With more than 60,000 tracks uploaded to Spotify daily, it can be quite challenging to get your song heard by the masses as an underground artist. Spotify is saturated with so many talents that want to make a career for themselves. And if you are reading this post, you are probably one of those underground artists looking to get your song out there. Well, worry no more because, in this post, I will share with you three tips that will help you get more Spotify listens.
So, without wasting much time, let’s dive into it:
Work With A Good Distributor
One mistake most underground artists make is to upload their songs with a cheap distributor. Even though many of these cheap third-distributor companies might let you keep all or almost all the royalties, the chances of them getting you more Spotify listens is low. This is why we recommend you work with a premium distributor. Because it is better to get 70 to 80% of the total royalties earned and have your song streamed by 10,000 to 1,000,000 people than to earn all the royalties and have your song played by just a few thousand people.
Premium distribution companies have a team of experts that understands how to promote your song properly across all streaming platforms. For example, these premium distribution platforms could have someone going to bat for your music at Spotify each week to get you an editorial placement.
Also, a good distributor understands how Spotify for artist works. They allow you to submit your track using the Spotify for artist feature. This feature gives you the blue checkmark which verifies your identity as the artist you claim to be. This feature is crucial to your success as a music distributor because it helps you see audience statistics and helps you promote your music.
A reason why the Spotify for Artist feature is important is that with normal Spotify accounts, Spotify only determines how good your song is by the signals it generates to the Spotify algorithm after the song is uploaded. However, the Spotify for Artist feature allows you to pitch your song to Spotify’s playlist editorial team before you upload the song.
So, when you have a good distributor, they give you immediate access to the Spotify for artist feature. Also, a good distributor allows you to pitch your song weeks before the song is released. Once, the song is out, you wouldn’t be able to pitch your song to Spotify’s editorial team. Most cheap distributor companies do not even give you access to the Spotify for Artist feature. Even if they do, they submit your song a day or two before the release date, and this wouldn’t give Spotify’s editorial team enough time to listen to your music.
Pitching your song to the editorial team days before the release of the song comes with so many perks. The first is when they listen to the song and it is good, they play it on a relevant playlist. Also, when you pitch your song through Spotify for Music, your song is going to get placed on the Release Radar of all of your followers.
When pitching your song via the Spotify for artist feature, we highly recommend you take note of the “Describe your song for us” section. This section is where you pitch the song. So, you want to make sure that you give accurate yet concise information about what your song is about.
Here are a few tips when filling out that section:
- You can add highlight any important events. For example, if you have been hosted on a radio station, or even if you have made it to any of Spotify’s playlists before. This will show your credibility.
- The second thing you want to do is to describe what the lyrics of your song mean. For example, if your song is about transgenders, you want to tell them that because this can help you end up in the relevant (an LGBTQ+) playlist.
This is why it is important to get a great distributor if you want to have more streams on your song.
Some of the best premium and recommended distribution platforms include.
- The Orchard
- Record Union
- Record Union
The Spotify Algorithm
If you are looking to boost your streams on Spotify, then you must be on the good side of the Spotify algorithm. Spotify’s algorithm is what determines the number of streams you get. This is because the algorithm is responsible for connecting your music to the people that enjoy it.
So, how does the algorithm work?
First, the algorithm checks your channel to ensure that you have met all of Spotify’s requirements needed
After meeting the requirements, the algorithm adds your song to the new music discovery list and recommendation list. So, when people who listen to that playlist play your music and they do not like it, the Spotify algorithm is going to flag your song as a bad production, therefore, it wouldn’t propel the song to a much wider audience.
This is why you must make the algorithm work in your favor if you are looking to get more Spotify streams. Here are a couple of things you can do to be on the good side of the algorithm:
The first 10 to 30 Seconds Of Your Song Matters
The Spotify algorithm judges how good your song is by the number of skips you get. Someone skipping your song within the first 10 to 30 seconds is equal to them disliking your song. If more people skip your song within the first 10 to 30 seconds, then this signals to the Spotify algorithm that your is a bad song. This will cause the algorithm to be hesitant to show your song to a wider audience. Conversely, if more people listen to your song past the first 10 to 30 seconds, then Spotify is going to tag your song as something people want to listen to and then show it to more people.
One common mistake most underground artists make is to add an intro or outro to their songs. Adding intros to your song can cause a lot of people to skip your music within the first few seconds. For example, most electronic music starts with 16 bars of intro, and this can put people off.
We highly recommend you start with the hook of your music or go straight to any part of the music– especially if you are an underground artist. You want to make sure that you catch the listener’s attention within the first 10 to 30 seconds and then keep them hooked for a while. And doing this will signal to the algorithm that people enjoy your music and it will cause the algorithm to propel your music to a larger audience.
Update Your Profile
Completely updating your profile tells the algorithm who you are and the kind of music your produce. This is why you must update your bio, your profile photo, and any other information relevant to Spotify and any streaming platform you want your music uploaded on. Spotify wants to ensure that its users have a great experience when they visit your profile. This is why the algorithm favors artists who have a complete profile.
So, we highly recommend you do the following:
- Update your bio
- Have press photos
- Have links to your social media page
- Update your profile photo
Uploading this information makes your page look professional and legit. For the photos, we highly recommend you upload any high-quality photo that represents who you are as an artist or a band.
Get People To Follow Your On Spotify
Getting followers on Spotify is crucial if you want more streams. Because when you have followers, Spotify sends them notifications whenever you are to release a song. The followers you have will also help Spotify understand the music you make. Therefore you get featured on more relevant and exclusive playlists. This can lead to you getting more streams on your music.
The making reason why getting followers is crucial if you want to get more streams is that when people follow you, you are guaranteed a certain number of streams once you release your song. Your followers are more likely to stream your song past the first 10 to 30 seconds, and we know the first 10 to 30 seconds is how Spotify judges your song.
So, when you have dedicated followers, they will automatically listen to your song past the first 30 seconds, and this will cause the Spotify algorithm to propel your music to a much larger audience. Also, when your followers stream your song immediately after it is released, it automatically tells Spotify that your song is good causing the algorithm to boost your reach.
Getting followers on Spotify can be quite challenging. However, here are a few tips to help you gain followers:
- Giveaways: You offer gifts to anyone that follows your music. You can request that whoever follows your Spotify account and sends you a screenshot of that will get some merchandise or free dinner or concert tickets.
- Use YouTube and Social Media: You can leverage your social media accounts to get more followers on Spotify. All you have to do is to ask your subscribers or followers to follow your music and some would.
Have An Actionable Plan
Most underground artists have no actionable plan. All they do is create a song, and upload it to Spotify without any promotion strategy or anything of that sort. Having no strategy to promote your music can lead to really low streams.
Having an actionable plan has to do with two things. These are:
Plan Ahead And Be Consistent
To have an action plan, you want to take a look at how many releases you are going to have a year ahead. Planning out music a year ahead enables you to release music consistently. Most underground artists tend to release at random times, and some even release one single per year, even though this might sound okay it isn’t. This is due to several reasons:
The first reason why you want to be consistent is that the more quality songs you release, the more the Spotify algorithm works in your favor. What I mean by this is the algorithm gets to place you on numerous relevant playlists. This is because, the more music you release, the better the algorithm understands the type of music you produce and features you in more relevant genres playlists. And when you get featured on these relevant playlists the more audience you can reach, which means you get more streams. However, when you aren’t consistent, you get to lose your spot on these playlists.
The second reason why you want to be consistent is that you get to grow your fan base. People love an artist that works hard. So, when you people that stream your music get to see that you have more songs or you release more music consistently, they are triggered to follow your Spotify page for more quality music. Because they know and anticipate when you are releasing a new song. So, they will follow your channel so that when the day of release is near, Spotify will send them a notification, so they do not miss out on your music.
Finally, releasing music consistently prevents you from being overlapped by the numerous artists who also release singles consistently. This means that the more music you release, the better your chances of being featured in the discover weekly and release radar playlist.
You must plan on the number of singles you want to release for a particular year. We recommend you release at least one single a month or every two months.
You do not necessarily have to upload songs all the time, you can try other variations such as demo tracks, acoustic tracks, commentary, and anything creative you can think of. Remember, the main goal here is to get the algorithm to work in your favor.
Invest In A Good Promotion
While planning out when you want to release a song, you must also devise a strategy that will help you scheme how you want to promote the music. You do not expect to release a song and expect it to do well by itself; you need to promote it to a much larger audience.
Therefore your actionable plan must contain a strategy that helps your music reach the audience within and outside Spotify. Promoting your music on other platforms besides is a great way to direct traffic to your Spotify page.
The goal here is to funnel those audiences to your Spotify page and have them stream more music. This can be a great way to boost your streaming time and page engagement. When this happens, the Spotify algorithm notices it and pushes your music.
So, how do you promote your music?
Leverage Your Presence On Social Media
A good way to do this is to establish your presence on all relevant social media platforms. You want to make sure that you grow your brand on these platforms to leverage your followers there and channel them to follow you on Spotify. Here are a few ways to do this:
- You can start by updating your bio with a link to your Spotify channel or the new music you released and then encouraging your followers to click on that link to stream your song.
- The second way to do this is to have your followers participate in a challenge and have them record a video of them streaming your music. You can also urge them to tag their friends and you. And whoever has the most likes and comments on their post is the winner. With this strategy, you want to make sure that you have a prize for the winner to entice more people to share your music. Also, ensure that you have a link to your Spotify page as well.
- Finally, you can create a simple video of you vibing to your song and posting it on your social media page.
For those of you who might not have a strong presence on social media, the best option for you is to pay influencers to utilize your music in their videos. This strategy also works if you have a strong social media presence also. Most followers trust their influencers, so, when an influencer posts an ad of your music or a video of them jamming to your song, it can boost the streams you get on these platforms. The best platforms to utilize this strategy are TikTok and Instagram; however, you can try other platforms like Facebook as well.
Finally, you can utilize paid Facebook ads to promote your music on Spotify. Facebook ad campaigns can be a great way to grow your Spotify followers and streams. The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can target people on both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook ads help you reach a targeted audience.
However, unlike the first two suggestions, the aim of a Facebook ad isn’t to let your single blow. The goal of Facebook ads is to direct relevant traffic to your Spotify page. And when more people visit your Spotify page and stream your music, the Spotify algorithm will automatically propel your music to a much larger audience and feature you in more relevant playlists.
If you are interested in using Facebook ads to boost your Spotify page engagement, then this video should help you out.
Another way to boost your streams and followers on Spotify is to use YouTube. YouTube doesn’t only provide you with an opportunity to grow your Spotify following but also gives you the chance to make money through video monetization and other methods. You can also invest the money you make from YouTube in your music business.
We highly recommend YouTube because there are numerous creative ways to grow your fanbase there as an underground artist. Unlike Spotify, where you can only produce audio related to music, YouTube allows you to create videos which is a more engaging way to grow your fanbase. Also, with YouTube, you can create content weekly, which can be quite challenging to do with Spotify. The ability to create content weekly can be a great way to keep your dedicated fans engaged with your musical brand
You can leverage your YouTube subscribers and urge them to subscribe to your YouTube videos. You can simply do this by attaching a link to your Spotify page in your description box and YouTube channel.
Below are a couple of ways you can grow your YouTube audience.
- By doing covers of popular songs
- By reacting to new song.
- Collaborating with other YouTubers
- And performing your songs.
We have a guide that goes into details on how you can grow your YouTube channel as a singer, so make sure to check it out. However, the main goal with YouTube is to grow your subscribers and leverage those subscribers to listen to your song and follow you on Spotify. Make sure you always remind your subscribers to follow you on Spotify.
Build Your Playlist
Having your playlist can be great leverage to propel your music to a wide audience. So, instead of trying to get on other people’s, why don’t you create your playlist and share it with people? Creating your playlist gives you the chance to share the type of songs you love to enjoy with the world. This can be a great way to let your audience get to know you better because they get to know the type of songs you enjoy.
That being said, creating your playlist gives you the chance to slot some of your songs in the playlist. This can be a great way to share them with the world. Also, you can slot in a couple of songs from other underground artists. Once their songs get a couple of streams on your playlist, you can reach out to them telling them you featured their song on your playlist. When they notice that you did them this favor, they will be willing to feature some of your song(s) on their playlist. And this can be a win-win for everyone.
You can create a curator network where various playlist curators gather, and then whenever someone releases a song, every curator features that song on their playlist.
So, instead of waiting to feature on other people’s playlists, do not forget to create your own.