Posts Tagged ‘Song’

Playlist Additions: The New and Fundamental Way to Build an Independent Artist’s Career

Real Streams

In the age of digital streaming, playlists have become a crucial component of how artists have grown their fanbase and spread their music. Whether it be Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, or any other digital streaming platform, playlists bring new music to the ears of listeners that would not have come across it otherwise. In fact, Bloomberg argues that placement on some of the premier playlists that these platforms curate themselves, such as “Daily Mix” and “Today’s Top Hits” (Spotify), guarantees that a song will become a hit. Spotify’s biggest playlist, Today’s Top Hits, has been streamed over 20 billion times, has 25 million followers, and has had over 70 artists on it receive more than 100 million streams. Even some of the much smaller playlists have the potential to truly put an artist in the spotlight as multiple placements across various playlists could have just as much, if not, even a bigger impact promotionally. To begin to understand this new wave of music promotion, we first must understand what the types of playlists are.

Types of Playlists and Submissions

Today, there are more than 100 million listeners across the world who pay for streaming subscriptions to listen to music. The key to getting your song noticed as an independent artist is by getting it placed on these platforms’ playlists. The type that you may be most familiar with is user-created playlists, whether it be because of some playlists you have created for yourself or the ones your friends have made. Besides this, there are also algorithmic playlists that suggest you songs based on your listening data and history; some popular examples of these are “Your Daily Mix” and “Discover Weekly” on Spotify. In addition to algorithmic playlists, there are also human-curated playlists that are created by around 100 editors at Spotify and other streaming platforms. They use their expertise, marketing, and listening data across the entire app to make their selections for hundreds of playlists. Lastly, there are the hybrid playlists that incorporate both human and algorithmic elements of selection. Regardless of which type of playlist your music is on, the goal is consistent: bringing each listener the best music that they would want to listen to.

Only in July 2018, Spotify introduced a new way for artists to submit their music onto the platform’s playlists. On the Spotify for Artists service, artists can pitch their songs to the company’s editors via an online form that asks the artist for information such as mood, culture, and genre to better understand which playlist would be best suited for their success. After the submission, editors on the Spotify team review the songs on a weekly basis and use data and expertise to add the songs to their desired playlists.

However, this is no guarantee that your music will make it onto the playlists given the fact that thousands, if not more, artists are all submitting their music: to say the competition is intense would be an understatement. A myriad of artists are still skeptical about this submission process because of the lack of transparency that Spotify has provided on its specifics. For instance, Spotify will not specify how many submissions it gets on a weekly basis from artists nor how many of these submissions end up on their playlists. This has led to a lack of trust in their submission process and leads artists to look elsewhere for trusted services to use in order to gain playlist additions and organic streams of their music.

How Have Playlists Changed the Industry for Artists?

The most interesting impact of playlists is how they have shifted the manner in which artists make music. Nowadays, whenever an artist submits a song for playlist consideration to Spotify, it will automatically be added to some of the algorithmically created “New Music Friday” playlists for listeners. On top of that, artists have also realized that it would make more sense financially to release one or two songs at a time in a shorter time spans than it would to release an entire album worth of songs per year. This way, they can boost the streams and playlist additions of each one of their songs and in turn, make more from streaming royalties.

Additionally, many artists such as Drake have also began to create longer albums with shorter songs. This strategic approach to music production increase the amount of streams each song gets by a substantial amount because it reduces the odds of the listener skipping the song. Consequently, it also ensures a more successful album while also improving the odds of an artists’ music getting onto playlists with large followings. Furthermore, this trend of playlist necessity has also led artists to understand that their music needs to grab their listener’s attention within the first 30 seconds. Since Spotify does not pay artists for songs that get skipped by the listener before the 30 second mark, it is up to the artist to make sure they captivate the listener with their flow right away and that they do not waste time in the introductory seconds.

The ever growing demand by artists for playlists has led to an incredibly high supply: more than 2 billion playlists exist on Spotify alone! It would only be fair to assume that Apple Music has around the same aggregate and this still does not include the total playlists on all the other various streaming platforms as well. In a way, playlist hits have become this generation’s equivalent of radio hits. Trending near the top of various playlists could have an even greater impact that any other form of promotion because of how easily listeners who enjoy the music can download the song, add it to their personal playlists, and even share the word about the song.

Maximizing Your Playlist Additions

There is no question that playlist additions are crucial to an independent artist’s ability to promote their music. But how can you maximize your playlist placements? The answer is PlaylistStreams.com. Through our service, you can ensure that your music will be on multiple playlists that our team sees best fit to maximize the distribution of your music. From these placements, you will then receive organic streams and your fanbase and platform will grow tremendously. With our relationships with hundreds of curators who have thousands of playlists, you can count on us to deliver and push your music to the ears of fans across the world.

The time to take advantage of this revolutionary mode of music promotion is now and with PlaylistStreams.com, you can join the wave of independent artists boosting their platform and solidifying their marks in the music industry.

Music Mix and Master: Why Both Are Important

Any song or produced track that you may hear on the radio or on a music streaming app is the product of hours of work. Not everyone understands the level of difficulty of producing a high-quality track, as this is a niche skill only individuals in the music production industry possess. Typically, the artist works with some combination of audio engineers, DJ’s, and producers to create a track. The producer must record each element, typically consisting of some combination of instrumentals and singing/rapping, in the song separately, then combine all these sounds seamlessly into one unified track. This complex process thus culminates in a perfectly-crafted song that can be streamed and listened to by many. To delve deeper into this process, I will elaborate on two methods of music production, mixing and mastering, before reflecting on their general importance to the piece. 

Mixing 

In sound recording, mixing is the process of combining all the different recordings of the elements into a single product. Talented audio engineers  must understand the nuances of each recording when combining them together, choosing which sounds to emphasize at which times. This aspect of mixing is called panning. 

Mixing also includes panning, EQ, Effects, and Automation. Without getting too bogged down in the technicalities, EQ and Effects are ways to make layered sounds more distinct and clear to make a recording more lively and lush. These engineers and master mixers must have a well-trained ear in order to EQ all sounds so that they take up the same audio frequency, while also adding and tweaking effects to enhance the song. Because volume levels, panning, and a slew of multiple effects occur many times throughout the song, they must also be automated by the audio engineer. It is no understatement that mixing is a difficult task best left to industry professionals; Mixing involves a delicate balance of many pieces, and a badly mixed song can often sound chaotic and messy. 

Mastering 

Music mastering, on the other hand, ensures that a song will maintain the same quality across all listening platforms. After the song is mixed properly, mastering is the next, and final step. It is done using tools such as equalization, compression, limiting, and stereo enhancement, which are all final touches to the mixed audio. Music mastering is important because it optimizes the experience of listening to music for the consumer, whether they are listening on vinyls, phone speakers, or through streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud. In sum, mastering allows for small mistakes in sound to be removed, improving uniformity and overall quality of the audio. 

The Importance of Both

It should go without saying that both mixing and mastering are extremely vital to producing a high quality audio in an artists’ song or album. As mentioned before, music mixing is important for most music styles because it brings all different components of a song together cohesively. Because audio mixing techniques and approaches vary from person to person, it also allows artists to insert their own unique touches into their music. Mastering can be thought of as the final polish on the entire production process, and is important especially because music nowadays is consumed on dozens of different platforms. 

Quality mixing and mastering lends to quality audio that is capable of reaching more people. This is because a properly mixed and mastered song has a quality that is on par with major label songs, a listener is less likely to skip the song. Consequently, it is harder to correctly market and position songs that are poorly mixed and mastered. At PlaylistStreams, we understand the nuances in the music industry and want to help promote these songs that are well-made, professional, but might not be gaining the exposure they deserve. A lot of hard work goes into creating a song or album, and with our campaigns, we can help bring real listeners to artists of a variety of genres. 

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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