When it comes to music streaming platforms, Spotify is the reigning champion.
No wonder musicians and listeners alike are flocking to it.
But you may have noticed that just getting your music on Spotify doesn’t build your streams and monthly listeners.
So, let’s look at how to grow our Spotify following.
First, let’s consider whether Spotify is the right platform for you.
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Is Spotify The Right Platform For You To Focus On?
Before we jump in, we want to be 100% clear on whether Spotify is the right platform for us to be focused on.
Just because you like Spotify, and know it’s popular, and think that’s where everyone listens to music now, doesn’t make it so.
There are so many music streaming apps and platforms out there, be it Pandora, YouTube, Deezer, Facebook, TikTok, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon, or otherwise. And they all get used. It’s why music distributors like CD Baby and TuneCore exist.
A simple way to figure out whether your fans are listening to your music on Spotify is by checking your sales and accounting dashboard with your music distributor. You should be able to see a detailed breakdown of where transactions are occurring.
Personally, I’ve seen a lot of action on Yandex as of late, suggesting there’s a Russian fan base I’m not even aware of. It hasn’t resulted in a huge monetary reward, but there’s no way I’d know that without examining the data.
Similarly, maybe your fans don’t listen to you on Spotify. If you know they do, that’s a different matter entirely. But if you haven’t done your homework yet, now’s the time to do it!
In addition to this, I would suggest surveying your fans. You can do this on social media, or even by using a tool like SurveyMonkey.
Tactics For Getting More Spotify Streams & Listeners
Now that you’ve determined whether Spotify is the right thing for you to focus on, we’re ready to explore tactics to help you get more streams and listens.
Publish More Music
I know it seems like a braindead tactic but hear me out.
The goal here is to appeal to binge listeners. And let’s be honest. Everyone talks about binge watching NetFlix these days, so you know this is how people consume content when they find something they like.
Music is very much the same way. I know this because I’ve done it myself. I’ll listen to one of Spotify’s recommended tracks and end up finding something I like. So, then I will proceed to listen to the artist’s entire catalog, picking and choosing songs I enjoy, all the while adding them to my personal playlists.
You need more music. Because the more music you have, the more opportunity it creates. It’s another reason EDM remixes, compilations, best of releases, instrumental versions, commentary tracks, bonus tracks, and so forth, work. It expands your offering and keeps listeners listening for longer.
This is also the reason I recommend new artists release an album rather than a single. I can’t tell what you sound like or what you’re trying to accomplish based on one song. If I hear 10 to 12 of your songs, however, I’ll have a much better idea where to guide you next.
Get Your Music Playlisted
Again, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Duh – if it was so easy to get playlisted, I would have done it already!”
Well, I’m the music industry’s top “outside the box” thinker. I’ve looked at a ton of books and courses, and no one even comes close.
So, let’s not get into the tired formula of finding playlisters, crafting pitches, and sending out hundreds of emails. You know how to do this, and we’ve covered it on the blog already. It's basically a necessary evil.
Something that’s worked well for myself and my cohorts is making compilations and then working with a skilled publicist on pitching the release to blogs and playlists.
The cool part about this is that it doesn’t even cost that much, and if you’re working with the right publicist, you’ll get results. The added benefit being that this might result in other opportunities – podcast or radio interviews, gig opportunities, social shares and so forth.
To do this right, you’re going to want to work with like-minded artists and find an angle for your release. My suggestion would be to be different from everything else out there. So, if everyone in your genre is spitting rhymes about girls and bling, go in the opposite direction. Talk about the value of fidelity and being frugal or something like that.
That’s an extreme example, but examples are important!
It might sound crazy, but this approach is working for us.
Encourage Your Website Visitors To Follow You On Spotify
Again, not everyone uses Spotify. But most users who come to your website are probably at least somewhat “warm” to you. Meaning they heard about you from somewhere or came to a show one time.
So, if they see that you’re on Spotify, and are encouraged to follow you there, you’ll be able to increase your following on autopilot without a lot of additional work.
Are you regularly publishing new content (blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc.) on your website? Great. Add a call to action to all your content and ask your visitors to follow you on Spotify.
Use all the hot spots on your website to remind people to follow you – homepage, header, sidebar, and footer.
You could even have a small funnel where you give something away (like a free track), and on the next page, encourage your new subscribers to follow you on Spotify.
Finally, if you’ve got a bit of money to throw to ads, retarget the people who’ve visited your website with a message like, “Hey, did you miss this?” And get them to click on the link to follow you.
Get Your Newsletter Subscribers To Follow You On Spotify
Never assume that everyone on your email list already follows you on Spotify. Send frequent reminders because your fans aren’t seeing all your emails (plus, hopefully, new people are joining your email list all the time). You could even keep a reminder in the footer or “P.S.” section of your emails.
Over time, your email list will likely grow into your greatest asset. So, put time and energy into growing it. And use it to get your followers to listen to your music.
Update Your Social Media Links & Bios
Various social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, allow you to put a link in your bio. How are you using your bio and link? Are you getting people to listen to your music on Spotify?
If not, you should go and update your social media links and bios now, prompting the people who find you to find you on Spotify.
If you’re a YouTube power user, then you should certainly consider putting Spotify links in all your video descriptions. This is typically a huge missed opportunity, and when I optimize YouTube channels for artists (which is always a lot of fun), it’s something I look out for.
Gaining traction on YouTube long-term is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the viewers and subscribers you’ve already got.
Change Your Social Media Cover Art
Platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow you to swap out your cover art and promote anything of your choosing. As far as I’m concerned, this is prime marketing real estate – a way to get your advertising in front of people without having to pay an arm and a leg.
Updating your cover art on a semi-regular basis is a good idea, because for whatever reason, it always seems to drive up engagement. You’ll probably see people liking and commenting on your post when you add new cover art.
As for the art itself, obviously, you want to use it to promote what’s important to you – in this case, getting more streams, listeners, and followers. So, make this the focus of your art. You can even provide a short link (using a tool like Bitly) to make it easy for people to find your music.
Spotify links are excessively long and random (e.g. open.spotify.com/album/2yMPT3saweuoqw5rs), so preparing short links is a service to your prospects and followers.
Promote Your Music During Live Streams
Live streaming represents a massive opportunity, but it’s largely misunderstood. It’s not an amazing opportunity because you can reach anyone across the world (although that is cool). It’s awesome because it gives you an opportunity to create a deeper connection with your audience.
On live streams, some artists just sit there and play their songs. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Music tends to do a lot of the hard work of bridging the gap between you and the listener.
But the reality is anyone who’s heard your songs a hundred times is more interested in hearing what you have to say than in just hearing your songs.
While you’re live streaming (or performing in any capacity), you can tell the stories behind the songs. The pain you endured. The victories you experienced. The heart-wrenching story of losing a family member. Or whatever you write about that others can relate to.
Try to stop people from streaming your music and following you after you’ve been vulnerable and authentic in sharing your story!
But don’t forget – include the link in the live stream description and mention it several times throughout the stream. People aren’t mind readers and need to be told what to do next.
Also remember that there are a ton of platforms you can live stream on – Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Periscope, Twitch, Concert Window, and more.
There are even some incredible tools like StreamYard and Be.Live that allow you to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously, add your own branding, and more.
Share Your (Short) Link Everywhere
As an artist, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. You want to ensure that you’re giving targeted call to actions, and that they’re frequently showing up in all the right places.
So, here are some questions to help you guide your thinking:
- When you make flyers or posters, do they feature your Spotify link (or, at the very least, an icon)?
- When you hand out business cards, do they have your Spotify link on them?
- Have you put a link to your music on your merch? Could you?
- What about your email signature? Did you put a link to your music in there?
- Have you shared your link with all your friends and family on your contact list? Could you email or text all of them?
- Do you ask you friends, followers, and fans to share your posts? Could you?
- Do you follow and interact with a tight list of experts, influencers, and gatekeepers who, if they so much as mentioned you, your traffic would see a huge boost (this is a long-term strategy, by the way, it doesn’t pay off right away)?
- When you post to social media, do you always include a call to action to listen to your music on Spotify?
- When you publish content, do you syndicate and distribute it across multiple platforms (like Medium, Tumblr, Blogger, Mix, Pinterest, Reddit, LiveJournal, and so on)? Did you know that you could?
- Have you put together a press release for your music? Did you know you could be (and should be) publishing a press release every time you come out with a new release?
How To Get More Spotify Monthly Listener & Streams, Final Thoughts
If you’re doing all the above and not getting results, hey, I get it. It’s not exactly a walk in the park out there.
But you’ve got to stay steady for this to work. Overnight success is a virtual impossibility. It’s like winning the lottery. There basically aren’t any shortcuts.
If you’re getting frustrated, or the process is too slow, the only thing you can do is publish more. Publish more music, publish more content, send more emails, share more often on social media. That ought to keep your mind off results for long enough for it to start working.
It’s a lot of work. It’s tireless work. But armed with the above strategies and tactics, you can’t tell me it can’t be done. I believe in you – you can do it!