Posts Tagged ‘Distribution’

How Will COVID-19 Change the Music Business?

To say we are living in unprecedented times would be an understatement. COVID-19 has truly not only changed the way billions of people around the world live their lives on a personal level, but it has also altered the manner in which all businesses, including the music industry, function in some material form. Before the coronavirus hit the USA the strongest in March 2020, the industry was seeing high revenues; in fact, in the first half of 2019 total revenues grew 18% to an aggregate of $5.4 billion. Additionally, streaming covered about 80% of the music business’s revenues in 2019. But once the virus’s effects began to be felt strongly as March progressed, former leading forms of revenue such as streaming and concerts were now nonexistent due to social distancing and limitations on large gatherings for the sake of public health. A six-month shutdown was estimated to cost the industry more than $10 billion in sponsorships. Though this is devastating, make no mistake, the music business is fighting back and learning how to function in the midst of this global health pandemic. No one can be sure about what the future has in store, but the one thing we can ensure is that the measures that are taken now will be pivotal in understanding how we can expect to see the industry transform in the years to come.

The Live Sector – A New Way to Engage with Fans

With bans on mass gatherings, artists can no longer perform and promote their music via the medium of a live concert performance with thousands of fans in attendance. The effects of this reality are larger than one may think as it extends to everyone that would be involved in making live performances a possibility: artists, fans, technicians, bartenders, agents, security, setup /cleanup services, and so many more.

One of the first alternatives that arose was that venues provided a live stream of artists’ performances at that venue which fans can watch online. However, the sites that offered these services quickly shut down and now artists have turned to platforms like Twitch and Instagram TV/Live to broadcast their music directly from their own homes. This medium has actually increased the audiences of a myriad of artists and recognizing the larger audience, record labels have begun to support these methods by providing artists with live stream equipment. This relatively new form of performing has also led to new forms of monetization for artists aside from the traditional viewer rates: some allow fans to purchase memberships which give them early access to exclusive content, while others even allow for unique commenting abilities. This new form of performing has actually led to musicians seeing substantial growth in their incomes.

With the reality that fans may not be able to attend large scale concerts until Fall 2021, this may be a strategy that is here to stay. Other businesses have taken note of this tool Verizon is working on bringing its services to Live Nation Entertainment in order to help organize larger virtual gatherings through which artists can showcase their music. Vivendi is also establishing a service through which artists can perform their music with their fans while also sharing exclusive musical content with them. With all the players in the field of virtual performances and online gatherings, it seems like the Internet and live streaming will be one of the alternatives we will most heavily see in the age of the coronavirus.

Advertising and Distribution

Advertising has also taken quite a substantial hit in the music industry because of the coronavirus. Nearly a fourth of all media brands have temporarily halted their advertising for the first half of 2020, and almost half of them have reduced their expenses on it altogether. This will severely impact music channels that are dependent on ad revenues and further impact the income specific artists receive. A prime example of this was seen with Spotify, who announced that it missed its advertising revenue targets due to the changes it experienced in advertisement budgeting. This effect is not just limited to Spotify, but also its artists who use the platform like this can lessen their individual income. Will advertisements see a resurgence in the future? The answer is likely yes, but in what form and exactly when that would be is still up in the air.

When it comes to distribution, coronavirus has caused a number of artists to delay their releases into later in the year. This is partially due to the inability of artists to now go on tours to promote their music as a plethora of music festivals and events have been momentarily postponed or canceled. The absence of live performances can be understood as nearly a cut of half of the industry’s total revenue; pushing artists and agents to explore other mediums for gaining back that lost capital. Although live stream performances are a start, that is nowhere near enough and record label groups have understood this.

Groups such as Universal Music Group and Live Nation Entertainment, as well as streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, have provided funding efforts to aid artists whose incomes have been diminished due to the coronavirus. They have also established practices in distribution that is more helpful to artists such as interest-free advances on royalty payments. It is truly a rallying of the music community to help sustain the one thing all entities in the field love: music. Consumers have begun to use more streaming with the loss of live performances and also stream the music on home appliances much more such as televisions. The coronavirus has undoubtedly shifted the advertising and distribution sectors as well.

The Future

The Internet will be the prevalent home for artists and fans for the time being. With less physical interactions between musicians and their audiences, virtual performances will be the new normal for at least a year into the future. With the success many artists have been having with this format, who knows? There is a possibility that even after the pandemic comes to a close, online performances will become just as customary as live ones. Additionally, the coronavirus has shifted distribution and advertising practices. The good thing for the fans is that this means there are more possibilities for them to get exclusive content from their favorite artists now. However, what is most interesting is the change in the sound of music.

Spotify has reported that in addition to adding subscribers to its streaming platform in the first quarter of 2020, it has also noted a boost in listeners of their relaxing and peaceful musical genres. Whether or not this is due to the isolation and introspection that comes with quarantine, artists should and will pay attention to this and reflect the relaxing elements into their music as well. To achieve success in this day and age, success in streaming is still a constant. With PlaylistStreams.com, artists can do just that by achieving their desired organic streams at a competitive price; thus with our service, even in these confusing times, artists can deliver their music to their fans. With the coronavirus, there is no telling when things will get back to the future. However, we will all get through this and so will the music industry.

Spotify Algorithmic Playlists: What are they?

Music streaming platform Spotify boasts 286 million monthly active users as of 2020, claiming 36% of the global streaming market. Yet, the app is able to create personalized recommendations of playlists, songs, and content for every one of these users who log on. 

How? The answer lies in the data.

Big data truly is the trend nowadays, and for good reason. Spotify leverages this big data through its well-developed algorithms, which are essentially a set of rules to be executed by a computer to solve a problem. Spotify’s algorithm learns from each time a user clicks on, saves, and listens to a song. It further monitors music history, skipped songs, past playlists, and even location to recommend music and save user data. Interestingly, the algorithm also looks at how long a user listens to a song. If the person listens for more than 30 seconds, Spotify will mark this song as a liked song that will be used for future song references. Spotify can therefore recommend songs based on previous music sessions, but can also add fresh songs that are likely to match a users preferences. While it may seem bizarre that this single app is capable of holding so much data, it is precisely the mechanism that sets the app apart from other music streaming services. 

There are three main algorithmic playlists that artists can be featured on: Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix. Discover Weekly contains songs that are custom tailored to the users listening history, as well as listening history of similar individuals. It is updated biweekly with new songs that Spotify’s algorithm predicts a user will enjoy. Release Radar contains new songs released by artists, and Daily Mix playlists are curated based on genre. Up to 6 Daily Mix playlists can show up on a user’s homepage based on different genres explored during the week. These playlists are all dynamic, changing with the songs and artists users explore each week. 

As an artist, the importance of having your content land on one of these algorithmic playlists cannot be understated. They reach a massive amount of targeted listeners who are very likely to listen to the song in full, save the song, and continue sharing it through their personal playlists and audience. The result is a large amount of high-quality streams that is likely to help developing artists reach more widespread fame in the heavily fragmented and dynamic music industry. For some artists, it can be a necessary step to getting their music noticed and becoming a full-time music creator. Though streams and monthly listeners do not necessarily equate long-term fans, more streams and listeners from real people increases scope of influence an artist can get. From there, the opportunities to get placed on editorial playlists or personal user-created playlists is boundless. 

The only way artists can ensure the highest chances of landing their music on these algorithmic playlists is through high user engagement and of course, a well-made and catchy song. The more users that engage with your music on Spotify, the more likely a song can be caught by the algorithm and gain a coveted spot on a Spotify playlist. Music creators can also increase overall engagement by having their song placed on a listener-curated playlist or editorial playlists, which accept music pitches through Spotify for Artists. PlaylistStreams in particular can draw on its vast resources and playlist database spanning various genres to help get artists’ songs placed on these listener-curated playlists, ensuring that the song will receive real streams from real Spotify users. With PlaylistStreams, artists are more likely to notice steady growth in monthly listeners and overall streams on Spotify and other music streaming platforms, meaning a higher chance of getting picked up by the Spotify algorithm. 

If you are a music creator with songs that possesses great potential, continuously promoting your current and previous releases with PlaylistStreams and platforms such as Spotify will allow your content to reach the widest audience possible. Being placed on a popular playlist and gaining a huge increase in streams should be celebrated, but the work does not stop there, as being an artist means constant work for personal growth. With music marketing services such as the campaign plans from PlaylistStreams, any artist can gain the amount of streams within their goal range in addition to loyal listeners cross-platform. 

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How do I get my song on Spotify/Apple Music/ Tidal etc.?

We get asked by a numerous amount of people how do they get their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. Digital distribution is what you would need. Distributors are the ones who get your music on all the Digital Service Providers (Spotify, Apple, etc.) libraries. Some companies whom you can sign up for distribution are Tunecore, AWAL, DITTO, Distro Kid, United Masters etc. Each one of them are different and you should weigh the pros and cons of each company.

We found a great and very informative article comparing these distribution companies. The article covers everything from what distribution companies do, how to work with a company, how to get a distribution deal, the fee structure and services.

In addition, it also has a chart comparing each distributor side by side. When deciding on a distributor make sure you work with a company who best fits your goals as an artist. For detailed information please read the article by the music distribution gurus.

Once you have your song upload to a distributor, you then can send us a link to your music so that we can get them on Playlist.

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