the sidebar of their app at all times. There are two different types of playlists that I advocate creating: organization and curation. “Organization” playlists would be things like “The Complete Ryan Lucht Discography” or the “HEY WTF Records Catalog”, and “Curation” playlists would be something like “Coldplay’s Favorite Tracks May 2014” or “Ryan’s Roller Skating Jams”. The biggest potential win here is with curation- in any Curation playlist, try throwing in 1-3 of your own tracks (depending on the length of the playlist), which will not only increase your streams, but will expose your music to people seeking out the music of the other artists featured on the playlist.
Use the Spotify Play Button widget on your site – Instead of embedding a Soundcloud or Bandcamp streaming widget on your website, use the Spotify play button. As long as your main audience is in a country where Spotify is live, chances are that enough potential listeners will already be on the service and will be able to conveniently pay you for just checking out your music.
Using these three methods, you’re going to strengthen and grow your audience, and monetize them simultaneously.