4 Vital Steps to Get Your Music Heard on Major Streaming Platforms

4 Vital Steps to Get Your Music Heard on Major Streaming Platforms

You’ve poured your heart into your music, and now it’s time to share it with the world. But how can you reach an audience and connect with them if your tunes stay trapped on your laptop? It’s no secret that major streaming platforms can catapult artists from obscurity to prominence – although getting onto them in the first place is easier said than done.

On a superficial level it seems simple – you just upload tracks and hope for the best. But luck isn’t your own ally here – so rather than crossing your fingers and wishing upon a star, you should take the following steps and become one yourself. Hold tight, as we’re going to help you ratchet up your music career in a way that’s both practical and achievable.

Optimizing Your Music with Quality Production

Quality can’t be an afterthought, as modern audiences are seriously savvy when it comes to sniffing out second rate releases. That means you have to be on point with your production values when hammering out tracks in your home studio space. The result will be your ability to stand out from the cacophony and catch the attention of listeners and algorithms alike.

Here’s what it takes to do this:

  • Invest in Professional Mixing and Mastering: It’s not just about being loud; it’s about clarity, depth, and the fine balance of elements in your track. Learning how to mix and picking suitable software for the job is your responsibility – or you can outsource this to a pro instead. It’s all down to your budget.

  • Produce with Platforms in Mind: Different services have different normalization standards. For instance, Spotify recommends mastering tracks at -14 dB integrated LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) for optimal audio quality. This is especially true if you’re producing Lo-Fi music, which has its unique sound considerations. Skip this step at your peril!

  • Quality is Quantifiable: Data shows that 25% of songs available on streaming services are skipped by listeners within 5 seconds of starting, while just 50% of tracks get enjoyed in full. Low production quality is as much a cause of skipping as a lack of catchiness, so it’s doubly worth putting time into this aspect.

In short, there’s no excuse for letting subpar production be your downfall. Making sure each note is crystal clear is what sets professionals apart from amateurs – and even if you aren’t making money from music yet, you can go pro in less time if mixing and mastering are completed with aplomb.

Striking the Right Chord with Digital Distribution

Securing your music’s place on streaming platforms starts with understanding the intricacies of digital distribution. While in the past it was a case of getting CDs into record stores and tunes on radio playlists, today it’s about finding the right service that acts as a bridge between your music and streaming giants. Consider the following in this context:

  • Select a Digital Distributor: Not all services are created equal. Choose one that aligns with your goals, whether it’s reaching a broad audience or targeting niche markets. For instance, reputable platforms like Distrokid let you get featured on Apple Music, and thus tap into the more than 100 million people who are signed up to this service.

  • Understand the Fee Structure: Some distributors take a cut per stream, while others charge an upfront fee. Arguably the latter option is preferable, because it means that you won’t constantly be paying royalties to a third party, on top of the cut that Spotify and its ilk will take from your earnings.

  • Geographic Coverage Matters: Ensure your distributor pushes your music to territories where you’re likely to gain fans—don’t overlook emerging markets, or underestimate the fact that 90 million more people join music streaming services each quarter, according to MIDiA research.

Once you have a digital distribution partner chosen, you’ll be all set to determine who hears your music and how often they listen. You’ll also be equipped to wring as much cash from each listen as possible – since getting a paycheck is just as important as reaching the right people.

Making Metadata do the Hard Work

The devil is in the details, and in the digital music world, those details are known as metadata. Perfecting this aspect of your music ensures it can be discovered, categorized, and credited correctly. Metadata elements you need to get your head around include:

  • Accurate Track Information: Input precise song titles, artist names, and other credits to aid discoverability. And more than that, it means you can get paid, since as much as 25% of royalties either don’t get sent to the right people, or end up not being paid out whatsoever, because of mistakes with metadata.

  • Consistent Genre Classification: A robust classification improves your chances of appearing on genre-specific playlists – so if you’ve got a niche market in your sights, you want to make sure your audience finds you every time.

  • Include High-Quality Artwork: Album art should not only be striking but also meet platform specifications for size and resolution.

Metadata might seem like back-office work, but get it right, and you’ll bring listeners pouring in, along with cash. The alternative is unthinkable, but unfortunately common, in that imperfect metadata leaves promising artists languishing in obscurity.

Networking with Playlist Makers

Playlists are the new radio, particularly when you’re looking to connect with Millennials and Gen Z – not to say anything of the upcoming Gen Alpha revolution. So, securing a spot on a popular playlist can be tantamount to prime-time airplay. Focus on building relationships with those who curate these powerful lists. Here’s how:

  • Find the Gatekeepers: Research and identify influential playlist curators within your genre.

  • Engage Authentically: Reach out with personalized messages that communicate your unique story, not just generic pitches for inclusion.

  • Leverage Social Media: Engaging followers can increase your chances of playlist inclusion – with TikTok being particularly influential in this regard. Stats show that 67% of users of this particular platform will head to music streaming sites in order to check out songs they see featured in video clips.

This prioritization of networking, particularly in terms of promoting tracks on TikTok. will serve you well not only in terms of getting your music heard on major streaming platforms, but setting you up to play the political games that are still part and parcel of showbiz more generally.

Wrapping Up

Start off with a great song, and you might feel like you’ve hit the accelerator hard at the start of your music career. But fail to find traction on music streaming platforms, and you’ll just be spinning your wheels, creating smoke and going nowhere. These steps can sound intimidating, but once you’ve got some momentum they’ll be less of a chore, and you’ll feel gratified with each fan you earn and each dollar you make.

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