Music lovers and music makers alike, listen up! Pull up a seat and dive into the intricate world of Spotify’s elusive stream of listenership. Ever wondered why your meticulously-crafted beats aren’t getting the traction you imagined?
Well, grab your DAW, synthesizer, or whatever sonic tool you wield, and join us as we navigate the tricky waters of streaming algorithms, shifting listener trends, and the wild ride of music promotion. We’re about to shed some much-needed light on the enigmatic game of digital music sharing.
Luckily, we have musicbyLUKAS here to point out some of the biggest mistakes we’re making when trying to gain a bigger audience on Spotify. So let’s let him steer the ship into friendlier waters, shall we?
1. Not collabing with artists outside of your current fanbase
Collabing with other artists, especially those that already have a healthy amount of monthly listeners, is one of the finest ways to effectively boost your streams on Spotify.
However, if you’re collabing too much only within your own genre, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Your market will start to become saturated. This is why you often see many of the biggest artists collabing with vocalists or artists of a different genre, maybe even bringing in some instrumentalists.
These artists make efforts to reach outside of their current fanbase to help bring in new people who may not have heard their music before. You see this a lot with remixes actually, remixing something from a different genre to bring people in who are already fans of that other genre. That’s where you begin to introduce new fans to your own style of music.
2. Releasing on labels who don’t take their Spotify game or your release seriously
Many artists get hyped to finally sign to a record label but neglect to first look at that label’s Spotify profile. For example, do they have playlists? Do those playlists have followers? This will end up being crucial in bringing you streams once your release comes out.
Let’s say they do have playlists with followers. The better question is: Do they put all of their releases on those playlists? There are many labels with big playlists, but they only prioritize the top spots on those playlists for their biggest artists. That means new artist releases are bound to be at the bottom of the playlist and likely won’t get many streams.
If you see a label that isn’t prioritizing any new releases for newer artists, it’s probably your best bet to steer clear (if gaining streams is important to you, of course).
3. Ignoring on-platform tools
This one is easy to miss, but it’s pretty important.
Spotify, just like social media platforms, has tools available for you to actually use! For example, they have a tool where you can feature a release on the main page of your profile, along with your bio, profile pic, etc.
You also have pre-saved campaigns you can do, auto submit to playlists when you’re orchestrating a new release, etc. All of these can be important, so you really don’t want to miss out on them. They definitely give you a lot more potential for streams because they increase visibility for your new tracks.
Do some quick research to discover what all the on-platform tools are, and learn how to utilize them prior to your next release.
4. Not releasing consistently
This is still one of the best ways to get more Spotify streams because a lot of these streams come from algorithmic playlists that recommend your music to those who listen to it often.
But if you’re not releasing music consistently, people won’t listen as much because they forget about you and will eventually start listening more to other artists. In this case, Spotify will start to recommend those other artists more since they’re the ones getting your attention.
Even if you have a track that’s performing well, you still don’t wanna take too much time for another release because you could potentially miss out on retaining all your current and active listeners in your algorithmic playlist.
5. Paying for plays or playlists
We get it. It can be really tempting to buy your way onto Spotify playlists to make sure that your new release is getting some traction with streams.
The problem? Spotify knows that artists are doing this, and they really don’t want bots taking over their precious platform. Because of this, they can even ban you for not only buying the plays yourself, but from being on playlists where all the streams are coming from bots.
That being said, there are some Spotify promotional tools out there that do some vetting and will check playlists to see if they’re legit, but they’ll charge you fees to get credits to pitch your track to those playlists. We’re not implying that paying for any playlist promotion will get you banned, but paying for bot plays that you know aren’t authentic might land you in hot water.
For example, someone messages you saying they’ll put you on their playlist for a fee. If you haven’t done the vetting yourself, you won’t know where exactly those plays are coming from. They might be true, legit plays. Or they might not. If they turn out to be bot plays, you could be in a bit of trouble.
Also, this pay-for-play method just won’t help you in general. Many Spotify streams are algorithmic playlists, and if those plays are coming from bots, then there’s no one really listening to you on those playlists. Spotify will notice this when they try to pitch it to these phony users.
You’ll never really be able to move up the charts because Spotify pays attention to whether people are listening to you on your future track releases when they pitch you out to your past listeners. If those listeners keep listening, they’ll prioritize you higher to better playlists which is what you certainly want.
That’s what helps get you on those Spotify Editorials. When you pay for play, you’re never really giving yourself a chance to grow the way you should be, and it’ll end up hurting you in the long run.