Remember the days of vinyl collections and CD racks that stacked up to the ceiling?
While physical music becomes more and more outdated, streaming has quickly risen to become the dominant form of music consumption. With more accessibility than ever before, it can be difficult to know where to start when getting your music heard.
Here are some tips, tricks and general run-downs of the best music streaming sites to promote your tracks.
Guidance on Uploading Music to Spotify
There’s no denying Spotify’s all-encompassing status in the world of streaming, with a 60 million-large user base as of July 2017 that continues to grow. It’s obvious that any artist hoping to gain recognition needs to be on Spotify. But how do you get your work on the platform in the first place?
Finding the Right Company
If you’re not signed to a label, you’ll need to choose from one of several companies that Spotify works with to distribute music. These include:
- CD Baby
- EMU Bands
- Record Union
Through these partnerships you’ll gain royalties for the amount of streams you earn, with a percentage cut that may change from business to business. Make sure to pick one that best suits your needs!
The Power of Playlists
You’ve likely seen them on your Spotify home page – the custom-made playlists. Through ‘Discover Weekly’ and ‘Release Radar’, as well as genre-specific music lists, artists can gain huge surges in traffic and growth. You’ll want to bag your name amongst these top artists to build your fan base.
Keep all of your social media pages and platforms in top shape, ensure that your Spotify profile is polished, keep up-to-date and well-researched on relevant playlists that fit your music’s genre, and contact Spotify directly. You’ll want to demonstrate your interest in the service and the features it can offer.
Keeping Your Profile Up-To-Date
Once you’ve contacted your music distributor and placed your work on Spotify, you’ll need to actively engage with your profile and develop your streaming presence. With multiple outlets of communication, it’s vital you utilise them to their full effect.
Interact with your audience by recommending your latest work, leave a message on your profile and include as many images and information in the ‘About’ page as possible.
Fans of your music are far more likely to recommend and share if it’s easy and visually appealing to do so. The more a listener can learn about you, the more attached to your work they can become.
Distributing Your Work on Apple Music
Apple Music now boasts 30 million subscribers and is one of the most significant platforms in terms of musical exposure. Much like its competition, features such as internet radio, genre-based stations and user satisfaction feedback promote and strengthen music discovery. It’s vital that you get your music onto the platform to generate those much-needed plays and streams.
Get Familiar with Feedback
Even more so than Spotify, Apple Music actively asks for feedback on songs it presents its users in order to provide more tailored auto-generated recommendations. If you want your own music to be suggested to users, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the artists surrounding your genre and know which bands are recommended around your own.
Get comfortable with the audience that are likely to love what you do and design your Apple profile with them in mind. It’s important to brand your work appropriately and Apple Music will reward artists that do so.
Video is Vital
While originally an exclusively music-orientated platform, Apple has since branched out to video content and visually-focused work in an effort to create a ‘pop culture platform’. With this in mind, it’s now more important than ever to provide imagery alongside your sound.
Luckily, you’re in the right place to make high-quality content easily and quickly. Apple Music benefits artists that provide visual interaction and with Rotor Videos, it’s now simpler than ever to build your marketable presence on top streaming platforms.
Steps to Take on TIDAL
Tidal differentiates itself from the competition with a focus on high-quality playback and a wide selection of music videos. While not as large of a contender as Spotify or Apple Music, Tidal is still a serious service and one that prides itself on higher artist royalties and its emphasis on small acts. If you want to get recognised, Tidal is a key contender for new listeners.
Tune in to TIDAL Rising
Tidal has established a pedestal for smaller, unknown acts to get their sound out with its ‘TIDAL Rising’ service. You’ll want to make the most of this if your act is to get the recognition it deserves.
Make sure that you’re familiar with the tools at hand, get your visual content up to scratch, and pitch your work to the streaming company. As with every platform, it’s important to engage with the service you’re using and show that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to offer.
Other Services You Need to Know About
It may not strictly be a music streaming service, but YouTube has an undeniable presence when it comes to user base size, interaction and consumption. It’s absolutely essential that you get your songs uploaded to the site. It’s easy to do so, just make your own account and design your profile with your style of music in mind. Add some effective visuals to your songs and make sure to share your content with as many people as possible.
Google Play Music
Google Play offers a more minimal and stripped-back aesthetic while still retaining much of the expected features of a streaming platform. Users can create new playlists, add albums and artists to their library, stream radio and explore freshly-recommended acts. Google Play Music is a branch of the Google Play service, of which has 1 billion active users. You’ll want to get your work onto the platform if you want to open up the number of potential new listeners.
An extension of the Amazon Prime service, this music streaming platform has a large potential user base and a catalogue of two million songs. Much like other platforms, playlists can be curated and shared, with options to download and save certain albums or artists.
SoundCloud is one of the most well-known and popular platforms for uploading independent and unsigned music. It’s important to get yourself noticed through the site, so create an account and put your work out there. Like all streaming services, you’ll need to market yourself well and provide your listeners with an idea of who you are as an artist. Make sure to have a solid visual presence and offer links to all your other social media channels. The easier it is for listeners to spread the love for your work, the more likely you are to be noticed.
No longer the infamous file-sharing platform it was once associated with, Napster now offers a minimal, simple streaming service that has over 40 million songs and a drive for music discovery. New songs are recommended to users based on previous listening, so it’s useful to make clear your genre and sound when putting your music on the platform.
Another well-known music streaming and sharing platform much along the lines of SoundCloud, BandCamp allows users to share and distribute both musical content and merchandise with a specific catering to independent artists. The site is primarily driven by new music listening and browsing, so it’s an ideal place to gain potential audiences. Make sure to share links to your social pages, include visually striking content and let your listeners know who you and your band are.
You may also like: The Best Music Promotion Apps
An app tailored toward music socialising, BlueJay enables artists to host their own public radio shows, playlist share, follow artists and engage with group chats during live sessions. It’s free and available for Android and iOS.
It’s the ideal platform to broadcast your sound and similar sounding artists, having already been implemented by acts such as Equate London, DJ David Mortal, Chelange and The Isle of CC. Keep up to date with regular weekly podcasts and live hosted sessions, all from the app!
With such a strong focus on community, BlueJay is a useful place to share and spread the word about your band, artist or act. Just be sure to make an account, upload your work and begin your live sessions.
Deezer has much to boast about, with 40 million tracks available, 30’000 radio channels and 16 million monthly active users. With a ‘hear this’ tab inside the app, smaller artists are able to get their work spread to more ears. You can share and discuss songs with friends through integrated social media accounts, so if you’re looking to spread your music, then Deezer is an essential platform to do so.
A free broadcast and internet radio platform, iHeart Radio supplies a variety of services, including song recommendations, podcasts and on-demand music selection. Available across over 90 devices, the potential audience for your work is massive.
With an exclusive focus on the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts, Mixcloud is a great way for independent, musically-minded people to share their compilations, remixes and playlists. It’s easy for registered users to upload content and you’ll want to utilise Mixcloud’s social networking widget to broadcast your work to as far of a reach as possible.
Founded all the way back in 2000, Pandora Internet Radio is a music streaming service that, until recently, was only available in the United States. Designed to be a more streamlined, simplified experience, Pandora offers millions of songs with personalised playlists and handfuls of radio stations. With a growing user base, Pandora is one to promote your music on.
Jango is a free platform with an emphasis on custom radio stations and was the first to introduce social networking in 2007. Most importantly, the service allows independent artists to promote their music alongside larger artists for a fee. With a well-designed album cover, music video and song, Jango is a solid platform to gain exposure and attention from audiences.
Available in the US and Canada, Slacker Radio enables the creation and sharing of customised music stations, with more than 300 radio stations curated by music experts. Using social media platforms, music creators and users can use the Slacker name to promote songs, bands and artists, making it a great place to promote and establish a following.
Looking for the perfect visuals to your music? Using Rotor Videos doesn’t take a whole lot of time or a big budget, and you don’t need to be a professional. Find out more about how it all works here.