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What makes music popular?

It’s a good question. It’s a hard question. It’s also the premise of Derek Thompson’s Hit Makers, which I just finished yesterday while sitting at Starbucks. (Yes, I finally got away from Panera. I think we can all agree that it was time.) I don’t typically rate books, because I don’t believe that the quality of […]

How Musicians Actually Marketed Their Music in 2023 (with Stats)

You guys came through in the clutch. Big thanks to everyone who filled out my survey. Here’s the quick recap: And that brings us to this present day, on which I will be sharing the results from our – drumroll please 🥁 – 130 responses. You guys rock. Two caveats before we get into the […]

Art, music, and identity as a step forward

I heard this story about a songwriting class. I think it was on an old CD Baby podcast, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, the story involves a songwriter roundtable at a college of music, one of those contexts where students share songs and receive feedback. As I remember it, some of the students would […]

Are Spotify’s royalty changes a big deal?

I’m wading into the controversy this morning… To make it even more offensive: I think most people (including, maybe, you) are overreacting. Yeah, yeah – I know Tom already wrote about this topic in an email that was kinder and more insightful than anything I’ve written this year. So this morning’s post is fated to be redundant, slightly […]

Meta Ads for Music: 3 Tips for 2024

This year, I made two big decisions related to my music marketing agency: 1. I stopped offering press services. I wrote about this here, but the upshot is that after five-plus years of helping artists get covered in blogs, I just got kind of burned out. I haven’t run a PR campaign in six or seven […]

Social Media for Musicians: A 2023 Hot Take

A couple weeks ago, I promised you that I’d “offer my two cents on whether you really need to be on social media to make it as an artist.” I’m a man of my word when I remember to be. So, as promised, here are my two cents on whether you need to be on […]

The Artist’s Struggle

I always feel a little bit anxious when I sit down to write. Weird, right? I mean, I’ve been writing consistently every week for three years. And it’s not even that big of a deal, you know? Most of our readers probably see this post, consider it for thirteen seconds, then move on and never […]

Is Spotify Promotion Worth It?

My YouTube comment section is quickly becoming a gold mine for new posts. Honestly, most of the comments I get are really nice; even the somewhat-challenging comments are usually structured politely. So far, my videos have never elicited quite the reaction that Tom provoked from Johan*. (Tom was asking for it, I think.) But every […]

How I’m Building a Spotify Playlist Network

So I’m in the midst of a fun little experiment… I’m building a playlist network. In this post, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about what I’m doing with the playlist network and how it’s going – because it’s kind of my pet project right now, and because I feel like I […]

7 Tips to Grow on Spotify for 2023

In an effort to, as the marketing guru bros say, “provide insane value,” I want to share a few of the brass tacks – stuff that you can actually implement for yourself to grow on Spotify. So here we go. This is a hodgepodge of seven tactics and tips that I’ve seen working over the past year.  […]

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