Tag Archive: spotify

  1. Marketing in the Streaming Age

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    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.

    Marketing in the Streaming Age

     

    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.

  2. All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

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    If you are planning on releasing a release of cover songs there are a few things you need to consider before submitting to us.

    All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

    Do I need a license to release globally?

    To distribute your release to the United States you will need to obtain a Harry Fox license. If you do not have this license you cannot release in the US. For the rest of the world you do not need a license. If you would like to omit the United States from you release but would like to release everywhere else please enter in the ISO code: “US” in the ‘Licensed territories to exclude’ field.

    Your release will then be distributed everywhere except the United states. All other territories are dealt with by the stores at the point of sale (stores pay the collection societies from cut of sales).

    You should make every effort to ensure that your cover of the chosen song is not too similar to the original as these will not be accepted by certain stores; try to make the song your own.

    licensed territories

     

     

     

     

    Who do I need to credit?

    When releasing covers you must credit the original songwriters and the publishers. You can do this by entering them in the ‘Composers’ and ‘Publisher’ fields on your release.

    You should always try to get permission from the original publisher.

    You must not mention the original artist in the track or release title. Phrases such as “originally performed by” or “in the style of” should also not be used.

    What happens about my royalties?

    Royalties for cover songs are processed in the same way as usual. The amount you have earned will appear on the Client Zone in the normal way, however the PRS cut will have already been taken at the point of sale.

     

  3. What Happens to My Release?

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    What happens to my release blog

    Music Release

    When you submit your release through the client zone, it can often be confusing what takes place on our end to check over the submitted release and deliver it to stores. This blog will cover the process of what happens when you submit your release, and how we make sure the release is ready to go to stores.

    When you submit a release, it will appear in a list of releases on the client zone that our team then work through in order of when the release was submitted. The release is downloaded from the client zone and the team listen to the music, checking that the audio quality is up to standard using specialised audio checking software. What is mainly checked for is whether the bit rate is 16 or 24 bit, the track is in 2 channel stereo, and that the sample rate of the music is 44.1KHz, as this is the standard audio fidelity for modern music. Finally, we check if the release contains any explicit content and whether this is stated in the release. If the music meets this, we then look at the artwork.

    With artwork there are a few different specs that we look for. Firstly, the artwork must be relevant to the release and should state the correct track and artist name. We then check the dimensions of the artwork, as stores require album art to be a minimum of 3000 x 3000 pixels and must be square. We also check that the resolution of the image is correct. Stores ask for a minimum resolution of 300 DPI or pixels per inch. If your artwork meets all of these specs, it is good to go!

    CD Rainbow

    The final and most important part of any release we check is the metadata. There are several fields that must be formatted in a very specific way in order for stores to accept it. For example, any album or track titles must be written with title casing. This means, for example, if a release is submitted with the name “Killing In The Name” the correct formatting would be to use capitals on regular words, meaning it would be “Killing in the Name”. This is also the same with the artist name, so with an artist like “Queens Of The Stone Age”, this must be written as “Queens of the Stone Age”.

    After checking that the barcode, ISRC code and territories fields are correct, we then check that the (P) Holder and (C) Holder information are correct at product level, in most cases this information should match up at track level too. This is the same for the label information and genre information for singles. Albums and EP’s can have different genre information at track level however.

    If all the product level information is correct, we check the track level information for title casing in the track names, as well as the track numbers being all correct. For track level genres, we check to make sure these match or are relevant to the product level genre information. If samples are used, the correct publishers must be credited or you must make sure that the sampled music is public domain to avoid infringement notices. Finally, we check that that any producers, mixers or other credits are listed in title casing. If every bit of metadata is ok, then your release is ready to be delivered!

    Video Release

    Video Camera

    For a video release, we check for only a specific set of things. Firstly, we will watch the video and make sure that if it contains explicit content, this is noted when delivering to VEVO. The video should generally be standard HD quality or minimum 480p for SD video, with 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. We prefer video to be multi-pass encoded, with a native frame rate and in mp4 file format. In terms of the video itself, no title or end cards can be used, and the audio bit rate should be 320kbps with a 44.1KHz sample rate. There should also be no letter boxing or text overlays in the video unless it is a lyric video, in which case this must be clearly stated in the title.

    If the video is correct, we then make sure that the video thumbnail has the correct dimensions of 1920×1080 pixels. We then begin uploading the video to VEVO, filling in the appropriate information provided such, as the artist name, track name, VEVO channel and so on.

    Particular pieces of information we look for are that a VEVO channel has been listed or requested for us to create one. We also check that the channel name requested is relevant to the artist name. VEVO will not create channels that use label names as it is confusing for fans to find an artist  channel, and therefore we will ask you to change it.

    Once this is all correct we deliver the video for you. VEVO will not allow videos to be published if the thumbnail dimensions are incorrect, therefore it is very important that you get this right. Once delivery is completed with VEVO, your video should be visible on their website with a few hours.