Preview My Music Business: Pre-Releasing And Spotify Algorithm The Essential Guide - Chapter 1 Introduction
Creativity is the defining trait of the human species. For millennia we’ve used our talents to adapt to and overcome a myriad of challenges posed by our environment, enabling us to evolve, build huge, complex civilizations, and develop technologies and systems that fundamentally change how we live.
Looking at society now, it’s staggering to think that we humans were once cave dwellers, recording our experiences with crude wall paintings. Although there is a beautiful simplicity in how the ancients lived day-to-day with just a handful of fellow beings, and although such a rudimentary existence appeals to our primal nature, it’s just simply not the world we live in today. Now we’re more connected than ever, which is a wonderful thing, but it also means dealing with much more stimuli.
Modern artists can easily be overwhelmed by the task of juggling (and harmonizing) their creative impulses with the time-consuming work of getting their creations noticed by the music-loving (and purchasing) public. Musicians can no longer just put out their music, wait for a critique, and hope for the best. Musicians in this day and age have to fight to be heard—and seen—among a sea of fellow artists.
This battle for exposure is enough to make anyone a little crazy—and that’s without including the constant self-doubt, occasional detractors, and lack of self-care that hinder too many artists on their road to success. However, the seemingly impossible task of getting noticed is actually an opportunity in disguise. After all, since every musician is facing the same challenges, finding an audience is a matter of having the right tools that can cut through the obstacles and allow you to stand out from the crowd. What are those tools, and how do you use them to your advantage? Each chapter in this book will detail these tools, but first, let’s take a brief overview.
It’s the day before the release of your new song, and you are excited and eager. You can’t wait to have your fans hear your music and see your videos.
You’ve planned your campaign to perfection. Just over a month ago, you uploaded your song to your distributor, and it’s ready to go live on your release date. You have also pitched to Spotify editors, which has upped your chances of being playlisted when your song is released.
You’ve made content, cataloging everything from your recording process to the notes in your journal. Over the previous month, via a balanced mix of intimate posts and fun, entertaining videos, you showed your audience your talents and gave them insights into yourself as an individual. Although you extracted some of your shared content directly from the photo shoot you had a few weeks ago, on release day and during the following week, you will present your fans with the full-length music videos you’ve been busy editing.
You suddenly remember that a couple of bloggers showed interest in your upcoming single, so you send them a reminder that your song will be out tomorrow. Your contacts list includes some radio stations and playlist curators, which you have already put together. A couple of these curators are onboard, while one influencer you’ve set up a good relationship with is finalizing your TikTok video. You check your Spotify and see that a musician friend of yours has drawn a few more followers to the playlist that the two of you have been creating.
Everything is ready to go, but there’s still one final thing to do before your day ends. You message a few of your most loyal followers on Instagram and tell them about tomorrow’s release. Then you head off to bed, confident that the work you’ve done and the cumulative effect of all the above actions (and more) will significantly increase the number of eyes (and ears) you get on your single (or project).
While I won’t guarantee specific results, I will say that consistently releasing music with this much forethought will have a considerable positive impact on your career as a musician.
You may not become a superstar overnight—who does?—but the mileage you can get out of a song when you release it properly will help you toward superstardom. The process of marketing your music isn’t as complicated as it may first appear, and taking the steps in this book will prove that, which is why I wrote this book.
Given my own experiences with marketing music, I wanted to help musicians avoid the cycle of putting new songs out, only to discover their music isn’t reaching its audience because it’s not getting to the places where it will be noticed. In this book, the first of the My Music Business series, you will learn how to maximize the impact of your music leading up to its release. You will also learn to correctly position yourself to have the best effect on the Spotify algorithm, which will further increase your chances of people hearing your music. You will learn how to:
- Understand what a pre-release is
- How to use Spotify (and other DSPs) to your advantage
- How social media can help your music career
- A week-by-week play-by-play of your release strategy
- How to set up your pre-release campaign for success
- How to create content your audience will love
- How to reach out to both industry and non-industry contacts
Plus much, much more.
But before we continue, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why should you trust this person (me) with your creative livelihood?
My name is Mark Edward Rowland, and I have listened to music and followed it for 46 years. Mark Edward Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The insights for this book were provided by Miles Warner, a marketing expert with over eight years of experience, three within music marketing specifically. Miles can be reached at email@example.com. Together we operate as part of Palomine, a group of like-minded professionals within the Music Business. Palomine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. We endeavor to help musicians ensure their music reaches its intended audience because we care about musicians and want to add to their success stories, one musician at a time. Our books are crafted with the utmost care and detail, and we represent ourselves across social media, email, and more.
On a purely personal level, I’m fascinated by the music business, and there’s no industry I’d rather be in. However, you didn’t pick up this book to hear about my love for the music industry. You want to know how to navigate the complexities of the musical landscape and release your songs into that wilderness with the best possible results.
So, let’s begin the journey to your musical success with a bit of history.