We often question ourselves what can we do to get our music out there or even how can we expand our reach, but sometimes the problem is even deeper… How can we make other people listen to our tracks if we’re not getting any plays at all?
5 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Research playlists that you’d like to be featured on and email them directly. Two weeks before any release, start looking for playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that you’d like to be featured on and that make sense to your music, and start emailing the owners of these playlists. Of course, you can’t email Spotify to get on an editorial playlist, but as UOAK said in this post, “You can manually search for playlists and curators on Spotify, by searching keywords that fit your genre, or you can simply submit music on Submithub, where a good amount of curators tend to take submissions, including him (send a song here)”. In addition to Submithub, you can always email playlist owners and try to get your song in their playlist to take advantage of their audience and get some plays and subscribers from there. For example, if you’re a melodic house producer, you can try sending your song to TheGrandSound, and you can easily find their email on their Youtube’s About page. Lastly, the next time you see a playlist ad on your Instagram, start clicking on it even if you don’t have a release now. The more you click, the more ads of playlists will appear, and then you can start building a catalog of playlists that you can later send your releases to when they come out.
2. You need to start promoting your songs to the right people. Often people forget about this, and it contains two important lessons. First, you need to promote your track to get heard, and that means doing livestreams or podcasts, sending it to friends & family on the release date, sending it to media outlets, and sometimes even hiring a PR agency to get the word out about your song. Second, you need to promote it to the right people, so sending it to your friend who only listens to country music likely won’t help you enough. That’s why sending your songs to the right playlists, as said above, is sometimes more beneficial than sending to friends as playlists that follow your genre likely have an audience that also follows your genre, which is who you want to target. “But Leo, I have no idea on how to promote my song”. If that’s your case, you can get our “Release Checklist” over here and you can also check out our post on 8 marketing tasks that you need to do before any release.
3. Aim to release at labels that have a strong streaming presence. If you’re a new producer and you have no following at all, or even if you’re a huge producer, releasing with a label can open a lot of doors for you. When you release with a label, you’ll not only get the joy of being accepted by a label, but you’ll also be able to inherit their crowd and their fans, which can then become your followers and fans. And that doesn’t mean that you should only look for labels with big followings on Spotify, but you can also try to find labels that have a close connection with big podcasts as well. For example, I’ve signed to a label that got me around 5-10k plays on my songs, but my songs were sometimes played on Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy or Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance, and these podcasts would get me 60-70k additional plays, a LOT of royalties and lots of followers. Therefore, list the labels that you’d like to sign your tracks to AND that have a good Spotify presence or good support in podcasts and that will get you a lot of listeners.
4. You need to be consistent with your releases. No one likes to watch a series that releases episodes every now and then, and the same applies to music. I love Madeon, but it’s been so long since I’ve gotten a release from him, that I’ve started to not listen to his music anymore, and the same can apply to you. Therefore, having a consistent schedule plan is crucial to keep yourself on top of mind with your listeners as someone who is always and constantly delivering quality music. The best way to keep a consistent release schedule is to produce more music than you release so then you’ll always have songs to spare. For example, if you produce 15 songs per year, but you only release 10 of them, you’ll eventually start to be ahead of your schedule, which will give you more leverage to experiment and eventually make songs that will stand out, and also more flexibility in your release schedule. In addition to that, you’ll always have a lead time between the acceptance of your demo, in case you sign with a label, and its release date, and having more songs to be released will actually help you ‘fill the gaps’ while you wait for your release to go live. Remember, we love the series and the artists we follow because they are constantly releasing things we like, and that kind of consistency is what will make your music worth ‘sharing with others’.
5. You need to merge a genre that you’re passionate about with what is current. Sometimes, what you’re making is not current anymore and it will be hard to find new listeners as they are already listening to other kinds of songs. On one hand, you’ll be able to reach out to an audience of people who are still holding on to that genre and don’t want to let go, which can be an opportunity. But, on the other hand, you’ll be stuck with an audience that tends to get smaller as the years go by, which is never good for a target audience. Therefore, try to merge what you like with what is current to take advantage of a growing audience that is loving this “new hot genre” while also doing something you love. For example, a lot of trance producers are migrating to melodic techno as there are a lot of similarities between the two and melodic techno being ‘hotter’ than trance at the moment. One example of this is Paul Van Dyk, who ranked twice as the #1 DJ in the world by DjMag, but now is playing a LOT of melodic techno in his shows. In addition to being a smart move audience-wise, it could be a way to ‘find a unique sound’ since merging genres always opens room for experimentation, and what is old for you may be new for that ‘hot genre’, which could eventually put you in the spotlight. My tip here is to keep yourself in a genre that is currently hot in the market so people associate you with that genre primarily, but implement elements that you love from your past genre so you also enjoy what you’re making.
In addition to all that, you need to make sure the quality of your music is the best it can be. But, of course, that’s why we’re all here for!
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
What else can help you make your music be heard?
1. Networking: Today, as I’m writing this post, I met a producer who works at the Dutch National Radio and that might be a way to get my song in there, something that I would have never achieved if it wasn’t for me networking and meeting him. You never know who you’ll meet, and sometimes you might meet the owner of a label or the owner of a big Spotify playlist that might help you a lot.
2. Collaborations: When you collab with another producer, you’ll join forces in your production skills and also in your audiences. Therefore, you’ll both benefit from both audiences, and that can certainly help your music get heard, while also increasing the quality of your music, as mentioned in this previous post.
3. Build a story around your Art: I didn’t use to like Fisher’s songs, as said many times, but then I started following his Instagram and started to like him, and that made me want to listen to his songs. We often forget about the branding of our art, but that can often bring listeners to our songs that relate to our brands, and these are the listeners who eventually become true die-hard fans. You can learn more about branding here.