Music streaming remains one of the hottest and most controversial topics in the industry today. Whether you believe it is here to save the music business or that it has actually ruined the progress made by digital downloads, it has become an important part of any record label/artist’s income.
The competition in this new “landscape” is fierce, every major tech giant or business wants a piece of the pie, from Apple to Google and everyone in-between. Some of the most popular platforms being Spotify, Deezer, Google Subscription, Rdio, Rhapsody and Beats music, with “newbies” like Youtube Music Key, Beatport, Tidal (formerly Aspiro) and soon Soundcloud joining the fun.
The streaming revolution is no longer just “the future” of music, it is the “NOW” and we have seen quiet a unique change to marketing strategies since then. Streaming can no longer be ignored but if you have had a hard time adjusting, here are some practical tips to start making the change.
1) VERIFY YOUR ARTIST PROFILE OR USER ACCOUNT
One of the most important steps is to take control of your artist profile on the services that allow it. Much like social networks, most (if not all) platforms allow users to follow you to stay up to date with not only your new releases but also what other music you are listening to and even allows you to integrate your Bandsintown or Songkick accounts so they can see your touring schedule.
Every platform has its own guidelines and rules so be sure to go through your favorite platforms and read more about how you can do it. For example, Spotify requires that artists have a minimum of 250 followers before they can apply to be verified while Deezer only allows profile claiming through your distributor.
Its only fair to point out that unlike the new Beatport streaming service, neither Spotify or Deezer have Label Pages. However, Spotify does allow brands and labels to verify their own user accounts.
I know this may sound like a lot of work but the sooner you get started the better, you don’t want to end up being that one person that arrives to the party 5 minutes before it is over.
2) ACTIVELY SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
I know this may come as a “duh” tip but you would be surprised how many labels and artists don’t mention a single store or service outside of Beatport and iTunes. Although we understand the reasoning behind it, including Spotify/Deezer/Google Subscription links somewhere in your campaign should be a no brainer.
Streaming is one of only two business models in music that saw growth in 2014 (The other one? the resurgence of Vinyl) while MP3 and CDs sales continued to slow down. Spotify alone has over 60 Million active users, 15 million of those are paying customers. Deezer comes in at a healthy number 2 with over 15 Million active users, 6 million of those paying a monthly fee. We are not even including non-interactive streaming radio platforms like Pandora, Slacker, iHeartRadio and iTunes Radio but you get the point!
We believe music should go where there is demand for it and there is no doubt that fans are flocking to streaming to discover new artists, new music, new genres and styles. There is no doubt that the competition is big with artists clamoring to get those ears on their music, so you have to do your part to help drive people that may be on the fence about your music to cross the bridge and become a fan once and for all.
3) EMBED PLAYERS ON YOUR WEBSITE
One of the easiest ways to get people to listen to your music in any platform of your desire is to make available to them in an easy manner. Embedding your new release on your website or blog is a great way to do just that. Why have them go through the process of searching when they can have it available at a click on a button right?
Spotify for example, allows you to embed individual tracks or full albums/eps and you can use their developer website to easily adjust it to any size, theme or branding you desire so it matches your style perfectly.
4) CREATE PLAYLISTS
One of my favorite features on Spotify is that you can create your own playlists. It allows users to create their own “mixtapes” or journeys, whether it is music to workout to or listen to while on a road trip.
Creating Playlists for your radio shows is a great way to start a playlist that is outside of simply promoting your own releases. Another slick way to drive traffic to your account is to create playlists based on national events or happenings, have a playlist that would be a great fit for April’s Fool? Good, share it!
Playlists can also serve as a good way for you to share with your fans your personal taste in music, connecting with your fans on that level is a great way to start building your follower count. Don’t be afraid to also add some of your own music to those playlists to get a few plays out of it, of course.
5) HAVE YOUR RELEASES AVAILABLE ON STREAMING SERVICES THE SAME DAY AS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD STORES
Now, let me start by saying that this is simply a piece of advise and each label/artist has a different marketing strategy or formula that works for them. If you are doing Beatport or iTunes exclusives and it is working well for you, by all means, you should stick to it BUT if you are not performing to your best abilities in digital download stores, adding streaming to your repertoire is a good way to spark some interest.
Streaming is a great way for fans to give your music a listen without any risk, if you are a new artist or label, this is a valuable asset to offer. Music fans are probably less likely to spend money on your music if they are not familiar with you already, since streaming is free to them but it also generates income for you, there is no better win/win situation than that!
We hope these tips can help you transition into the “Streaming World” easier, if you have any additional questions feel free to send us an email at support(at)label-engine.com or discuss with us on our social media platforms.
Here is also a Spotify playlist with some of our favorite music at the moment (in no particular order). If you enjoy a variety of genres and don’t mind they are not in order, you will definitely enjoy it!