Whether you are aiming to be the front act for a famous band at a local show or seeking coverage from a popular music blog, you will need a well-written email pitch to succeed in your plans.
What’s new on Spotify? Marquee, an advertising initiative that allows music labels and artists to promote their music on the streaming platform – at a price, of course. It’s 55 cents a click, but Spotify recommends a minimum ad buy of $5,000. For that price, you can expect to increase your stream count to at least 9,000 streams, or 9,000 potential listeners, over a seven-day period. At least, that’s what Spotify says.
Does Spotify’s Marquee tool mean that streams are now for sale? What if you don’t have the money for it as a struggling independent artist? How could this change the way listeners engage with the streaming platform? Let’s take a closer look at Marquee and what it means for artists, labels and listeners alike.
What Spotify Marquee offers labels and artists
Launched in 2019, Marquee is an ad system that lets artists and labels spend marketing money to “drive incremental streams” for their music. So how does it work? In a nutshell, you pay, and your music gets some pretty sweet exposure on the platform as full-screen pop-up recommendations for listeners. There’s no upper limit on how much you pay for promotional placements, so you can spend as much as you want.
While Spotify already offers artists and labels in-platform advertising, the streaming service says Marquee is a more effective tool, and early testers have agreed.
Spotify Marquee is said to have a wider reach, which means more listeners. The paid ads are shown not only to free users but subscribers as well. The click-through rate currently stands at 21.7 percent, plus users who receive a Marquee ad were found to stream 17 percent more than those who don’t.
Despite this, Spotify stresses that artists are not paying for streams. Spotify’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Charleton Lamb, clarifies that listeners have the choice to engage or not.
What it offers listeners
You can expect to listeners to groan at yet another ad from Spotify, but according to Rolling Stone, it doesn’t appear to be that bad – the platform “will not bombard listeners with pop-up ads” each time you open the app. And if you’re more of a classical music listener, you won’t be getting Despacito pop-ups. Hopefully.
According to Spotify, the Marquee recommendations will still be based on a listener’s music taste, so the notifications will only be from artists they follow or frequently listen to. And probably from similar artists, if Marquee really promises a wider reach.
Spotify also puts a limit on the number of ads listers see, such as a single ad in a day or two in a week. The Marquee notifications, captioned “Brand New Music For You,” can be turned off if you’re a premium user and don’t want pop-ups any day of the week.
Concerns about Marquee
Rolling Stone notes two primary concerns about Spotify’s new marquee ad tool. First, Marquee makes the music business more consolidated. If you have the resources – say, the marketing money of the major label you’ve signed with – then you can afford to pay for play and get more listeners.
However, if you’re an independent artist who struggles to even earn $300 from streams, this means your music may have to stay in the background, away from the spotlight paid for by artists with means. Would you be willing to cough up (at least) $5,000 for a song or album promotion on Spotify?
The second concern is about Marquee’s cost-effectiveness. As with other ad tools, Marquee can’t really promise success in terms of getting more long-term listeners, unless everyone that receives the pop-up recommendations becomes instant fans. However, if your goal is simply to create awareness of your music, then Marquee sounds like a good tool for it.
What do you think of Spotify’s new ad tool? Share your thoughts!
Making it big in any industry depends a lot on sheer luck. However, along with luck, it’s also equally important to work hard, have determination, and use the right strategies.
The same goes for those belonging to the music industry.
If you’re an aspiring musician, your goal is to obviously get everyone out there to listen to your creations. The tactics you use in this regard become very important. While self-promotion platforms such as Promoly can aid you immensely in promoting your music, there are other aspects of the music marketing world you should know as well.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to have a comprehensive cheat sheet on music marketing.
How to Create a Successful Music Marketing Plan
Before you start making your marketing plan, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself.
These include questions such as whether you’re just starting out with an online presence and need to reach your audience, if you’re ready to head out on tour and sell tickets, whether you’re already on tour and need to sell more merch, if you want to double the size of your mailing list, or if you’re releasing a new album and need to generate awareness for it.
Here are some ways in which you can create an effective music marketing plan:
Define Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the first step in any marketing plan. It’s the audience that will help you succeed, therefore, knowing them well is of utmost importance. Find out which platform your fans like to use the most, be it Facebook, Instagram, or something else.
You will need to discover how to communicate with your fans effectively, and what to offer them in order to keep them coming back for more. Ask yourself questions about who your ideal fan is, because it’s this fan who will stay loyal to you, help you sell tickets, and buy your merch.
The questions you need to ask regarding your audience include the age and gender and location of your fans, what their personalities are like, what excites them apart from music, what’s their favourite social network, and so on.
Analyze the Market
Once you know what your audience is like, you will have to find out about the current music market. This entails exploring both locally as well as globally. An understanding of this will aid you in figuring out where you fit in and what are the unique aspects you can offer to your fans.
This department requires research as well. You need to explore which bands or musicians are the most popular at the moment, what is it they’re doing to engage with the fans, if the artists within your genre are touring successfully, and so on.
Create an Action Plan
Once you have some clear music marketing goals laid out, it’s time to think about how you’re going to achieve those goals. The components to include in your action plan are PR, advertising, content curation, touring, social media, networking, etc.
Try to approach all the goals on a monthly basis. Develop a spreadsheet where you can list down when you’re going to approach the goals respectively. This will give you a picture of all your PR efforts and how you plan on creating and executing content in the upcoming months.
In addition to making these plans, it’s also important to keep a track of how these strategies are working out. Some of the KPIs to consider include how many album sales happened through clicks on your mailing list in the current week and how that compares to the previous week, which sources on your website are leading the most to your store, etc.
Formulate a Budget
Much like any other industry, it takes time and money for your marketing efforts to grow and bring about results. Therefore, when you create your action plan, assign the necessary budget to each element so that you know just how much everything is going to cost. That way, you can be prepared and even tackle any sudden expenses that come your way.
What are the Best Music Marketing Platforms?
When it comes to music, self-promotion works wonders. If you’re looking to have all your promo campaigns in one place, Promoly is the platform to go for. It lets you view everything happening in real-time, and also helps you create stunning promo packages.
Some of the best music marketing platforms musicians can go for are as follows:
YouTube is obviously the first choice for any musician, both popular and new. With music being the most viewed category of video (27%), and people watching over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day, you really can’t go wrong with this music marketing platform.
2. Social Media Networks: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
We’re all aware of the fact that most of the people using social media are gathered and spread between Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Therefore, having a presence on each of these platforms is crucial for any musician.
Twitter has about 330 million monthly active users (MAU), it’s the place for most budding music journalists and influencers, and it helps you get a lot of word-of-mouth.
With a staggering 2.38 billion MAU, Facebook is the most used social media platform globally, and it’s where people discover your live videos. Instagram with its 1 billion MAU is the place where budding artists can generate a community and a loyal fan base.
All three platforms have a varying demographic. This is why your marketing campaigns should be different with respect to all the three platforms, depending on your target audience and the kind of content they like to see.
Controlling over 36% of the global streaming market, Spotify has 217 million monthly active users and is the most popular music streaming platform in the world. Whether you’re aiming for placement on the editorial or label-owned playlists depends on your marketing strategy.
Not only will this give you global exposure and help in transforming your career, you will also be featured by the third-party influencers. It’s digital platforms like Spotify that helped in driving the change and shifting the focus from albums to digital playlists. Therefore, using this game-changer should be a must on every musician’s list.
As you probably know, TikTok is the newest obsession in the world of music marketing. It lets you repurpose music and transform them into memes that you can share with your followers, and this is a trick most people seem to be loving these days.
With TikTok, users will be able to discover your music and create their content with it, which serves as a great word-of-mouth technique. They further share this content and it gets seen on other social media platforms that also has music lovers who appreciate your work.
It's a win-win situation.
TikTok is a social platform dedicated to sharing short-form videos. Musicians now have an incredible opportunity to expand their audience.
With technology continuously evolving, the need for innovating in the way music is promoted persists and presents a challenge that musicians must overcome.
In this article, we’ll highlight three traits that we believe can help any aspiring musicians reach success.
It’s frustrating to get a cold response from audiences when you reach out about your music. Your tracks did not create a ripple even if you’ve put in the effort and the sleepless nights to complete them. You’re lucky to hear from a non-mainstream reporter who will promote your music because he digs your sound so much. But as for the hundreds of people you’ve sent your songs to? Nothing.
Getting attention is not easy, especially in the crowded music industry. Aside from sounding like two or three other artists, it’s the media who will help propel your identity to interested listeners. There are ways to beat the odds of emerging from a populated pool. However, remember that there are people who will not like your sound as you go mainstream. On the flip side, there is an increase in listeners that love your music as well.
What’s the story, morning glory?
We’re not talking about the Oasis album here. Rather, you must learn how to convey your story compellingly. If you are developing a bio, treat it as a sales piece that will entice journalists to listen. You can find angles from your origins, musical influences, and song lyrics. Include information, such as the number of albums released and notable live performances as well. Connecting your songs to current events is good for maintaining your relevance.
Match your image with your sound
First impressions count. Landing your publicity photo or cover art can make a journalist listen to your music. Make sure that the image you submit represents your music accurately. You need not use illustrations reserved for rock bands if you are a rhythm and blues artist. Hiring a professional photographer with an impressive portfolio of published material can help you capture that picture-perfect shot.
Don’t know where to start? Look at similar artists and see how their photos convey their music. You can also ask musicians in your area for referrals on the best photographers within your location. Landing this hire will set the vision for your brand and produce photos that you will be proud to share.
Reach out to music blogs
Now that your story and your pictures are ready, it’s time to make a pitch to people who will promote your music. Blogs can be that avenue as long as you follow their submission guidelines. They may not even pay attention to your message if you don’t follow their rules. Follow them by heart, and you are starting in a good rhythm.
While submitting to hundreds of music blogs can be stressful because of varying guidelines, some of their requirements do overlap. Therefore, you can make a list of their guidelines and look for patterns that will make the process more efficient. You will have to bear with the small changes on the pitch for each blog. It’s a small sacrifice that can pay huge dividends.
Do not forget to include a compelling reason why they must cover you. Tell these writers what makes you different and what creating music means to you. You can dig previous write-ups of these music bloggers to find declarations that may lead them to like your sound. It’s not advisable to reach out if you can’t persuade them to pay attention.
Introduce yourself via Spotify and social media
You cannot underestimate the power of music streaming websites like Spotify in propelling your songs. Therefore, you must upload your songs and complete your profile by sharing a cover image, updated bio, and social media links. Increase the chances of getting discovered by creating an Artist’s Pick playlist containing music by artists that may sound like you. Share the link to the playlist on social media to funnel traffic to your Spotify profile.
Include a link to your Spotify profile on your newsletter and request for follows on your account. With more clicks to your page, Spotify will take note of your increasing popularity and include you on their Discover Weekly playlists. Running Facebook ads can help promote your music, but it will be worthless if you don’t target the right market.
Your hard work does not end after releasing your music. Promoting it the right way will help you ensure that your music is heard, and your hard work and talent pay off. Follow the tips mentioned above, and you’re on your way to reaching your music goals.
Struggling to do all the work yourself? That’s what we’re here for! If you need help communicating your music updates to your followers, give Promo.ly a try! We are a music promo delivery system for artists, labels, and PR agencies, helping you maximize your current mailing list. We’re a music PR service that delivers music to your mailing list, get in touch to see how we can help today.
How many unopened emails are currently in your inbox? 200? 600? Or perhaps, you’re on a few different mailing lists – 1,653 then? And that’s after doing some Gmail housekeeping!
We receive tons of emails day by day (105 billion emails are sent daily!), and a vast majority of them are never read.
People are being inundated with truckloads of information – as never before in history. Sadly we don’t have enough time or mental bandwidth to let it all seep in.
The probability that your email will be ignored is quite high – unless you can craft a masterful subject line.
Forty-seven percent of email recipients will open an email purely because of the subject line. And on the flip side, sixty-nine percent of email recipients will report an email as spam simply because of the subject line.
In other words, think of email subject lines as the first (and possibly the last) impression you’ll make on a reader.
In lots of ways, the subject line is even more relevant than the body of your email.
After all, sending an excellent music promo is insignificant if it never gets to meet the dance.
So, while writing your new music press releases, don’t take your subject lines for granted. The ideal subject line is short, descriptive, and makes the reader want to open your promo!
Are you a music promoter looking to develop into an email subject line writing Yoda?
There are a few different styles for generating jaw-dropping subject lines when sending promotional music to your mailing lists, let’s cover them below:
Active, well-organized people appreciate efficiency. Such readers want you to be brief and understandable with your subject lines since their time is a precious asset.
Make things easier for them by prioritizing relevant information when writing your subject lines. For example, ‘New release from Maverick Records, 4min’. This sort of subject line cuts to the chase quickly and lets the recipient know the intention of the email right away via its subject line.
Who doesn’t love a personal touch?
Taking the personalized route when writing subject lines, will help you engage your audience right from the start and quickly help your email stand out from the rest because there’s contextual relevancy that separates it from being a mass email.
Try to include the first name of the recipient, or other personal details such as recent downloads from your record label.
Why are infomercials effective? Because they create a sense of importance; requiring swift action.
People habitually respond to the likelihood of missing out on something, instead of promises of gaining something.
Similar effects can be used when writing your subject lines and including tags that demonstrate a sense of urgency can help with this. For example, including ‘[URGENT]’ in the promotional email subject line, or attaching a fear of missing out such as ‘Download this before midnight…’ may draw in recipients to opening the email.
The Clever and Catchy
A memorable subject line will stand out amid the scores of dull ones around it.
Humour can be tricky, though, and you must be careful not to alienate or confuse the reader.
However, if you are familiar with your audience, a witty joke will ensure that your email is opened and shared.
There’s a good reason why listicles have become so widespread: they work.
A list provides snappy, snackable content and builds curiosity.
Besides, including numbers in your email subject line causes the reader to focus, since our brains are instinctively attracted to digits.
The Short and Sweet
Because most mobile devices can only display five to six words of your subject line—and given that over forty-one percent of email campaigns today’s are opened on smartphones — brevity is critical.
Starting with a curious subject line will engage your audience immediately and generate immediate dialogue.
Try asking open-ended questions so that your reader cannot respond to them with a swift “no.”
We humans have an innate dread of losing out on anything. Hence, an email subject line that threatens scarcity (such as “hurry, while offer lasts”!) tends to perform well.
A how-to email subject line gives insight into the exact benefits your audience will discover if they open and read your email.
And provided that your “how-to” is helpful to the reader, open rates will soar.
The Sneak Peek
Everybody wants to be an early adopter or a trendsetter, so why not fuel that desire?
Let’s say you have a priceless opportunity, integrating sneak peeks and an exclusive into your email subject line is an easy guaranteed to boost your open rates.
While a lot of these tips seem simple, they’re tried and tested – but most importantly, rely on experimentation. The best way to figure out which of these works best (when sending promos) for your record label is to a/b test. Create two identical promos in Promoly and then adjust the subject lines. Once complete, create an A and B group then deliver a promo to each audience. Give it a good seven days and compare which audience had a higher open rate. Once you’ve worked out a formula, keep testing and you’ll see your open rate increase!
When it comes to music, Spotify is a robust platform that you can heavily rely on. This is because it’s a digital music streaming service that provides access to millions of songs, podcasts, and videos from various artists across the globe. Though the full service requires a premium subscription, you can still access the free version.
There are indeed other music platforms available, such as Soundcloud, Youtube, or Pandora. However, Spotify has been proven to be different from all of these platforms. One good reason is because of the way it has shifted to how music is consumed. There’s no need for you to give in to digital radio stations curated by tastes. With Spotify, you decide what to listen to. Unlike other platforms, Spotify offers high quality listens, and there’s more listening traffic coming into the app.
If you are a musician wanting to move to the next level and take the spotlight, using Spotify as a medium is an excellent idea and utilize it for your overall marketing strategy. Evidently, it is a place where people are revisiting favourites, discovering new artists, and expanding their musical tastes.
Below are three ways on how Spotify can help your career and take your music to the next level:
1. Create More Exposure
If there’s one thing that Spotify can do, it is to create more exposure for your music. There’s no denying that much traffic still goes to Spotify because of its free offer. Sure, it’s a great place for comfort listens and nostalgic ones as well, but it can also be for a new discovery. Listeners can do so via “related artists” section or curated playlists. If you happen to land one, chances are it can be huge traffic for you.
2. Increase Tour and Merchandise Sales
Spotify now provides ways for musicians to engage with fans. Though you may not fully engage with fans as you would in other social media, you can still do so by providing a bio, your curated playlists, linking tour dates, data points, and merchandise sales. It has also partnered with MerchBar, which allows you to sell merchandise through Spotify. There is no set-up fee or monthly fee, only charges for a commission on transactions facilitated on MerchBar.
3. Streamline Marketing Efforts
Finally, Spotify is a great way to streamline all your marketing efforts. In this case, you need to know your potential fan’s mood and lifestyle. By doing so, you will know how to target the right audience or market. You also need to be thoughtful about where your music is in playlists. When you look at the “Related Artists” on Spotify, you know that algorithms automatically generate these artists. The good thing is that Spotify provides data regarding the location of your fans. You then can use this data whenever you plan to do Facebook or other social media marketing.
The tips given can attest to the powerful influence of Spotify on your musical advancements. It all depends on knowing your market, finding your place in Spotify, and making the most out of it. If you do it right, you’ll be amazed at how Spotify can have an overall impact on your career as a musician.
Liked this article? Find out how to get your music playlisted on Spotify.