The Reasons Artists Should Consider Putting Their Music on Spotify



The audio format is not a new concept.  It all began in 1877 with the phonographic cylinder.  These were the earliest way to record and reproduce sound.  The cylinder objects had audio recording engraved on the outer surface.  Users were able to reproduce the sound when playing the cylinder on a phonograph.  In 1883 the Piano Roll came around.  This was a storage medium that was used for operating a piano.   The piano roll was a roll of paper that had holes in it.  The holes determined the note the piano played.   The roll operated by moving over a tracker bar.  


In 1895 the Gramophone Record was developed.  The Gramophone Record is what many of us know as vinyl records.  These records are a way to store analog sound on a flat disc.  The disc contains a modulated and inscribed spiral groove.  The groove begins close to the periphery of the disc and ends at the center.  Using a record player to move around the grove, the sound is produced.   In the 1930s the “reel-to-reel” was developed.  This is a magnetic tape recording held on an open reel mounted to a spindle as the tape is pulled through mechanical guides.  A second reel collects the tape once it is played. 

1962 gave us the 4-track or the Muntz Stereo-Pak.  This was a magnetic tape sound recording.  This was the first type of track that had in-car players for them.  The in-car players were referred to as auto stereos.  In 1963 the compact cassette came about.  Mixed tapes suddenly became a thing.  Compact cassettes are often called audio cassettes or simply cassettes.  These are a sound recording format on a magnetic tape that was initially designed for dictation purposes.  However, the cassette eventually became supplementary in non-professional applications to the reel-to-reel and 8-track devices. 

In 1965 the Stereo 8, or 8-track cartridge, was developed.  This device also used magnetic tape sound recording technologies.  8-tracks were popular through the end of the 1970s in the United States.  In 1982, the Compact Disk (CD) was created.  The CD is a disc that is used for digital data storage and was designed for the storage of sound recordings.  As time moved on, however, CD’s began to allow for other types of media storage. 

In 1993, MPEG-1 or 2 Audio Layer 3 (MP3 Players) hit the market.  MP3 players allowed for digital audio encoding and quickly became the common format for audio storage.  Digital video discs, or DVDs, hit the scene in 1997.  DVDs allowed for optical media disc storage.  DVDs are mainly used to store video and can store nearly seven times the amount that can be stored on a CD.  Blu-Ray discs hit the scene in 2006 and are an enhanced version of the DVD. 

The world has moved from these storage media devices, cassette, and cd players, and even mp3 players to digital music platforms and subscription-based services.   Thanks to the rise of smartphones and streaming devices, music streaming has become a thing.  Streaming services have had an impact on the music industry.  Spotify is currently the largest music subscription service in the world.  Here are some of the reasons that artists should consider uploading their music to Spotify.  More information on how to upload your music to Spotify can be found at DeviantNoise.com.

Should You Put Your Music on Spotify?
If you are an unsigned artist, the decision on whether to put your music on Spotify is up to you.  Spotify can be huge in helping you build a career in music.  There are numerous reasons that individuals object to music streaming based on what has worked in the past.  But as discussed above, the world is constantly changing.  The evolution of how we have listened, and recorded audio has been rapid and consistent, and it is time for the world to move to the next step.  Here are some of the biggest objections that artists must put their music on Spotify, and how Spotify can help you with your music career goals. 

Spotify Does Not Pay Enough
Ok, so this is true.  Spotify does not pay artists a lot of money for the value of providing streams to users.  When you think about the money they spend re-investing in their technology, the money used for storing music files, and the money used for marketing the service the very few people in the world that are not already subscribing to the services; Spotify does not pay as much as it could.  This may be true.  In 2018, it was estimated that individuals holding the rights to the music were paid between .006 and .0084 for each stream.  This can be split among songwriters, record labels, artists, and producers.   So basically, each person makes less than a penny per stream. 

So, if you are not going to become rich from putting your music on Spotify; why should you do it?  Spotify should not be your only revenue source.  At the very least, it is not going to be significant enough to pay all your bills.  Spotify is more of a paid marketing venture.  You get paid a little bit here and there while being provided with the perfect platform to market yourself to individuals who would otherwise never have discovered your work.  There are a few reasons that Spotify is one of the most important opportunities provided to artists today. 

The scale of Spotify alone is enough for you to consider it.   You would take a gig in front of millions of people at a festival, even if it did not pay, right?  Why?  Because you would get exposure and can sell your merchandise to make up for not getting paid.  Spotify is like playing for free in front of millions for people.  You can obtain hard-core fans that otherwise would have simply listened to you on the radio, if they ever heard you at all, because of the way that Spotify is set up and the number of listeners subscribed to the service.  They may find you because of your stats or come across you due to similar music they already like. 

When Spotify is a priority, you can build your audience on their platform.  You can get playlist placements, streams, and followers by simply uploading your music.   You will make a little money from the service, but you are investing in something much more valuable.  You are putting yourself on a platform that will greatly increase your chances of making a name for yourself. 

But Is not Spotify Crowded?
More than twenty thousand tracks are added to Spotify every day.  Tens of millions of songs are found within the catalog.  Your music is a single drop of water in a crowded ocean.  This means that you need to put the work in to be found.  The mistake that many artists make is uploading their music and letting it sit.  Only about five hundred tracks uploaded daily to Spotify are being supported.  This means you can work harder than the majority without much effort. 

Getting more streams as an unsigned artist on Spotify can seem overwhelming.  You do not have the experienced marketing and social media teams to do everything for you.  This means you must do these tasks on your own.  Here are some things that can help you get more streams on Spotify. 

First, promote your channel and uploaded tracks on Spotify.  You can do this by using graphics and posting links to those that follow your social media platforms.  This is not done as often as you would think.  Creating teaser videos and graphics that catch your current audience’s attention can help increase your streams.  Encourage fans to share your tracks.  It is surprisingly easy for listeners to share tracks with others on Spotify.

Get your music on playlists.  There are several ways that you can do this.  First, when you do the above with social media, your fans are likely to add your songs to their playlists, that they may or may not share with their friends who will then add you to their playlists and so on.  Second, refrain from using the Spotify-curated lists and avoid the algorithm.  Find playlists that have human curators and fair-followings and try to get added to those playlists.   

You can also ask peers and people you know in the industry to share your tacks.  These are known as influencers.  Forget about the reviewers and commenters that have millions and millions of followers.  Put your attention on people that know you personally.  Have you ever worked with another artist that will share your track?  Is there a local business or do you know someone working at the local radio station that will share your track for you?  It is harder to say no to people that you know.  People are also typically more willing to help individuals that they know personally, have worked well with, and tend to want to promote those in their communities.  Even if they say no, at least you asked.  If you do not ask the answer is still no, so nothing is lost by asking people to share your Spotify track for you.

Not Posting on Spotify Builds Anticipation
This is not true.  Not posting your music on Spotify just frustrates your fans.  There were twenty thousand other songs uploaded to Spotify today.  Even if your fan is looking forward to your track, if it is not there and Spotify is their music platform, they are going to listen to something else.  You may quickly be replaced by a new favorite artist.   When you work consistently to gain Spotify streams you quickly find increased returns.  Each track is a building block stacked onto the last toward success.  Each playlist that adds your trick moves you closer to the Spotify algorithm-generated playlists.  Once you have made it to these playlists, each track you release has an increased chance of getting on these lists. 

Should I Not Wait for a Recording Contract?
Spotify streams and the number of followers are major data points looked at by the music industry.  If you are trying to obtain a recording contract as part of your music career; building a Spotify audience is a huge step in helping you get discovered.  If you walk into a label company and tell them how amazing you are and that hundreds of people back home love your music, you are going to get a polite no thank you.  Almost everyone thinks their music is amazing.  Record labels want to know the individuals that they are investing in are worth the investment.  If you walk in and tell them the type of music you play, why you are unique, and that your stream has millions of followers from all over the world and grows every day; they are much more likely to buy into your pitch.  Spotify can help you become discovered. 

2 comments

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  2. Great info! I liked learning about the history of audio format. Spotify seems like an excellent option for music artists.

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