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Not a Signed Artist? No Problem

There are hundreds of independent artists and we all need to focus on one thing: gaining new fans! Yes, even more than money, we need people to hear us and tell their friends about the mind-blowing new band they discovered. Getting our music put on Spotify is a critical step in this process.

Unless you’ve been living on Cloud 9, you’ve heard of Spotify and its “freemium” service. You’ve also heard how Spotify has taken the social network by storm. Every time one of my friends listens to a song, it pops up on my Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social accounts I have; ex: “Hey! Nicklas just joined Spotify and listened to Weasel… ” You get the idea.

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So even though the amount of money you make per stream (per play) is less than a penny, the exposure potential is well worth it. And fortunately for indie artists like yourself, it’s pretty easy to get your music onto Spotify.

At this time, you may be signed to a label. If so, your music might be on Spotify already. If it isn’t, call your rep and ask if they’ve uploaded your music to the service. If they haven’t and you want them too, give the order! (in a nice way). Also, make sure they send Spotify your press kit loaded with a bio, photos, contact info and anything else that makes you stand out. Simple enough, right?!

If you are an unsigned artist, that’s okay because there are tons of ways to upload your music without a label. However, Spotify cannot negotiate with you directly. Why not? I’m sure it’s one of the stipulations of their agreement with the majors. But the solution is still fairly simple. You need to choose a distributor like Tunecore, CDBaby or DittoMusic. I’ve written a review of these distributors so you can save some time and keep rehearsing.

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Once you’ve created an account with a distributor or signed a label agreement, your music will be uploaded onto Spotify within 4-6 weeks. But there is still work to be done, which leads us to:

—————————->Promote your music!<———————————–

Spotify doesn’t always receive your awesome press kit, so just as a backup, create a profile at allmusic.com. Spotify will check for you there if they don’t receive a bio.

Now that all the tedious stuff is done with, it’s time to let your fans know Spotify will be sporting your tunes soon! Come up with cool promo posts on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Make a promo video for your YouTube channel. Just had a sweet idea: write a song just for your Spotify release and connect it to your posts! Ex: “Can’t wait to see our fans on Spotify. We’ve recorded a song just for you guys! Coming to your Spotify account soon!” Fans will eat it up!

Okay, there are a couple of tedious things to accomplish still. No site is complete anymore without clickable logos. Once your music is on Spotify, download the service’s logo at iconfinder.com. Next, search for your band profile on Spotify (several options will come up, including “Top Hit, Tracks, Playlists”… you want to select the link under “Artist”). While hovering over your artist profile, right click and select “Copy Spotify URI.” Last, combine the URI with the Spotify logo by adding it to your website or blog sidewall by creating an “Image Widget.”

Another hip promo you can use for Spotify is the “Spotify Play Button.” This feature allows you to post songs onto your website and blog. First, right click any song, album or playlist in Spotify you wish to promote and once again select “Copy Spotify URI.”

As an example, let’s post this URI to your blog. Open up your blog, write something to your hungry fans in html mode: (“We know you guys want a sneak peak of our upcoming album. Here’s the first track for you! Share it with your friends!”). Next, post the link and add a salutation.

Even though Spotify is going to help gain fans for your awesomeness, it can’t be the beat-all, end-all solution! For your band to succeed, you have to practice modern marketing, which means utilizing multiple vehicles.

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