Key guidelines about music monetization

“Try to think broader than the music industry to create. Do not develop your career by only focusing on your artistic project but how your artistic project could help other people : brands, restaurants, museums, etc. You will get autonomy by creating your own economic model and thanks to that live longer in the jungle.”
Thomas Cochini, lecturer during season 1 of the Slash program


Streaming’s cur­rent per­form­ance can be assessed as follows:

  • Record labels and pub­lish­ers have exper­i­enced strong rev­en­ue growth and improv­ing mar­gins. Their busi­nesses have been improved.
  • Artists and song­writers have more people listen­ing to their music than ever before and more cre­at­ors are able to earn income than ever before 
    How­ever, bey­ond the super­stars, most do not earn a sus­tain­able income from stream­ing alone and can­not see a path­way to this ever-changing.

Some act­ors advoc­ate anoth­er struc­ture for the stream­ing oper­a­tion, like Deez­er with a user-cent­ric approach, with a bet­ter dis­tri­bu­tion of the stream­ing money. 

How­ever, the innov­a­tion (mobile applic­a­tions, new com­pan­ies) seems to turn for­ward the devel­op­ment of com­munit­ies and the fan eco­nomy (in which the value resides in the artist-fan rela­tion­ship)1. Accord­ing to Mark Mul­ligan from MIDiA research, stream­ing is a song eco­nomy that favours rights hold­ers, a par­al­lel fan-cent­ric eco­nomy is needed to drive cre­at­or income2.


Know­ing these per­spect­ives and today’s real­ity of stream­ing, what means using to max­im­ise its chances to get some vis­ib­il­ity and some new listen­ers to your music (and mon­et­ise your music) ?

Fol­low­ing our pre­vi­ous art­icle on music pro­mo­tion, here are the 7 key points to ensure a good digit­al strategy accord­ing to Quentin Gauvin: 

  • Release songs regularly
  • Have a DA/communication strategy identic­al for all media (per­son­i­fy the project)
  • Work on the con­text (promo, tour, etc.)
  • Be act­ive on social net­works and go fur­ther by push­ing with digit­al marketing
  • Use 100% of the pos­sib­il­it­ies offered by the stores
  • Try to be cre­at­ive with­in your con­straints (con­tent, speaking)
  • Stay alert to new things because everything is mov­ing very quickly

In order to gen­er­ate streams and pro­mote the mon­et­isa­tion of your music on plat­forms, here are a few spe­cif­ic tips.

  • Claim your stream­ing pro­file and update it

Don’t for­get, stream­ing plat­form are also social platforms.

Man­age your pro­files on stream­ing plat­forms thanks to the tools that are at your dis­pos­al (Spo­ti­fy for artists, Apple music for artists or Deez­er back­stage for instance).

On Spo­ti­fy for artists you can change your pro­file pic­ture, your ban­ner, you can high­light a product (artist pick: single, playl­ist, live dates), dis­play a playl­ist on your page or pitch a song. To dis­play dates use songkick and to sell your records use the merchbar.

The AI of Spo­ti­fy cre­ates pro­files by pool (users, artists, track…):

    • User pro­file: what your social net­work friends listen to / what user pro­files of the same listen­ing type pool listen to (morn­ing, even­ing, a few minutes a day or sev­er­al hours …) / rather playl­ist or album
    • Pro­file track / artist who listens (which user pool, coun­try, listen­ing time, tone, type of instru­ments, voice range, wave­forms, type of rhythm, BPM, asso­ci­ated tags on the inter­net, chill, French pop, Nantes …)

To improve your artist scor­ing, you have to drive pro­fils on your page, to have reg­u­lar­ity in increas­ing fol­low­ers and monthly listen­ers and to have organ­ic streams. 

The AI​makes a first fil­ter to remove pro­jects from bad pro­files then they are sent to the robot for algorithm playl­ists and edit­or­i­als for some playl­ists (with a classification).

  • Optim­ize traffic to your profile
    • Request Spo­ti­fy for artists, Apple for artists accesses
    • “Clean” your artist page (watch out for hom­onyms), add a good pro­file pic­ture (close por­trait HD, back­ground eas­ily edit­able, adap­ted format).
    • Add out­go­ing links (Face­book, wiki­pe­dia, etc) → Put links from your main pages on all your oth­er pages (Face­book, Ins­tagram, You­tube, Spo­ti­fy, web­site…) and post mul­tilinks (smar­turl, linke­fire, hypeurl)

    One of the levers you can work on are the playl­ists: your own ones and the user-gen­er­ated playl­ists3 since they are made by people out­side Spo­ti­fy who have some­times a sol­id fol­low­ing of listeners.

    Excited Happy Birthday GIF

    When you man­age to get in a playl­ist of more than 50 000 listen­ers per month

  • Cre­ate your own playlists
    • The cus­tom is to do at least 2 playl­ists: 1 playl­ist with your dis­co­graphy, 1 edit­or­i­al­ized taste playlist
    • Share the playl­ists on your social networks

  • Pitch your song on Spo­ti­fy For Artists?
    • have delivered the track at least 3 weeks in advance
    • put the right pitch
    • select the right genre and the right tags (look care­fully and tar­get playlists)

  • Work on your out­ing schedule

Pay atten­tion to the release date of your pro­jects vs. oth­er sim­il­ar pro­jects (large pro­jects that mono­pol­ize the atten­tion of the media) → think about the tour­ing peri­od, the fest­ivals. Deliv­er and work with a min­im­um of one month in advance.

  • Occupy the space

Spread out the lyr­ics, explode the format to pitch sev­er­al singles and occupy social net­works timeline space. Be act­ive on social net­works (learn to use Face­book, Ins­tagram stor­ies, You­tube, Apple Con­nect…). Stream on Sound­cloud and Bandcamp.


Finally, here is a list of apps that offer a ser­vice that can help you to reach your fan­base more directly:


Free live con­cert dis­cov­ery app that lets fans track their favour­ite artists and receive email or mobile noti­fic­a­tions when they or sim­il­ar bands are play­ing in the user­’s area.


Same as below: Songkick is a con­cert dis­cov­ery ser­vice (owned by WMG). The ser­vice allows users to search for upcom­ing con­cert events in their area, and also track indi­vidu­al artists to receive noti­fic­a­tions of upcom­ing shows in their area.

Cre­ate your own social plat­form to build your fan­base & community. 


Mailchimp is an all-in-one mar­ket­ing plat­form that helps you man­age and talk to cli­ents, cus­tom­ers, and oth­er inter­ested parties. Their approach to mar­ket­ing focuses on con­tact man­age­ment prac­tices, designed cam­paigns, and data analysis.

Brave bison

This app helps you to find what con­tent to share with what audi­ence. Online video dis­tri­bu­tion, sourcing, audi­ence engage­ment, and monetization.


Super­Phone enables you to build per­son­al rela­tion­ships with your audi­ence with indi­vidu­al mes­saging cap­ab­il­it­ies. Advanced ana­lyt­ics to track your text mes­sage mar­ket­ing per­form­ance, rev­en­ue, and more.

Groover allows you to con­tact music pro­fes­sion­als (media & labels) to have feed­backs on your work.


Dir­ect-to-fan app that allows artists to cre­ate an account on the web­site where Fans pur­chase tick­ets (or merch bundles) right from the artist’s shop. The live stream is viewed from a private page inside your Shopi­fy store where view­ers can shop, tip the band, or donate while they watch.

1 Music stream­ing needs a new future, Mark Mul­ligan, Jun 20.

2 Time to move bey­ond the song eco­nomy, Mark Mul­ligan, Nov 20

3 How to get on Spo­ti­fy playl­ists, Groover tips work­shop #1, Mack­en­zie Leighton, Oct, 20.

Slash Program

Slash is a Europe-wide train­ing pro­gram build-up by Trem­po with the great sup­port of SACEM. It aims to train emer­ging pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians in their career devel­op­ment. It is co-fin­anced by the European Uni­on through its Cre­at­ive Europe pro­gram (Music Moves Europe).

The European Commission’s sup­port for the pro­duc­tion of this pub­lic­a­tion does not con­sti­tute an endorse­ment of the con­tents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Com­mis­sion can­not be held respons­ible for any use which may be made of the inform­a­tion con­tained therein.