I’ll go straight to the point. What happened was growth! A 260% increase in listenrs and it keeps on steady climbing!
What really happened?
I honestly never expected it to be that big of a change, I thought that maybe I would get one or two new listeners every couple of days but this has been unprecendented.
After staying at around 5 listeners a month for several months, I decided to take matters into my own hands and really put in my work. I had released a new track called Roses,
I really wanted people to hear my track, so I searched and searched online for ways to get more listeners on spotify an the only thing I could find was in regards to getting in a Spotify owned playlist through their pitch a song feature, however because my Distrokid was on the basic plan, I could not pitch any songs. This is due in part to the fact that when you have a basic Distrokid plan you cannot schedule your songs for release, instead you upload a song and in about a week it goes up. Nothing you can do there.
With that paln out of the map until I can upgrade my Distrokid plan, I started thinking more about playlists, and doing some more research on Spotify Playlists and the different varieties of playlists there are.
1- Spotify owned playlists
2- Listener curated playlists
3- Collaborative Playlists
Enter: Collaborative Playlists
So what is a collaborative playlist?
Back in 2008 Spotify released a new featured called collaborative playlists, and it was a hit! A collaborative playlists is a playlist where anyone can add their music to right from the spotify app. No need to email anyone to get your song on their playlists, no need to schedule your song for release a month in advance, no. All you have to do is find a collaborative playlist and click add songs and add your songs. It’s that simple.
Further research into the collaborative playlist world I found a list with 200+ links of collaborative playlists in spotify, some where defunct, others erased but for the most part the links still worked and people where still listening to those collaborative playlists on a regular basis. (I took the time to update the list and removed several non-working links, and will be updating it with even more links whenever I find more, you can find that new list by clicking this text.)
I then spent the next couple of days, maybe weeks adding my songs to the playlists I found that where in line with my own music. I spent countless hours going playlist by playlist adding my new songs in. Some playlists you could add all your songs, others you could only add one. It took some time but at the end I had fully completed my mission and my songs where in all the playlists I could get into.
As soon as I was about maybe 1/4 of the way through my numbers started rising. First it went from 5 listeners a month to 8 listeners a month, then to 18, then to 20, and at the moment of this post I am currently sitting at 35 listeners a month, not too shabby with only 4 songs on my catalogue and having spent about 2 weeks adding the tracks. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Yet I am not here to toot my own horn, I am here because in this exercise I found a very interesting thing.
When you pay for plays, most people will actually just do the same thing I did but instead of adding your songs to these collaborative playlists, they have already curated playlists with thousands of followers that listen daily to them, you pay them maybe $30 per song and they’ll put your song on their playlist for a month. After that month you’re out unless you pay them another $30, if you’re a prolific artist with 10’s and 100’s of songs under your belt, this will get costly fast!
However if you are willing to invest your time to adding each song to each individual collaborative playlist, you will be there forever. This is because the only person that is taking songs out of their playlists is the admin, and the admin already made the playlist collaborative because they are either looking for new music or the want the community to submit their stuff on there. So the chances of your songs getting kicked off a collaborative playlist are much lower than the no bargaining “pay me or you’re out” model of the paid playlists.
So what does this mean for your music?
Every new song is a new beginning but your ground level is no longer 0.
Because you’ve added your songs to the collaborative playlists, and you’re already getting new listeners, more people are hearing your music, and your catalogue is already there presumably forever; when you release a new song you’re not starting at 0. Instead you will be adding more songs to the already growing playlists that grow as each artist adds their own music and follows those playlists, so essentially by repeatedly doing this exercise every time you release a new song you are creating what is called the snowball effect.
The snowball effect is a metaphor for what happens when their is a snow avalanche, first a bit of snow starts rolling down the mountain(putting your music on collab playlists), then more snow gets piled on (new songs) and then even more snow is piled on until eventually the initial snowball is big enough to roll over a house. This is the same thing that happens when you continue adding songs you collaborative playlists. With every new release and every new artist that adds their songs and favorites the playlist, the audience grows, larger and larger, and this is only limited by the amount of music you are releasing, so the more music you release, and the more playlists you add your music into, the bigger the snowball will be.
Not only that, but I’ve noticed that after my songs started getting plays on those playlists, I also started getting new followers, which means that my new songs will soon start appearing on those new followers new music playlists, which only serves to raise the floor on where I will start with each new song release.
With all this being said, I will next try submitting my songs to music blogs and see what that means for my spotify numbers. All I know is that following the success of this experiment I will continue to look for collaborative playlists, add them to my list and make them a part of my marketing strategy for every new song I release.