Tag Archives for " playlists "
While radio airplay used to be the lifeblood of a hit (and in some cases still is), today it’s the playlist that really sets the tone for listener discovery. If a track is added to a popular list, its streams will spike and listeners will add it to their personal playlists, which sometimes adds a viral element that spreads to playlists on other networks as well. What’s more, hot playlists are now watched by radio programmers to see both what’s trending and what’s not.
Not surprisingly, pay-to-play has come to the digital age as a new form of payola now attempts to influence what consumers listen to. Playlist promotion, or “playola,” has become a big part of the promotional campaigns for many managers and labels. In fact, prices for playlist promotion can be as little as $100 to a small blogger with a modest following, to as much as $10,000 for a six-week campaign for a major playlist owner. A quick Google search will find dozens of promotion companies that specialize in getting your songs on playlists just about anywhere.
Just like in the old days of radio promotion, competition is now fierce for these playlist spots, so don’t be surprised if the prices continue to rise.
While the playlist culture has been great for music discovery for the listener, it turns out it hasn’t been that great for artist development. Where before listeners were getting to know the artist’s music via multiple songs on an album, that’s all changed as streaming has made the business more song-driven instead of artist-driven. As a result, songs tend to come and go faster, as do artists. The good news is that means there are are always spots open on a playlist for new songs. The bad news is that it’s more difficult for an artist to get long-term traction as a result. Check out this post to improve your chances of getting placed on a popular playlist.
Getting your music placed on playlists is now an important part of an artist’s release strategy. If a track is added to a popular playlist, its streams will spike and listeners will add it to their personal playlists, which sometimes adds a viral element that spreads to playlists on other networks as well. What’s more, hot playlists are now watched by radio programmers to see both what’s trending and what’s not. That being said, Spotify and Apple Music playlists are getting harder and harder to crack, especially if you’re not on a major label. Here are a few tips that can land you a spot on a playlist from Spotify or any other playlist.
1. Verify your profiles with Spotify and Apple Connect
The first thing you have to do is make sure you have a presence on the service itself. Playlist curators, especially if they’re in-house, are reluctant to feature anything by artists who’ve not verified their profiles on the streaming platforms.
2. Get as many of your fans as possible to follow you on the streaming platform
You don’t need millions of followers or streams, but you don’t need enough to get a curator interested. They want to know that you have a buzz around you before they take a chance.
3. Get the rest of your digital house in order
If a curator is interested in your music, he or she will probably check you out further by looking at your website, photos, social media, upcoming gigs and all the things that we’ve talking about on this blog. Here’s where that all comes into play.
4. Find some playlists to follow
Find some playlists that you love and begin to follow them with the idea of learning if your music is a fit. Don’t limit yourself to Spotify’s in-house curators. In this game, everyone counts because the idea is to ultimately get on a number of smaller playlists first so you’ll be noticed by the Spotify team. Also make sure to follow them on social media, and make comments where and when you can.
5. Make your pitch
Make sure that the playlist owner is well aware of you before you begin your pitch. You’ll be taken much more seriously if you’re recognized as a supporter rather than someone just cold-calling. Send a personally crafted email to the playlist owner or curator. Make it brief and to the point and tell them why you think you song is perfect for their list. Be as specific as you can and avoid being long-winded. If a curator has a submission policy, make sure that you follow it to the letter or chances are your submission won’t even be read.
Remember that some curators for the larger lists make their selections in a closed system, so they don’t want pitches and they’ll usually make that clear in their submission policy. If that’s the case, respect their wishes and don’t hassle them. The only way you’re going to get to them is if you begin to get on a lot of other playlists so your buzz will be noticed.
A record label would love to break an artist after one release or album, but that’s getting more and more difficult these days according to One Direction’s manager Will Bloomfield. One of the reasons is that the industry is breaking songs now, and not artists at all, almost without even realizing it. This is thanks to the “playlist dominated culture” brought about by Spotify that’s changed everyone’s view to more short term than career building.
While the playlist culture has been great for music discovery, it turns out it hasn’t been that great for artist development. Where before listeners were “consuming artists in their own eco-system” (meaning via the album), that’s all changed as streaming has now made the business more song-driven instead of artist-driven.
“Our greatest challenge is breaking artists,” he stated at an event hosted by media consultancy ID Comms. “We’re currently breaking songs in our business world and that’s much harder and it takes much longer [for a potential fan] to buy into the artists proposition, which means we have to look at the trajectory of an artist. It used to be two to three years, whereas now it’s more like four to five years.”
While Bloomfield isn’t wrong about the song vs. artist transition, the fact is that the record business in the 70s was more into long-term artist development over 4 or 5 years, and that that yielded some of our most beloved legacy artists. From Tom Petty to Earth, Wind and Fire, to Fleetwood Mac, to David Bowie, those artists became the successes they are through a slow build process that worked first with a grassroots fan base. That strategy could still work today, but the labels are much less inclined to wait through 4 or 5 albums until the hit comes. The song is still the most important asset of an artist, regardless of if it’s on the radio or a stream, but generally speaking, the faster the rise, the faster the fall, especially in the music business.
Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 2nd, 2016. Lots of big news this week so lets get into it.
Apple Music now over 17 million subscribers. It still trails Spotify by a lot, but that service has a 5 year head start. The future still looks bright in Apple-land.
Pandora about to offer new low cost service. But it won’t be this week like every thought. The $5 service would make a huge difference to many consumers, but the major labels have to sign off first.
You’ll never guess who had the first exclusive 15 years ago. Believe it or not, it was The Beatles with their Anthology 1 release and it was really effective.
YouTube Red looks like it’s actually beginning to be used. It looks like the service has already turned 3% of users into paid subscribers, which doesn’t sound like much but is a big deal.
Here’s a new one. YouTube demonetization. You better play nice or YouTube is going to penalize you; and this can happen even if you’re one of the platform best performers.
Drake racks up insane listener numbers during the summer. Drake has been the king of Spotify, and he has some wild numbers to back it up. If this is what we have to look forward to in the future, then the music industry should be okay.
If you’re a superstar, you’ll like these “20 ways to release an album.” Yes, there are a lot of strategies when it comes to releases a new album, but most of them only apply if you’re already a superstar. That said, there are some good tips here.
Streaming service Deezer has a new owner. It’s Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, which owns Warner Music. Conflict of interest for a label to own a streaming service?
That’s the News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.
Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 2nd, 2016. As it happens just about every week, Spotify is in the news again, but there were lots of other great news articles this week as well. Let’s get into it.
Spotify is making its own records. Yes, it’s commissioning releases from different producers especially for its Chill, Dinner and Focus playlists. Unethical? No different than Netflix creating their own shows. Controversial? You bet, since it controls those playlists and will force legit producers off, and the record labels can’t be happy at this development either.
Playlists are a big deal. They’re how many discover new music and this post looks in depth at them.
Katy Perry takes a hit over exclusives. It looks like she’s been blackballed by Spotify because of her Apple Music exclusive. Of course, it could be that her last release wasn’t that great and this is a convenient excuse.
Is Bandcamp the best online music store? This New York Times article says it is, but from who’s perspective – the company, the investors or the artists?
A look at how much Frank Ocean with make. Here’s some great insight into what a hit artist can make today and the multiple revenue streams it takes to make it. It might be more than you think, or less, depending on how you look at the industry.
Do you know what the “Millennial Whoop” is? It’s the same exact whooping, melodic sequence that’s been showing up in a surprisingly high number of recent pop songs, and this article takes a close look at it.
The VMA’s were down 34% this year. MTV’s Video Music Awards once were a must watch show for not only the United States, but the rest of the world as well. Not so today and viewership is plummeting. The show really took a big hit this year despite a lot of pre-show hype.
Want an example of a hit DIY artist? Look to Jonathan Coulton. A good overview of a geek programmer who left his job to explore his musical passion. The move worked out well, yet so very under the radar.
What blockchain for music really means. Many believe that blockchain technology will be the savior of the music business, making everyone pay for music again. This blockchain expert explains why that could, or could not happen.
That’s the News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.