You spend months and months writing new material, getting expensive recording sessions, and preparing for your next killer single to reach the masses. Having put so much effort in, you just can’t see it going wrong. However, for some reason, the release flops on Spotify and you just can’t seem to get your music heard.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, there’s no need to throw in the towel yet. I have been in this position myself, and this is why I have decided to put together the things that used to hold me back on Spotify in the hope that other artists won’t fall into the same trap. You probably won’t increase your stream count by millions, but you will certainly lay the foundations for a strong following on the platform. So without further ado, here are the 5 biggest mistakes artists make on Spotify.
My first piece of advice would be to not get banned from Spotify completely like I did back in September 2019! Spotify and my distributor got in touch to inform me that essentially I had gained too many streams and they deemed this to be suspicious. All the streams were totally legitimate, and I’d spent many months working tirelessly to promote my music. I’d gained hundreds of thousands of streams and followers only for my hard work and effort to be stripped. To hear the full story, click here:
Mistake 1 - Having an incomplete profile
It amazes me just how many artists don’t have the basic information filled out on their profile. A bare profile with gaping holes can simply give off a bad first impression. It’s like going into a shop with half of its shelves empty (very up-to-date this one). Your Spotify profile needs to reflect your brand and, most importantly, be consistent with your other social media pages. It is vital that you include the following:
A good profile photo and cover photo. Use high-quality images, preferably with at least one showing yourself or your band.
An intriguing description. It doesn’t have to be an essay, but it should be something that draws people in. Again, this is something that should be in line with your other social media pages. It needs to be concise and tell people who you are right from the off.
Upcoming gigs. There is a really cool feature where you can integrate all your upcoming gigs and have them automatically listed on your artist profile. This can be done on your ‘Spotify for Artists’ account. (BTW, make sure you have set up your ‘Spotify for Artists’ account and linked it with your distributor if possible. )
Mistake 2 – Not being selective about your releases
Think quality over quantity. Sure, it’s great to have 20 professionally recorded songs, but that doesn’t mean you should upload them all at once. It can be very overwhelming for somebody who doesn’t know you very well. It seems like the trend now is to start by releasing a single every 2 or 3 months. This gives you a great opportunity to showcase your best work to your fans and, more importantly, start gaining momentum. By staggering your releases, you give your fans something to look forward to, rather than just dumping a load of tracks on them in one go. Quality is key, and it plays a huge part in getting picked up by Spotify’s algorithms and landing yourself in some big playlists.
Mistake 3 - Not running pre-release campaigns
A pre-release campaign is the perfect way to generate some buzz around your release. The idea is simple: you encourage potential fans to pre-save your song, so it works just like a pre-order. There are some great ways you can entice people to pre-save, such as competitions where you give away your merch or access to bonus material. Spotify takes notice of how many people save your track before the release, and this can really help boost your chances of success once the track is live.
Mistake 4 – Undermining the importance of playlists
Playlists are a huge deal, and it’s not just Spotify’s own playlists that matter. Independently-run playlists are a great way to not only gain more streams, but also to boost your tracks’ performance in regards to the platform’s algorithms. Even getting added to your friends’ playlists is a great way to get started. It’s about building your way up, gaining traction, and slowly getting listed on larger and larger playlists. I’d highly recommend doing some research on this as it is an extensive subject. But please do avoid companies that say they will promote your music to playlists curators; most of them are not legit.
Mistake 5 - Buying streams
Buying Spotify streams is a big no-no. Seriously, just don’t it, because it’s not worth it. There are many websites out there that promise to deliver real and legit streams to your songs. The majority of these claims are false. All you will achieve are fake streams and the risk that your account gets suspended. The problem with buying streams is that they add zero value to your marketing efforts. Again, quality over quantity is the message here. You need to build a solid fan base that engages with your content. Buying streams, likes, followers, or subscribers will simply not help you achieve that.
I hope that as an artist you can learn from these common mistakes. Building a following on Spotify takes a LOT of effort. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts and the fact still remains that your music needs to be of a very high quality. There is simply too much out there to settle for an average track as your single release. All of the above tips will be useless if your track does not stand out or have a unique selling point. It’s the harsh reality, but it is the truth.
So for your next release, make sure you have a killer track up your sleeve and use the above tips to get yourself heard on Spotify.
I was BANNED from Spotify!
I got banned from Spotify. Yup you right that right... All my music was taken down and Spotify wouldn't pay me any of my royalties! And to make things worse, they give me no good reason! Want to find out what happened? Well watch this video: