Et reddit på norsk for norske redditører og norske saker.
My name is Joe I've been lurking around this subreddit for a long time, gaining lots of experience and tips from all of you including songwriting, producing, mixing and promotion. I want to tell everyone that is contributing to this subreddit to keep up the good work, there is few places on the internet where you find such genuine and nice people talking about music. About Me
I'm 27 and been working with music for the past 10 years, I've racked up around 150 million streams world wide over the common platforms and had some tracks on the top 50 Charts in a few countries.
I wrote my first post here about 2 months ago talking about my experience and ways of how I've made my music heard around the world. I got so many good questions and they still popping up in my DM now and then and im just glad i can help out!
I wanted to share what I've been through during my 10 years in the industry, Starting as a bedroom producer, to getting signed to a major label, into going back to now going independent and promoting and managing my own projects again, How this has impacted me, what I've learned along the way and what i can recommend to do or not.
Im gonna try to keep this relatively short and focus on the things that can actually help you in your own work and projects, but without making it too plain.
Music background in music
So I started making music when i was 17 (27 today), Had pretty much no idea what i was doing songwriting wise, but my mother made me play piano in 8 years up to that point so i had some knowledge in how chords and notes worked.
It took me 4 years until i got to release my first single, the song was a melbourne bounce track that me and 2 friends completed in about 5 hours and we pretty much shoved it out on Spotify and wrote to all our friends on Facebook to share it. It gained some interest and streams and had around 100k streams after a month.
At the time we where pretty hyped over the results and we started to get some interest from labels via email, really small ones. We booked a meeting with one of them, and on the way over we agreed that we should reach out to the big ones too, got nothing to lose right? Stalked up a Phone number to an A&R of a major label and called him from the car and said that we had a track we wanted him to hear.
His Response was something like :
"No it dont work that way, that need to be planned in weeks in advance".
We told him that we wanted to mail it over anyway and asked for his email adress that he gave out, probably to get rid of us, and hung up the call. 10 minutes later we got a callback from him saying that he wanted to have a meeting and discuss a deal (Guess he liked the track). We planned it in after the first meeting with the small label and went on ahead.
The first meeting Isnt anything special, the guy pretty much tells us that he could work with us and maybe get us signed to another label later. Didnt feel the vibe here but told him that we should get back to him after the other meeting we had planned.
At The Major Labels it was pretty badass, big offices, looked professional, went in to a room and the A&R was very professional and friendly, we decided to pretty much agree on the terms he laid up on the table, unexperienced as we where, (License deal, 70 % For the label, 30% for us) and went home. He actually did alot of work on the track, put it in some huge playlists and the track got way more attention than before (Currently around 10 million streams).
After this we Released a collab with a major artist which came to be my biggest release till today (Around 65 million streams, top 50 in 3 countries). This release was pretty much how people think a major label works since the other artist was so established. A whole team of people working it, Analytics, graphic designers, and a huge budget.
After this it all went south, for every release we did, The Label was less and less interested in working with it. We also got our A&R Changed since the previous one quit working for there and the new one wasnt nearly as interested in working the project. We also got a new contract for the project with reasoning from them that they wont be able to make a profit if they dont lower our %, which turned into an 80/20 contract for us if we wanted to stay with them.
Our latest releases is laying on around 1 million streams in average which isnt nearly enough to make the money required, and here is why:
1 million streams = ~$5000 (Counted high)
20% of $5000 = $1000
We are 3 in that group, which means that generates ~$333 Each for every release.
Also, what many dont know, is that any expense that a label puts out on your project is recoupable, which means that if they spend $1000 On ads for a single, you wont get paid from the track until your share has generated those $1000. After that you get paid.
This pretty much means that any promotion they do, that cost money, will be taken from your pocket. So You're Paying a company a huge amount of your % to work your project, but you are also paying for the money they put in. This becomes a bad circle where you get paid very little for the time you put in unless the label really prioritize you, which you have no control over.
Ofcourse they have huge channels that will give you exposure that dont cost money, such as playlists & social media, but yet , i needed 5x the streams than if i wasnt signed to make the same.
Going Independent again
This is when i started to calculate things and thinking about if i really need the label to do those things for me, what if i learned to run the ads myself? Started pitching playlists myself? And started building my own brand where i can effectively chose the most profitable ways of promoting.
I got together with 2 other musicians i know, one songwritevocalist and one sound engeneeproducer where i put out the idea of going independent which they liked. I was studying marketing and music promotion in every way possible around the web for 6 months to really get the hang of how to get the right exposure for our music longterm by ourselves and then we put out our first release.
Some good to know's
So, Spotify favours tracks that generates good data, its not all about streaming numbers. I think the focus should be changed from looking at the amount of streams to things as Save rate, User Playlist adds, Skip rate, Following and Listeners.
They also want users to stay on the platform as long as possible, so get your Artist page professional! Add a biography, update your photos, Use the artist pick with a playlist or your latest release. It all matters. What you want to achive for the algoritm to favour you
A good save rate (I Read somewhere that a good goal is 10% of the streams, guess its just an opinion though)
User Playlist adds
Conversion Rate (How many of your listeners starts to follow you)
Listener vs Streams (If you have as many listeners as streams, that means noone repeats your song which is not favourable. Spotify wants people to repeat the song to show that they like it.)
Spotify Followers (Every follower gets your new releases in their release radar. 500 followers = 500 release radar ads, free exposure) What you want to avoid
High Skiprate (If people skips your song that means they dont like it. This rate can be reduced by removing long intros or outros and to focus on keeping a good energy through the track. Even if its a ballad or a dance track. You also only get paid if the user streams it for atleast 30 seconds)
Low Save Rate (Example: If you only go for playlist pitching, your save rate is gonna drop dramaticly. Thats because of how a listener consumes music in a playlist. Maybe they're out running and they put a playlist on with running music, very few will stop what they are doing to check what song is playing to add it to their playlist or follow the artist)
People deleting you from their Playlist (Hard to control, just stay professional so that people dont start to dislike you on social media and stuff)
There is some more info in my previous post about this, you can check it out here: https://www.reddit.com/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/g74ykmusic_promotion_how_to_get_your_music_heard_loong/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x
My methods of Promotion Presave
So firstly I Ran a pre-save campaign, for those who dont know, a pre-save gives a user the opportunity to save the track in advance, when the song releases everyone who has pre-saved will: Follow the artist & like the Song. This gives a way to start promoting the song and getting good engagement for the track even before the song is released.
When it comes to how to get people to pre-save it all about being creative.
Ofcourse i wrote to all of my friends and family to click the link and to share the link on their social media. I also contacted a few influencers and chose to go through with the ones where i believed would reach the biggest audience for the smallest cost. I spent about $50 on the pre-save campaign and had about 300 Pre-saves on the track Ads:
I ran ads through Snapchat & Instagram Story, the Snapchat ads has performed best so far. The ad is a video with a short clip from the most interesting part of the song with some text about that the music is out. I target my ads to people who like artists in the same genre or music festivals that play that kind of music.
What i have been doing differently than before is that the location the ad link sends you is to my Spotify PROFILE, not to the Spotify track.
There is 2 reasons for this:
When someone clicks your link and gets sent directly to the track, they might play it for 15 seconds then leave and go back to what they where doing. They might have clicked the link by accident or just had a mild interest in what they saw. What this does it that it increases your Skiprate. You might get more streams by sending people to your track, but the quality is lower.
The second reason i send users to the artist page is because of the following. The follow button only shows when you browse an artist page, not when you browse a track. So when you click the link and get directly to the artist page you get presented the follow button and the user get the whole picture of the artist. They need to make a commitment to press play on your music and if that commitment exists, there is a much higher chance they will listen to the whole track and save the track. Other Streaming Platforms:
So, my focus is towards Spotify, but we want high quality listeners on Spotify. Thats why i have been putting in a good amount of work to get the track heard on other platforms, such as Soundcloud & Youtube.
If someone hears your track on SC or YT and they really like it, there is a good chance that they want to add it on their Spotify too. They will look for links in the descriptions where it is openly presented and after that get to the Spotify Profile. Noone that dosnt like the song will look for those links, which means that almost every user that comes from other platforms probably likes the track and wants to save it.
In this project we release our music Copyright free. So i emailed around 100 Youtube Channels that upload copyright free music and asked if they wanted to upload the track. I got answers from around 20 of them that went ahead and uploaded. This spread across Youtube and last time i checked there was around 3000 videos that used the track in their own uploads as background music/streaming music/intros etc. The same goes here, if one of their viewers hears the track and like it, they look it up on Spotify which becomes a quality listener.
Even though i wrote earlier that playlists can hurt your save rate, its not a bad thing. You shoulnt just Only Focus on playlists. I created my own spreadsheet of playlist currators before we released our first track that had about 400 contacts and sent out a pitch to them. Got loads of answers, many that asked for payment to place the song which i ignored and removed from my list, but there was also some that either added the track or said that the song dont fit them but to come back with more material. Those are the valuable ones, ofcourse i answered all of them with a thank you, tagged their social media and posted about their playlist on Instagram/facebook to show my help in return because i want to keep a good relationship and be able to send more tracks to them.
I also tried out submithub, i spend about $80 on it, i didnt get a single approval so i wont do that again.
I submitted to websites that provies playlist submissions through the web. Heres a list:
I got added to 5 playlists from those.
We keep our Social Medias up to date, we dont only post promotional posts about our music and releases. Here is where we give the followers the value that they want, we include working progress, pictures of ourselves, stories of our vocalists singing etc. We also work hard to have a good relationship with our followers and other users, we answer to comments, writes on other peoples music posts/videos and just show ourselves as much as possible. The social Medias are just as important as Spotify, because its another way to get yourself seen and heard.
We released our first single in May that has gained about 119k streams, a remix of that that is around 20k streams. The remix has been picked up by discover weekly and the number from it is growing slowly (Started from 40/day and is now on around 75/day) We've gathered around 900 followers on Spotify and around 600 on Instagram, gotten 6 offers from labels and a few collab requests from other artists that want do work together.
The result is in my opinion good. Even though I've put in extremely many work hours, learning and executing all the things that I've felt was necessary the process has been really fun. If you're like me and get a kick out of seeing numbers and graphs grow, it's way more interesting to do the work yourself than let a label do most of it.
I do have a positive view on the project since i believe it will grow exponentially, we got 4 more tracks ready for release with the first one coming out now on July 17 and plan to release them with around 45 days between each other to keep the momentum going and hopefully get good enough engagement to be picked up by discover weekly and maybe Spotify Editorial Playlists sometime.
Only time will tell!
I hope this can help someone with their own music or choices in the industry and if there is any questions I'll try to answer them as good as i can
Much Love to everyone here in WATMM!
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