Burna boy might say he doesn’t care about streaming numbers, but as a beginning songwriter and musician, it’s important to utilize every avenue to earn more royalties. If you want to earn more streams – on the way to your big breakthrough – here is a brief list of ways you can boost your streams and attract more listeners.
Connect with Fans on Social Media
Your fans can’t listen to your music if they can’t find you. Building a relationship with fans is key to lasting success. If you haven’t already, establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Use these channels to keep fans up-to-date on when you’re playing and where to watch videos. Don’t just talk at them, talkwith them. Engaging in two-way conversations with fans will help you get to know your fans and build a loyal following. Let them get to know you outside of the clubs and the studio by commenting on their photos and posts, too. Post links to your streams and playlists, and encourage them to like, comment and share.
Use Email to Connect with Fans
Social media is an important and necessary tool, but it’s not always the most reliable. Continually changing algorithms and individual user habits might keep some fans from seeing your content. Email is the best way to reach your listeners on their schedule and alert them to new content on social media and streaming channels. Marketing companies like MailChimp can help you create and manage monthly newsletters sent to fans’ email addresses so you can keep them up-to-date.
Be a Platform Agnostic
Of course you want to make your music available to as many people as you can, so don’t overlook smaller and international streaming services when considering where to make your music available. Spotify may be the biggest but savvy music listeners are on all kinds of platforms now, and your music should be there too. Do your research on streaming services and make yourself available where anybody might be looking for new music. The more places listeners can find you, the more opportunities there will be for your music to be found.
Know the Power of the Playlist
One of the most popular ways to discover new music on any streaming service is by finding, making and sharing playlists. For example, Spotify’s playlists can have as few as one or as many as 20.5 million for its “Today’s Top Hits” Playlist. Catching on with a number of popular user-created playlists is another way to spread the word, but the magic doesn’t happen overnight. Start by getting verified on Spotify and other services that offer artists perks. Being verified will give you a wealth of extras including the ability to share your own playlists directly with fans. Engaging with other playlist owners helps get your music into the headphones of as many people as possible and could attract the attention of Spotify’s in-house curators. And don’t forget to ask your distributor to pitch your songs to the “New Music Friday” playlist and any other relevant playlists in your country.
Covers can help listeners find your music
Here’s an offbeat idea that might work for you: Most streaming listeners use the search function to find artists or songs they want to hear. Recording and posting a cover of a well-known song, can help boost sales as listeners will often choose more than one version of a song to listen to at one time. In addition to curated playlists of your own songs, a playlist of songs by your favourite artists and influencers is another way to attract new fans. You can also drop one or two songs of your own alongside your favourites if you like (But don’t forget to clear the rights with the publisher first!).
Reach Out to Music Writers, Bloggers and Influencers
Once you are up and running on a few streaming platforms, driving traffic to your music and getting the word out to music writers and bloggers is another important step that shouldn’t be skipped. An article featuring an embedded link to your song can mean many more streams and could attract the attention of streaming playlist curators and programmers for outlets, like Starbucks, looking for new music.
Ask Your Fans to Spread the Word
Back in June, Australian boy band 5SOS grabbed the number one spot on the Billboard 200 and kept Beyonce and Jay-Z’s new album Everything is Love from debuting in the number one spot. They did it by launching an all-out campaign with their sizable and passionate fan base once they found out they had a shot at number one. While you may not have as many fans (yet!) as an Australian boy band, you should still ask your fans, who already love your music, to help you spread the word. Encourage them to make playlists and share your songs with their friends. If you have a web page, offer buttons and downloads with links to your streams to help them get the word out.
While these are only seven small ways you can bring more recognition to your songs and, in turn, earn more streams (which means more royalties!), the bigger theme here is making sure you’re doing the work to get your music heard. Take the time to do your research, find where your song can do the work for you, and be the number one advocate for your work – share, share, share. The more you do to get the word out there, the more streams you’ll see come in.