15 Sure-Fire Secrets to Spotify Streaming Success!
Follow our step-by-step guide and you will 10 x the stream count of your previous Spotify release!
1. BE PROUD OF YOUR MUSIC ✅
Yeah, this should go without saying... but it's important to know that you've genuinely put your best effort out there. This doesn't mean you should live in fear of releasing your music to the masses, it just means that you should be mindful about exactly what you're trying to achieve and who exactly you're trying to reach with your music. Here’s a few tips to help you achieve your music making goals:
#1 - Get clear on who your desired audience is and what artists/ music they love.
#2 - If you have a specific record label in mind, please make sure to listen to some of their most recent release to make sure that your new track fits on the label (hint: they often gravitate toward a certain lyrical theme, bpm, key, vibe) for their releases.
#3 - Do some A/B testing of your song - listen to your song side by side with a few of your favorite artist's best songs. Ask yourself - what about these songs makes them so good? Where does my song fall short? Where does my song come close to matching such quality? How can I improve my song to get it close to this level?
#4 - Make a private link to the best rough mix of your song, and then select up to 10 trusted/ respected peers to review/ critique your song. Incorporate any feedback that you feel will make your song stronger - and definitely make changes if multiple listeners have mentioned a similar spot to change or fix. Following these 4 simple steps will absolutely ensure that you're putting your best song forward!
A. Strong Topline Vocals not only boost your track’s chances for success but will also help you to quickly build a dedicated fan base, because everybody loves a good song to sing along to.
B. Keep your intros and outros short! Playlists are 10 times more likely to add your track if it's 3 minutes or less in length. Here's a classic saying that still rings true to this day... DON'T BORE US, GET TO THE CHORUS!
2. INVEST IN YOUR MUSIC CAREER ✅
Wether you’ve got a big budget or a small budget... You need to get in the habit of investing in your career. You can start by grabbing a high-quality royalty-free topline vocal at VOKAAL. Once you’ve got a strong vocal and your track is sounding like an absolute banger, it’s time to think marketing! Marketing is at least as important to a successful release as having a great song is, if not more... $300 is a great start for any independent artist and will have a huge impact if you follow our guide to streaming success as closely as possible. How to raise the money? #1 - Beg, borrow, save, ask grandma, parents, friends, strangers. #2 - Return bottles, cans, recyclables. #3 - Sell old items laying around your home or relative’s homes (most of us have tons of stuff we don’t want or need anymore). Take pictures of it and throw it up on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist!
3. SET UP DISTRIBUTION EARLY ✅
You need to get your track set for release through your digital distributor (Distrokid, Tunecore, CD Baby) a minimum of 4 weeks before your release, 5 to 6 weeks is best. This will give you time to perfectly plan your release strategy (use a calendar to clearly list the tasks that need to be done). It also gives you the best chance at having your track land on Spotify Editorial Playlists. ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO SUBMIT YOUR TRACK TO SPOTIFY EDITORIAL PLAYLISTS in your Spotify for Artists profile (music section). If this is your first release and you don’t have a profile yet - this is another great reason to give Spotify plenty of time to get your profile ready prior to release. Spotify has a brilliant support team to answer your questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure that whatever digital distributor you end up using distributes songs to TikTok. There’s a major opportunity for organic/ viral reach on the platform. You need to be reaching out to low - mid level influencers in hopes that they might be willing to use your track in a Tok for $20 or so... Aim to land 5 influencers to start with. You can find/ hire a lot of them at www.cameo.com
4. CREATE GRAPHICS - VIDEO - MEMES - GIFS ✅
You don’t need to spend much money if any at all on your graphic design content... but you definitely need to have a bunch of fun visuals to help you promote your music. #1 - Find a few examples of album art that you really like, then find a friend or family member that is artistically inclined. There are endless numbers of people that love creating visual art that would be honored to have their art out in the world. #2 - Get a lyric video made for your song - post it on youtube with links to your song on all digital streaming services. Go to www.fiverr.com and search for a lyric video maker - you should be able to get a decent one made for around $40 bucks! #3 - Make your own video memes - grab silly, stupid, cool, interesting, entertaining clips from YouTube - strip the sound and add the most impactful 30 second to a minute of your song to the video clip. Make a whole bunch of these, it’s an awesome way to get attention for your song (always post with the link to stream your song). Post one everyday throughout the release phase.
5. MAKE A LIST OF WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR FANS ✅
Let everyone know what your goal for streaming numbers is and keep everyone updated along the journey, keep them excited about the fact that you’re chasing your dream. People love to be a part of an underdog story, and love to be part of a success even more. Come up with prize give-aways for sharing your song, create contests, do shout-outs for your best fans, ask questions, align with a charity to create more awareness, go live on all of your socials on release day - stream the song for whoever joins the live, hyper engagement is very important - hyper engagement means liking and replying to every single person that interacts with any of your posts or profiles.
6. USE SUBMITHUB.COM ✅
Submithub is a great way to land some solid Spotify playlists, as well as blog reviews. In order to be successful on submithub.com you’ll need to be very careful to select the right blogs and playlists for your current level of success, and make sure that they cater to your exact style of music. Start by submitting to around 20 curators and make sure to pay the extra money for Premium Credits - this is the real secret to success. Don’t get the cheap regular credits. For $30 - $40 dollars you’ll get some good results.
7. CREATE A FANLINK ✅
This is a super simple but super important step. You need to make sure that you’ve created a “Fanlink” so that your supporters can easily stream your song on the music platform of their choice. Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon are the 4 major music streaming services, so make sure to include those as well as a YouTube link to your lyric video. Some solid options for a link like this are: Fanlink, Toneden, Linkfire, Linktree. Please make sure to double- check that all of the links to your song work before posting!
*Side Note* Make sure that all of your socials have up to date bio info, relevant content, and that all the links are working properly! Always make it as easy as possible for your current and future fans to find your music online. We get turned off easily if it’s hard.
8. SEARCH / CONTACT MUSIC SUPERVISORS ✅
Music Supervisors are always looking for solid songs that they can place into film, television, video games, and online ads. Getting one placement for your song can easily earn you 1000s of dollars and many more 1000s of streams. Use Google, Facebook, and linkedin.com to search for Music Supervisors. Try to compile a list of 5 to 10 Music Supervisors that appear to be a good fit for your genre of music, then approach them with a brief, polite and humble message. Include a private link for them to stream and download your song. Generally speaking... you’ll need to own 100% of the Master Copyright and at least 50% of the Publishing Copyright for a Music Supervisor to be excited about licensing your song. They want songs that are considered ( ONE STOP ) - this means they just need one person’s permission to license the song. If you can make one Music Supervisor your friend, this will be a major step towards making an actual living from your music.
9. SPOTIFY PRE-SAVE CAMPAIGN ✅
Spotify pre-saves are the streaming equivalent of pre-ordering an album. If a user pre-saves a song or album on Spotify it will automatically appear on their Songs or Albums list as soon as it's released. High stream-counts on the first day of a release can be a strong indicator of potential success for your newest song or album on Spotify, as it shows Spotify that your music might be worth sharing with their users via:
Algorithmic Playlists (Release Radar and Discover Weekly).
Email Notifications to Your Followers.
Spotify’s Editorial Playlists, Etc.
Spotify’s algorithm isn’t just interested in your stream count; it’s also looking for a quality stream-to-engagement ratio. Meaning, of all the people that heard your song, how many of them saved it to their library, queue, or playlists? That’s the kind of activity that really gives your music muscle on the platform. Here are your two best options for setting up a Spotify pre-save campaign:
OPTION #1: HyperFollow
HyperFollow is a free service available to all DistroKid members. After you’ve scheduled your release for distribution, simply log into your DistroKid account and click the link to the HyperFollow page for your upcoming release. Easy peasy!
OPTION #2: smartURL
If you’re not using DistroKid, fear not! You can still create a free Spotify pre-save page for your upcoming release using smartURL by following these 5 easy steps:
1. After you’ve scheduled your release for distribution, contact your distributor to request the Spotify URI for your release. The Spotify URI is different than a Spotify Link; it’s the unique code that Spotify uses to identify different tracks and albums on the platform. Your release’s Spotify URI will look something like this:
2. While you’re waiting for your Spotify URI, sign up for a free smartURL account. Make sure to verify your email address after you’ve created your account; you’ll need to do this in order to get access to smartURL’s pre-save tool.
3. Once you receive your Spotify URI from your distributor, log in to your smartURL account and select the “PRE-SAVE” option.
4. Enter your Spotify URI in the box labelled “Spotify Product Id”, then fill out the rest of the form to set up your pre-save page. You’ll see a preview of your pre-save page as you scroll down the form; you can customize this page if you want to by using the “Customize Presave Page” options.
5. Click the “Save smartURL” button at the bottom of the page when you’re done. This will take you to a new page, where you’ll find the link to your new pre-save page. Share this with your fans!
10. MAJOR KEY: MAKE MESSAGE LIST #1 ✅
This will be a list of your most dedicated soldiers, the ones that will hustle for you, the ones that truly want to see you succeed! Think of all the people who truly care about you, it doesn’t matter how young or old they are... You need all the help you can get. Once you’ve got your list made, reach out to everybody and let them know how important the success of this project is to you. Let them know exactly what your goal is, and how/ what/ where/ when they should post to help you reach your goal.
11. MAJOR KEY: MAKE MESSAGE LIST #2 ✅
This list will be made up of 100 to 1000 people that you think could be possible allies within in your online network. People that at the very least would likely stream a listen of your track on release day. Hit these folks up with a "personalized" message with link to stream during week 1 of release - copy and paste - but use their first name. Something casual, friendly, not too long, grateful, offer to help promote something of theirs in the future.
12. MAJOR KEY: MAKE MESSAGE LIST #3 ✅
This list will consist of about 100 paylist curators, bloggers, influencers, DJ/ Producers, brands, companies, etc. all should perfectly align with your music (the new song). Humbly/ politely reach out to these people during week 1 of your release. Compliment their work and let them know how grateful you would be for even the slightest mention or use of your song in their content. Include link to streaming platforms and lyric video.
13. INVEST IN ADS - 1 WEEK AFTER RELEASE ✅
Spend 22 minutes watching this awesome facebook ads crash course: www.richfromanywhere.com/exclusive-video-series-1 - Then target people who are in the right age range for your music, people that live in the country where most of your followers live, people that like DJ/Producer pages that make music like yours. You don’t need a lot of target metrics - 6 to 8 is great. Aim for an ad reach of anywhere from 1.5 to 3 million people, that’ll be perfect. Use a short/ captivating video clip with a fun caption and a fanlink to stream. Set the ad at $10 per day for 15 days and keep an eye on how it's doing... (a few changes or fixes may be necessary, but no matter what, this is valuable marketing experience). Make sure not to change/ fix your ad for at least 3 days after launching an ad campaign - facebook needs 3 days to determine the optimum audience for your ad.
*Side Note* DO NOT FEAR AD-MARKETING. USE THE FORCE!
14. DOCUMENT AND SHARE EVERYTHING ✅
You need to keep your fans engaged with your story during the release phase. Share, share, share, no matter what’s happening in your career, or with the release of your song. If you land a playlist, or a blog, or if a DJ gives your song support, or if a fan makes a piece of content/ art... Share it all! And sharing the low points can bring even more value (vulnerability and authenticity are pure gold), share that you really need a boost from your people if you find yourself in a low moment. People want to help, especially when they’re helping someone who is being vulnerable and authentic and chasing a dream... And finally, never stop the hyper engagement, you’ve gotta interact with everyone that engages with you or your content, EVERYONE! No excuses.
15. REPEAT THE PROCESS WITH 6 SONGS PER YEAR ✅
If you really wanna live the dream you’ve been chasing, there is NO thing and NO one that can stop you if you’re willing to put in the work required to build your audio empire! Follow these steps, check each item off the list as you go, fully throw yourself into your career and there is zero doubt that you will smash all of your wildest expectations. In fact, I guarantee if you follow this guide like it’s the streaming success bible, you’ll have earned 10 x your $300 investment, along with a whole bunch of dedicated fans cheering you on towards your next big streaming success!
We hope that this helpful little guide will get you at least 10 steps closer to your dreams, and we look forward to helping you find a bit of vocal magic for your future releases @ vokaal.com
Tag us on our socials @ vokaal.edm with all your stories of streaming success!
All the best, sincerely, Parker Thomas - Owner @ Vokaal Inc.