Webinar Review: Spotify For Artists

Today I reviewed a webinar that was hosted by industry professionals Chris Lynn (Global Marketing & Product Strategist) and Susann Weinelt (Regional Marketing Manager DACHNA-COW) on ‘Spotify for artists’. Their expertise and knowledge on the music industry provided great insights into Spotify’s amazing services for artists on how they can increase their fanbase and streams by utilising the tools available on the platform. Spotify is the leading music streaming service with over 271 million active users and 113 million paid subscribers which makes availing of their features extra important for new artists to be discovered. 

Spotify for Artists is a platform for musicians that provides them with insights about their streams, playlists audience data in terms of age, gender and geographic location. The insights help artists improve their promotion strategies and manage, monitor and track their music. The insights also show the top cities of where most of their fans are from which makes planning tours extremely effective. When artists claim their Spotify for artists profile they become a verified artist with a blue verification symbol on their account. The platform hosts industry news, articles and videos to teach artists about the music business and keep them on top of industry trends. 

The webinar presented valuable information about Spotify’s services and release strategies which are extremely important for independent artists as the music industry has become heavily reliant on streaming. I decided to review this webinar to help artists get more information about the ‘Spotify for artists’ platform which will be discussed in further detail below. 

Webinar Key Takeaways:

  • How to claim, set up, and customise your Spotify for Artists profile
  • How to build a Spotify release strategy to increase your audience and streams
  • How to submit your music to Spotify editorial playlists
  • How to find and pitch your music to unofficial curators on Spotify as an alternative way to get featured on playlists
  • Tips on how to further your audience reach and connect with your fans

Alternatively, you can check out the webinar here 👇

The image below shows the comparison in terms of users, market share and the average artist revenue per stream between all of the major streaming services. The infographic shows that Spotify gives artists $0.0044 per stream. It was mentioned by the speakers that currently, for every 1 million streams, an artist will receive $4000 in royalty payment. The payment per stream for artists is low across the board from all of the major streaming platforms. However, by utilizing Spotify’s many features available to artists and analysing their audience data, they can increase their fan base, streams and overall revenue.

Creating & customising your profile

  1. You can only claim an artist profile once your music has been distributed onto the Spotify platform.
  2. Claim your account by providing some personal information for verification reasons. These include your Spotify URL, social media links and email.
  3. Once your account has been verified, artists can customise their profile to establish a brand identity and promote their image as an artist to their fans. 

Key Profile Customisation Techniques

  • Upload an image to the banner/header 
  • Choosing a cool avatar profile picture is important as this is what mobile users will see
  • Utilising the image gallery to showcase different images such as photoshoots or studio pictures for example.
  • The artist’s bio is an important part of the profile as it tells your audience about you. Storytelling and linking artists that you have collaborated with are strong topics to include.
  • Other features for artists include “upcoming concerts” and selling merch. The upcoming concerts show fans dates and locations of artists gigs. Artists need to sign up with event companies such as Ticketmaster, Songkick or Eventbrite to utilise this feature.
  • Selling merch works the same way. Artists must sign up to the Merchbar in order to sell their merch on Spotify’s platform.
  • Artists must sign up to these Spotify partnerships to access these features.
  • “Fans also like” is another great tool. This shows artists other musicians that are similar to them that their fans also listen to.
  • Displaying your playlists with tracks you like to listen to and your “artists top picks” are other great ways to connect with your fans in a personalised way and allow them to view your musical preferences.

The importance of playlists

In today’s digital music environment, the importance of playlists is continuously increasing for artists as they are considered the modern day mixtape of the digital music world. Playlists are a great tool to discover new music, share music, build a fan base, and increase streams and overall revenue.

There are three types of playlists;

  1. User-created Playlists

These playlists are created by Spotify users. Influencers and bloggers can have large followings on their playlists so getting featured on their playlist can be an effective way to increase streams. Artists should also create their own playlists to share with their fans to build strong connections.

  1.  Spotify Algorithm Generated Playlists

These playlists are created by the Spotify algorithm based on the user’s recent listening behaviour. Some examples of popular algorithm generated playlists include Release Radar, The Daily Mixes and Discover Weekly.

  1. Spotify Editorial Playlist 

These playlists are created by the Spotify editorial team and are usually grouped via genre, mood or context. These playlists are the most important for artists to be featured on for increasing streams and expanding their audience reach.

Playlist Pitching

Firstly, it is recommended by Spotify that artists should submit their music to the editors at least 7 days before their release date. They have to submit their music via their artist profile. They have to input their song details such as genre, sub genre, musical cultures, moods, song styles and the song language. The description of the music needs to be extremely accurate so that it gets sent to the right editor to be placed on the correct playlist. The song also needs to be defined by whether it is a cover, remix, instrumental or if it was recorded in a studio or live. The instruments used in the song are also required. The artist then needs to name the city that they mostly identify with and describe what the song is about. Once all of this information has been entered, the artist can submit their form.

Building a Spotify release strategy

As music consumption from consumers has shifted to a mostly single focused market, album releases have declined. Spotify has adapted to this change in music consumption and has implemented an effective release strategy for artists using singles and EPs. Their strategy helps build momentum around an artists new release, increases streams and the audience reach. Releasing music regularly also gives artists more of a chance to be featured on algorithm generated playlists and get picked up by editors. Spotify have broken down their strategy into three months as it is considered the ideal amount of time to release new music. 

Month 1Month 2Month 3
Send EP to print publicationsRelease the second singleRelease the EP
Release the first singleSubmit the second single to Spotify EditorsSubmit a third track to Spotify editors
Submit the first single to Spotify editorsPitch the second single to unofficial playlists and blogsPitch the EP to unofficial playlists and blogs
Pitch single to unofficial playlists and blogs

Unofficial Playlists & Blogs

Unofficial curators have thousands of listeners on their playlists and they are considered a good starting point for musicians to get featured on playlists. Reaching out to these curators and sending them your new music is an effective promotion strategy for emerging artists. 

Tips on how to further your audience reach and connect with your fans

  • Creating personal playlists of the music you listen to and sharing it with your fans can help grow your fan base.
  • A great example of an artist who does this well is Post Malone. He created a playlist called “Post Malone Complete” where he has his entire catalogue of music available in one place for his fans. He included his songs, remixes and collaborations on the playlist. Fans who follow his playlist also get automated updates when new music is added to the playlist.

Examples of artists utilising Spotify’s features

  • Post Malone – playlists & photo gallery

Lady Gaga – Merch

Little Mix – Sharing playlists with their own music, collaborations and tracks they like

Further reading recommended for artists 👉Spotify Guide