Did you ever wonder how come you’ve never heard of the band that made the track you just found and loved? Two possibilities here: 1) People change and you weren’t into this music a few years ago, or 2) The band just started out and they actually made this track a few days ago. Now we don’t really believe people change…
2) then, good for the band! They used the Spotify as a tool to promote themselves. How does one do that? The truth is, just by uploading your music on to a streaming platform, you set it out on a journey to make you famous. There is a lot of twists and turns along that way, but hey- it’s show business, right? Well, not really, not the old sense anyway.
The new way
A musical piece sent to the libraries of a music platform will not just sit there. The curators are using their algorithms to recognize the track and add as many labels as possible to help describe it. Then it’s when the track gets suggested. According to the new-found parameters, the song that ended up as, let’s say, grunge gets served to people who have a lot of Nirvanas and Pearl Jams on their playlists but are off for new things. Once the track gets listened whole enough times, it’ll get suggested to more and more people. Sounds simple and pretty much all the work that the big studios and the Industry used to put into making musicians famous is now being done in days, by a few algorithms? Nope.
The old way?
Not that either. You can single-handedly become the new Justin Bieber. (please, for the love of all that’s un-holly – do not do that!) While technically he had the help of his mom, it’s still possible that you can pull that off without her. Not Justin Bieber’s mom, yours – you don’t need anyone’s mom to become a famous musician ok?
What you need is to pay attention to your listeners and market your product. Let’s say you’ve put your music on Spotify. That particular platform has Spotify Insights that basically works like Google Adwords. Erm, it shows you all the info about your listeners: where they are, when they listen to you, more importantly – which playlist brought them to liking your music.
Playlist is king
Now, you may not want to hear about this, but it requires quite a lot of virtual foot-work to get your stardom going. Getting on those good playlists, the ones that get the most ears ringing, that your goal. Reaching it takes time, patience and skill. As a new kid on the music block, you can hit up people that own popular playlists. People like that, the ones that made some cool sets some time ago. The wet dream of every highschooler from the 90’s with their mixtapes and failed expectations, well they are the ones you want to talk to.
Getting featured on a popular playlist is key to get heard. The other method is to make something so good, that the curators of the streaming platform will love enough to put your music on display. Sounds easy, we know, but somehow, reaching the tastes of people whose job is to critically listen to music every day (dream job right here!) makes the one-man-marketing sound like a morning jog (still exhausting, but more appealing).
We know the definition of talent has gotten out of shape since the new wave of rappers came to be, but we still strongly believe that with talent, no matter how much work you put into marketing, you will be heard. Even if it’s gonna be your friends and family (unless you’re family with Justin Bieber – in that case, you’re set) you will get heard. If you’re talented in the marketing department but still want to make a music career – then the new wave of rap scene will gladly take another one! In both cases, you need the will and the heart. Just keep your music near the latter and you’ll do great.