When it comes to your music, you want it to stand out. Well we’ve got some good news: digital stores have opportunities available to any artist, and you can start taking advantage of those now. These opportunities for better store exposure can help you get more connected with your fans. Let’s get started.
1. Get yourself verified.
Spotify lets artists and labels create Verified Artist Accounts. This is a good idea for a few reasons: Once you’ve have a Verified Account, you can start to build a community of fans eager to discover music through you. When you make a playlist or share a track, your fans will be able to check it out, and they’re important to have in your circle because you’ll be reaching them directly when you have new music to promote. It’s direct-to-fan all the way.
Plus, your Verified Artist Account will link to your discography pages, making it easy for fans to search for you within Spotify.
2. Play(list) it again, Sam.
There are lots of ways to connect with your fans, and creating playlists is one of them. Spotify, Rdio, Beats Music (and even more streaming services) make playlisting easy, letting you share your own music mixed in with your favorite artists’ tracks. And come on, who doesn’t love a good playlist?
Some services also let you make your playlists ‘collaborative’ if you’re in the mood to let others add and modify music on your list. Making playlists with your fans can be a great way to get to know them and their musical tastes.
3. Try free for a change.
Artists often ask about marking tracks as ‘free’ in digital stores to create a little extra buzz for a new release. While many download stores have a no free tracks policy, Amazon MP3 is cool with it. Taking advantage of this feature can be a great way to get fans excited about a new release, or revive an older single that could use a little attention.
4. Name your price.
Though iTunes doesn’t let artists offer tracks at no cost, they DO let you adjust pricing for a new (or not so new) release. Adjust the price of your new album or single, and see if that positively affects sales. Bonus: lowering the price of your new release can also help increase your chances of getting featured in iTunes.
5. Get to iTunes, early.
Another awesome iTunes feature to take advantage of: PRE-ORDERS! Setting up a pre-order lets you market your new album, EP or single before its release date with your iTunes buy link, and you can offer fans Instant Grat tracks. A pre-order can help increase your new music sales plus generate excitement among your fans. By the way, pre-order purchases count toward sales on your release date, so they can help you rise on the iTunes charts. Get more info on pre-orders here.
6. Get integrated.
We all consume music in different ways. Some of us prefer to stream on Spotify, others like iTunes downloads—it’s all about individual preference. Because of this, you want to make sure you’re covering your bases by taking advantage of stores and services that are integrated with other stores and services. For example, Spotify is fully integrated into Last.fm, which means you can play any track through Spotify, (assuming the track is live on Spotify). By sending your music to Spotify, your music will be available for Last.fm users.
Another example: Shazam. Though Shazam doesn’t sell music, it does drive sales in other retail outlets by providing buy links to iTunes, Amazon, Rdio and more. Need proof? Shazam contributes to over $300 million in music sales each year. Moral of the story: make sure your music is everywhere.
7. Go for a feature.
If you plan ahead, you have a chance to score a feature in a store like iTunes, Amazon MP3 or eMusic. There’s no reason your new album or single shouldn’t be sitting next to major label artists. Learn more about what the stores look for in planning their features here, and submit your new release for a feature opportunity. Just remember, it’s always up to the stores which releases they choose to feature, so there are no guarantees. But what IS guaranteed, is that all artists are eligible. No gatekeepers here.
Hopefully these tips will help you take advantage of store opportunities for your next release. Get familiar with the services we currently distribute to, and remember, the opportunities for artists will just keep growing because we’ll continue to add new stores for distribution as often as possible.