Introduction: Making Music and Making Money
It’s not hard to get your tracks on Spotify but making big money with your music is another story. If you want to learn how to generate a real income through Spotify for artists, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to give you a complete rundown with detailed steps on how to make big money with your music—and, most importantly, where to start.
But first, here are some basics you need to know about Spotify for artists.
What You Need to Know about Spotify for Artists if You Want to Earn Money
When you earn money from Spotify, what you’re earning are royalties. And Spotify for artists calculates how many royalties your music makes based on the number of streams your songs get. That money comes from revenue Spotify makes from subscription fees and ad placements.
Spotify pays out once a month to people in this order:
- The right holders.
- The distributors (who may also be the rights holders).
- And finally, the artist, aka you (who could also be the rights holder).
So, how you make more money should be pretty clear: if you want to earn more from Spotify, you’ll need to get more streams. Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers.
Step 1: Retain Ownership of Your Music
You may or may not know this, but many musicians out there (even big ones like Thom Yorke and Pharrell) have spoken out against streaming. They claim that it is an impossible way to make money, and for some people, it is.
But the thing is, these major label artists are making money and lots of it—for their label.
When you publish your music and start using Spotify for artists (or any other streaming platform), retain your rights. Don’t sell the ownership of your master recordings because the chances are higher that you’ll be the one getting the short end of the deal in this digital age.
Be proud of being an independent artist because that makes you the rights holder. After you give a small cut to the distributor, everything else is yours to keep.
Step 2: Release Music & Stay Active
This step might seem obvious, but there is a catch. You need to release music frequently and consistently if you want to grow and retain your fanbase.
When content creators (including musicians) take a long break from publishing content, their loyal fans are left on hold—and some are only willing to wait for so long.
So, be sure to stay active with your fanbase—whether that means publishing singles, interacting on social media, playing shows, or all of that and more. Furthermore, you can use the analytics in Spotify for artists to discover your fanbase preferences.
Step 3: Leverage the Power of Old Music
Before streaming and downloading, music had a shelf-life. New albums had a window of opportunity for popularity, and if it missed it, that chance disappeared.
Now, music doesn’t expire like it used to. Old hits become classics, and your album from a few years ago could become a hit anytime.
So, don’t discount the value of your old music. Share it. Stream it. Promote it. Play it.
Your songs (no matter whether they’re new, old, or ancient) will always be new to someone.
Step 4: Learn a Little Bit About SEO
Most musicians aren’t skilled in SEO or search engine optimization. And if you have heard of it, it’s probably not something you associate with your success. Well, get ready to change your mind.
SEO is a tool at your disposal that you can use to drive listeners, producers, and other musicians to your work—if you have a website.
When you set up your site and your social media profiles, essentially, what you’re doing is putting your name out there.
But instead of business cards, you’ve got web pages.
The algorithm behind search engines will start to recognize you and, most importantly, direct other people towards you.
So, set up a website, flesh out your social media profiles, and use keywords like:
- your artist name
- the genre of music you make
- where you’re from
- where you studied
- and anything else people might search
Use free online SEO tools to discover what keywords are both popular and related to what you do. Then, use it together with spotify for artists data to increase your number of listeners.
Here are some more specific examples, along with how many people in the US search for that term in one month:
- music (1M)
- new music (22.2K)
- musician (40.5K)
And, once you set up your website and social media accounts, don’t forget to link everything so your fans can easily find you wherever you are. Apps like Linktree make it easy for us, too.
Step 5: Boost Your Popularity Online
In addition to focusing on the technical side of the online world, you’ll also want to pay attention to boosting your popularity.
If you don’t already have them, start by setting up social media accounts on:
Although every social media platform has a different look, feel, and media focus, each one is a precious tool that can and will help you boost your popularity and hook more listeners.
TikTok is a handy tool for musicians since more and more people are discovering new music from small artists on TikTok, and it’s easy to go viral.
So, if you want to get more listeners on Spotify and earn more money through Spotify for artists, get on these social media platforms and start posting.
You can also boost your popularity through marketing campaigns with professional agencies like Musicvertising.
Step 6: Move Up Through the Playlist Hierarchy
Finally, you need to get on playlists. Sure, we’re all aware that being a playlist is just good practice—but what you might not know is that it can be a serious game-changer when it comes to your music.
Being placed on a popular playlist can earn you upwards of thousands of dollars in just a short time—skyrocketing your popularity and your financial success.
So, here’s what you need to do: move up through the playlist hierarchy. Aim small at first, with personal playlists curated by yourself and other musicians. Then, try to place your music on an official Spotify playlist—something small but still popular like Mellow Favorites, which has about 70,000 likes.
Then, aim higher. Consider something like The Newness, which features new R&B music and has over 760,000 likes. Finally, shoot for the moon with a playlist like RapCaviar, with over 13,800,000 likes, and was dubbed “the most influential playlist in music” by Vulture.
Since 2018, artists have taken advantage of Spotify’s playlist submission tool, and now it’s your turn.
Recognize the immense success and wealth that playlists can bring into your career, and set your sights on them.
You can also utilize services like Musicvertising’s guaranteed Spotify playlist placement to get started fast.
Being an up-and-coming musician is hard. It takes a lot of work and dedication if you want to see success. But, if you follow these six simple steps, you’ll see your career blossom.
So, start off on the right foot and just keep going by:
- retaining the rights to your music
- frequently and consistently releasing new music
- remembering your old music
- using SEO to your advantage
- posting on social media
- and getting on playlists
And if you want some help boosting your Spotify for Artists account, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. At Musicvertising, we’ve helped countless artists gain more visibility, get placed on playlists, and earn more money through their music.