Hey everyone! After a week of trial and error, I am going to outline what I tried, what worked, what didn't, and my tentative plans for marketing moving forward.
Follow my twitter @erikevyraps to see live all the tactics and updates you will read below!
After 24 hours of release:
Soundcloud: 1951 plays
Spotify: 238 plays
Apple Music: 0 plays
Youtube: 223 plays
Through EOD 10/6:
Soundcloud: 1984 plays
Spotify: 1143 plays
Apple Music: 11 plays
Youtube: 234 plays
Spotify gives an excellent breakdown of how these 1.4k+ plays came about.
For 6 days with a small following, and not sharing this with my whole social media following? I'm impressed with 1.1k. The goal through the tactics detailed below will be to get this song to 5k plays by the end of the month.
The key is getting the 4% of listeners who saved my song into playlists, to increase to 10%. If 10% of listeners do that, the Spotify algorithm will start automatically placing songs into people's random suggested shuffles. Spotify's algorithmic playlists accounted for 0.3% of plays, I am optimistic this will only grow with our steady promotion efforts.
"If My Boss Hears" somehow reached 8 different countries, and I have fans in Canada! 5 users in Canada accounted for 52 of my plays. I will need to try to locate these people online.
Random exposure: #4 song of the week??
I was picked up by the blog MysoundMusic, which tracks underground artists. They did not reach out to me, but feature my new song as their #4 new song of the week on their Spotify playlist. https://medium.com/@mysound4music/erik-evy-23463864fcda. They basically copy what I say on this website, but hey it's exposure!
How I promoted:
What I did:
1) Wrote targeted emails to blogs that were both Chicago based, and smaller national blogs before my release date, and within 2 days of release. These emails outlined who I am, what my goal was, and to ask for feedback. I also reached out to individual people at management companies or prestigious bloggers.
Result: This tactic was shooting in the dark. I did not get a single response, and I don't blame them. I did not have complete profiles at the time, and they may have had trouble finding me. I will try this again for the same song starting tomorrow and will try again for the new single next week.
Plus, when submitting to bloggers, their pages disclaim they charge money for them to listen to the song! Just a listen? Nothing else guaranteed? Fuccccck that. I will continue to reach out to people who graciously listen for free.
What I did:
Used slaps.com (A community for artists to network), to upload my song on the same day of Spotify release.
Result: It was free, got 45 plays, and I was able to connect with a few authentic artists who want to work in the future. Some of these connected artists were impressed and put the song on their playlists for free.
Their playlists (5 total) generated 68 plays for me. Although small, these are real people and I will continue to find new people through here and will invest a small amount in their playlists if need be.
3) Soundcloud promotion:
What I did:
I invested in HipHop Repost, an account on SoundCloud w/ 25k+ followers. For $25 they guaranteed 500 plays and would have 10 unnamed artists repost my song as well.
Result: Within 24 hours of this promotion, my song streamed 2k times, but when looking into the accounts who liked the song, I assume around 40% of these likes and plays were bots. I can tell based on their account history, their followers, and if their public comments on songs are the same generated message every time.
I only gained 7 new followers on Soundcloud, and the only comment I received was from another promotion business. 2k plays are cool, but some of the listeners were fake, and the others who listened did not seem to be loyal followers. Moving forward, I will not invest any money in Soundcloud unless it is to an artist who is reposting.
4) Twitter influencers:
What I did:
I paid three twitter accounts (two personal accounts, one twitter blog) to post my song with comments. I paid $25 for the twitter blog, the personal account has a following of 5k, and I made a deal for personal accounts. For one, I paid $140 to promote my two singles and to do a review of the mixtape, and for the other, I am paying $90 to promote my two singles.
Result: The twitter blog tweet saw 375 views, and that generated about 185 plays on my Spotify which was linked to the post. From his promotion, I earned about 300 plays on Spotify. I can assume 300 plays amounted from this because I can see how many people clicked on my own tweet promoting my song, within hours of the promotion.
The two personal accounts combined earned over 500 views on twitter, and my own twitter page got 600+ engagements. Although this may seem pricey, these are 90% real accounts, and twitter provides an easy platform to communicate with potential fans
5) Spotify playlists: 2 Total
What I did:
Paid for the Rap Zone playlist, which has a following of 3k listeners. Once they accepted my song, I paid for 2 weeks on this playlist, for $18 per week, ($36 total), and I liked this playlist because of the amount of big artists on the playlist. People are more likely to follow a playlist the more they recognize the songs on the playlist.
I was granted submission to a free user playlist, created by a guy (PT Beats) I met through slaps.com. For free, I was able to get on his 4 playlists if I followed him on all social media. In total, the 4 playlists have 500 followers, no way to tell these 125 per playlist are the same people or not, but it was free.
For these playlists, generally, you can pay for as much as you would like, and negotiate how long you would like your song to receive a placement. So far, after paying $18, I have accumulated 27 plays. This is not profitable, and I will not be using this playlist after my two-week trial run.
For the free user playlist from PT Beats, I racked up over 50 plays. This was very helpful and will try to keep all current songs on his playlists. He may ask me to pay down the line, but not today.
6) Hip-Hop Twitter profiles
What I did:
I wanted to find loyal fans on twitter. So I thought of 4 artists who demographically I believe line up with the audience I am going for. And for this mixtape, I believe my audience can be split down the middle 50/50. The 4 artists I chose were Mac Miller, Kota the Friend, Post Malone, and Halsey.
From there I found fan accounts and wrote targeted emails to 250 unique twitter users.
Result: Of the 250 people I reached out to, 137 opened the messages, 92 of those did not respond, 22 of those people responded with encouraging words, and I gained 13 followers. The rest talked shit like it was a Call of Duty Game lobby. Everyone has connections, so all it takes is for a few people to share to their network, and this can pay off big time.
Spotify is the best platform to independently grow a fan base. Surprisingly of everyone reading this, I would guess 90% of you prefer/use Spotify over Apple Music. To me, this is a pleasant surprise, as I can invest in more playlists and see what clicks. I really think for these playlist submissions, it is hit or miss. For a low price, I will consider risking.
I will no longer be promoting any money into Soundcloud. All I will do is upload tracks to SoundCloud, and throw them at the wall. It is too difficult and time-consuming to tell who is real, are who are bots. All songs that do not make the mixtape will be posted on Soundcloud.
Don't forget - anyone who charges for a listen to your submitted song without a greater audience watching is a complete waste of money.
I will look into spending promotional money for twitter influencers to evaluate and promote my music. I believe their fan bases are loyal, I just need to develop a system to evaluate how effective these influencers can be.
I will continue to research the Spotify algorithm and provide articles about it in the future. I will also disclose my budget and official spending in a separate future article.
1) 5k plays for "If My Boss Hears" by end of October.
2) Get 100 followers on my rap twitter account @erikevyraps. You will be able to see these tactics play out.
3) Have 150 monthly listeners on Spotify by the time the next single comes out (10/14). Currently at 90 monthly listeners.
Thanks for reading everyone!