Most artists have a common misconception that getting on playlists is the only driver for streaming success. In hindsight, the simple equation most artists follow is more streams equals more income, which could not be farther from the truth.
The valuable time spent on resources towards driving streams on Spotify through exhausted channels has left many artists struggling to make ends meet (hence the term “starving artist”).
What we will show you is a Spotify algorithm hack. In its essence, hacking is about manipulating adjacent or unpredictable tools to drive favorable results. Which is what we’re about to show you in the realm of music with a concrete game plan.
Before we start to go into the how and why of the growth hacks. We have to breakdown how Spotify’s algorithm actually functions.
How Spotify keeps the boat floating
When we speak of algorithms and AI, we tend to have the misconception of a very complicated system that functions way above human understanding, but it’s actually quite simple.
Spotify works on these 4 simple indicators to place your songs in the release radar and place your song on the “Fresh Finds” playlist.
1- Number of time the song is saved in total and vs. play counts
2- Number of repeats listens
3- Number of followers gained
4- Search for release related content
And finally, you have 24 hours as of the release of the song to deliver comparably better results than other artists, to be selected to be one of 100 or so songs to go on release radar.
Hitting these indicators are challenging, but not impossible.
No No to Playlist Placement!?
It might look all butterflies and sunshine when an artists’ song is placed in playlists, but in reality, this is a double-edged sword. Having songs in playlists does deliver streams, but the psychology and the consumer behavior habit of a music listener on playlists are of a passive state.
When music consumers are listening to playlists, they are passively listening and ignoring your song and profile, gently breezing off of it without saving your song or even following you. In return, the focus on playlists plays a damaging role in getting you exposed on the release radar.
It’s really crucial to look elsewhere or a parallel source to meet those Spotify indicators. But, wait – getting playlisted may also trigger the Spotify algorithm in favor…
Content Content Content!!
Spotify does not have a magic wand or a secret mix of sugar, spice and everything nice that miraculously finds artists. On the contrary, it takes an algorithm and raw human power scouring the web to find artists. The use of blogs and publications has a detrimental effect on the decision of the feature of an artists song on the Spotify release radar. Therefore, make sure to exposure your music to the media and get in front of playlist editors!
Spotify promotions and landing on playlists do not allow or deliver the full spectrum of data that an artist may need to understand its audience.
This is where advertising come into play. Facebook, for example, is one of many mediums that is able to deliver audience data, that helps artists better understand the full spectrum of where and who is the primary consumer of the musical content delivered.
Facebook Ads for Streams Gameplay
1- Split test your ads based on streaming websites (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc..)
When creating ads, it’s crucial to split test to identify where and what type of people are clicking on your ads. Also, it’s advised to test out multiple designs and videos when approaching ads. This method allows the allocation of the most resources to the ad set and ad that is delivering the best to lower cost and deliver the best possible results.
2- Audience Targeting
When selecting what type of audience to target, it’s usually common to target fans of musicians with similar styles in hopes of attracting them to your songs. The other strategy involves utilizing Facebook insights to look into those audiences and identify small target groups associated with the larger fanbase of an artist.
Furthermore, when selecting what countries to target, make sure the streaming platform the artist is promoting the music in, is available in the list of served countries.
3- Test out Ads in Different Placement
The ideal situation and the costlier one would be the placement of the song promos of the artist ads on IG stories or Fb stories. So, when a user is swiping through IG or Fb stories they can listen to your song. But, wait – the more placement types you add, the cheaper your cost per conversion may get! It’s all about testing and split testing.
4- Create a Landing Page
By creating a landing page with the help of Hypeddit or Toneden (we prefer), you can control what is a conversion using Facebook pixels, and monitor results from a microlens with much more reliable data.
5- In-Person or by Label?
When promoting an artist’s music, certain indicators are psychographic in nature. People would likely click on a link of an artist promoted by a label, rather than the artist promoting themselves. Which is viewed as a lame move from the artist’s side, and indirectly frowned upon.
Even if you are not part of a label, simply create a page where with a branded label of your choosing, and push ads through that page.
And once you’re all set up, start driving traffic to your Spotify, and specifically to your page.
This method is designed to drive active listeners to your site, who are more likely to listen to your songs, save, follow, or even play it on repeat.
To Sum this Whole Game Plan Up
Release the song to fans ASAP and keep in mind of the 24 hours sprint and indicator targets to hit Spotify’s algorithm thresholds.
This specific method delivers a higher probability of success through the use of data and consumer behavior tactics. This drives streams, saves, follows, and repeat listeners that will potentially place you in Spotify’s release radar, and expose you to a much bigger fanbase.