You’ve decided on a musical alias, found the perfect logo and brand for your project, honed in your DJ and production skills, and started finishing up tracks to release – but what comes next? Creating quality music and a brand to go with it is just the very beginning of your path as an upcoming artist.
A solid release plan and well thought out strategy for promoting your music is crucial in the ever-evolving landscape of the electronic music industry; and successfully promoting your releases is often more important than the music itself. With more and more brand new artists deciding to pursue music every day, the path to success is a hard one and most definitely does not come without countless hours of hard, dedicated work.
In this blog, you will find 4 of the most basic resources for promoting and showcasing your music as a brand new producer or artist releasing music for the first time. Keep in mind that these are very basic resources – if you are a seasoned producer who has self-released or worked with a label before, you are likely aware of these.
Before you decide to simply upload a track on Soundcloud and hope for the best – stop. Soundcloud as a streaming service for an electronic artist is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and will not do you much good without also considering the vast array of other music streaming services available to artists as well as the additional resources that each one provides.
Finding a solid distribution service for your music will get it placed on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Tidal, Shazam, TikTok, Facebook & Instagram Music, and countless more outlets that you may have never even heard of. By doing this, you are making your music more accessible to more people; which of course will result in more streams, awareness, and an overall larger impact of your releases.
There are many different distribution partners to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. DistroKid and Tunecore are among the most popular, but services like Symphonic Distribution, CDBaby, LabelWorx, Songcast, and Landr are also great options. A simple Google search of “music distribution services” will get you all the info you’ll need to research each option and decide on one that fits your release strategy.
Spotify for Artists
Spotify is arguably the top streaming service available, for electronic artists themselves as well as listeners. It has recently become somewhat of the industry standard for measuring metrics and statistics on an artist’s popularity and fanbase in the electronic scene. Spotify for Artists is an incredible resource for artists whose music is already on Spotify which offers profile customization, personal playlist curation, official artist verification, concert listings, and real-time statistics and demographics for your releases.
The Spotify for Artists blog includes a massive supply of resource articles, similar to this, with advice and insight on how to promote your music to its full potential.
Spotify for Artists also recently launched a submission platform, which enables artists to submit their tracks directly to Spotify playlist editors for consideration on Spotify’s largest playlists. Through this platform, artists can also get their music featured on ‘Release Radar’ for their followers, which also helps their music have a higher chance of being picked up by Spotify algorithms on such playlists as ‘Discover Weekly’ or ‘Daily Mix’. All of this helps to generate more streams for your music on Spotify, create more overall awareness of your project.
Instagram Story Highlights & IGTV
Everyone knows that Instagram is one of the most massive (if not THE most massive) social media outlet, but there are more creative ways to promote your music on Instagram than just using stories and timeline posts. No matter what type of content you are posting on Instagram to help promote your music, there is almost always a way to categorize and organize them using story highlights as a resource.
Whether you highlight each release of yours into a story highlight, or highlight each streaming outlet that your music can be found into separate highlights – all artists should be using the full potential of this feature on their Instagram account.
Salt Lake City based artist Thrillogy has a very clean, on-brand, and effective look for his use of story highlights – https://www.instagram.com/thrillogyofficial/
Liquid Stranger is another example of an artist who has made good use out of his story highlights, with each one clearly labeled and displayed so that you know what you’re getting from tapping each one – https://www.instagram.com/liquidstranger/
Beyond just story highlights – Instagram TV or IGTV, offers a way for artists to upload long-form videos to their Instagram account without the 60-second limitation that standard timeline posts impose. This is a useful feature for posting a full-length video to accompany a recent track release, archiving a live-stream set on your IG, or even creating VLOG like material that would traditionally be posted to YouTube.
Record label Nova Lotus Music makes use of IGTV by uploading full versions of each of their releases to this part of the platform, optimizing the videos for vertical rather than the widely-used horizontal format on Instagram. IGTV also gives you the option to add a clickable link in the description of the video, while regular Instagram posts do not allow this.
Soundcloud Premier Monetization & Promotion
While it has been mentioned that Soundcloud as a streaming service is not as popular as it once was, this does not mean that you shouldn’t still be utilizing it to its full potential. Soundcloud recently introduced ‘Soundcloud Premier Monetization & Promotion‘ as a resource for their creators to begin receiving royalties for their streams as well as promote their releases on the platform using a flexible and customizable budget. Unfortunately Soundcloud’s royalty payouts are among the lowest compared to other streaming services, but still worth collecting for obvious reasons.
In order to qualify for Soundcloud premier artists must have at least 500 monetizable streams per month, a Pro or Pro Unlimited account, and zero copyright strikes on their account. If you do not meet these qualifications currently, this option is at least something to keep tabs on and work towards in the future of your music career. At the end of the day, you’ll want to be collecting streams and royalties from those streams in as many outlets as possible.
These four basic resources are only just the beginning on a path towards digital success with your DJ/Producer project. There is so much more that goes into creating a meaningful brand and experience for your fans, but building a solid foundation with these resources will help you work towards a successful future in music.
Ian James Hiscock – V2 Presents Public Relations Manager
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