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.
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 AImakes 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.
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.
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. https://blog.groover.co/en/tips/spotify-playlists/