October Industry Wrap-Up

Spotify Adds Playlist Pitching Options, Partners With Google & Launches New App

October was a busy month for Spotify! They’ve announced some recent updates that impact fans, labels and artists. For music fans who use Google and Android smart devices, an advanced partnership now allows Spotify subscribers to use voice command control of the app using  Google Assistant. Formerly relegated to Google Home smart-speakers, this marks a move towards Google’s acceptance of Spotify’s high subscription rate and putting it front-of-mind when updating its mobile offerings. While Andorid users can rejoice in their ability to say “OK Google, Play Spotify”, Music Ally points out that the tech giant may still be leaning toward YouTube being the lead music brand for Google going forward, as it merges with Google Play.”

For independent labels, pitching for slots on playlists and Spotify’s ‘Browse’ section can be as difficult for those without representation. There also remains an internal struggle between the promotion of label playlists and Spotify’s own in-house playlists. As such, Spotify has moved to offer a new system for indie labels aimed at giving their artists a better shot at making it onto playlists while also (ideally) giving labels’ playlists “a better chance of building an audience on Spotify.” Read more about the pitching system here, and as indie artists, keep your eyes out for more transparent pitching opportunities in the future!

Finally, as creators are concerned, Spotify launched it’s “Spotify For Artists” app on iOS. We’ve talked about the “Spotify For Artists” app on the Blog before, so it’s exciting to see such a helpful tool being offered to artists right in their pocket. An Android version is soon to follow, but for now, indie artists with iOS devices can edit their bios and their ‘artist’s pick’, as well as update their playlists and keep an eye on their listener analytics.

2017 On-Demand Streams Soar in the U.S.

We know, even though it feels like time is flying, the year isn’t over yet. But as a digital music distributor serving independent artists with the opportunity to make their music available on dozens and dozens of digital streaming platforms, we can’t help but get excited about figures like this: on-demand audio and video streams are up 40.5% in the U.S. so far in 2017

At 442.44 billion streams so far, MusicAlly once again provides a helpful comparison that shows that this year, eight tracks have already toppled last year’s most-streamed track, “Panda” by Desiigner, in the comparative window of time.

While the top artists being streamed are no doubt most of the big-timers you’d expect to see leading the way, it’s important as ever to look at these types of figures as an overall shift toward the trend of streaming. Once a consumption method for the ‘active’ music listener, more and more subscribers means more and more music discovery. With direct access to these platforms, it puts independent artists in a good position to be marketing their releases across fans’ preferred channels for streaming.

BandsInTown Announces “Big Break” Platform For Emerging Artists

BandsInTown – if you don’t already know (and you should) – is a popular app aimed at helping artists promote their concerts/tour dates and helping fans keep track of when all their favorite performers will be playing locally. In addition to helping fans discover new artists by offering concert dates for bands they don’t already follow on Facebook via a “listen-if-you-like” style algorithm, BandsInTown is launching their “Big Break” platform in an effort to promote new independent artists.

The new feature “highlights everything you need to know about the fresh faces turning the industry upside down. From the secrets behind their viral tracks to their big plans for the future…”, supported by a series on their blog. BandsInTown will select 50 artists in order to grow their ‘trackers’ following from 500 to 5,000.
This is a very cool step towards further connecting indie artists with new and potential fans. The app is already right up any diehard music fan’s alley in terms of keeping up with their favorite acts’ performing schedules – even for local artists. Head on over to their blog to learn more about the platform and how to keep up with the opportunities coming from the app down the road.

BandsInTown Announces New Direct Messaging Option

If you haven’t already been using it as a fan or an artist, BandsInTown is the #1 concert discovery app on the market. When fans follow a band or artist on Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud or numerous other platforms, BandsInTown alerts them ahead of time that the band or artist will be playing near their location. It’s win/win for artists and fans.

How many times have you discovered a new band, followed them on social media and forgot about it, only to find out the next week that they played a show down the street from you and you missed it?  In an era where you’re not even expected to have your best friend’s phone number memorized because it’s in your phone already, it’s pretty commonplace to get distracted online. Personally, living in a touring destination city that breeds amazing indie talent and where music venues practically outnumber public schools, BandsInTown is one of the most useful apps I’ve adopted in years.

If I haven’t encouraged you as an artist to get on the BandsInTown bandwagon (see what I did there?), this should: BandsInTown has  just announced an awesome update wherein artists can communicate directly with fans who RSVP for their shows via targeted push notifications that land right in their hands. Got a new release? Did the show’s start time change? Want to run a cool merch giveaway? This is the perfect tool to remind fans before or after the show! Read more from BandsInTown about the update:

“Our research shows that fans want to hear from artists they track and are more likely to take action when you communicate with them personally. For artist managers or publicists, these personalized notifications appear on concert-goers phones as if they’re coming from the band or DJ directly. It’s free to message RSVP’s as often as you like, which is a great way to alert fans of breaking news.”

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Pretty sick, right? Read more about the update’s uses and steps to take advantage of it here. And if you’re reading this as a music fan who hasn’t downloaded the app yet, you’re welcome.

Next step for TuneCore Artists
BandsInTown is a great, free service and we highly recommend taking advantage of it. If you’re looking to reach your fans in an even more advanced or creative way, TuneCore does have its own local marketing product call DropKloud. 

DropKloud allows artists to offer customized digital capsules of content – like songs, photos and videos – to fans in specific locations. If you’re an artist with a good-sized following whose fans reside all over, it can be a very effective way of sharing content with them. Learn more about DropKloud’s capabilities here.