Playlisting and How Indie Artists Should be Using it
**Guest post by Garrison Snell of Crosshair.
"What is the importance of playlist promotion for indie artists?
Placement on playlists is the digital equivalent of radio placement, except that playlists aren't limited by geographical location AND they can be used to work your song into bigger playlists. For instance, if your song gets placed onto playlists owned by regular Spotify users, it will eventually automatically break onto other Spotify playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Viral 50.
This happened with Mitchell Rose. He was added to 13 Crosshair playlists and then broke onto 756,000 Discover Weekly playlists about five weeks later.
Compared to other forms of promotion, why are playlists so popular right now?
Compared to radio: there are more of them, they are easier to make (just hit "make playlist" as compared to setting up an expensive radio station) and they aren't limited by location. Also, because playlists are rooted in tech platforms (Spotify, Deezer, etc), the average user gets more analytics than when played on radio, so everyone can generally start making better promotional decisions, not just large organizations. They're leveling the playing field more in the favor of indie artists.
How can an indie artist do it effectively, both in terms of time and money spent?
This is the problem with all indie artist promotion, right? Most solutions start in the thousands of dollars range (hiring a marketing agency, PR firm, etc) OR require a lot of time (manually reaching out to bloggers cold to build a relationship). I would recommend starting with the best type of promotion: organic word of mouth recommendations. Now ask the question "How can I use digital tools to speed this up?"
Influencer marketing (placing stuff with influential digital celebs) is still the most organic form of promotion and word of mouth.
What are other forms of digital promotion that indie artists can take advantage of?
USE SOFTWARE. Think of yourself as a tech startup: What web apps can you use to make yourself more efficient or cut your costs? A list of our favorites is below:
- Facebook/Instagram ads
- Shutterstock footage
- Email Hunter
Start thinking holistically. With the above tools, you should be handling everything, end to end. In terms of promotion, dial these tools together to make a system that works for you, use them to make great visual content (that compliments your music) and push it out.
Follow Product Hunt DAILY. New tools are launched every day to help make your life easier.
What other types of digital influencers (like playlisters) are there?
YouTubers, Instagram celebs, popular Twitter accounts, Musical.ly accounts, Soundcloud tastemakers, music supervisors, even podcasts using music in the background...anywhere music is used online to enhance OTHER content, consider that a place to promote your music.
Where is playlisting going? What's the future?
Spotify decided to move away from the "social engineering" aspect of playlists (getting users to follow each others' playlists) to focus on growing their own. One of the other new entrants (Pandora, Amazon, Apple, etc) may choose to take on that challenge, BUT I did hear a Spotify ad last week encouraging me to go follow my friends' playlists, so maybe they're picking that challenge back up...
Someone is going to prioritize growing user-playlists. Who it will be, I don't know yet. BUT we're gonna be one of the first ones there when it happens."
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