Whether you like it or not, Spotify streams have become the new way to assess the visibility of artists online. The stats you get from the popular Swedish platform can help you understand how fans interact with your music, where listeners are based, and which songs they’re most interested in, helping you define the best way to optimize your marketing strategy and maximize your audience.
Getting more Spotify streams should be a goal included in every artist’s agenda, so let’s take a look at a few strategies you can use to make that happen. Let’s dive in!
A few words on Spotify Streams
A song stream is the number of times a track is listened to for at least 30 seconds. There is also the release stream count, the streams for a new release. When you release a new song, the streams are counted in real-time for the first seven days and are updated every two seconds.
Users can download your music to listen offline. The offline streams are counted when the user goes online again, which can take up to 30 days. Online streams are updated every 24 hours.
7 Ways to Get More Spotify Streams
1. Use Spotify for Artists
Spotify for artists is the first step you should take when uploading and releasing new songs on Spotify. It has all the tools you need, from managing your artist’s page to playlist pitching, promotion tools within Spotify, and access to your stream counts and other stats from your audience.
Below are the most valuable tools you must use in Spotify for Artists.
Claim your artist profile
Start by claiming your profile artist page and take your time to make it look professional. Your artist page is like any other profile page on social media. It’s the main page where listeners can find you, listen to your albums, songs, and singles, learn about you from your biography, see if you are touring, and even find links to your social media, website, and merch.
It can increase your visibility on the platform so people can find you and play your songs, providing more streams to your music. Just ensure you are uploading music regularly. Don’t leave an empty profile, as it won’t attract people looking for new music.
Claiming your artist page will get you verified and tell users that this is your official profile. But the blue check in your profile won’t be enough to make users stay and listen to your music.
Build your profile
You should make your profile attractive to new listeners who find you on Spotify. Here are the main things an artist profile page should have:
- Upload music regularly. I know it’s obvious but avoid getting caught up in making your artist’s page look good and then forget about releasing music.
- Add a good-quality photo of you or your band. Select a picture as the primary photo and add something that shows you and your band in action. In this case, it’s worth investing in a professional photo session from the beginning.
- Write a bio. Users want to know who the people they are listening to are. Write about your origins, how you got where you’re at, or something personal to connect with your future fans.
- Remember to add all your social media links to your artist’s page, YouTube channel, website, and merch store. You want everyone who sees it also to find you everywhere else.
Pitch to Spotify editorial playlists
Thanks to Spotify for Artist, you can submit your new releases to an editorial playlist. And the only way to pitch is through Spotify for Artists. This is something every artist should do, even though chances of getting picked are slim: because if you do, it might be a turning point in your career.
You can pitch songs that have yet to be released, so if you have songs already on Spotify, they won’t be eligible to pitch. The music should have you as the main artist, and compilations are not permitted.
All the tracks must be submitted at least seven days before the release to be featured in the Release Radar playlist by your followers. Submitting your tracks earlier will allow the editor to listen to them before the release.
You can find more about pitching and how to do it from Spotify for Artist’s help.
Use Spotify promotion tools
Spotify for Artists comes with tools to promote your music within the platform. You can create ads for users to see when using the app and engage with them. So, let’s look at Spotify’s best tools for all artists.
With Spotify Canvas, you can create looping visuals to play in the back of your song instead of the album artwork. You can use your smartphone to record a short video and edit it later, or you can try the many online Canvas creators like Kapwing or Rotor.
A song with a Canvas keeps a listener engaged for longer, so chances of passing the 30-second threshold will be higher. According to Spotify, Canvas can get you 9% more visits to your artist profile after users watch a Canvas. They can explore your music library and stream more songs from there (thus the importance of first setting up your artist’s page).
You can easily create graphics to share anywhere online. Go to the Promo Card main page, search by artist, album, or song, and customize the size, design, and background color. It will generate a graphic and a link to your music or artist’s page. You can download the Promo Card to use in future campaigns.
Spotify’s Ad Studio helps you create ads to promote your music between the ad breaks that free users listen to in the Spotify app. To access Ad Studio, you only need a Spotify account, a minimum budget of $250, and a script.
Setting up your ads with Ad Studio is simple:
- Either record yourself reading the script for your ad with background music or submit the script to Spotify to be recorded by their voice actors and upload a backing track or select one from Spotify’s library.
- You can choose voice details like the language, gender, and average age of the voice actor to match your brand.
You can target your audience just like any other ad campaign and set your budget and the dates you want your ads running on the platform. Spotify will deliver you reports with results so you can set new goals for future campaigns.
2. Pitch to independent playlist curators
Another way to be noticed by Spotify’s algorithm is to have your songs feature in different playlists. Earlier, we talked about how difficult it is to get into editorial playlists; however, those are not the only playlists available for pitching. Any user can create playlists and get hundreds and thousands of followers.
If you manage to be featured in independent playlists, you’ll have more chances to be included in editorial playlists, so it might be better to start pitching to these playlists first.
How do we find these playlists and their owners? You could do it inside Spotify, do a search based on your genre or similar artist and look for playlists, then look for the owner of the playlist. Some users add their social media links in the description to contact them. Most of the time, they are happy to receive submissions and willing to add your song if it fits the mood of the playlist.
Another way to find independent playlists and the user contact information is by using Spotify playlist finders; these are websites and platforms that offer a Spotify playlist database and sell their contact information, such as email addresses or social media profiles. Other playlist finders, like Soundplate, allow you to submit your music directly to their playlists but won’t provide any contact information.
3. Create playlists yourself
Anyone on Spotify can create playlists, so why not make your own playlists? Create them to share your complete discography, add the music that inspires you to write new music, or share your favorite artist to show users your common interests.
Share the playlist on your profile as the Artist’s Pick, and share it outside Spotify. You can collaborate with other musicians and add their music in exchange for a follow, share their music on their social media platforms or ask them to add your music to their playlist. Remember, the more playlists you feature, the most attention from Spotify you’ll receive.
4. Off-platform promotion
Spotify is one of many ways to promote your music and create ad campaigns. Many other platforms offer promotion with more advanced and dedicated tools for artists, agents, and record labels.
Run ads on social media on Facebook ads to promote your music on Instagram and Facebook. Running ads on social media will target an audience who may be interested in your music or have interacted with your profile.
You can use other promotion sites like feature.fm to run more complex campaigns with many more reports and promotional tools available.
The stream count on the release days of a song is crucial to tell Spotify that your song is a success. Pre-save campaigns are the best way to guarantee streams on your release day.
A pre-save campaign usually runs months or weeks before the release and asks the user to pre-save the song to their library. It means that as soon the song or album is released, it will be added automatically to the user’s library, making it easier for them to listen to your music as soon is released.
5. Pitch your music to Music Blogs
Playlists are not the only place you can pitch your music to. For decades, good music blogs have been a valuable source of inspiration for many readers looking for new music. If you’re lucky and get picked, you could get some streams from the readers of that blog. Maybe they have their own Spotify playlist and will add your music.
When you pitch to a music blog, provide them with your press release kit with a photoshoot, bio, and links to your Spotify song, album, or profile, and ensure the blog reviews your music genre.
6. Be active on social media
Online presence is crucial if you want people to discover you and your music.
Use social media to share your music and connect with other musicians and fans. Show that you care about them, and show them that you’re engaging with your audience. However, the most important thing is to be yourself: don’t try to imitate and do what everyone else is doing if you’re not comfortable with that.
7. Email marketing
Use your email list to promote your music while giving your most loyal fans some personal rewards: show them exclusive content, and offer to listen to new releases before everyone else.
Email marketing can be an excellent method to grow your fanbase and encourage them to stream your music. If you want to learn how to start, subscribe to your favorite band’s email list and see what they do.
Don’t copy and paste what you read. Just observe and use it as inspiration to start your email marketing campaigns. Setting up a free Mailchimp account is easy and can get you started in a few minutes.
I prefer email marketing over social media because the list is yours and is not tied to a specific platform that can suddenly disappear or not be so popular anymore. If your email marketing platform goes down, you can always export your list to another.
Be patient when you start putting all these tips into practice: most artists start growing after years of hard work, so don’t give up!
Only try a few methods at a time. Trying them all at once would put too much pressure on you, and you’ll get burned out quickly. Pick one or two you feel more comfortable with and keep trying for a few months. Also, do not change methods after a month if you don’t see any results. Choose a strategy and commit to it for at least 5 to 6 months to see accurate results.
Remember that the number of streams is not showing appreciation for your music. Your song can have many streams, but that does not mean listeners would want to hear more music from you; many people could listen to your music and forget about it the moment the track is over. That’s why music quality should be your priority.
Good luck, and stay creative!