When you put strategy in place, “Streams Do Come True” is the mantra I proselytize to music artists who hope to make their mark in the current music industry. Conversely, streams most certainly won’t come true for those who don’t have a streaming strategy.
Major labels are hard at work building music streaming empires for their artists. Why? Because streams are the new super highway to the almighty dollar. Contrary to what some may think, streams can produce significant income and those who remain on the sidelines complaining are either in bad record deals or they are completely in the dark. The exciting thing is streaming is about to take an even bigger leap with Apple Music announcing their US paid subscriber base recently surpassing Spotify. What does the Apple news mean to the streaming economy? I’m expecting the streaming income for the artists we represent to double over the next year simply from Apple Music’s growth. And that’s fantastic news as some have already been generating robust streaming income primarily from Spotify.
Artist who are signed to labels have a team working daily building streams. However, many independent artists flounder at building streams as they lack a clear understanding of how to move the needle. We launched the>stream>strategist in 2017 as a resource for independent artists and labels to learn and grow their streaming business and we have helped clients find significant growth. The Gray Havens are one of our recent successes as we increased their monthly listeners from 10K to 200K+ in the last year and reached just shy of 300K+ monthly listeners during the month of August. Their most recent single “Storehouse” logged 450K listens in four weeks and the strategy we put in place exposed them to 4 million+ listeners out of the gate including landing them in Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. We also recently grew streams for new indie artist, Cade Thompson, from 2K monthly listeners to 95K in 2 weeks. While pitching to playlisters is a key factor in our success, more importantly is the strategy we put in place to build a strong streaming foundation. Quick success can be found with one great playlist add but that new found success can disappear just as quickly with one great playlist drop. Our goal is to build sustainable streams which in turn creates a sustainable streaming income base for the artist.
If you don’t have a streaming strategy in place, I’d encourage you to change that quickly. Streaming income can be more significant than many on the sidelines would lead you to believe. Go chase those streams as “Streams Do Come True!”
Are you maximizing your music streaming income? A question that many artists fail to ask themselves which is unfortunate as streaming is quickly becoming one of the top revenue generators for artists.
We have all heard the horror stories from artists with label deals and from songwriters who complain about the minimal dollars they see rolling in from Spotify. And you know what, they are proclaiming truth. An artist with a label deal only sees 12-14% of actual Spotify revenue after they recoup. (which could be forever or never) Songwriters with publishing deals are also seeing a very small piece of revenue but there is promise for the future as streaming services are being pressured to increase publishing payouts. However, an independent artist, who owns their master and publishing, can see a significant amount of revenue from Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
I work with several independent artists and see their Tunecore statements which reveal how quickly streaming revenue is growing. Variety Magazine reported last week that Sony Music’s streaming revenue was up 32.1% representing 43% of their $1.14 Billion fiscal third quarter music income. If that doesn’t sound your alarm, you may want to find a new alarm! I encourage all artists to focus on maximizing music streaming income. There are music streaming strategists for hire who can help jumpstart your strategy including our favorite the>stream>strategist Below are 10 ways the>stream>strategist suggests to jump start your music streaming income potential.
Ten Ways To Maximize Music Streaming Income
- Ensure your Spotify profile looks as nice as your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles. Spotify provides artists with the freedom to choose profile photo, header photo and artist pick feature.
- Feature Spotify “follow me” links on your website, socials and eblasts. Spotify “follows” ensure direct notifications to listeners when you release new music.
- Send out emails to your email list on a regular basis asking your subscribers to “follow” you and “save” your music on Spotify
- Create Facebook and Instagram ads with a “follow me” link.
- Use Smarturl to create links direct to a Spotify “follow” button. Create & use links that show all digital service providers so consumers can choose their service to stream or download your music.
- Work Spotify, Apple, Amazon & 3rd Party playlist curators to add your music
- Create playlists to generate algorithms in your favor
- Implement a plan to generate “follows” at live shows
- Rethink your release strategy. The full album release no longer plays in your favor for maximizing streams.
- Use & familiarize yourself with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon & Pandora so you understand the user experience