Getting your profiles verified offers more than just validation, but it definitely does feel exciting! Generally, the main networks to be looking at getting verified on are Apple Music, Spotify, Facebook and Twitter. In this article we’ll give you a brief but informative guide on how to get verified on each of these platforms.
Apple Music verification requires you to log into Apple Connect using your Apple ID. From here, you must select the type of content you’d like to manage. Next, you can add an artist/label. It is recommended that you add your artist/label page URL from the iTunes Store on your browser to avoid any confusion. Generally, it takes 7-10 business days to process the request, and so making sure you have the right page before you submit your request can save you a lot of time.
Over on Spotify, there are different routes depending on what you want to verify. For artists – head over to artists.spotify. For labels – you must have at least 250 followers, have music currently appearing on the service and a working user profile that is not merged with an artist page. If you can prove this, then the next step to verification is to fill out this form. If eligible, your verification should be within two weeks.
To get the blue tick on Facebook, go to the top of your page and follow: Settings – General – Page Verification. The process asks you to provide a publicly listed phone number, your country and language and for Facebook to call you. The call will give you a 4-digit code to verify yourself.
For Twitter verification, the blue bird asks quite simply that you fill out this form. Like the other platforms, Twitter insists that you meet their small list of requirements, which can be found here).
Cutting through the noise has always been a problem when trying to promote and market your music. The questions has always been how to influence the public and get your music out there and seen by them. When it comes to marketing in the streaming age, we have to re-evaluate how we market music.
Let’s Fix Music Marketing
The biggest problem with marketing now is that what we have always considered to be the best practices for marketing music no longer apply to streaming.
The way unit sales and fans work together has drastically changed. We never had to understand fans in the way that we do now.
Before streaming, 1 fan meant 1 sale / one-off transaction. The economic value of each fan was the same.
After streaming, 1 fan can mean multiple plays over a long period of time. The economic value of each fan is variable.
With this in mind, our marketing objectives need to change. Previously, the objective was to simply “get more fans”. Now the objective needs to be “get more fans and keep them engaged.”
The best way to do this is to create long term commitments that are focused on audience development and engagement. You can create different engagement points for fans that build interest over time. This can be anything from single releases, live sessions, videos, appearances, album releases etc. Remember that varied content is key in driving engagement.
Don’t write off traditional marketing strategies altogether though, it still works as a great tool for discovery, but try to place more emphasis on engagement.
Artist Marketing in the Streaming Age
Playlisting is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal when marketing in the streaming age. Adding a song to a playlist will help others to discover it and could persuade them to add it to their own playlists. Music needs to be nurtured if it is to survive and this works even better if you can create a narrative around a playlist.
Take the time to understand yourself as an artist. This may sound strange, but once you fully understand what you stand for and what you are trying to achieve you will find it easier to know where to promote yourself. Get to know your fans too, know your demographic and what they’re into and move forward from there.
Think long term. Always think about what you can do next once you are done with your current release / event etc. What will you do after your album has been released? You can create interactive videos that come months after the album has been released etc. Look at each project individually and come up with creative ways to communicate what you have to offer. You need to have the building blocks that create a story for your fans to follow, but don’t bombard them. Do you best to plan ahead and have a trick up your sleeve, think of what you can be doing in 6 months time.
Traditional media and printed press always want to focus around a release and this thinking needs to change. We can already see this taking place with digital media with this article discussing Shakira’s new music video. Don’t get me wrong, traditional plans that are built around a release are still needed. After all, the major labels have helped to build a hit-based society, and so that is what audiences expect.
Content needs to feed on to each other. If you announce a tour without any new material you will get much less engagement and press coverage than you would if you also had new music to accompany it.
Streaming provides a wealth of data and a sizeable audience that cannot be ignored. Data allows you to discover new fan bases and what they are in to. You can also find where they are located what other artist they are into. This can be very useful information when looking to plan a tour. Everyone, no matter how big or small, has something to gain from understanding data. Be prepared to change your approach based on what you see in your data too. Spotify Artists can be a great place to start.
Traditional vs New Marketing
Traditional marketing tactics are not completely dead, you simply need to incorporate them with new ideas. Marketing in the streaming age has changed and the objective has shifted. Learn to adapt to stay ahead and cut through the noise above your competitors.
To do this, communicate better with your audience and learn to work as a team. Focus on serving your fans for a long term reward, it is an investment in your future. Don’t stand in the way of your releases, share them when they’re ready and plan what you can do to maximise them and to follow up. Don’t lose the momentum you build.
Songwriting is truly an art form. Capturing a story using words and music and portraying that to an audience can be difficult, especially those beginning moments when you are faced with that blank page staring back at you! But there are a few things to think of that may make it a little easier…
Think about it a little less literally
For example, a song is like a conversation. There are certain elements that dictate how this conversation is played out and perceived. You know the words you want to say but the way you say it can change how it is perceived:
You may have lyrics written down and can’t decide what melody to go for: If you’re in a conversation and saying something upsetting, you wouldn’t laugh about it… If you’ve written sad lyrics it may not make sense to sing in a minor key if you want to get that feeling across!
You may have a melody but can’t think of lyrics: if you’re in a happy environment such as a celebration for a friend, you wouldn’t want to bring that down by starting an argument with someone. The melody is like the environment… how does the melody make you feel? Channel that into words to figure out what topic suits the melody.
Songwriting is a form of storytelling
If you are telling a family member about something that happened to you at work, for example, that story might become more refined the next time to you tell it to someone. And over time, the more you talk about it, you find the parts of the story you don’t particularly need to be able to get to the point so you cut those out. Or you find that certain parts aren’t making sense so you add more detail. You can do this when songwriting by performing your song again and again. You’ll find parts of it that don’t quite sound or feel right and then you can change this. You won’t fully understand what direction the song is taking or needs to take until you sit and just belt it out! Nothing is final until it is recorded, so use the time to your advantage.
To get your ideas flowing you need to get out of your head
Try not to worry about what you think others want from you or what you think is right to do… what do you want to write about?! What is important to you? What is going on in your life that you can draw on? Also, don’t get bogged down in writing for particular genres, it’s okay to be diverse in your songwriting if that’s how you feel at the time. If you write for other people’s pleasure, not your own, then you may never be happy with what you’re doing. It’s important to be genuine in this industry… again, like a conversation, people value honesty and can spot when you’re not being genuine with them. So don’t take that negative energy into your songs.
Always be songwriting
Don’t restrict your songwriting time for when you decide one day that you’re going to sit down and write a song. Carry a small notepad with you everywhere you go! Some of your best ideas will probably come when you’re not actively thinking of song ideas e.g. in your sleep, when you’re inspired by other music, when you see something while walking in the street or driving around. Anywhere! If you have nowhere to note these ideas down then you could forget them as quickly as you’ve thought of them. It doesn’t have to be a full verse or chorus or full topic for a song, it could be a word or sentence or even an image. Just something that later you will look at and think “thank god I wrote that down! I know what to write about now…”
There is no one way to write a song. Some people prefer to write melody first, some people prefer to write lyrics first. Some people do both at the same time! Find what works for you but remember that it’s okay to take your time and be selfish! Do what is right for you, not everyone else. Obviously there is the small exception of when you are writing a song to a brief, but songwriters that do this still have their own personality that they bring to the song. So it still stands… find your own voice or interpretation of a brief and bring that to any work you are doing!
Written by Help For Bands, who provide free impartial advice and monthly music industry opportunities through their newsletter.