If you Google ‘buy Spotify plays’ or ‘buy Spotify followers’ you’ll be deluged with a load of Google Ad responses that say things like “Buy Spotify streams and monthly listeners today and kickstart your career.”
Sounds great, but sadly, it’s never as straight forward as this.
Look at it this way; when you were at school, if someone said to you, “I’ll pay you to be my friend”, what would you have thought of them? Sad and a bit desperate, right?
On the flip side, would you ever have paid people to be your friend or paid for someone to go out with you? Probably not.
Would you pay real people to listen to your music? Would you go up to someone in the street and offer to pay them to listen to your song or would you rather they heard your latest track on the street, in a club, local pub or on the radio and then paid YOU for the pleasure of listening to your music?
So, why would you want to buy listeners, followers or increase your frequency of plays?
OK, there’s an easy answer to that, obviously: to get myself noticed and get people listening to my music QUICKLY!
Sure, buying Spotify listeners can absolutely do that. But is that how you want to build your fan base and reputation?
Do you want recognition based on fake plays and fake fans, or would you rather take it a bit slower and find real Spotify fans, who truly appreciate your music and will be long-term ambassadors for you?
Do you want real love, or a quick, meaningless fling?!
Don’t get me wrong, buying play counts is nothing new. In the old days, probably before you were born (I’m in my senior ish years), when people actually bought vinyl records, ‘fake plays’ existed.
There are lots of cases where wealthy artists, managers and families of would-be superstars literally went out and bought thousands of copies of a song, just to get it in the Top Ten in the charts and during the first week of sales, discount the release by up to 70% of it’s normal price – just to get into the charts.
It’s just that in this digital age of plays and downloads, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to buy those 1000s of records, but it’s still no more real and it still doesn’t mean that you have any idea if these listeners actually thought your music was good.
You have no idea what they think. You can produce an utterly rubbish song, launch it and buy 10,000 Spotify unique listeners, but it will still be a rubbish song. It’s been done and proven.
We’re not saying you don’t want to be with Spotify. You absolutely do. Spotify has made thousands of artists and is a brilliant platform on which independent musicians can get their work discovered. But there are much better ways of cracking Spotify than buying plays.
First up you need to get your music on Spotify.
Any music submitted to Spotify for consideration has to be unreleased. This has to be delivered either by a record label or a distributor.
Your record label will get your music on Spotify, or if you’re unsigned, then you will need to work with a digital distributor commonly known as a DSP (digital service provider), who will handle the licensing, distribution and royalties.
You will most likely pay a commission or fixed fee for this service, so research each company first.
Once you have a track on Spotify, or once you have music about to go onto Spotify via a distributor, you can claim and promote your Spotify Artist Profile.
Spotify for Artists is for everyone and you can create your own Spotify artist’s profile and make sure it shows you in your best light, promoting you and your music the way you want to be seen. It’s not that straightforward to get a Spotify Artist Profile unless you already have some music on Spotify.
If you already have music on Spotify, you can go to Spotify promotion for Artist’s home page and “claim your profile”. If you want to access your own Spotify Artist’s Profile (different to a user/listener profile) before you have released any music on Spotify, work with a distributor to get your music on Spotify, we can help you as we work with lots of official Spotify curators.
Advertise on Spotify. Spotify Ad Studio lets you create audio ads of 30 seconds or less, listened to by users of the free Spotify app.
They appear during ad breaks between songs on both desktop and mobile platforms. You can easily create an ad by creating an account and select “Promote an artist’s music on Spotify” as your campaign objective. You have control over budget and targeting.
Organic Spotify plays and playlist promotional campaign. This is a great way to get your music heard and you can try to get your music featured on the playlists yourself, but there’s a lot of competition and curators tend to work with trusted sources.
We have relationships with many of the curators on Spotify, so get in touch and see how we can help you.
Create playlists featuring your own songs. If you already have your own music on Spotify, create a playlist of songs that have the same sound like yours. Don’t just create playlists that feature your own music. Share the playlist as you would any other playlist.
Find other unsigned artists with the same sound as you on Spotify and collaborate with them. Create playlists featuring each other’s music. This is a great way to get your music streaming more widely listened to.
Bit of a sneaky one, but if one of your songs just happens to have the same track title as a song that’s currently big on Spotify, then that could be great for you. People searching for that song might come across yours and play it, and love it!
Of course, you can’t pull a title out of anywhere, but if it’s relevant and appropriate for your song, it could help if your track happened to have the same name.
Advertise on Facebook. Make sure you have a Facebook page. Some people think that it’s all about Instagram. It’s not.
Facebook is very powerful and excellent in terms of allowing you to market yourself and your music through targeted advertising and promotion of Facebook events and boosted posts.
Advertise your gigs and music through Facebook and don’t forget, Spotify and Facebook are linked (as are Facebook and Instagram), so each can help promote the other.
Make sure people can buy your music if they like it, for example via an iTunes or Amazon account.
To find out all about promoting yourself on Spotify, go through to the essential info page on Spotify here.
General tips to building your fans without paying for them:
– Patience is a virtue. It will happen if you put the effort in.
– Quality Music. Believe the adage, “Quality over Quantity”. Focus on producing quality music that will stand up alongside established artists. Be creative and different. Stand out from the crowd.
– Get out there and be heard: Busk, play tiny gigs and grow your real fan base. We all have to start somewhere and getting in front of real people in real places with a real interest in music is crucial.
– Start with small venues, bars and pubs and grow in your own time. A lot of being successful in music is about being confident and this comes with experience.
– Marketing: Work on a genuine marketing campaign through media and social platforms and get together the tools you need to do this: a simple website, a video channel (e.g. YouTube), a great bio to use for media, some quality photos, video clips (not too large) and cover artwork (you can find some great artists on Fiverr).
Make sure everywhere you go or whoever you work with includes you into their own marketing and social media.
– Social Media: Focus on growing your social media and online music profile across all platforms and share your music through them. Keep your social media current and regularly updated. Use key hashtags to be found; follow others and they are likely to follow you back. Remember Instagram, Facebook and Spotify are all linked and can promote across platforms.
– Old School Approach: Before the advent of social media, Soundcloud and Spotify, people actually still got their music played! Who knew?!
So, try the old school approach. Reach out to music media and radio producers. Do a bit of sleuthing (it’s easy via websites and Linkedin to find producers of your local, regional and national press and radio stations) and pitch yourself to them directly.
– Collaborate: Contact your favourite influencers, local personalities and other artists. See if they’d be happy to work with you.
Read our blog and helpful ‘how-tos’ to learn about how best to promote yourself to a wider audience. Or if you’d rather a bit more structured help, we provide a wide range of music promotion and PR services designed specifically for each artist.
Aside from the passion and experience, we have a powerful influencer network at our fingertips and direct contact with tastemakers in the UK. Go to our Music Promotion page to find out what we do or send us an email with your contact details and we’ll be happy to help you.
I hope you liked this article, please feel free to share with your friends and network – thanks, Mary.