Once you know how to promote your music on streaming platforms, you can broaden your fanbase. Social media platforms may be bringing attention to your music already. However, you can go a step further to boost your music's discoverability and visibility by marketing on music streaming platforms.
There are various music streaming platforms worldwide, including giants like Spotify, SoundCloud, Tencent, and Apple Music. Promoting your music on these platforms will require a strategy, much like marketing your tracks on social media. Most promotion strategies are easy to implement. For example, you can embed branded players on your website or pitch your tracks for playlist placement.
Streaming platforms, or Digital Service Providers (DSPs), took the music industry by storm. And they’ve drawn the spotlight away from digital downloads and physical music formats.
While it’s a moot point whether DSPs are a good thing, they're here to stay. Therefore, if you haven't already, it's time to get on board and make the most of them.
This post is a comprehensive guide to marketing your music on streaming platforms. If you’re looking for information, use this handy table of contents to jump ahead to the pertinent section:
- Your (Potential) Fans May Be There
- Additional Opportunities for Promotion
- Readily Available Feedback
- Create a Regular Revenue Source
- Boost Your Credibility
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- Get Your Profile Verified
- Pitch Your Tracks
- Create Your Own Playlists
- Customize Your Profile
- Utilize Embeddable Music Players
- Leverage Analytics
- Beware of Guarantees
- Pay Attention to Song Formats
- Promote Your Music Off-Platform
- Prompt Your Fans to Follow You
- Don’t Cheat the System
- Release New Music Consistently
Let’s dive in and learn how to promote your music on streaming platforms.
Reasons to Promote Your Music on Streaming Platforms
If you haven’t considered music streaming platforms as a part of your digital marketing strategy, you should. They provide opportunities for discovery and fanbase growth. Below are some of the reasons to promote your music on streaming platforms.
1. Your (Potential) Fans May Be There
Most people consume music on streaming platforms today. In fact, over half a billion people use DSPs to listen to their favorite artists and discover new music.
This figure should be enticing enough for you as an artist to learn how to promote your music on streaming platforms. After all, you should be active where your fans are. Or where new ones can potentially discover your music. That way, you can reap more benefits from doing what you love.
It’s also easier than ever to connect with fans, thanks to music streaming platforms. A few years ago, it took longer for emerging artists to make a name for themselves. Today, the combined genius of human curation and algorithms can showcase your music in front of millions of people worldwide.
2. Additional Opportunities for Promotion
DSPs offer more than a chance for listeners to stream your tracks. Some allow you to customize your profile with pictures from tours and point users to a ticketing platform. You could also set up a merchandise store with some DSPs.
In addition, some music streaming platforms allow artists to pitch their tracks for curated playlists. For instance, Spotify offers this option to its artists. Therefore, your chances of discovery increase, and you may see significant growth in your listenership.
Platforms like Apple Music take a different approach regarding their curated playlists. Your visibility and music promotion efforts are the keys to editorial consideration. Therefore, you’ll have to ensure you’re making the most of the platform and bringing traffic to it. If you’re successful, your music may be featured by their editorial team.
3. Readily Available Feedback
Music streaming platforms are a great place for feedback. They not only help you figure out if people like your sound but offer an understanding of who your fans are.
Most DSPs provide artists with insights into their music's performance. These come in the form of analytics unique to each track or album. They offer insights similar to those you’d get on social media platforms like Instagram.
When we refer to analytics, we’re not just talking about the number of streams. Streams can inform you about certain aspects of your music’s success. But you'll need to look deeper to gain a complete view of your songs' evolution on the platform. For this reason, streaming sites provide insights, such as:
- How quickly a song grew
- Where your audience lives
- Listener demographics, such as age and gender
All this information is used to cost artists a great deal of money. Thanks to these music streaming platforms, it's now at your fingertips.
Most importantly, you can use this data to your advantage. For instance, learning about where most of your listeners live can come into play when planning a tour. Perhaps you can target the cities with the most listeners since the data tells you they enjoy your music.
4. Create a Regular Revenue Source
Since DSPs are often utilized to reproduce and publically broadcast music, you’ll earn performance and mechanical royalties. Therefore, once you know how to promote your music on streaming platforms strategically, you can potentially increase your revenue.
Note that each DSP has a specific payout amount per stream. Therefore, you may earn more from Apple Music than you would with Deezer, for instance.
You might not initially get loads of streams and rake in the big bucks. However, as your fanbase and monthly visitors increase, this could potentially be a constant revenue source. As a result, learning how to promote your music on streaming platforms can work in your favor financially.
5. Boost Your Credibility
Some people may not regard you as a “bona fide” musician unless your music is on their favorite music streaming platform. As strange as this may sound, it’s an unavoidable fact. There is more weight behind where your music appears today than a few years ago.
It’s not difficult or costly to get your tracks onto DSPs. You can rely on an experienced music distributor like Sugo Music Group to ensure your music is distributed correctly.
The Different Music Streaming Platforms
Several music streaming platforms exist worldwide. You may already know the giants like Spotify and Apple Music that have somewhat dominated the market. However, other platforms offer innovative tools and better payouts for artists. The music streaming platforms you should set in your sights include:
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
Each DSP has a unique selling point, features, and user base. Therefore, your promotion strategies may differ per platform. Let’s explore each DSP in detail below to better understand what the platform offers.
1. Apple Music
Apple is one of the most prominent brands worldwide. While the company’s iTunes store had been running since 2001, it was only in 2015 that they introduced Apple Music. The music streaming platform didn't take long to gain traction in the industry. Once it did, it offered various avenues for artists to boost their discoverability and visibility.
Apple Music has over 70 million active and paying users. And it’s available in 167 countries. This makes it one of the most widespread DSPs in the world.
This streaming platform provides artists with various promotion tools, including embeddable music players and Twitter song samples. You'll also have access to insights that tell you more about your audience.
If you'd like to find out more about how to promote your music on Apple Music, take a look at our detailed guide.
Spotify is so popular that you may miss several opportunities, like listener discovery, if you don't have your music on it. It’s the music streaming platform of choice for several listeners. In fact, it has over 400 million active users and 182 million subscribers across 183 markets.
Additionally, Spotify is home to the world's most-followed playlists. Therefore, snagging a spot in one of them by pitching your tracks can be a game changer for your career.
The platform provides comprehensive analytical data to help independent artists decide when to tour or release new music. You can also customize your artist profile with a bio, pictures, your own curated playlists, and tour dates. And you can add looping visuals to your tracks with Canvas to engage fans further.
Check out our complete guide on promoting your music on Spotify to help you get started.
SoundCloud is another DSP that’s popular amongst users worldwide. In fact, it’s one of the most visited music streaming sites today. It has close to 200 million active users and 1.7 million subscribers.
You can leverage SoundCloud’s audience to boost your visibility and fanbase by submitting your tracks to promo pages. Alternatively, you can use tags when adding your music to SoundCloud to help people find it.
SoundCloud is considered among the best platforms to promote your music online. It’s available in almost every country worldwide. Therefore, it doesn’t have the geographical limitations of some of the other platforms.
If you're not sure how to promote your music on SoundCloud, we've drawn up a detailed guide for you.
When looking into how to promote your music on streaming platforms, you may come across TIDAL. The Norwegian-American global music streaming service operates in 61 countries and dominates 1-2% of the market.
TIDAL is home to all genres of music. It allows artists to forge deeper connections with fans through TIDAL Originals, HQ video content, and live streams.
When you register with the platform, you'll have access to the Direct Artist Payouts program. This enables you to collect payouts from TIDAL's HiFi Plus subscribers, who stream your music the most.
Pandora is one of the largest streaming platforms in the US. It started as an internet radio station before branching out into the music streaming business. Today, it has over 60 million active users and over 6 million subscribers.
Direct user feedback is one of many reasons you should distribute your music to Pandora. Listeners can give your tracks a thumbs up or down, depending on how they enjoyed your music. This creates personalized playlists for users and makes discovering new music easier.
As an artist on Pandora, you can create interactive voice stories and share them with your fans. That way, you can easily remain engaged with listeners while you work on creating new music.
6. Amazon Music
Amazon is a renowned brand worldwide, so chances are you’ve heard of it or ordered products through them before. And musicians can use Amazon’s sub-service, Amazon Music, to grow their fanbase and improve visibility.
Amazon Music has over 50 million users in several countries, including the US, UK, and Australia. You have a few options when determining how to promote your music on streaming platforms like Amazon Music. These include:
- Pitching your songs for editorial consideration
- Instant notifications for new releases to your followers
- Airplay on Amazon Music stations
Deezer is another streaming platform on which to make your music available. The French platform has gained significant popularity since its launch in 2007. It's the second largest independent music streaming platform worldwide, with over 9 million subscribers.
Although Deezer doesn’t rival giants like Spotify in terms of its user base, you don’t want to sleep on this platform. It’s a powerhouse for musicians like yourself looking to reach greater heights with your music.
As with other streaming platforms, you'll have access to analytics to see who loves your tracks. And you can monitor listener trends over time and use the data to improve your streams.
iHeartRadio is a freemium radio streaming, broadcast, and podcast platform known as the genuine home of online radio. It operates in Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Users can save and replay songs from the radio with the iHeartRadio app. Besides that, they can listen to unlimited music and live radio stations. They can also download music for offline listening and create personalized playlists.
iHeartRadio also has a like/dislike function to rate live songs and tracks on customized radio stations. Every time a user likes a song, the platform’s algorithm will recommend similar tracks. That means your music could end up on any user’s curated playlist.
Audiomack offers free, limitless music discovery and sharing for artists, labels, and fans. And it has over 6 million users.
The platform doesn’t offer premium creator accounts. Therefore, artists can host their music for free. Moreover, it's rolling out an AMP monetization program so artists can boost their earnings.
There are several ways to promote your music on Audiomack. You could utilize embeddable players. Alternatively, you can submit your tracks to be considered for Audiomack’s “Trending” section.
Once your track trends on Audiomack, it’ll be showcased to a broader audience. In fact, Audiomack claims over 250,000 listeners can discover your music per day with this feature.
You should keep your eye on music entertainment giant Tencent when considering how to promote your music on streaming platforms. Tencent is one of the four most-used music streaming platforms worldwide, matching Amazon Music’s user base.
As the leading music entertainment platform in China, it offers online music services through four mobile apps. This includes Kugou Music, QQ Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing.
The platform offers music streaming and allows users to sing karaoke with friends. They can also watch live performances by their favorite artists.
Tencent also allows users to create content like TikTok videos. This provides an additional avenue for artists to promote their music. So, you can create short videos or live stream a show.
In addition, Tencent has a feature specifically built for artists called TME Business Intelligence for Artists. It gives you access to pertinent data about your songs and digital albums. This information will help you understand your listeners and improve your promotional efforts.
Gaana is the most extensive DSP in India, with over 200 million monthly active users. It houses Indian and international tracks, and its music catalog is available worldwide. Additionally, the service features tracks and albums in 21 Indian languages, including Urdu, Telugu, Maithili, and Bengali.
As an artist on Gaana, you’ll benefit from public, user-curated playlists. Having your music on a playlist increases the chances of other users discovering you. Artists also have access to insights about their tracks and albums to inform decisions in their music careers. And you can interact with fans through the platform.
Anghami is another platform you may come across while discovering how to promote your music on streaming platforms. It’s the first legal DSP in the Middle East and North Africa. As a result, some dub it the Spotify of the Middle East.
This music streaming platform has over 70 million active users in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the US. It gives users access to Arabic and international music. Therefore, don't be too quick to dismiss Anghami because its users may discover and enjoy your music.
Napster is one of a few music streaming services that has been in the business for decades. It started out as a peer-to-peer music-sharing platform in 1999. But due to legal issues regarding copyrights associated with the music shared, it was forced to shut down.
The Napster brand and technology were then purchased by Roxio in an attempt to rebrand its online music store. In 2011 Napster was acquired by Rhapsody, the first on-demand music streaming service with a subscription model. And in 2016, Rhapsody officially rebranded its service as Napster.
Today, over 1 million users are familiar with Napster. The platform operates in most of Europe, the US, and Canada. Artists can use the service to boost their music’s discoverability and expand into new markets with potential fans.
JioSaavn is an Indian music streaming app and a digital distributor. It has about 100 million users. And it has over 80 million tracks in 16 languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, and Kannada.
The music streaming app has a social networking feature. This allows users to follow artists and their friends. And they can share playlists, songs, and albums with each other.
Verified JioSaavn artists get access to several features, including creating ‘Made By’ playlists for fans. And artists can pitch to JioSaavn editors for playlist placement. You can also publish looping videos called JioSaavn Shorties to boost listener engagement.
Shazam is a mobile app for music, movie, TV show, and ad discovery for Apple and Android devices. The app lives within the Apple ecosystem and is part of the Apple Music family.
Since its formation, Shazam has amassed 1 billion song discoveries. And it claims to deliver as many song results to users every month.
As an artist, you can use Shazam to see how listeners worldwide discover your music. You can use these insights to plan live performances and adjust your social media marketing strategy.
How to Promote Your Music on Streaming Platforms
Now that you're familiar with the different DSPs let's explore how to promote your music on streaming platforms. With the dozens of DSPs worldwide, you'll have to strategically make the most of your promotion efforts.
This entails knowing what areas to focus on to ensure your music gets in front of your target listeners. If you’re wondering how to get your music on multiple DSPs, your music distributor can help.
For artists without a music distributor, Sugo Music Group has you covered. With over 35 years of experience in the music industry, they’ve helped several musicians gain visibility with their distribution service.
Sugo Music Group distributes music to over 200 streaming and download platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. Once your music is available on the various streaming platforms, you’ll be set to start promoting it. Below is all you need to know about promoting your music on streaming platforms.
Get Your Profile Verified
Most music streaming platforms give artists a verified badge. For instance, Spotify places a blue tick on an artist’s profile, which users may read as a stamp of approval.
Artists usually get a verified badge once they claim their artist profile on the DSP. Having a verified badge on your profile can be beneficial for several reasons:
- It legitimizes your profile
- You may get access to additional features
- It might make it easier to get onto curated playlists
For these reasons and many others, you should look into getting your profile verified. That way, you can maximize your promotional efforts on DSPs.
Pitch Your Tracks
Another way to promote your music on streaming platforms is by pitching your tracks for curated playlists. This option is available on some platforms, including Spotify and Amazon Music.
When you pitch your tracks, you essentially enter your track for editorial playlist placement. Once you land a spot on a playlist, like Spotify’s Release Radar, more listeners will discover your music on the platform.
Therefore, pitching your tracks to a DSP is worth considering if you want to gain more traction. Remember that playlist placement depends on your fanbase for some of these platforms. You may also have to prove that you have a marketing plan for your song or album once it’s released.
Also, DSPs may require you to pitch a trackway before its release. Aim for at least a month in advance. That way, you can book your spot in a new release playlist and be discovered by new fans.
Create Your Own Playlists
While learning how to promote your music on streaming platforms, you’ll need to employ some hands-on strategies. One of these is creating your own playlists.
You should curate playlists with your favorite tracks. Not only will fans enjoy seeing what you like listening to, but you can forge relationships with other artists in your genre.
These relationships may lead to collaborations. Or they may include your tracks on their playlists, allowing their audience to discover your music.
Customize Your Profile
Sometimes fans want to know more about you. That’s why we recommend artists have a social presence where they share pictures from live performances or tours. Alternatively, you can use the power of words to build a fanbase.
Most music streaming services allow fans to get to know you as they would on social media. Although you won't have the option of reels and stories, other avenues are available. For instance, you can upload a series of photos on Spotify. You can also include a fun bio that displays your personality and tells fans who you are on your profiles.
With that said, you may think it's not worth adding personal details to your profiles on music streaming platforms. Granted, you could simply direct fans to your YouTube channel, social media pages, or website. However, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
Suppose a listener discovers you on Apple Music. In that case, they may not be willing to go to your Instagram to find out who you are. They may prefer to connect with you on the streaming platform. Expecting the potential fan to go elsewhere for information creates barriers to building a relationship with them.
Therefore, customize your profile entirely, and don't skimp on the details in your bio. You never know if that platform will make your music career.
Utilize Embeddable Music Players
Most music streaming platforms allow you to embed a player on your website for visitors to stream your songs. You’ll receive an embed code to insert within the backend of your website and easily display a player on the site.
While this method of promoting your music on streaming platforms heavily relies on your website traffic, it’s still worth considering. Visitors who like what they hear may start following you on the music streaming platform. Then when you release new music, they’ll be notified instantly.
Almost all music streaming platforms offer analytics in their package of features to artists. Therefore, learning how to promote your music on streaming platforms is simplified with analytics data.
You can see how your fans respond to a specific song. And you can view other information about your listeners, such as their age, geographical location, and gender.
Analytics can help you narrow down your target audience. They are also handy for independent artists when planning events and tours. And they're an indirect means of feedback to determine whether people enjoy your sound. You may have access to data such as:
- Average daily listeners
- Plays and stream source
Best Practices to Promote Your Music on Streaming Platforms
Beware of Guarantees
While looking into how to promote your music on streaming platforms, you may come across sites guaranteeing streams or playlist placements. Be wary of these platforms.
Chances are they're using clickbait or other dodgy tactics to boost activity. Or they are involved in payola, i.e., paying for placement, which can jeopardize your reputation with a DSP.
Pay Attention to Song Formats
If you listen to the radio, you may have noticed that songs rarely have long intros. That’s because radio broadcasters only play a song’s radio edit. If they don’t, listeners may grow bored with a song that isn’t cutting to the chase and switch stations.
The same idea may apply to music streaming platforms. People may not listen to your entire track if you're new and have a long, drawn-out song intro.
Unless long-format music is part of what you do, you should aim to get to the heart of your song as soon as possible. That way, you may retain a listener's attention and end up on their playlist.
Also, make sure you upload the final version of your song. You can always come back later and upload other cuts to keep your audience engaged. However, the first release should make people want to listen to and replay your songs.
Promote Your Music Off-Platform
It goes without saying that you’ll have to put in some work off a DSP to get people to listen to your music. This is true regardless of whether you’re an emerging local act or an international superstar. You can promote the music available on streaming platforms by:
- Posting about it on social media or your YouTube channel
- Letting your email subscribers know about a release
- Doing as much PR as possible, including featuring in blogs and getting interviewed
- Hosting live concerts or social media streams
Your website is also a great place to promote your music off-platform. As we mentioned, you can embed a player on your site for fans and visitors to listen to your tracks.
In the case of some DSPs like Apple Music, they’ll only get to listen to a song snippet through the embedded player. But this should prompt them to go to your artist page if they want to listen to more. And they may discover more of your music that way.
Prompt Your Fans to Follow You
While promoting your music off-platform, don’t forget to ask fans to follow you on music streaming platforms. As much as you want a large following on your social media pages, you should also prioritize gaining followers on DSPs.
This will help you pitch your tracks for playlist placement and other opportunities. Your tracks may end up on the top playlists, and fans may pour in. Therefore, your following is quite crucial for music promotion on streaming platforms.
Of course, approach this as you would while promoting your music elsewhere. Don't be forceful or constantly badger your followers. Focus on developing a long-term relationship with them.
Include a reason they should follow you to cushion your request. For instance, they'll be notified when you release new music, so they will always remain in the loop. Or they'll be instantly updated about when you're going on tour if you're promoting your Spotify profile.
Bear in mind that not all DSPs have a follow feature. Therefore, this best practice only applies to those with this feature.
Don’t Cheat the System
By this, we mean don't stream your music on repeat to boost play counts. This kind of behavior is unethical. It’s also fraudulent since you get paid by the number of people who stream your music.
Of course, you can listen to your tracks from time to time. But you want to avoid playing your recent releases on a loop for days. The DSPs will notice this behavior and remove your music from the service.
You’ll also do yourself a disservice because your constant streaming will skew your analytical data. As such, you won’t learn anything about your actual listeners, and you’ll be none the wiser when it comes to marketing your music.
Release New Music Consistently
Another best practice when considering how to promote your music on streaming platforms is to remain consistent. The more tracks and albums you upload to the DSP, the higher your chances of increasing your discoverability and visibility.
Therefore, try to post fresh releases as often and consistently as possible. By doing so, you'll remain top of mind with your fans.
Now, don’t be tempted to push out tracks to keep fans interested. That may compromise the quality of your music, and fans will see right through what you’re doing.
Instead, you can maintain momentum by releasing extra content while working on your next EP or LP. This includes:
- Once-off collaborations
- Live recordings
- New singles
- Cover songs
- Behind-the-scenes audio commentary
- Bonus tracks
- Alternate takes
Music streaming platforms are essential for both emerging and established musicians. They can contribute to your discoverability and help you build a loyal fanbase. DSPs can also help you see how many people your music reaches and determine where to tour next.
These platforms either offer their services worldwide or in select countries. Each has a unique user interface and specific features for artists. Therefore, it’s a good idea to distribute your music to as many DSPs as possible.
People listen to music on different platforms. Some fans may subscribe to Apple Music, while others prefer Spotify. Spreading your music across multiple streaming platforms is the best approach to maximizing the visibility and discoverability of your music.
The easiest way to do this is by enlisting the help of an expert music distributor like Sugo Music Group. Sugo Music Group can get your music onto multiple platforms and save you a great deal of time and effort.
Remember that you can build a relationship with the music streaming platform hosting your tracks. Therefore, the more you support them and drive traffic to the platform, the more likely they will support your music.