How to Compete and Win with Streaming on Spotify

Chocolate bar, candy sweet, cacao beans and powder on wooden background

The competition is strong on Spotify. You aren’t just competing for the best sound. You are truly competing for shelf space. Think about a grocery store. There is on a finite amount of shelf space for products to be stacked. After that there is no more room period. It doesn’t matter if you make the best cookies in the world. There is literally no space for you to sell your goods. Spotify is the same way. There are only but so many listeners at any given time. If you don’t get a spot, then you don’t get heard.

Sitting around won’t lead to more plays. Spotify doesn’t listen to everyone’s sound and decide independently who they should share and recommend to common listeners. Instead they have decided to crowdsource their analytics. The Spotify algorithm is based on user interactions with the artists. So, if your profile has a lot of song, album, or playlist plays then the algorithm will boost your profile up the chain to more people’s eyes and ears. If your profile has a lot of followers, it will do the same thing.

Spotify wants to see song plays and profile followers. That is the end of the story. It is a simple exercise to understand what you need to grow but it is a much harder exercise to follow through with a plan to execute that understanding. How do you actually grow plays and followers?

Organic Versus Paid Growth

You could grow your analytics by just waiting. Certainly, people will share your music or stumble upon it. Eventually, it may build a strong following and start to snowball. If this is your thought process, then you are flat wrong. When you start out as an artist, who knows you? Who knows to go looking for your music? It isn’t a judgment on the quality of your music. There are tons of fantastic artists in the world that go undiscovered mainly because there are only but so many ears and eyes in the world. They also need to know how to play the game.

Instead of organic growth, you need to focus on paid digital marketing, or paid growth. All companies in every niche and industry do paid digital marketing or just marketing. Have you seen an advertisement for a product on the Internet? That is paid digital marketing. Have you ever seen an influencer who was paid to post about a product on Instagram? That is paid digital marketing. It is part of the industry of advertising and marketing. You just need to learn how to apply it to your Spotify account.

How Do I Get More Spotify Plays?

As an unknown artist you need to focus on getting the Spotify algorithm to notice that you exist and that your music is something to take seriously. This won’t happen with organic exposure at first. The point of paid marketing is to get to a point when organic growth outperforms your paid marketing and isn’t reliant on paid growth. So, as a new artist, you should focus on paid digital marketing until Spotify starts to automatically share your music with the world.

The best way to do this is to focus your digital marketing on the variables that you can control. Focus on growing your play count and follower count. This can be easily done by getting people to listen to your music. People will listen to your music if you pay them. So, instead of posting on Facebook buy Spotify plays. This will immediately improve your analytics on your Spotify profile. Over time you will start to see natural improvements in your ranks. This is due to the fact that Spotify is seeing your music as an important aspect to the current music trends and will rank it accordingly.

Should I Focus on Plays or Followers?

Focus on both. Make sure to be smart about it. Not all plays are the same. You want plays that bring in the best royalties and the best profile improvements. These are associated with multiple plays by the same people at different times over the course of a few weeks to a few months. It usually doesn’t look good if you only have people that play the song once. Have you ever loved a song but only played it once? More likely, you continue to listen to a song multiple time. That is highly important to Spotify to see that continued commitment to listening. Further, if some of those listeners are Premium Members then they will give better royalty payouts because they are a paying member of Spotify.

Article by Born Realist