Spotify isn’t the only game in town when it comes to music streaming, but it is the biggest player in the market, so if you have music that you want to share (commercially) with the world, it’s probably the one you want to focus on.
These days it’s not difficult to get your music onto Spotify. As an independent musician, all you have to do is track down one of the numerous intermediaries – such as Distrokid, Ditto, CD Baby and Tunecore – and in exchange for a relatively small sum of money, they will upload your songs onto all the major streaming and download platforms, including Spotify itself.
The Official Artists Page
And once you’ve got yourself onto Spotify, it’s a really good idea to register an official artist’s page. This use to be quite difficult for the non-famous as it required you to have 250 followers (which is quite a lot) but that hurdle has been removed. An approved artist page – this is mine – has a tick circled in blue.
Why An Artists Page?
With a Spotify-approved artist’s page, you can not only upload pictures and details about yourself, you can also access statistics about the performance of your songs. And those statistics tell a story.
Do Listener’s Like What You’re Doing
The stats tell you who is listening to your music (male/female, age, location) but perhaps more importantly, they let you know if those listeners really like what you’re doing.
Because when you break it down to each individual song, the stats will tell you a) how many times it has been streamed b) how many people have been listening to it and c) how many times has the song been saved.
The Engagement Game
So let’s say, a song has been streamed 2,000 times by 2,000 people. What does that say? Well if you’re an unknown artist, it probably says you’ve done a great job of promoting it, but people aren’t coming back to hear it a second or third time. It’s 2,000 individuals and 2,000 streams.
So what about 2,000 streams and 500 listeners. That means you’ve got a smaller listener base, but some or perhaps all are listening to the song over and over again. That’s actually great. You’re engaging with genuine fans who love what you’re doing. And if 250 save it, then that particular subset really, really like what you do.
In a third scenario, you might have 2,000 streams and 20 plays. Fine, that means you have a few super fans – possibly relatives and friends – but your following is too concentrated.
Honing Your Marketing
So why does this matter. Well, I’m at the start of my Spotify journey but I’ve written about online marketing for many years. In my view to this info on a song-by-song level helps you understand which of your songs are performing best, not only in terms of plays but in repeat engagement. If nothing else, that will help you understand, which are genuinely most popular. Those are the ones that you might choose to highlight and promote, either in playlists (within spotify) or on social media or contacts with bookers, labels, bloggers, radio stations etc.
Meanwhile, the headline numbers – how many plays, show you how successful (or not) your promotional efforts have been.
The story told by the stats will need a bit of interpretation, but knowledge is power.
That’s the end of the sermon. If you’ve made it this far, here is my new song for light relief. Hope you enjoy.