Every artist wants to boost their stream count on major platforms like Spotify and Apple Music to earn more royalties and increase their exposure & influence. But it's important to go about it in the right way.
There are good strategies, bad strategies and downright terrible strategies when it comes to getting more streams. So let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of music streaming promotion.
How NOT to promote music on streaming platforms
Don’t buy streams
There are lots of dodgy services out there offering the chance to "buy streams" on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms. Some might even try to entice you by claiming that they offer “real” streams that can’t have any negative effect on your music.
It's not true. So just don’t do it!
Bottom line: Don’t get involved with any service offering streams or playlist placements in exchange for money.
These companies use click farms and other underhand tactics to generate streams for the people who pay them. And because money can be made from streams, getting them illegitimately like this is actually a form of fraud.
Fake streams attached to your music usually results in a “takedown”. That means your music will be removed from platforms permanently.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the fake streams trap! It's never worth it.
Don’t overplay your own music
You might be tempted to play your own music on repeat to help increase your streaming numbers, but don’t overdo it.
Listening to your own music is fine. Even if it's more than once a day. But don’t leave it on repeat for a day or more without actually listening to it in an attempt to game the system.
This is a pretty shady, unethical way to increase your stream count. But not only that, it's been done before. That means streaming platforms know the signs and will soon realise what you’re doing. And ultimately, they could end up removing your music entirely in response.
How TO promote music on streaming platforms
Access your streaming analytics
Both Spotify and Apple Music have dedicated services for artists, which include analytics of their music’s performance across the platforms.
These services can be particularly helpful for artists to determine what is working well, where and with which types of audiences.
You can also get in-depth trending reports and analytics on your personal artist dashboard when you release music online through Ditto Music.
Ask your fans to follow you
The more followers you have on Spotify and Apple Music, the more people will engage with your music on those platforms. Pretty obvious right?
However, all of your followers will also receive updates on your new music through their Release Radar playlists and potentially via emails, which are personalised for each user.
There’s no harm in directly asking your fans to follow you. Just put a post out on social media, email your fans about it and mention it at shows to see what response it gets.
Share & embed your music everywhere
Spotify and Apple Music love it when you drive listener’s to them from “off-platform”. So make sure to share links to your tracks across all your social media pages.
Sending listeners to streaming platforms whenever possible can also help you get playlisted. Algorithmic playlists like Spotify’s Discover weekly use metrics including listener engagement, play duration and more to decipher which tracks to include. You can learn how about how the get on Spotify's Discover weekly here.
You should also be embedding your music onto your website If you’ve never embedded your music from Spotify before. Here’s how to do it.
Submit to playlists
Getting your track featured on a playlist can do BIG things for your presence on streaming platforms.
Some of the biggest playlists have millions of followers, and inclusion can bag you great exposure and potentially huge streaming numbers.
And remember, it's not all about landing on the biggest playlists. While landing on an official playlist with millions of followers is great, inclusion on smaller playlists can also help your presence on streaming platforms.
Spotify Discover Weekly playlist algorithm uses data from every playlist across the platform when choosing songs for its users. So every playlist counts, no matter the follower size.
Here are a couple of places to start submitting your music for playlists right now: