Ok, here it goes. The heated debate of music streaming, its payouts and how it affects the music industry. If you don’t know what I am talking about, just do a quick google search and you will have enough reading material for a few weeks. I am not going to get into the specifics of Spotify, Apple Music and whatever other streaming services that exist, but I will give you the summarized view that I hear musicians complain about often. “They don’t pay enough!” “How am I suppose to pay my bills on such a small royalty check?” “Spotify is killing the music industry!” Followed by even more comments all portraying their personal gripes with music streaming.
For the rest of this article, let’s focus on that last one. In my opinion, Spotify is not “killing” anything, you are. Let me explain in two parts.
- The market changed, you should too. This is a very basic and yet very vital truth in business. Have you ever heard the saying adapt or die? It is true. If you want to remain relevant and current, you need to continually adapt. Sure, there might be a market for those who stand firm and become activists for “the way things use to be”, but I can guarantee it will be far less successful than the ones who learn to adapt.
- Get your content in front of more people. Streaming services’ foundation is built upon one thing, numbers. In order to succeed with streaming services, you need numbers. Stop thinking in terms of money, and start thinking in terms of numbers. Write a song that is worthy of being streamed multiple times. Write a song that fits within a specific feeling or vibe allowing it to be playlist-friendly. These two factors will drive your numbers higher, in return getting you more money and exposure.
The annoying thing about social media and streaming services alike is that in order to get recognized you need to basically be famous already. In other words, you need a lot of streams in order to get an even larger amount of streams. It happens on Instagram all of the time. Some pictures will get 100 likes and others will get 10,000 likes. The main reason for this is because once you reach a certain threshold of likes, the algorithm sees it as “popular” and drives it to the top of everybody’s feed, therefore getting more likes, making it even more popular and cue the snowball effect.
Streaming services do the same thing.
That is the reason why it is important to get your song featured on larger playlists made by famous curators who have thousands of subscribers to their playlist. This is the reason it is important to write songs with playlists in mind. Otherwise, these playlist curators won’t ever give your song a chance and in return, you won’t be able to get the reach to a larger audience that you need in order to make money on streaming services.
So, with that said, I will agree that streaming services are shaking up the music industry. It is still not an excuse. Stop complaining and debating about it and go out there and make the most of it. That is the definition of someone who succeeds vs. someone who doesn’t.
I am sure you have a lot of questions for me now. How do you take advantage of streaming in a more practical way? How do you even get your music on Spotify? Sign up below. I will be answering all of these questions very soon. Until then, begin to think about how streaming services can actually benefit you.
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