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Ask The Industry – Jack Lawrenson

Here we catch up with Jack Lawrenson from Believe Distribution Services to bring you the best tips on getting your music out there.

Looking to secure those elusive playlists and stand out from the 20,000 other tracks that are uploaded to services every day? At Believe, we pitch music to playlist editors all around the world, here are 5 tips to help you increase your chances.

1. This Starts with You

The savviest artists don’t rely on playlist editors to build their careers, they build a story, a buzz, a solid team and put together high-quality assets, good promotional coverage and creative marketing ideas to spread their music. Over 20,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify each day, it’s up to you to prove your tracks are worthy of attention. By aiming for the above you are giving yourself much more leverage when it comes to pitching your music for playlists. Your stats will stand out from the crowd too.

2. Promotional Coverage

Promotional support is a key element for us when considering what music is pitched. Online coverage helps to generate credibility as well as exposure for your music. In addition to giving you a boost in follower numbers, online coverage gives editors another reason to consider your release. Aim for the top blogs where possible and keep it targeted to your genre. Online coverage can also put you in the running for algorithmic playlists such as Fresh Finds. After pitching to blogs through SubmitHub, Brighton band Yakul found themselves featured on tastemaker blog Earmilk, a Fresh Finds playlist add came soon after.

3. Creative Marketing

When marketing your music, think about ways you can use store tech that is available to drive traffic to your store pages and increase your followers too. The band Tigercub produced beer mats with tour dates and a Spotify code that when scanned, would take the user to their new single. They saw an increase in both plays and followers and were featured by Spotify as an example of a great way to utilise their tools.

If you don’t fancy ordering a thousand printed beer mats, try adding a simple Spotify follow widget to your website.

Tip: Direct fans to a discography playlist rather than a single track so you can update the link with new content and receive plays across multiple tracks.

4. Capitalising on your artist “real estate”

You can’t control editorial decisions, but you can sign up to Spotify for Artists, increase your followers, optimize your profile and control your own playlists. Increasing your follower counts on Spotify for instance directly influences the amount of algorithmic Release Radar playlists you feature in when releasing new music. From the 19th of July, you can now send your release directly to the Spotify editorial teams too. The Spotify for Artists site and FAQ section is the go to resource on getting the most out of your artist page and submitting to Spotify playlists.

N.B. Make sure you are promoting yourself across all streaming services by serving multi-platform links and updating your pages on other services. Your fans use a variety of different services to consume music, don’t disadvantage them by favouring one service too much.

5. Teaming Up

My final tip would be to find a distribution partner that can add value and credibility to your campaign. At Believe we are proud to have a 35-strong trade marketing team based around the world that have great relationships with local editorial teams. This setup gives our labels and artists visibility with services worldwide and increases the impact of our pitches too. With a huge amount of noise to cut through, it pays to have a partner that is trusted by editorial teams to deliver exciting new music. Alongside the service and the expertise of the staff, many distributors can also provide advances/investment too. If you are looking to team up with a distributor that offers additional support, prepare a compelling pitch for your project and start reaching out.

Jack is a Trade Marketing Manager for Believe Distribution Services, one of the world’s leading independent distribution companies. He has secured playlist placements for tracks on services such as Deezer, Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music whilst working on campaigns for artists such as Björk, Gavin James and Novo Amor. Jack previously worked as a session musician, appearing on Later…with Jools Holland, BBC Radio 1 and stages across Europe and the US.

Over 20,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify each day, it’s up to you to prove your tracks are worthy of attention.

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