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Spotify Promotion Guide: Grow Streams, Listeners & Followers

By Matthew Vultaggio

May 18, 2022

In this guide, we will review the different strategies that you should use or avoid when trying to promote your music on Spotify to grow your streams, listeners, and followers.

I’ve personally passed 5 million Spotify streams on my own music, and have either used or heavily researched the different types of Spotify promotions you will learn about in this guide.

Learning how to properly promote music is how I went from struggling artist to 5 million streams and I’m happy to share all my secrets in this beastly 8,000+ word guide. 🙂

Also – to make things easier, I’ve also put together a simple 7-Step Spotify Release Checklist that I used to get over 5,000,000 streams that you can have for free.

So grab your free 7-step checklist and let’s dive right into the Spotify promotion guide, my friend!

Start Here: Your Spotify Promotion Strategy

If you want to take your Spotify promotion seriously, the very first thing you should do is take the time to map out a 6 – 12 month release strategy and commit to carrying it out.

Unlike other streaming services, Spotify presents some real opportunities to get your music heard built into the platform thanks to their algorithm, playlists, and internal Spotify editor pitching process.

A basic look at how Spotify works will quickly reveal that although you can hope and pray that 1 release triggers the Spotify algorithm, gets you on 1000s of playlists, and a Spotify editor sees your track and playlists it too…

The truth is that to make the most out of the opportunities that Spotify presents you, you really need to focus on building momentum over time and increasing your chances with consistent releases.

Before we continue: you do need to have a basic understanding and the tools needed to release music online.

If you need help with this, I also have a guide that can walk you through the overall process you will need to go through called How To Release Music On Spotify. 🙂

Spotify Algorithm

The Spotify algorithm has been built to recommend songs that people want to listen to so that people spend more time inside the Spotify app.

If the Spotify algorithm notices that any song is being listened to more than normal, is actually being saved by its listeners and these listeners are then following the artist then it is in Spotify’s best interests to push that song out to similar people.

Spotify does this by monitoring millions of data points that revolve around user listening habits and compares them with similar users’ listening habits to build personalized playlists and look out for songs that are growing in popularity.

This is a massive opportunity for artists since it means that by dialing in your Spotify promotion, you can aim to trigger that Spotify algorithm to get you thousands of streams from similar listeners all for free.

If you want to learn more about this strategy and how you can “hack” the Spotify algorithm, check out my article on the Spotify Algorithm Hack.

I’d also recommend checking out this YouTube playlist that I’ve put together if you want to learn about this in even more detail: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHmXQrkZqFioLzooRggrhpKXW65morqxc

Recommended Release Strategy

My recommendation is to plan out 6 – 12 months’ worth of releases and make sure that your music is in a release-ready state so that you can truly focus on promotion once you get started.

In particular, I would recommend that you plan on releasing a new song every 28 days so that you can maximize your exposure on Spotify’s algorithm playlists like Release Radar (more on these playlists later in this article).

ProsCons
More chances to trigger the Spotify algorithm Can be a lot of work to stay consistent
More chances to pitch to the Spotify editorsYou may need to hold off on starting so that you can prepare enough music
Stay relevant to fans for a much longer period of time
Get the most out of each song in terms of promotion
Build momentum in the eyes of the algorithm, editors, your fans, and your scene
Always know when your next release is coming up
The Pros & Cons Of Using Monthly Release Strategy To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Ultimately, the pros greatly outweigh the cons for this form of Spotify promotion, and is something that I would highly, highly recommend you consider if you’d like to start seeing something finally happen with your music.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 5/5

Next, let’s take a look at exactly why types of Spotify promotion you should avoid like the plague if you want to get streams and keep your music up on Spotify.

What Types Of Spotify Promotion To Avoid

As Spotify gets more and more concerned with becoming a profitable business, they are taking fake/fraudulent streams more and more seriously.

This means that Spotify is not only taking away streams from songs they think have “artificial streams”, but they are even starting to completely remove these songs from their service.

This is important for you to really understand because as you are looking for ways to promote your music on Spotify:

There is a very real chance that you may accidentally come across this type of promotion and do irreparable harm to your music career.

So, let’s take a deeper dive into “artificial streams” and the type of Spotify promotion you should avoid.

P.S. To learn even more about this and what the consequences can look like, check out my article called Help! My Spotify Streams Went Down.

Artificial Streams Explained: Don’t Get Removed From Spotify

…so what exactly is an “artificial stream”?

Spotify defines an artificial stream as a stream/play that does not mirror real user listening behavior and intent which includes any attempt to manipulate Spotify with automated processes like bots, scripts, or click farms.

Just like how Spotify monitors millions of data points from user behavior to help make song recommendations, it can use the same massive amount of data to determine whether or not streams from a Spotify user are real or not.

To learn more about the rules behind what counts as a stream or not, check out my article on Spotify streaming rules. 🙂

Shady Spotify “Promo” Or Playlisting Companies / Services

When looking to promote your music on Spotify, always make sure you avoid things like:

  • Services that guarantee a specific amount of streams
  • Services that put you on playlists that you can’t review first
  • Playlists only filled with unknown and unrelated artists (ie: completely random genres and styles)

Essentially, you want to always be wary of anything that is too quick, easy, or too good to be true as well as always take a bit of time to do some research into the service, company, or playlist.

If you want to see an example of what to avoid and the research you might consider doing, check out this article I did on a “Spotify promo company” called Spotify Jedi.

ProsCons
No effort on your partPotential to have your streams removed
Potential to get your song removed from Spotify
Potential for your music distributor to stop working with you altogether
Potential to give the Spotify algorithm bad listener data about your music
The Pros & Cons Of Using Spotify Promo Services To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of the harmful effect that this type of Spotify promotion can have on your music career, I would highly recommend avoiding this promotion type altogether.

If you insist on using a company that is offering a service like this, at least make sure to take your time doing your due diligence on the company and its offer.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 0/5

Next, let’s start looking at some more legit types of Spotify promotions that I would actually recommend you use for your music!

Spotify Playlist Promotion

What really sets Spotify apart from other streaming services is the wide variety of playlists on the service as well as the powerful recommendation algorithm that powers a good chunk of these playlists.

The types of playlists available to you to help get your music heard on Spotify can be broken down into these 5 categories:

  • Spotify’s algorithmic playlists
  • Spotify’s editorial playlists
  • Spotify user playlists
  • Third-party “curated” playlists
  • Artist-created playlists

Learning exactly how these different playlists work and how you can get your music on them is really key to finding success on Spotify as an artist.

Knowing how important these playlists are, let’s take a look at each one by one to make sure you know everything you need to know about these powerful playlists.

Spotify Algorithm Playlists

Let’s kick things off with my absolute favorite type of Spotify playlist: algorithmic playlists.

Spotify’s algorithmic playlists are custom playlists that are automatically generated by Spotify’s algorithm and are personalized for each user based on their listening habits.

Because the music on these playlists is personalized for each Spotify user, algorithm playlists are a great way to expose your own music to thousands of listeners that are highly likely to like and stream your music.

This is because there is the opportunity for people who are similar to the people that already listen to your music (or artists that sound close to you) to start having your music recommended in their personalized playlists.

There are several types of different algorithmic playlists that have different purposes and include playlist names like Release Radar, Discover Weekly, Daily Mix, and Radio.

In most cases, you can get on these playlists by getting your music heard with high engagement rates (repeat listens, saves, etc).

However, to get on ‘Release Radar’ all you need to do is release a new song and submit your music to Spotify to get that song on the ‘Release Radar’ of all your Spotify followers – a high engagement rate during your release will trigger the algorithm to put it into the playlists of similar Spotify users that aren’t even following you!

In particular for me, “Release Radar” has been a massive part of how I’ve been able to pass 5 million streams, and as my career has grown “Radio” has been kicking in to continue my growth.

To learn more about each of these types of algorithmic playlists and how you can get on them, check out my dedicated article on Spotify’s Algorithm Playlists. 🙂

ProsCons
Get thousands of streams for freeThey can seem ‘mysterious’ or ‘random’ without the right knowledge
Expose your music to listeners who are similar to your current fans and listenersSome playlist types can take months or even years to start kicking in (ie: Discover Weekly or Radio)
Dozens of different playlist types available to artists
Artists have control over getting on these playlists (particularly with ‘Release Radar’)
The Pros & Cons Of Using Spotify Algorithm Playlists To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of the massive potential for free streams and the fact that artists like you and me have the ability to (somewhat) control if our music gets on these playlists or not, this type of Spotify promotion is highly recommended.

In fact, I would recommend every artist adjust their release strategy to do their best to maximize these types of playlist placements if they want to see the most amount of growth in their career possible.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 5/5

Next, let’s take a look at the coveted official Spotify editorial playlists.

Spotify Editorial Playlists

To most artists, the holy grail of Spotify playlists is the official Spotify Editorial Playlists.

Spotify editorial playlists are playlists on Spotify that are curated by Spotify’s music experts and genre specialists. Each playlist usually revolves around a theme such as a genre, sub-genre, mood, or even particular activities like working or running.

Although all you need to do is make a Spotify editorial playlist submission to the Spotify editors just like you would to get your music on ‘Release Radar’, getting on these playlists is nowhere near as simple.

To date, I’ve gotten my music on over 20 Spotify editorial playlists although sometimes I’ve had different songs on the same type of editorial playlist.

The “secret” here is to commit to a consistent release schedule so that you can maximize your number of pitches and build momentum with the increase in streams from Spotify algorithm playlists:

You need to give the Spotify editors a reason to notice you and the best way to do that is to release music consistently and building up momentum by growing your streams release after release.

ProsCons
Potential to get a massive number of streamsCan be challenging to get on
Getting on these playlists gives you a big credibility boostThere is never a guarantee you will get placed on these playlists
Not all editorial playlists are built equal (some have thousands of followers, some have millions)
The Pros & Cons Of Using Spotify Editorial Playlists To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Considering how challenging and unreliable these types of playlist placements can be, I’d recommend doing what you can to get on a Spotify editorial playlist just make sure your success does not depend on it.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 3/5

Next, let’s take a look at Spotify playlists that are curated by third parties.

Third-Party “Curated” Spotify Playlists

Curated playlists are Spotify playlists that are created by people that have created their playlist to try to grow it as large as possible and most likely to make money off of it.

It is possible to get your music on these playlists for free by directly reaching out to the playlist curator, using a tool like SubmitHub or PlaylistPush, or paying for a company to get your music on these types of playlists for you.

Although it is possible to grow your streams with these playlists, the quality of each playlist will vary and you will likely see very low engagement rates as well as a significant drop-off in streams as soon as your song is removed.

Getting on a playlist with music that isn’t similar to yours or that has low engagement rates can also have a really negative effect on the Spotify algorithm.

In addition to this, you need to watch out for scams or playlist curators there use bots and click farms to artificially increase stream counts when looking to use this type of Spotify promotion.

I personally don’t spend my time or money on this type of promotion, although I have still gotten my music on these playlists as a by-product of other promo efforts I do for my music.

ProsCons
Potential to grow streams nicelyThe quality of the playlist varies greatly
Landing on the right playlist can have a big impact on you and your songLow engagement rates are very common
Some of these playlists can give you a big credibility boostYou can expect a significant drop-off in streams as soon as your song is removed
Can be completely freePotential to really harm the Spotify algorithm
You need to watch out for scams or curators that use bots/click farms
Can cost a lot of money
Can cost a lot of time to research and reach out to curators
The Pros & Cons Of Using Third-Party Spotify Playlists To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of the high potential costs in both time and money as well as the gamble you play when it comes to the quality of these playlists, I wouldn’t recommend this type of Spotify promotion for your music.

At the very least, if this type of promotion really interests you then I would highly highly recommend that this is not the only type of promotion you rely on.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2/5

Next, let’s take a look at how you can promote your music with your own Spotify playlists.

Growing Streams With Your Own Spotify Playlists

Another one of my favorite types of Spotify playlist promotion is actually creating your own playlist and growing it to have a healthy number of engaged followers.

Having your own Spotify playlist is an incredible asset since you can stuff it with your own songs, add your latest release to it, increase your own credibility as a curator and even make money from Spotify playlists!

However, there is a big catch…

In order to make the most out of this type of Spotify promotion, you will absolutely need to know how to promote your Spotify playlist.

In my experience, the best way to promote Spotify playlists has been with Facebook and Instagram ads – so you will likely need to pony up some cash to grow your playlist into a useful asset.

ProsCons
You can add your own songs to your Spotify playlistsTakes time and money to build up correctly
You can add your new releases to help boost their stream countsCan take time to manage and maintain your Spotify playlist
Potential to build credibility as a “curator”
Potential to make money directly from the playlist by considering submissions
The Pros & Cons Of Using Your Own Spotify Playlists To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of how useful of an asset owning your own Spotify playlist can be, I would definitely recommend pursuing this type of Spotify promotion.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 4/5

Next, let’s take a look at the often overlooked Spotify user playlists.

Spotify User Playlists

An often overlooked playlist is any playlist created by your everyday run-of-the-mill Spotify user.

These are real, living, genuine fans of your music and they simply added your song to their playlist because they liked it and want to make sure they hear it again.

Not only will user playlist adds make sure your song keeps getting streamed for years and years to come, but these are real people that like the music you’ve made, regardless of how many followers they have.

In addition to this, the Spotify algorithm looks at how many playlists your music gets added to and how many user libraries your music gets saved to when deciding when to push a song out or not.

However, getting on these types of playlists is often a by-product of your other Spotify promotion efforts and is not something you can directly influence.

ProsCons
Playlist adds from normal Spotify users are an important signal to the Spotify algorithmYou can’t directly influence getting on these playlists
You can see streams from these playlists for years to comeThe number of streams varies wildly from playlist to playlist
Getting on several of these can add up to be a large number of total streams
The Pros & Cons Of Using Spotify User Playlists To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Based on the fact that the main reason you should be creating and releasing music is for real music fans to hear your music, I would absolutely recommend that you never lose sight of the everyday people that stream and love your music.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 10/5

Next, let’s take a look at one of the most powerful methods of Spotify promotion that can definitely lead to more Spotify user playlist adds.

Advertising To Massively Grow Spotify Streams

By far one of the biggest promotional tactics that helped me achieve 5 million Spotify streams is using digital advertising to send highly targeted listeners over to my Spotify profile.

There are several reasons that ads for musicians are so powerful, but easily my favorite is the fact that they are “automated” so that once they are set up they start bringing in new fans and listeners 24/7 by themselves.

As a self-proclaimed introvert, I’m really not a huge fan of spending my time reaching out to people begging for them to listen to my music or promote my latest single for me.

The big downside to this is that in addition to the work that goes into setting up and optimizing ads, you 100% need to spend money for this type of Spotify promotion.

There’s no way around that but the benefits are pretty amazing and I truly believe that every artist needs to know Facebook Ads (for reasons beyond just the fact that they can help you significantly grow your streams).

Facebook Ads

Out of all the advertising platforms, I’ve found Facebook Ads to be the most effective for musicians that are looking to promote their music on Spotify for 5 key reasons:

  1. There are in-depth targeting options for a very wide variety of interests (like genres and artists) in addition to basic demographics.
  2. You can “scale” the ads and control your budget starting at just $1 per day if you want.
  3. Facebook’s learning algorithm can optimize all by itself to get you the most results possible for the lowest cost possible.
  4. You can place people that engage with you into “Custom Audiences” and “retarget” them which means showing them your ads at a lower cost than it took to reach them in the first place.
  5. You can leverage the Facebook algorithm to create “Lookalike Audiences” which are 1+ million people that are similar to your fans inside of those Custom Audiences.

The fact that you are sending highly targeted listeners means that the engagement rate (repeat listens, saves, playlist adds, etc) is much higher than other forms of Spotify promotion.

This significantly increases your chances of triggering the Spotify algorithm (particularly the ‘Release Radar’ playlist in the first 28 days of your song’s release).

If you want to learn more about this and get this type of Spotify promotion set up yourself, I’ve created a completely free course that you can have called Facebook Ads For Musicians. 🙂

ProsCons
In-depth targeting options to find your ideal fanComplicated to set up
Complete control over how much you spendTakes time and work to optimize for the lowest costs
Learning algorithms to find you similar fans automaticallyThe ad platform is constantly changing
Highly engaged listeners are sent to your SpotifyCosts are slowly rising
Good chance of triggering the Spotify algorithm
Can be used for other promotions like selling merch, tickets, memberships, etc.
The Pros & Cons Of Using Facebook Ads To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of the control you get as an artist and the high quality of fan you get with this type of promotion alone, I would highly recommend looking into using Facebook Ads to promote your music on Spotify.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 4/5

Next, let’s take a look at some services that can automate the Facebook Advertising process for you.

Automated Advertising Platforms/Services

There are also several services that tie into the Facebook Ads platform so that you can more easily get up and running with Facebook Ads.

The main downside here is that they charge an additional monthly fee on top of your ad spend and you lose some of the flexibility and customization you would normally get by doing it yourself.

Regardless, this is a fantastic option for someone who wants to get started with Facebook Ads but doesn’t want to spend the time setting everything up themselves and has some extra room in the music marketing budget.

To learn more about this, I would check out my article on ToneDen Pricing & Plans Explained to learn about the ‘top dawg’ in the automated Facebook Ads for musicians space.

To learn even more, then check out my article on the top ToneDen Alternative. 🙂

ProsCons
Quicker to get up and runningCosts extra money in addition to the ad spend
Less time and energy on your partLoss of flexibility and customization
Get most of the benefits of Facebook Ads
The Pros & Cons Of Using Automated Advertising Platforms/Services To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Using an automated advertising platform is an absolutely great form of Spotify promotion and is recommended for anyone that has extra money but no time to take the DIY approach.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 3.5/5

Next, let’s take a look at some non-Facebook advertising platforms.

Google Ads

Google Ads are advertisements that you can place in the search results or as display ads on websites in Google’s advertising network.

The target options are not as awesome as with Facebook since you mostly have to use specific words that people are searching for or broad interest categories (as opposed to specific artists and genre types).

When I experimented with this myself, I was not able to get a single stream from the money I spent on Google Ads.

ProsCons
Cheaper than Facebook AdsTargeting options are not great
Flexible budgetingNot proven to get streams
The Pros & Cons Of Using Google Ads To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Simply based on the fact, that I haven’t personally got any good results with this type of Spotify promotion, I wouldn’t recommend it at this time.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 1/5

Next, let’s take a look at a different type of “Google” ad but for their video platform.

YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads are videos that you can set up to place in front of, in the middle, or at the end of videos on YouTube as well as on the right-hand side of the recommended videos column.

The targeting options are pretty cool since you can actually choose specific videos or channels that you want your ad to appear on.

However, it seems like it is hard to move people off of YouTube with an ad which makes it hard for this type of promotion to turn into Spotify streams.

Instead, YouTube Ads are more of a fantastic way to increase views on a music video that you have uploaded on YouTube.

ProsCons
Really cool targeting optionsNot yet proven to increase Spotify streams
Great for increasing views on a YouTube video
Flexible budgeting
The Pros & Cons Of Using YouTube Ads To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Because of the fact that this type of promotion has not been proven to actually increase Spotify streams, I would not recommend this at this time.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 1/5

Next, let’s take a look at all the other advertising platforms out there.

Other Ad Platforms (TikTok, Snapchat, etc)

Although Facebook and Google are the titans of digital advertising, several other social media platforms have started to enter the ring with their own advertising platforms.

Some interesting advertising platforms that can be worth looking into are TikTok, Snapchat, and even Spotify.

However, since these ad platforms are in their infancy your results may vary and they tend to have limited targeting options and minimum spending limits (like $250 to $500 per campaign).

ProsCons
Very low costsLimited targeting options
Potential to diversify ads away from FacebookHigh minimum spending limits
Not yet proven to get Spotify streams
The Pros & Cons Of Using Other Ad Platforms To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Due to the limitations of these platforms, I would only recommend experimenting with this type of Spotify promotion once you have experience using an advertising platform that is proven to get Spotify streams.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2/5

With advertising platforms out of the way, let’s take a look at some types of Spotify promotions that won’t cost you a dime.

Social Media Best Practises For Spotify Promotion

Although you can’t expect to get thousands (or even 100s) of streams from social media promotion, social media is incredibly important for building a real fanbase of active listeners and fans.

Specific to Spotify promotion, I’ve found that social media can be a nice free way to get some extra streams as well as increase your repeat listens from previous fans (which is a good sign in the Spotify algorithm’s eyes).

With that said, it can be quite a lot of work to properly to use social media since the “secret” is to really commit to freely giving away valuable content on a very consistent basis.

This is why I’d recommend leveraging techniques like “batching” and “scheduling” to make the most out of your time as I can teach you in my article called Social Media For Musicians That HATE Posting To Social Media.

With that said, regardless of which social media platform you use:

The best way to build a fanbase on social media that wants to support you and your art is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.

To learn more about how you can create a recurring content strategy and content calendar, check out my full guide called How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media. 🙂

That guide is particularly important since it also teaches you how to specifically use social media so that it works alongside your long-term 6 – 12 release strategy to support the success of your music on Spotify.

For now, let’s take a look at some specific social media platforms in more detail (and if you need help picking one, check out my article on The Best Social Media Platforms For Musicians & Music Artists).

Instagram

Instagram is great for musicians because of the fan relationships that you can develop through the content you post and from communicating with fans through comments and direct messages.

It is also possible to find new fans and listeners by using Instagram’s hashtags and having your content appear as recommended content in the feeds and discover tab of people that don’t follow you yet.

The main challenge you will face as a musician on Instagram is that the organic reach of your posts is constantly dropping over time so you are pushed to spend money on ads instead.

In addition to this, it can be challenging to convert someone from someone just chilling on Instagram to an actual fan that wants to engage with you and your music.

P.S. If you are interested in using Instagram to grow your streams, check out my full guide called How To Promote Your Music On Instagram. 🙂

ProsCons
Good for developing real fan relationshipsOrganic reach constantly dropping
Great communication channel for fansHard to turn someone from a random Instagram user to a hardcore fan of your music
The scheduling feature allows you to have a hands-off approach
The Pros & Cons Of Using Instagram To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Ultimately I can see Instagram slowly continuing its decline just like Facebook and MySpace before it.

However…

It can still be a great tool for getting discovered and nurturing your fanbase – this combined with the nice scheduling feature makes Instagram something I would recommend if you are interested in it.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2.5/5

Next, let’s take a look at the current darling of social media platforms.

TikTok

TikTok is great for musicians because it is the social media app that is “in” right now and due to the fact that TikTok is extremely generous with how many people can discover your content organically.

Going viral on TikTok almost always results in significant upticks in the stream counts for the song used in the video on Spotify and other streaming services.

And even if your content does not go viral…

TikTok is currently very generous with its recommendation algorithm and it can be easy for your content to be put in front of thousands of users even when you are just starting out.

With that said, creating content for TikTok may not be for everyone and its popularity is most likely on a limited timeline as the company has ambitions of profiting off of ads.

Just like Instagram and Facebook did before it, this switch would likely result in a decrease of organic reach to push creators to spend money on ads as well as a slow decline in userbase as users get a worse experience filled with ads.

ProsCons
Very generous recommendation algorithmCreating TikTok content is not for everyone
The most popular social media platform right nowA decline in organic reach is likely to come sooner than later
Music is really baked into the main concept of TikTok content
The Pros & Cons Of Using TikTok To Promote Your Music On Spotify

If you are interested in creating content for TikTok then I would definitely recommend jumping on the bandwagon while the platform is still hot.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 4/5

Next, let’s take a look at a social media platform that will likely never go away.

YouTube

YouTube is great for musicians because the content you create can easily be discovered months and years after you’ve created it through YouTube’s recommendations algorithm and powerful search engine.

Unlike other social media platforms, the content you create on YouTube doesn’t simply disappear and becomes irrelevant after 24 – 48 hours of posting.

This means that all of the time and effort that you put into creating content can result in content that serves your music career by finding and nurturing fans for years to come instead of just the first 24 – 48 hours of posting.

With that said, there are several challenges for musicians and artists that are looking to grow their music on YouTube, including:

  • It usually takes consistency over a long period of time before YouTube will start recommending your content to potential fans and listeners.
  • Coming up with ideas and then filming, editing, and uploading video content can be time-consuming and challenging.
  • You will likely need to create content that goes beyond just your music.

In addition to this, it is generally quite hard to get people off of YouTube and over to another platform like, for example, Spotify.

However, if you are interested in growing your music on YouTube specifically, I’d recommend checking out my guide called How To Grow A Music YouTube Channel. 🙂

ProsCons
The hard work you put into creating content doesn’t become undiscoverable after 24 – 48 hoursIt can be hard to get people off of YouTube and onto other platforms
YouTube has a powerful recommendation engineTakes a lot of consistency to see results
There are music-specific channels you can try to get your music onMedium to long-form video content can be very hard to create and publish
It’s possible to build a very engaged and massive audience if you consistently provide valueYou will likely need to create content that goes beyond just your music and provide genuine value
The Pros & Cons Of Using YouTube To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Simply based on the fact that it can be hard to move people off of YouTube and onto Spotify, it is hard to recommend this as a go-to form of Spotify promotion.

With that said, if you are looking to grow your fanbase more generally and have some real value you can provide, then YouTube is a massive opportunity for artists and musicians.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2/5

Next, let’s take a look at a platform that you can actually own and have complete control over.

Your Own Website For Spotify Promotion

Having your own website is a great way to make you look more professional and can be useful to send fans to as a “central hub” that you actually own.

However, it is my opinion that the most useful thing a musician’s website is good for is future-proofing your online presence.

When you are ready to start running ads, selling merch, building a membership, or creating unique online fan experiences, a website will allow you to build out these things without having to pay for separate individual online services and tools.

To learn more about websites and crafting your presence on the web, check out my guide on Online Presence For Musicians. 🙂

A more specific type of website that has emerged as Spotify has become popular is the “music link” or “smart link”.

Smart Links for music marketing are web pages that artists create so that fans can easily find links to an artist’s song, album, or playlist on different streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Although these can really just be music landing pages on your own website, they can be a really important part of setting up Facebook Ads properly to massively grow your streams.

If you have a website then I’d honestly say just use that to create music links, but there are also several services that have popped up to more easily create the best music links if you insist on spending extra money on ’em.

Although there are some free music links available as well, most of these do not have what you need to properly run Spotify conversion ads with Facebook.

To learn more about music links and how you can use them to grow your streams, check out my full guide called Smart Links For Music Marketing. 🙂

ProsCons
Future-proofs your online presenceA website or webpage will not get your streams on its own
Makes you look more professionalCosts money and time to set up and manage
You won’t need to spend extra money on dedicated tools and services
The Pros & Cons Of Using Influencer Marketing To Promote Your Music On Spotify

Simply based on the fact that a website won’t get you streams on its own, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a form of Spotify promotion by itself.

However, at the same time, it can be a very useful asset and when used to create music links for Facebook ads it becomes incredibly important.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 3/5

Next, let’s take a look at a type of marketing that is very much connected to websites.

SEO For Growing Spotify Streams

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a powerful marketing tactic that can help businesses get 100,000’s of eyeballs on them each month for free.

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t as effective for artists or musicians trying to get Spotify streams for a few key reasons:

Reason #1 – You can only show up on the search results of Google if people are actually searching for you, your music, or whatever search term you are hoping to rank for.

If no one is searching the Internet for your artist name or song name, how exactly do you plan on showing up in any search results?

SEO works for businesses because people are searching for information (ie: how to do a backflip or the top lawnmowers for $100) that those businesses can answer.

Reason #2 – The old way of using “meta-data”, “tags” or little hacks no longer work. The main way to make the most out of SEO is with a high volume of helpful content.

Google is constantly adjusting its search algorithm so that whenever someone searches for something on their search engine they get the most helpful results possible.

They used to use things like meta-data and code to figure out what pages to rank but since businesses took advantage of this in the past, they no longer use these.

Today, Google ranks websites that have shown they are credible in their space by the amount of high-quality content that they publish.

So unless you plan on publishing 2 to 3 high-quality blog posts that total 1,000 to 2,000 words each and every week for the next 2 years… you likely won’t see great results from SEO.

In short: SEO is great for businesses but not so great for getting Spotify streams.

ProsCons
Possible to get 100,000s of “free traffic” every single monthNot useful for getting Spotify streams
Takes a lot of time and effort to start ranking high in search results
The Pros & Cons Of Using SEO To Promote Your Music On Spotify

SEO can be amazing for you if you are also providing helpful content like tutorials or teaching something you know, however, I can’t recommend SEO as something you should spend too much time and effort on when promoting your music on Spotify.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 1/5

Next, let’s take a look at other websites that can bring attention to your music.

Music Blogs & PR For Spotify Streams

A few years ago getting a solid write-up on your music from a reputable music blog or new outlet was one the biggest things that could happen to your music career.

Today, you only really need to ask yourself 1 question to determine if music blogs and pr are worth spending your time and effort on to grow your Spotify streams:

“When is the last time I discovered a new song on a music blog?”

Although music blogs and press can be a nice boost to the credibility of your project, these media outlets are no longer incredibly important (particularly when trying to grow your Spotify).

ProsCons
Great way to add some credibility to your music projectNo longer highly relevant in the music industry
Most music blog placements are unlikely to translate into a meaningful amount of streams
The Pros & Cons Of Using Music Blogs & PR To Promote Your Music On Spotify

The times have changed and due to the drop in relevance and popularity of music blogs in hand with the fact that most placements likely won’t result in many streams, I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time or energy on this form of Spotify promotion.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2/5

Next, let’s take a look at what role influencers can play in promoting your music on Spotify.

Influencer Marketing

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing there is, which is why having an “influencer” using or promoting your song can be a massive boost to your Spotify stream counts.

You can either find a company that can seek out influencers (usually on TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram) for you or you can do the research and outreach yourself.

There are 2 types of influencers that you can try to collaborate with:

  1. Macro-Influencers: very large content creators who have a very large audience and a “celebrity” type of status (ie: Britney Spears, Addison Rae, etc)
  2. Micro-Influencers: smaller content creators who are either still trying to become known or are slowly emerging (ie: creators with under 50,000 followers)

For promoting your Spotify, you will likely have the most luck with micro-influencers since they may either use your music for free or for a price that is more realistic for your budget.

In order to get started with this, you will need to either hire a company or start spending a lot of time researching and reaching out to influencers.

This type of Spotify promotion can cost a lot in terms of time or money (and likely both) but can definitely result in some massive Spotify results.

ProsCons
Takes advantage of “word-of-mouth” marketing to give your music credibilityIt will take a lot of time to find influencers and figure out a deal
Potential to expose your music to 1,000s of new listenersCan take a lot of money (either paying the influencer or a company to do this promo for you)
Potential for your song to go viral with other content creators using your song as well
The Pros & Cons Of Using Influencer Marketing To Promote Your Music On Spotify

If you are interested in this type of Spotify promotion, I would definitely recommend you look into it (especially if you are already using TikTok in particular as part of your marketing).

With that said, I personally don’t care for this tactic all too much because I don’t have the time to spend on it or the money to have someone do it for me.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 3/5

Next, let’s take a look at some people that can take alllll of this hard work and effort off of your shoulders… for a hefty price.

Music Marketing Agencies

There are several music marketing agencies and companies out there than can handle some or all of the Spotify promotion work for you if you would like them to.

However, there are 2 things you should be aware of:

  1. It will likely be very expensive to work with them.
  2. There is no guarantee of any results.

In addition to this, you are missing out on learning about several valuable skills that can help you not only do a better job at promoting your music but also put you in a better position if you are ever having business conversations with labels or companies in the future.

These are some of the reasons that I really believe that every artist should learn Facebook Ads – artists can’t just be artists anymore and the more knowledge and skills you have the better off you are.

With that said, if you have the budget for this and not the time, this can be a great way to promote your music without having to get too involved.

ProsCons
Do not have to get too involved or do too much workIt will be very expensive
They can have a lot of expertise in whatever Spotify promotion that they offerResults will vary
The Pros & Cons Of Using Music Marketing Agencies To Promote Your Music On Spotify

I would recommend looking into outsourcing your Spotify promotion only if you have the money to spend, however, there are still some very real benefits of learning how to do this all yourself.

Spotify Promotion Rating: 2/5

Following A Simple & Repeatable System To Promote Your Music

Most articles and videos on the Internet will tell you the “250 things you NEED to do” or give advice like “be on EVERY social media platform” to promote your music properly.

The truth is that this advice is usually an attempt to reach a certain word count or video length and makes you fall into the trap of thinking that “more = better”.

Although I’ve shown all the different types of promotion available to you, I actually only follow 7 simple steps when promoting my own music.

The reason for this is simple:

As an independent artist or musician, you have very limited resources (both time and money) and you need to choose how you use your resources wisely.

Because you need to repeat the promotion process constantly to start getting real results, my recommendation is to focus on just a few very specific tasks.

By focusing only on a select few steps that are going to actually move the needle, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and be able to easily repeat these steps for every single release you do.

The “secret” is to simply “copy and paste” these steps each time you are releasing a new song.

I’ve put together a simple 7-Step Spotify Release Checklist that I used to get over 5,000,000 streams that you can have for free.

This checklist has been a lifesaver for me and it really is the heart and soul of how I successfully promote my music on Spotify even to this day.

Be sure to review the steps in that checklist and click around to reveal more information about each step and why it is so important. 🙂

How To Build A Fanbase On Spotify With Ads

The mechanics of building a fanbase can really be applied to anything, including building a fanbase on Spotify.

You can find LISTENERS on Facebook and Instagram that listen to similar artists and genres to your music by using Facebook Ads.

You can then build TRUST by offering them your music by presenting a video ad with audio preview that sends them to a music link.

This trust that you establish through your music, ad and link can then lead to LOYALTY in the form of streams, follows, and saves on Spotfy.

Here is a visual representation of what this looks like:

To learn more about how you can build this out yourself, check out my free Facebook Ads for musicians course. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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