Grow Your Streams: How to Grow Your Streams on Spotify Organically | Byjoelmichael | Skillshare

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Grow Your Streams: How to Grow Your Streams on Spotify Organically

teacher avatar Byjoelmichael, Music Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Preface: The Decline of the Old Industry Model


    • 3.

      The Adaption of Streaming in the Digital Age


    • 4.

      The Reality and Value of Playlists


    • 5.

      Class Project


    • 6.

      Building a Successful Playlist


    • 7.

      1st Line of Listeners


    • 8.

      Use Your Network


    • 9.

      How to Work with Influencers


    • 10.

      Finding Curators and Getting their Attention


    • 11.

      Release Strategy


    • 12.

      Submitting Avenues


    • 13.

      The Spotify Algorithm


    • 14.

      Organize Your Time


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About This Class

If you are a music creator that feels stuck in your growth in the streaming platforms, or have never released music, and want a strategy that can get your music into the ears of a wide audience, then this course is for you.

Joel has spent many years creating and releasing music alongside many successful artists and producers.  You will learn an approach that has worked for him, and artists he’s worked with, when releasing music, that you can incorporate to help get you more streams and listeners consistently.

In this class you will learn:

  • The current music industry model from the old model
  • The value of playlists and Spotify algorithm
  • How to build relationships and network with influencers
  • How to find and submit to playlist curators 
  • How to successfully release music with a goal of growing your streams and listeners consistently

You will be curating your own playlist and using it to apply the techniques covered in this course to grow your streams and listeners.  Please attach a link to your playlist in the course project section when completing this course.

Even if you have never released music before, or have had successful releases but just want another perspective, you will find this approach useful to apply to your music releases.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Music Creator


Hey all, I'm Joel!

I'm a music creator, producer and guitarist that strives to make music unique and inspiring. 

My musical journey began in St. Louis where I earned my Bachelor's in Music Technology and Master's in Jazz Composition.  I then spent years as the Director of Education at Nelly's music production college in St. Louis.  Throughout those years, and to this day, I have developed many artists and musicians to become the best musical versions of themselves and release music that is creative, unique to them, and of a professional caliber. 

Currently, I am travelling and finding inspiration in life abroad.  As a result, I am creating music that is introspective, instrumental, and painting sonic images of my experiences.

My ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: when it comes to releasing your own music, it can be a bit nerve racking because you put your heart and soul into the creation of it, right, and now it's time to hand off for the world to hear. I mean, we create music, really as a form of expression, and the ultimate reward is to then have engaged listeners that relate to it right. And when we achieve that to me, is the true definition of success in the music industry. It's very easy to become overwhelmed when building a release strategy because of all the different ways we go about doing it and oftentimes are released can become a failure simply due to a lack of strategy. And the last thing you want to do is spend all this time creating this masterpiece, only to have nobody to share it with in this climate. I've found that if there's a simple structure in place aimed towards delivering your music to the most effective outlets, there will be a wider audience than you may think, waiting to hear your music. My name is Joel Kern, and I'm a music creator. I studied music, production and jazz at university and then went on to finish my masters and composition. Shortly after, I began working with a record company on a publishing company, developing talent and the pop and hip hop genres. After years of working with artists and that industry climate, I experienced first hand the challenges of actually releasing music. Also, I started seeing trends and what releases it better than others. Once I learned the importance of releasing music consistently and how to put effort into networking and play this, it became apparent that I no longer needed the help of a label to get some initial momentum around my songs engage streams so, in short, will be covering a very focused plan to help give you confidence and releasing your music and seeing growth in your streams and audience within Spotify and beyond will be covering topics such as the climate of the industry and how it affects released strategy the value of networking and play this team how to work with influencers and curator on. We will also discuss how to use Spotify algorithm to your benefit Way will be covering the details every music creator used to know in order to have successful releases time and time again. So this course is designed for any music creator that has felt stuck, and their growth in the streaming platforms or for music creators that have never released music before that wants some sort of strategy to help push their music into an audience is years. Maybe you've had some successful releases, but just one another perspective. Or maybe you're trying to shift your life and make your living exclusively off being a music creator. If your goals align with anything I just said in this course is for you, so let's jump right in. 2. Preface: The Decline of the Old Industry Model: okay. To put everything into perspective on how we got here to this streaming industry model, I want to talk a minute about the old physical industry model. Okay, so typically, a band or artist would record a song or songs at a recording studio to then be mixed and mastered into one stereo file. Her song s stereo file then would be duplicated typically by the hands of a record label, onto a physical items such as a CD. Is that tape, uh, maybe vinyl to then be put into the shelves of record stores all across the world and into the hands of consumers that would purchase them? And this is how music was sold and profits were made in the old physical industry model. So around the year 2000 amongst the digital revolution, where computers were becoming more and more sophisticated and more widely used in households, we saw the beginning of peer to peer file sharing services such as Napster or LimeWire, where consumers could basically illegally download music rather than going to record stores to purchase the physical items. This became commonplace, and as a result, the value of physical music items declined so Now the model would look a little bit more like an artist going into the studio, recording that then being mix and master the stereo file. Then, instead of going to duplication, could then be hacked or leaked and shared on file sharing services such as Napster or LimeWire. These Biles would then get into the hands of consumers without the need off the actual record store. Economically, the music industry was losing money on labels. An artist were biting it pretty hard eventually. Then Napster went out of business, and this became the end off what we can call the old physical industry model. So this is important to know is a stepping stone into how we got to this new streaming model. 3. The Adaption of Streaming in the Digital Age: Okay, so at this point, I'm gonna talk about the actual adoption of streaming in this digital age. So, as we know, in the early two thousands, people were clearly illegally downloading music. However, there were still a physical item that people were listening. Teoh mostly burnt CDs with illegally downloaded music on them. We would share them with our friends who would then burn us an album that we may not have we'd give in. Return is the reciprocity of this black market and just the state of what the industry was in at that time. However, in about 4 4005 we had advancements with mobile phones. So we had smartphones coming into play that allowed us to listen to music directly from the phone without the need off a physical item such as a burn CD. Pandora was one of the first companies to capitalize in this mobile era to make an app. Were users could listen to music straight from their phone. It acted sort of as a radio service with a little more freedom and control for the user, rather than you're ad driven radio play from your local radio stations that maybe play 15 songs per hour and then played the same ones the next hour. So Pandora opened up listeners to a new type of listening experience because they could search by artist, which would then play a song and maybe find other songs that were similar to it. It would also give information regarding the style of the song of the tempo, and it would suggest other songs and artists that were similar to that song. This was a huge step in the right direction towards getting people out of illegally downloading music and listening via their mobile devices. More as listening to Pandora became somewhat of an industry standard for consumers, a new company came out called Spotify. Spotify wasn't just a radio app. It was literally a digital library and catalog of music. You get access at any time, so not only could you search by artist, you could search by particular song or you could search the entire discography of an artist if you'd like and listen to that. Spotify offered a membership based structure where the consumer could pay about $10 per month and get access to all the music offline as well as online. In addition to being a paid member, the consumer would not have to listen to ads between songs. So with his massive music library available digitally to consumers without any limitations , Spotify then climbed to the top as the most used app or listening to music. As a result, we landed into the streaming industry, where consumers were less unless illegally downloading music from peer to peer file sharing services and MAWR and Mawr streaming music via Spotify. So let's do a real quick review so we can look at the old physical industry model where the artist would have a song which would then be placed onto a physical items such as a CD or a cassette, which was in played on a device such as a CD player or cassette deck or record player. We then go to the digital industry model, where the artist would have a song that is in a digital audio file that no longer needed to be on a physical item, which could then be played on a computer via computer media software. We then get into the streaming industry model where the artists would have a song, do then be a digital audio file without the need of being on a physical item, such as a CD, and could then be played on a multifunctional mobile device without the need of a CD player or a computer. So with this shift away from the physical industry model and into the streaming industry model, we have seen a value shift in music where the physical item was what was valued and awarded the artist profits and then into the black market digital age, where illegal downloads awarded artists no profit, then into the modern streaming model, where a stream has actual value tied to it. Let's look at this the old industry model. You have physical item, which is input on these shelves of a record store, which then a consumer would purchase, and this purchase would have value for the artist. The digital model would have a digital audio file without the need of a physical item that would then go to a peer to peer file sharing service such as Napster, or could go to iTunes. If it went to a peer to peer file sharing service, it would then get to the consumer via illegal download for free, which would have zero value for the artist if it went the iTunes route, the consumer would pay a small fee to then legally download the music, which would then have value for the artist. The modern streaming model would be a digital audio file that is then uploaded to a streaming service such as Spotify, which then reaches the consumer via a stream in which that stream has a value. A streaming became the main way in which consumers listen to music. There has been a standard streaming royalty rate, however, it is slightly different, based on the platform that users decide to listen on. Spotify has slightly different royalty rate. Dan does Apple music. Dan does title. Though the streaming royalty rate is not very high, considered to what one might make off of the sale of a CD, it is very possible to get millions of streams per release that can equate to as much if not more, than what owners would make on the sale of a physical item. Okay, so this sums up the history portion of this course. Now we will shift our focus to the practicality of growing your streams. End this modern streaming industry 4. The Reality and Value of Playlists: Okay, so we've talked about how we got from the physical industry model to the streaming industry model, with all the technological advances and the advent of smartphones making excess ing music much more convenient and more rewarding for consumers and artists with the added value of his streaming Rosie. Now I want to talk about the reality in value of playlists. So in this Spotify platform is very easy for the consumer to access. Music on the flip side is very easy for an artist to release music. What once cost loads of money to release physical recordings be the recording studio costs to the distribution costs to the labels power to get it on the shelves of record stores worldwide to get to the hands of the consumers. Now one can just release music digitally to go right to the streaming services to then be in the ears off the consumer directly. This is good for both the artist and the consumer. However, the medium is a bit over saturated. As a result, anyone can release music at any time they want. That also then becomes a bit overwhelming for a consumer to discover new music that is unless playlists were used. This is where we can really realize the value of playlists. So if a consumer is not using the shelves of a record store or not using mainstream radio, then play this become thes new radio stations or record store shelves. One can search for chill if they want to listen to chill music and play. This will pop up with hundreds of songs that they've never heard in that genre. Or they could search in some sort of verb like dance or work out, and then all of a sudden could have continuous stream of hours of music that they've never heard before, dedicated to whatever it is they want to do. That is the reality and value of playlists. With that being said, it is very important when releasing music to get onto his mini genre specific play this as we can. That way, our music ends up in the ears of listeners that otherwise may have never heard our music in the first place. In addition, we want to target these planets that have high follower counts which will then relate to I streams. As a result, the fan base will grow our streams will grow and our musical didn't take on more value. To sum up this section, let's take a quick look of it broken down in real simple terms. So let's look at the old model and let's start with the artist. Let's say we have about 16 of those 16. The label might filter out all the way down to about two lucky ones that get signed. In that case, the record store wil shelve those two albums. The consumer then has limited options and is likely to purchase was two albums. This model is a bit less saturated due to the label filter. Now let's look at the modern model artists, Let's say 16. Then we can distribute with nearly no filter in which those 16 artists are all likely to release their music. That music is then released on a streaming service such a Spotify, which in turn is a bit over saturated. Because there are so many options for the consumer, however, we will have genre specific playlists that can act as the digital record store that narrow down the selections for a consumer. The consumer then listens to the playlists and in essence purchases those songs by way of streaming them. Okay, so now we recognize the value of playlists, right? So let's move on to the next step. 5. Class Project: So now we've covered what I mean by value of music and how playlist can help give you our music value in the streaming world. I want to put a strong focus on the idea of a playlist and introduced the course project. Now I want you to create a customized playlists with your music in it. It should be genre specific to the music and create. And I want you to share with us the playlist and what strategy or strategies from this course help you achieve some sort of success with it. An example might be that you reached your 1st 1000 streams on a song, and that's a great success. So I want you to share that with us. Okay, With that in mind, let's move on to the next step off, creating a playlist. 6. Building a Successful Playlist: So let's talk about how to build a successful play. This. Okay, so this is gonna be something we're going to offer as value to others. So we're going to use it as a listening hub for various consumers, and we're going to use it as a sort of opportunity for other music creators to put their music on. All the while, your music will be injected into the top 10 in which you will always beginning streams when people listen to this playlist. Okay, so let's talk about how to build this step one. Identify songs that fit your demographic, perhaps songs that inspired you to create your music. Add all of them until there are a few hours of music piled up. Step two chisel away to make the play list about two hours long. So keep only the songs that really fit the demographic here and assured that there aiding in the listening experience for your listeners. Step three. The listening experience. So focus on the 1st 10 songs, make them very strong and then inject your strongest song in here amongst them. The thing is, most listeners will either stay or go after these 10 songs So you want to make an impact here, then structure your playlist in an order that flows like a show or like an album. Step four. Title it, you strong keywords that speak to the genre. So if it's instrumental, let it be known if it's guitar driven music, let that be known. Using verbs is a good thing, such as workout or chill or dance, etcetera. Be short and concise, so we don't have too many words that linger on then. Step five. Cover art. This is the aesthetic of your playlist catered to the I. So some of the energy in Vibe and one picture if there wasn't a title for your listener to see this picture should help them assume the sound by looking at the yard. You can use unspool ash dot com for free images, and then you can use canvas dot com toe overlay your title. This is a good point to research popular playlists as a point of inspiration. Okay, so now I want you to spend some time structure in that playlist. Using the five steps we talked about. I'll see in the next part 7. 1st Line of Listeners: Okay, so at this point, you've got a strong playlist that's about two hours in length. Has strong top 10 songs with your best song injected amongst those. Top 10 has a strong title. Good album. Art has the good flow to it and you feel confident with it. Now let's talk about how to get your first line of listeners. So the goal here is to get about 50 to 100 followers in his first couple of days of sharing this playlist. So we're gonna achieve this by building two different lists. This one will consist mainly of your good friends, your family. I want you to go and think about co workers if you have a job. Sure, they may not listen to your genre of music all the time. Or maybe some of them don't even know that you do make music, but they will certainly enjoy the gift of a playlist that will break up the monotony of their work day. So definitely include them on this list that I want you to go through your Facebook and Instagram contacts and think about any loose ends so people you may not talk to on a day to day basis, but do have some interaction with you on social media. Or maybe they were friends in the past, and this might be a good way to rekindle that relationship. So let's add them to the list now. So once he had the first list complete, the second list will get to a bit later. But I want you to actually build it. Now. It's going to consist exclusively of fellow music creators. So these maybe bands you've played with friends you jammed with in the past old students, if you teach music, perhaps some fellow music creators you've met through social media. So I want you to build a second list of all of those music creators. But let's push it aside for later. All right, so these two Lister built and they're going to become our first line of listeners. So let's take a moment and talk about how to build some message templates that can help us get some genuine interaction with these people. Okay, what we don't want to dio we don't want to just send the play this four saying, Yo, give this a listen or hey, check out my beats on this play this time aid that might get you a few responses. But people are genuinely going to get annoyed by that. Why? Because it lacks genuine ity. So let's rethink here. The goal should be creating conversations with people. Okay, Genuine, meaningful conversations. They are your friends for a reason, because they do like you. All right. So think outside the box instead of saying I me, my so much make it about them and say you so your approach might be I know you just started this new job. You might be a little bit stressed, and I know you cook to relieve your stress. So I made this play this you should listen to when you cook. Then they might laugh a little bit, but the reality is they're probably going to actually listen to that. Play this when they're cooking. Then you can follow up with some banter to create the conversation and get some feedback on it and let them know that it was a genuine, thoughtful play. That's you made for them to cook too. Right now, you can apply these to your own personal situations with your own friends. I'm sure you can think of five or 10 people that have significant life changes that have just happened and could actually benefit from the value of this playlist. So don't treat this place like a chore making people listen to it because you made it treat it as a gift because it's gonna help them through whatever they're going through, or it's gonna give them entertainment for the monotony of their day. Or if they're gonna discover new music that they've been so hungry for that they didn't even know it yet. And that new music is gonna actually be yours as well. So it's a win win. You're giving the gift of a valuable playlist to somebody who's going to actually listen and come back engaged and probably turn into a fan. And it continued Listener. Okay, so at this point, I want to wrap up this lesson and that you get busy on getting your 1st 50 to 100 followers on your playlist. All right, I'll see in the next section 8. Use Your Network: Okay, so hopefully you completed assignment from the previous section and you have your first couple handfuls of followers on your playlist by using the first list we discussed. Now it's time to start looking at the second list we made of fellow music creators to. The method here will go a bit like this. We're going to start adding music of those fellow creators to our playlist and then letting them know we've done so. So let me explain how this has helped me before. It's likely that most of these fellow music creators are researching ways to grow their music and streams just like you are. And perhaps they even have a playlist that they are growing. Or maybe have one that has grown even bigger than what yours has. Maybe has a couple 100 followers to thousands of followers. The best way to connect with these people is to treat it as a community and as a practice in networking. So too often we see competition between music creators and should be quite the opposite. So instead of seeing them as a threat, we want to make sure we pull them in, build a relationship with them so our networks conjoined forces and grow together. Think of it like this. If they just released a song and it fits the demographic of your play this and you enjoy it , then you go ahead and add that to your playlist than reshot, letting them know you've done so. Maybe tell them why you like this song. Maybe had a cool guitar riff. Or maybe it had an approach that you'd like to use that was aesthetically pleasing, that you're gonna then put into one of your tracks. Or maybe they used a sample that you've used before, Or that has really inspired you that you can connect within about. So I start that conversation again, just like you did with the people in list one. But these conversations, they're gonna be a little bit more musically oriented because that's what you have in common with this list of music creators. As you start adding their music to your list, letting them know you've done so, don't expect anything in return. Just be happy that their music has added value to your playlist and therefore is gonna add value to their network as well. That will then likely become part of your network. Typically, though, the other music creator will share on your social media that you've added their song to their playlist, thus bringing in their network to your play vistas. Well, and in the end, hopefully they will convert to a fan of yours as well. So this basic networking should be something you're doing daily. This should be a part of your normal conversations. Is communicated with this fellow music creators in a way that you can work together. And in doing so, you're gonna see tremendous growth in your network and in your streams. Okay, so at this point, I'm gonna wrap this section up and let you get busy in the next part of the assignment, which is networking with music creators to help grow your playlist even more. 9. How to Work with Influencers: all right, so I'm sure you're seeing some growth with Trip latest. Hopefully, you're getting close to about 100 followers on it, and you have a lot of people enjoying it, sharing it to their social media's, spreading the word and extending the network and getting people listening to the music you enjoy and think of the day your music. Now let's talk about the next step, which is how to work with influencers for features. So some of today's gatekeepers are often influencers. They speak to a wide audience, most of which that have not heard your music yet. So this screams opportunity. And what I've seen a lot of lately is that these influencers have a playlist of their own or multiple playlists that have thousands of listeners. So let's talk about how to find them first. So these influencers air all over social media. Sure, you could use it paid influence or tools such as Budge Stream or Ninja Outreach, but I don't think you need to do that at this point. So I'll use Instagram is a reference for this course, but you can feel free to explore any social media avenue you please. So Let's start by. Ah, hashtag search. Okay. Simply search a genre of music in Instagram search, and it will pull up accounts personalized for you. You could search by instrument if that's a big future of your genre of music. So if you have guitar driven music, you might search guitar. If you make beats into use something like an SP 44 or NNPC, you can use those keywords to help you find some top pages. So get creative with this, and so you find what you're looking for. So this tap through the top results. We're going to review these accounts. If they're relevant to our demographic, that is good. If they're not, let's discard them. We also want to look. Are they engaging? So don't just look at the follower count. Also, look at the post to see if there's engagement happening. We don't want an account that's using bots. That'll be a big waste of our time, and we just want to move on again. You can use other social media platforms as well and apply this approach. Twitter works well. Linked in will require a little different approach, but you can get some good results with that, you could also even just search Google and just dig through the pages of Google. And so you find what you're looking for. Now we're gonna build another list. Yes, that'll be 1/3 list, but this will be a list exclusively off influencers. You find that a relevant to your specific demographic. So once you've applied some hashtag searches on instagram, maybe use some other social media avenues, even use Google and built this list of these influencers, I want to move on to this five step method that will help us get in touch with them, start getting some features and growing our network even larger. To step one, we want to get involved in their communities, so that requires getting to know their followers. So we don't just want to go in for a message saying, Hey, yo, listen to my music like we talked about before. Let's build these relationships and the relationship needs to start with the community first so you can comment on posts that attract you on their page. Do this regularly to build your presence, so follow those that are featured on their page and add them to your playlist. then you can send them a message telling them you did so and why you enjoy their music. You can treat these people the same as you did those on the music creators list. Oftentimes, these people will be easier to get in contact with, then the influencers themselves. Yet it's making you known and the commute anymore, which will help you get in touch with the influence of themselves. Now key here is consistency. So I want you to do this daily and really get involved with these communities. Step two. Now we co exist in the community, and we're ready to reach out to the influencer. Let's use our gift giving method by shouting out their playlist or a product or something that has value to them. Then we'll follow up with a quick and friendly introduction. Perhaps responding to a story with a message. Or maybe a quick video or voice message might be nice if the social media platform allows that to keep in mind, we don't want to ask for a favor by listening to our stuff. We want to present a message with value that will then intrigued them to talk to us. Another angle. Think is perhaps the friend of years has a friend that can make a direct introduction for you. So think all this networking you've been doing might have helped to make some valuable connections along the way in this community. So you might be more connected to this influence or now than you think. So some ideas when communicating, just keep in mind. The goal is to be unique and engaging and well spoken. OK, so don't come in here with some slang they might not understand. And again give value to the message and create a conversation. Treat them as he would a friend with respect. The goal here is to let them know you were interested in their music community and in building some sort of relationship. So make the communication efforts about them and not about you. Okay, Step three. At this point, you've reached out to a few influencers, and maybe you've gotten some response back. Okay? You've made that connection and the important thing now is to get some laughs and build some report. Let the conversation breathe a bit and don't expect anything. Just get talking a bit. Then you want to ask the question. If they're taking submissions for features and or their playlist, chances are right there. In that moment, they'll lay out the details, and that's a big congratulations to you. So let this be your first of many successes with being featured by influencers. Okay, so Step four, you've now been placed in front of a new large audience, and you will want to continue this gift giving method by responding to all the people commenting and letting them know that your playlist is open for submissions. So again, don't just say thanks or hit the heart button and like it, this is a point to build rapport and relationships with every single person that is watching you and engaging with your music again reach out, giving them some sort of value. And what better value to give them than a potential spot on a growing playlist? Remember, it's all in the effort of networking and growth. Then step five. You always want to follow up with the influencer and maintain that relationship. Okay, so final thoughts don't get discouraged if you aren't having much success in this area. Okay, it will happen and it takes time and consistency so things to consider if you're not having successes, are just changing your approach a bit. Maybe word things a bit differently. Perhaps the content you're submitting isn't engaging enough. So work on the content. You got to keep in mind. There are so many influences out there that if you continue this and your consistent and everything we're talking about, you are inevitable to make some connections. So keep consistent. Keep your spirits up and you'll make these connections. So this section of the course might take some time to get through with success, and I understand that it's okay to continue moving forward. But I want you to spend a lot of time trying to at least make one connection with an influencer and then let me know your successes. All right, get busy and I'll see in the next part 10. Finding Curators and Getting their Attention: At this point, I hope you're seeing some success growing your playlist. Maybe around 50 to 100 followers. Perhaps we even got in touch with some influencers and have a feature. This is all great. Keep consistent with all of that. Now this section, we're gonna focus on finding curate er's and getting their attention. So we're gonna apply a similar approach here that we did with the influencers. But keep in mind, a lot of these curate er's are not social media influencers, so we're gonna have to find them a different way. These curators zehr the ones that have hundreds of thousands to millions of listeners on their playlists. And if you get a song featured on one, you will see hundreds of thousands to potentially millions of streams on your track. So this would be a huge goal to achieve, and we'll have great reward. Let's talk about how to do it. So Spotify itself is the best place to look, and we want to use the desktop app here. The mobile app just won't give us the same access as a desktop out, so we want to start by scoping your top 10 Spotify influences Let's look at their pages. We're gonna go to the about section, then the discovered on section here. You will then see the top playlist that feature their music so we can click on this playlist and begin the effort in finding the curator. This might be tricky and some will be easier than others. But persistency here is key, so don't give up. Many of the big planets will say that the curator is Spotify itself and these were the hardest ones to get in touch with because they are part of this Spotify team. A different approach might have to be used to get their attention, but we'll cover that in the next section independently and curated playlists so we might win a narrow our search to artists that are up and coming like you. In their discovered on sections, you might see some of the non Spotify curated playlists. For example, some of those influencers that you may have reached out to might be an example of some of these non Spotify curator. All it means is that the curator does not work for Spotify, so click these playlists and research the curator to submit to them things to look for is their email and or name on the playlist. If no email search all social media avenues further handle, you can often find it relatively easy, though some might present some challenges, use the same methods than as the previous section to contact them. So we want to offer value and reaching out to them. Don't just say hey, feature my music again. Get to know them and offer value to them. Sure, you can't say Let me add your music to this playlist all the time. But actually, some of these curators are music creators themselves. That might appreciate that method. But just be diligent and be well spoken and be yourself and whatever techniques work to get in touch with the influencers. Something similar will work for these curators. So repeat, repeat, repeat. And please do not get bummed out here. Okay? One more thing to consider is the fans also like section. So here you'll find many similar up and coming artists, and you can apply the same methods to scope. What place is there on? So you might see some similarities or trends here and playlist that they're featured on, So if you see a lot of artists that you're inspired by or that you network with that are featured on the same big playlists. You might want to make note of this and reach out to them the creators, to see how they were featured on these playlists. Perhaps they can get you a direct line to contact the person who is accepting submissions for the playlist. So I'm gonna wrap up this section here and that you get to work on finding some curate er's and get in some contacts and getting some features on some playlists. Good luck, and I'll see you in the next section. 11. Release Strategy: one of the most important aspects of growing your streams and fan base is gonna be your release strategy. So in this section will cover just that steady releases to grow your fans. First thing. I want to talk about his Spotify for artists, so we'll go to https colon slash slash artists dot Spotify dot com. Some of you may already know what this is, but I want to explain in just in case so it gives you the ability to create your profile. This will be your cover image, your bio and your about section. Okay, Also on this page you will be able to access your stats and get information about your demographic, such as who's listening to your music, what age group, what gender they are, where they're from, what playlists certain songs were appearing on and how many streams they're getting in those playlists. So this is where you can really see the value of how many listeners you have on your playlist and how many streams it is getting your songs. So how do you get access? You must first have music on Spotify already or a release schedule so some distributors help you get access in just a few days after scheduling your first release. The top three I know of right now are going to be destructed CD baby and the orchard. But you can do your research to see if there's other distributors you prefer that will get you access to Spotify for artists before your first release. So now let's talk about the actual release strategy and the key word here is gonna be singles. So you have music ready to release You want to go to Spotify for artists, select the music tab, Then select upcoming tab. And here will be the option to submit to Spotify curated playlists. Yes, these are the playlist that typically have hundreds of thousands to millions of listeners and will help your trap get 100 thousands to millions of streams if placed on these. So a big thing to know is that you must submit to these playlist Curator is before your release, so preferably about four weeks out. So if you're gonna schedule are released to happen in February, be sure you're submitting this in January. Now let me tell you why singles are the best strategy for this purpose if you releasing an album, you can only submit one track to be reviewed by Spotify curator. So what I suggest is Debbie that album up and release in singles. Then at a later date, you can package up these singles into an album using the same I SRC codes. Your distributor will have literature on this, and if you haven't decided a distributor just yet, maybe this is some details that you would look into to help you decide which distributor you want to release your music through. Now we've covered the importance of singles. Let's step back to the actual process of pitching your song to these curators. Be sure to fill in the appropriate genre. If you're a bit unsure what genre your music fits into, make sure to do some research at this point, so you get that part right now. Do your research on what play this. You think your music will fit well with. There's usually about five or 10 playlists that are curated by Spotify per genre that have hundreds of thousands of listeners that you'll want to mention in your submission form. If you do this, it shows you've done your homework and you know what places you're gonna fit best in. Don't just make some guesses last minute before pitching this. Let's actually do some research here and see what play this best fit your music. Now, I want you to think about any accolades or people you've worked with. You want to put this in the description of your song? So if you've worked alongside of famous rapper or if you've worked with an amazing guitarist or, you know, artists that are featured on these big playlists, you can name drop. At this point, this will help get some attention. This is called clout, and we want to use as much of this is we can and get through. These curator is to be featured. Another thing to think about is to play to an angle that will get you on specific playlists . So think about what is unique about your music. Perhaps the tractor submitting has something to do with climate change or a recent social event. And maybe there's a big playlist that is titled Something Like Climate Change or Something Relatively. This social issue your song is about, then you want to mention that because you really Nietzschean down your demographic and helping the curator see what spot your sunken fit in. Making less work for the curator is key here. Okay, so we set up our Spotify for artists. We understand the importance of releasing singles. We have filled out the form properly and have some singles scheduled to release four weeks in advance. Now it's time to talk about smart girls fan links and pre saving so you can use any smart you earl service I like toned in. And this will give you a link that includes all your shows in places to listen. Obviously, Spotify is the focus of this course, so you'll want to include that there. But don't limit it to just that. If you're releasing on Google play, you want to add that Linkous well or any other streaming platform you plan on releasing with you get staffs as to who's clicking on the link and how often and from where etcetera . However, your Spotify for artists can give you very accurate stats as well. That includes all the details I mentioned before, such as playlist. Your songs are included on it. How many streams you're getting per playlists, plus the location of your listeners and fans. Pre save length is very important because it really helps trigger Spotify algorithm. What it is is basically proof that when this song releases its going to get a lot of listens, and as a result, Spotify is algorithm will put it in places where more people are going to hear it. So there's really no easy trek to get people to just pre save the length because it kind of is a favor. But you can be smart with your social media approach and how you want to advertise that in a way to get people to pre save your music. Then that leads us to a social media strategy so similar to how we release our singles early. With four weeks in advance, we want to create a social media strategy that begins a few weeks prior to the release of the track. You can do things such as a giveaway or a contest, or challenges are really popular, too. Perhaps you're just creating really good content that is this visually captivating. Or maybe you're using viral content to help get attention on your song. Any of these will work as long as is consistent and that word consistent will move us to our next point, which is how to release Well, we want to release consistently. Ideally, you want to get into a regular rhythm of releasing singles. So when you release a single, you build the release strategy on social media and ER, using all of our networking tips discussed in the previous courses to get these songs placed in playlist that are gonna help it grow. You continue this every month, maybe every three weeks. Whatever works for you, you need to create a rhythm that allows you time to create and then time to release and focus on the release of it. Because if you don't put energy on this, your music will get released and never be hurt. Most important thing here is to get your music out to listeners that want to engage with it and want to hear. So one more note I want to add in. This is collaborating, otherwise known as features or collapse. So if you play an instrument and you're released, an instrumental music that might be smart to consider featuring artists that sing or rap on top of your music and doing, so you're going to reach out to their network and reach a wider audience for your release. If you are a rapper or a singer, it might be good to feature an instrumentalist that has a good following to help reach out to their network. There's no tried and true way Teoh getting these features, but the same approach we use for a networking is gonna work here. Just reach out to these artists, letting them know why you like through music and why you think it be cool. To Collab with them is a great way to combine networks and, overall, get more listeners and more fans on your music. Okay, that wraps up this section. Now let's get to work and I'll see in the next part. 12. Submitting Avenues: at this point of the course, we've covered quite a bit, and I'm sure you're realizing that each step takes some consistency to see the results. So I hope you get into a rhythm that helps you tackle each section and move on to the next . This section will act is in list of resource is for you to exploit as you dig deeper into this playlist approach, please keep in mind this is the digital age, so new resource is come and go quite quickly. But as of now, these are the ones that I found most valuable. So let's dig in. Let's start with Facebook groups. Facebook is such a huge social network, and they're gonna be Facebook groups on nearly any niche that you confined. So I'm certain that if we use the same keyword search approach as we did for Hashtags and Instagram, we could find some Facebook groups that are relevant to your demographic. Maybe there's Facebook groups for beat makers, maybe just Facebook groups for a particular genre of music creators. Maybe there's Facebook groups for fans of artists that you're inspired by. All of these are potential avenues. I want you to explore in this Facebook group. Rome. So typically you'll go into a Facebook group and you're going to see loads and loads of posts from artists saying, Yo, check out my latest beat tape or hey, check out this song I just released. This is cool, but it's just adding to the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of saturated post that fit into every single group. So I want you to avoid that method, and let's talk about the way that we can actually get some attention. So let's use our gift giving method again. And let's make a post that gives everybody else in this groups, um value and will entice them to comment and get engaged in our post. So why don't we try an approach like this? Let's to oppose that gives them some value by saying, Hey, link your latest release in the comments, then you're gonna get dozens of artists linking to their latest released. This is great because it's a central networking hub for them to communicate all within your post. Then you can sit through these links, find any of these releases that fit your demographic and potentially add to your playlist, then comment linking to your playlist saying you've done so. This may take some time because you're gonna go through dozens upon dozens of these submissions, if you will. But what's gonna happen is you're establishing yourself as a leader amongst this group and offering some sort of value to these fellow music creators in this community. Another approach for a post could be something like, It's that time again. I'm updating my playlist in taking submissions. So very similarly, you're gonna get a lot of people shooting their submissions in the common of that post again. You can reply to them linking that. You've added them to the playlist, and you could ask them for a follow, asked them for a share, or maybe set up some sort of gate that you have submitted a link to that they have to go to and follow your playlist in order to actually submit to your play. This, we'll talk about that here in a little bit, so these Facebook groups have a lot of value, so I want you to spend some time digging in finding some groups that fit your demographic, becoming a member and starting to get active, working that into your rhythm. All right, let's move on. So next up, let's talk about Reddit. Similar to Facebook groups, there are thousands of subreddit, it's of which you can find nearly any niche, including music of your demographic. The biggest difference with Reddit from Facebook groups is that you can actually choose which subreddit appear in your feed and look at the contents of multiple while scrolling down. Whereas with Facebook groups, you can only look at the contents of that one group while you're inside that one group. Other than that, you are expanding your network and introducing your music and your playlist to a wider range of people, which is always beneficial. So without saying much more, I want you to create a reddit account if you have not already and start exploring groups similarly, as you did with Facebook groups and become an active member in those groups, and sharing the valuable give a gift approach that we talked about before. Okay, moving on. So at this point, I want to break it up a bit. Everything you've learned in this course so far, you could pretty much do behind the comfort of your own computer screen. right. Well, this section I want you to actually get up and do some physical face to face networking in your community. We can call this the cafe approach. So in your community, you probably have a coffee shop or a cafe or maybe a bar that you frequent. Maybe you know, the bartenders of the baristas or the servers or someone on the staff or maybe even the owner. Okay, so I want you to go to your favorite coffee shop, for example. You'll notice there is probably music plane. If your regular there, you'll notice that a lot of times they play these same music, or at least music of the same genre. And this screams a huge opportunity for you because it means that those songs air playing over and over and over again. And the artists on those playlists are getting spends upon spends upon Spence. This could be your music and perhaps your playlist. So what I want to do is walk up to the bartender, that barista, whoever it is, you know, if you don't know them, introduce yourself. Ask about the playlist, say that you've crafted an amazing play. This you think, will suit the demographic other place. Ask if you can send them a link. It's important to get their contact info because as soon as they confirm that the play this music or at least listen to it, you can then start communication with them. If they begin playing your music, you can then offer updates monthly that will be sent directly to them every single month. This is a great opportunity for them because it breaks up the monotony of the music that here every single day and gives them something fresh. And they know that every single month they're going to get an update straight from you that they can just push, play on and enjoy. In addition, you're gonna get loads of streams. It's great when you look at the stats in your Spotify for artists page and you see how many spins air getting from these playlists that are being played in your local cafes. So I want you to go out in your community, get networking and see what sort of businesses you can get your music played and regularly . When you have your first success here, it'll be easier to apply the same approach to get successes in other local businesses. You can also think about other cities, perhaps other cities you played in, or maybe have family or friends, that owner operated cafe or a coffee shop in a different city. This is a great opportunity for you to then get back to the computer. Maybe shoot an email Ford pitching your players to them and your approach on how you will update it monthly for them so they don't have to think about doing it. Okay again, you're offering value inconvenience to these people so they can hear music that fister demographic on a regular basis. Stress free house, a free less time for them. All right, so go and have some fun networking and will move to the next section. So next I want to focus on a list of websites that accept submissions to be featured on playlists and other avenues. First up is sound plate. So here one quarrel I have is that it's a bit hard to see who the curator is and how many followers they have on their playlist without actually clicking each one and going to Spotify. So a basic practice. I want you to get into is this. You always want to scope the cure writers to see if their playlist fit your demographic and if they have at least 100 followers on the playlist. Otherwise, it might be smart to pass and move on to the other thousands. That might be a better fit. Also, I want you to peak how often the curator updates their playlists so you can see this in the date added column to the right on the Spotify desktop. Then, while you're there, you can also see where the newest additions air being added. You can again look at the date at it. Come if their newest emissions air all the way at the bottom of, say, a three hour playlist. Then there's no real value and you being added to this. Play this because you're not really gonna get any streams down there at the bottom. You want to be amongst the top 10 and if you can't be there, at least amongst the top 50 you'll get some streams out of okay. Another thing about Sound plate is that you can only submit seven times per day, which can be kind of limiting. Another thing is it will require you to follow every playlist you submit to. This is pretty Commons. They don't get bummed out about this. Just be aware that when you notice how Maney playlists you're following when you next long into your Spotify, it doesn't come as a surprise. Okay, next up is my Spera. So this site is all about their taste makers. You aren't really submitting to a particular playlist, but you're submitting to taste makers. Okay, It can be harder to find an exact niche that fits your music here, and it's a bit hard to actually find these taste makers. One thing that I've noticed is that my sphere of mainly seems to be benefiting from you becoming a taste maker. It seems that their main hustle is actually their marketing and promo packages. If you're interested in spending some money on that, you can certainly give that a try. If not, I'd say peak this website. If you think it fits, you go with it. If not, go ahead and move on to the next. Because there are so many other submitting avenues you could be using your time for Next up is submit hub. So with submit, huh? You create a profile, and then you submit to curate er's via your profile. You get all sorts of stats on the curate er's from response rate to the amount of fans to the amount of followers on their playlists. So this has been official. You can also search by location, outlet type such a Spotify, YouTube or radio station, etcetera, and you can also search by genre. So these are all great luxuries that I really like about. Submit home. Submit Hub works on a credit system where you buy credits once you run out so you can choose standard or premium credits. The way standard works is you're allowed to standard credits every four hours with premium credits there about a dollar credit, and what it does is it moves your submissions to the top, and it will guarantee you at least a response. So take some time to get acclimated with Submit hub, and I'm sure you'll find some value in doing so next to Monk, so a tune monk, you can put your playlist up to receive submissions. Here. You can also apply a gate that requires a follow for someone to submit, which is a great way to get your 1st 100 followers. You can also submit your songs to other curator, and you'll also get access to a Facebook group with about 600 users for networking. So to Monk has some pretty valuable resource is you can exploit. And it might be a quick way to get some submissions to your playlist and some quick follows if you promote to this link consistently. Okay, next up is in de mano, so this is a place you can submit for free, but you're gonna have to hand over your Spotify access for them to sort of use at their disposal again. This is not that uncommon. So if it bothers you, that might be an issue. If not, just keep an eye on any new playlist. And if you don't like which ones you're following just unfollowed. So Andy Mono requires you to submit to a pool of playlist by genre type, so you cannot just submit toe one playlist. You can become a patri on member by paying a monthly fee to gain what they call direct access. I'm not certain if this actually helps you get any placements, but you can feel free to try. Next is spinning Ray. There are three different patron tears you can choose to support. In doing so, you granted upto four suggestions a month to be added to one of their playlists so you could suggest your own music if you scope their playlists. You see that summer significantly larger than others, and you'd certainly want to aim for those. If you have a few dollars a month to spare, then I say go for it so long as it grants to enough streams to get a return on your investment, you're gonna want to get about 1250 Spotify streams per month from this service to get that return on your investment. Next up is daily playlists. You can submit to multiple playlists and a very simple fashion here so you can copy your Spotify song. You are L and paste it in the box first. Then you can select your genres, then select the boxes next to the actual playlist you want to submit to. You can submit up to 25 playlist per week. It will then take you to your dashboard that will show pending denied and approved submissions also something that, like here is how you can see the details of each playlist, including the follower count right on the website before even submitting. So you don't actually have to go to Spotify into the research here. The website gives you all those details. You can also upload your playlist here to accept submissions. You just need 100 followers on your play this first. So let this be motivation to go get those. Okay. The last emitting avenue I'm gonna mention in this course is actually YouTube. Okay. YouTube is the most widely used social media video sharing place in the world. So it's very, very, very worth your time to get your music siphoned through some pages here. Unlike the Spotify submission hubs mentioned here in this course earlier, there aren't really any centralized submit hubs for YouTube. The best advice I can give you here is build some relationships as outlined above and the networking sections, research some music promotion channels on YouTube and start sliding into that sort of wormhole again using the same networking approaches we talked about earlier and also be very diligent and consistent. Okay, this will pay off, and it will expose you to an entirely new demographic that you won't get simply with Spotify. Okay, so that concludes this section of the course. There's a lot to dig into here that will take a lot of time. So build yourself a schedule. And please, please, please be consistent. All right, I'll see you in the next section. 13. The Spotify Algorithm: At this point, I want to take a moment to talk about the Spotify algorithm. OK, so you put in a lot of work in these previous sections, making sure that your music isn't enough in multiple places alongside other artists that are as established as you or MAWR established than you, which in turn will help trigger this Spotify algorithm and that we'll get your music in various places that are very important. So let's talk about those the made for you section. So if you're in the Spotify desktop app, you can see the made for you section. This includes the daily mix, which includes a listeners regular listens and Spotify eyes algorithmic suggestions. You'll also find the Discover section. This is Spotify algorithm selecting songs it thinks you love you Also find the release radar section were songs that are new releases will appear based on what the algorithm thinks you're gonna love. If you're putting in the work to make sure your music ends up in various places, it's more likely the Spotify algorithm will pick it up and put it in its very important places. As a result, you're gonna get much more listeners that will turn into more streams and most likely help you get more followers as your followers grow on Spotify. It will help because each of them will get an email notification. When you have a new release set, they will also more likely have your name in their search history, which will mean return listens and return. Fans in essence, return customers and growing streams last. As you grow more fans and more streams as the algorithm picks up, you will then more likely be in the eyes of the curate er's to be picked and placed on the larger curated playlists. So I hope this helps you see the value in this method, and I hope you really start digging in and applying this approach. I can't wait to hear your successes. Let's move on to the next section. 14. Organize Your Time: Okay, so you made it to the final section of this course, and I hope you learned a lot throughout the way, and I hope you're sticking with it. But the most important aspect to actually seen results with this method is to organize your time. At this point, I want you to actually hire yourself, build yourself a schedule and fire yourself If you don't stick to it, the goal will be to make this a part time job, which will then help you make music a full time job if it's not already. So if you work in 9 to 5, don't make the excuse of I don't have time because that's not true. Carve away 1/2 hour to one hour a day, 4 to 5 days a week, and then, as you see results, that will motivate you to be able to put mawr time aside to see even more results and growth. Then I want you to actually build a physical schedule and show up for work. So if you have a space in your house or studio that you can actually show up to, that is a productive space. Maybe get out of your bed. Don't do this in your bet, because you might be more inclined Teoh sitting down the YouTube warm hole. Or maybe pop it up Netflix and just chillin right. Get yourself in a physical space that you can work and stick to this schedule. You're going to see results. So the next thing is, don't overdo yourself. It's so easy to overdo yourself and get burnt out if you don't see immediate results. But keep in mind. Consistency is key, and small successes build two big successes, so stick to that schedule, expected to take a little bit of time. But each small success should propel you to continue going and get to the big end result, which is hundreds of thousands to millions of streams. I know you can do this. So the last thing is, don't always be comparing yourself to someone like Drake, who gets billions of spins for release. Set your goals to be attainable at 1st 502,000 streams per release is a great achievement, and then it could only go up from there. You just set your threshold. That's something you can attain. And when you attain it, be sure to move it up and cross it again. These small successes again are going to create big successes. Okay, congratulations. You completed the course. I hope you gained a lot from this and that you use this method to see growth in your streams. Be sure to put a link to your playlist in the project section and tell us any techniques that helped you gain some success. I look forward to following your journey and hope to see you again soon. Take care.