Spotify has become a wildly popular streaming platform over the past decade. So popular, in fact, that it can feel impenetrable for many indie musicians and songwriters. (As of 2021, Spotify boasted more than 70 million tracks and hundreds of millions of listeners; you do the math.)
The good news is that streaming can mean real money – if you learn how to treat it like any other business. Here are some ways you can make your Spotify account work for you, as well as how to ensure you actually receive all the royalties that are owed to you once it does.
You no longer need 250 fans to get verified by Spotify. Check out this 45-second video to find out how you can get a checkmark next to your name in no time.
Explore the Entire Spotify For Artists Site
Whether you’re a longtime user or just uploaded your first single, be sure to bookmark the Spotify for Artists landing page before you do anything else. This is where you’ll find crucial information about the platform’s latest features and tools, from Marquee pop-ups and custom Promo Cards to animated Canvas art and talk radio-like commentary tracks.
Linger around the Spotify for Artists site long enough and you may find a link to Noteable as well. It’s a separate online resource for songwriters, producers, and publishers — a group Spotify calls “the people who make music happen.” Noteable’s tools include publisher analytics, artist-inspired songwriter pages, and the studio-oriented services of SoundBetter.
Share Your Playlists
Many Spotify users connect with new music by sharing playlists. While getting your music posted on popular user-created playlists can be a great way to expand your audience, consider sharing your own sets with fans and tagging featured artists to connect with other curators. Getting your music in front of more people is always a good thing. Who knows; it just might attract the attention of Spotify's in-house team, too.
Direct Traffic to Spotify
In addition to keeping your artist page updated, start referring people to Spotify rather than other digital outlets that host your music. Don't be shy about asking playlist curators — even the small ones — to add your records to their rotation, either. Share content straight through the app to make the experience of listening to or finding your music that much smoother. And finally, don’t forget to ask friends to share your music whenever they can. Every little click helps.
Ask Your Fans to Follow
Don’t forget to use all the platforms that are available to you — especially the social media channels your audience/community spends most of its time on. When you send out newsletters or do appearances, make sure fans also know how to find you on Spotify. An increase in followers will only add legitimacy to your profile, and may encourage other people to follow you, too.
Be A Fan Yourself
While it's always a good idea to create curated playlists of your own work, a playlist of songs by your favorite artists can also be a way to attract new fans. The key is to find the right balance between self-promotion and saturation; if you toss a few of your own tracks into a playlist dominated by other creators, it fosters a sense of community rather than the feeling that your artist page is one long infomercial.
Recording a cover of a well-known song (once you've obtained a mechanical license) could be a way to boost sales, appeal to existing fans, and find new ones. Many Spotify listeners use the search function to find songs or artists they already know; they may even listen to more than one version of a song sometimes.
Track Down Your Royalties
Remember: It’s not enough to simply finish a song and distribute it to streaming platforms. You’ve got to be your own advocate and marketing department; treat your streaming account like a business and do whatever you can to boost your streams. After all, the more streams, the more royalties you may earn.
Make sure you’ve covered all your bases with publishing, too. If not, register for a Songtrust account today to make sure you’re not leaving any money on the table for others to collect and claim.