It’s the world’s largest streaming platform & by the end of 2022, will have in excess of 188 million premium subscribers – an increase from 165 million in 2021! So it’s little surprise that for artists, producers & virtually anyone who’s out to promote music, it’s pretty much an essential.
However, that’s not to say it’s easy to get on Spotify & hog the limelight – oh no. In fact, due to the recent surge of new artists + the fact that Spotify has since introduced ads & other means of paid promotion, for new artists with a modest budget, Spotify suddenly seems like a whole other mountain to climb. Especially if you don’t know the first thing about music marketing.
But hold up – before you put your head in your hands & start to weep, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Spotify, just like the rest of the internet, is nothing more than a big game of SEO & branding – something you can play until your heart’s content if you know how. Hence the importance of taking time out to educate yourself & do your research.
Speaking of which, here’s 5 Spotify hacks that should (given time) put you on track for success & seriously up your game when it comes to music marketing…
- Create your Spotify account… yourself
Sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many artists think that you need a record label, manager or someone with the magic touch to open an account with Spotifty. You don’t.
The only thing you actually need is a distributor – i.e. a company like CDBaby, Tunecore, Distrokid etc. who distributes your music across all the digital streaming platforms. One of which is Spotify. You can access these services for as little as £20 a month, if not less!!
However, when it comes to picking this distributing partner, you’d be wise to do your due diligence. Naming no names, but there have been a few ‘questionable’ clauses slid into their terms of services. Clauses that may not seem like much now, but could drastically impact your creative control & ability to moteise your personal brand later down the line.
So whatever you do, don’t rush to distribute your music & open an account with Spotify – doing so could come back to haunt you later down the line.
2. Secure yourself features across music-related websites
Brand awareness – it’s another all-important ingredient when it comes to boosting your Spotify streams. In fact, without it, your Spotify account is likely to stagnate. As for why, that all comes back to what listeners think of you.
See, when you really look at it – aside from music – Spotify is very much a game of marketing. You could have the best music in your genre, but if no one’s streaming it (i.e. realising its true potential) then it’s really just going to waste. In other words, it’s not helping you grow as an artist or a brand!!
A way around this is to bag yourself some publicity across a music website, news outlet or another trusted source of information online. Do so & you’ll be able to tap into all sorts of new audiences & in turn, boost your Spotify streams.
And yes – while it may seem like a drag + sizable expense now, consider that music websites are an easy way to grow your core fanbase, as well as catch the eye of music labels, & it’s likely to pay itself off in the future.
REMEMBER: Good PR is not an expense. It’s an investment in your brand & online presence.
3. Optimise your account for search
Really look at it & Spotify is just like a musical version of Google or YouTube – it’s a search engine. So just as SEO is important for ranking on Google, that’s also the case with Spotify.
An easy way to up your chances of being found in search would be to work on your description. As an artist, not only is this an important aspect of your brand, but (if optimised well) it can seriously increase the chances of your account being discovered organically – i.e. attract exactly the type of visitors that you want… for FREE!
In the case you’re struggling to find the right keywords, Google’s Keyword Manager would be a good place to start.
EXTRA TIP: Add a link to your Spotify account to your Google knowledge panel. It takes 5 minutes to do, & is a super easy way to channel organic search traffic to your Spotify account.
4. Drip-feed your tracks into playlists
As much as directly promoting your music is a good strategy, too much of it can make you look like a bit of a ‘try-hard’. Point being that while a lot more subtle, indirect promotions can also be a good way of racking up the extra streams.
Playlists being a prime example. Pay to get your track into a popular playlist is an easy way to reach new ears with minimal effort. Moreover, if the playlist is the type to be played at a public place – for instance, a gym, restaurant or coffee bar etc. – then you’ve a good chance of getting your music publicly broadcast for free too!!
If you want to optimise your chances even further, get out into the city & ask around. Find out what playlists are used by specific businesses & you can virtually cherry pick whereabouts & to whom, your track is played. Pretty nifty strategy when you think about it.
5. Collaborate with another artist
After an easy way to boost your Spotify streams?
If so, then STOP – you may be seriously overthinking things! Because what’s arguably one of the best strategies out there, is also one of the most simple; collaborate with other artists who’re already achieving solid numbers.
That way not only do you gain access to their audience, but also if they’re doing marketing PR around a project that you feature on, they’ll essentially become a source of free marketing. Granted, collabs may leave you with a smaller split, but in terms of building awareness & credibility, they’re hands-down worth their weight in gold.
PS/ This is the exact reason why you see a lot of new artists – especially rappers – collabbing with larger mainstream artists. Many of whom are usually signed to major labels.
Is it still possible to grow Spotify streams in 2022?
Growing your Spotify stress in 2022, is still more than possible. In fact, if you implement the tips above, you’ll already be ahead of most independent artists. However with that being said, for the majority of new artists who’re yet to establish a fanbase, Spotify growth should be viewed as a more long-term strategy.
Now more than ever, your amount of Spotify streams comes back to the strength of your personal brand & SEO. So while it is certainly possible to grow your Spotify streams fast, the days of overnight success on the platform are (for most) long gone.
Let’s just say that for the modern musician, digital marketing has never been such an essential skill.