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 LIMITS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

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.

STREAMING PLATFORMS

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.

OTHER TOOLS

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

Bandsin­town

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.

Songkick

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.

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

Mailchimp

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

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.

Sin­glemusic

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.
https://www.midiaresearch.com/blog/music-streaming-needs-a-new-future

2 Time to move bey­ond the song eco­nomy, Mark Mul­ligan, Nov 20
https://www.midiaresearch.com/blog/time-to-move-beyond-the-song-economy

3 How to get on Spo­ti­fy playl­ists, Groover tips work­shop #1, Mack­en­zie Leighton, Oct, 20. https://blog.groover.co/en/tips/spotify-playlists/

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.