For the last couple of years, I have been very active both as a playlister and as an artist submitting my songs to playlists through several different methods. And from time to time, I wonder ‘How are my Spotify playlists different?’.
Not always the experience as an artist is pleasant. Worse than getting a submission rejected is never hearing back from the playlister you submitted to. And that happens. A lot.
What about yourself? Do you feel that some playlist submission systems have a really low rate of response? Do you feel like some playlisters are out there to get the benefits of the artists’ submissions (which are normally followers for their own stuff) but don’t want to invest their time working on their side of the deal? Impressions may differ, I assume.
So, for starters, I can say that I review submissions every day, several times a day. Either on my own site or on the large system I am a part of, I keep up to date with submissions daily.
Second. I try to be very inclusive. Independent artists do not have the support of the record companies and we only have each other to rely on. So I have several Discovery playlists entirely dedicated to small artists in order to have space for everyone. Of course, I reject content with low quality, but I don’t reject tracks just because I don’t like them, as long as I feel they meet the spirit of a given playlist and meet good quality standards.
Third, I created my own submission system. And I personalized in a way so approved tracks enter the list at position 20, instead of last, as a way to encourage submission through my own site.
Fourth, I never charge for this service. There’s no upsell, no attempt to make you spend any money in any way. I do it as a free service where all artists give me back is follows and likes in my Spotify stuff (account, artists, playlists, tracks). And I work on my side of the deal relentlessly.
Another inclusivity aspect of my work is that you will find music from many different backgrounds in my playlists. Be ready to hear songs from different countries and in different languages. Some people may shy away from tracks not sung in English, but I am actually attracted to them. Arabic, Mediterranean, Indian and Asian rhythms are among my favourites and you will find a lot of them in my playlists.
I hope all the above gives you a good picture of my relationship with music, artists and the activity of playlisting itself. And, if you are an independent artist, I hope you’re soon part of one of my playlists.
You, like me, invested a lot of time in composing and producing your music and now it’s time to release and promote it. You will probably be surprised that you will spend way more time on this phase than you actually did on creating your production. Working on these two sides of music-making is not an easy task. You will spend countless hours promoting your music on Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other music communities. And you will probably get frustrated about how slow progress is. This page aims to give you some guidance about music promotion on a low budget.
Music promotion is not an easy task. Especially if you’re working with a low or limited budget. There are, however, a few ways to achieve some visibility while being budget-conscious. And even though it may end up being cheap money-wise, it will require a lot of dedication and it will be time-consuming. If you have the money to spend, then you save time by hiring other people to do the hard work of promotion for you. But, if you are reading this, you probably are, like me, on the other side of this story.
Music Submission Systems
The first thing I would recommend is sending your music to playlists through websites that accept free submissions. This website is one of them (just go the playlists page), and there are a few others, as I explain on this page. Daily Playlists, Submithub.com and IndieMono can also help you with that.
Second, I would add Reddit to your music promotion toolbelt, but you need to use it wisely. There are many subreddits that allow self-promotion, but it’s important to respect each community’s rules, so make sure you read the posting guidelines for each subreddit. It is very easy to be banned permanently from posting the wrong stuff in the wrong places.
Setting a Youtube channel also helps to increase your exposition. It requires, though, that you have your music in yet another format so it can be made publicly available. This should not be a big deal, once most distro platforms currently publish your work on YouTube as per default (using the release cover as the video image).
Interested in the Japanese Music Market?
If you’re setting your sight on the Japanese market, create a free page on https://topmusic.jp/. I still could not see any result from that, but the setup is not complicated, so it’s worth a try.
Using Facebook to promote your music
Another channel you can try is Facebook groups, but, as with Reddit, you have to be careful and respect each group’s policies. Talking about Facebook, having your page on the social network is another good step towards visibility.
Hypeddit – Free or paid options
There is also a tool I used for some time which is called https://hypeddit.com/. The free version of the platform offers limited benefits, but its real multi-platform power comes from a monthly plan that will allow you to exchange likes and follows in several channels. It costs US$9/month and you can cancel anytime. I used it myself for 2 non-consecutive months and it provided me with a great initial boost which allowed me to take further steps in my journey.
Other free platforms where you can promote your music for free
At last, consider creating your SoundCloud and Bandcamp pages. Alone, they will not solve your problem of reaching a larger market but think of it all as an ecosystem. You have to be everywhere and all your channels must link to each other as much as possible.
I hope these directions help you with some ideas about music promotion on a low budget. Feel free to use the contact page to ask me other questions that you may have in mind.
Again, feel free to submit to my playlists here.
Last week I also released a second experiment in LoFi, also an EP with Japanese inspiration. Tokyo Dwellers contains two tracks: Golden Gai is the first one, and it is dedicated to this interesting neighbourhood/area in Shinjuku filled with micro-bars, most of which can only fit 6 or 7 people. It’s a unique experience. The second track is called Ginza, named after one of Tokyo’s main shopping districts.
You can check both songs a few others in my playlist of Japan-inspired tracks.
You can find all my releases on the Music page.
I released a single and an EP this past week. The first release I want to talk about is Nishiki, a track dedicated to the famous market in Kyoto. My visit to the city was brief but enough to discover a side of Japan very different from the one I saw in Tokyo.
You can find all my releases on the Music page.
I don’t normally venture on the pop side of music, but California, by NSH and Jaksch deserves an exception here. Play this song after a long workday and you will find renewed energy for whatever the night has in store for you.
The song is extremelly well-writen and beautifully performed. The singer is talented and the production is of the highest level.
You can find California in my Pop playlist.