From <1000 Streams to Over 4,000,000 Within 1 Year with Matthew Vultaggio
The age old question that every EDM producer asks is, “How do I get more streams?”
The answer to that question is probably going to surprise you, hell it might overwhelm you, but that’s ok because Matthew Vultaggio from Best Friends Club is here to breakdown where your focus should be.
In the last yeear Matthew has gone from less than 1,000 spotify streams, to just over 4,000,000.
He’s figured out the best way to hack the Spotify algorithm, nail editorial playlists, and skyrocket his streams!
What You’ll Learn:
- How you can hack the Spotify algorithm
- What Spotify looks for in Indie artists
- How to run ads for your music
- How to test ads
- Why you should be trying to “build your house”
and much more!
Best Friends Club Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/7JjgGzq5j7CBkglcvQ48vq?si=wATsUcyBQ–BRRjjMBBtQQ&nd=1
Best Friends Club Website – https://bestfriendsclub.ca
Best Friends Club Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/mmaattv
Release Checklist – https://bestfriendsclub.ca/release-checklist/
Indipreneur – How The Spotify Algorithm Really Works – https://indepreneur.io/podcast/ep-103-spotify-algorithm-works
3LAU and Royal.io – https://Royal.io
Audius – https://audius.co/
Electronic Dance Money Episode #049 – Is Patreon Your Blueprint to Success? With Matthew Ebel – https://enviousaudio.com/episode49
Electronic Dance Money Episode #066 – How The Blockchain Will Change The Music Industry – https://enviousaudio.com/episode66
Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist
The Go Giver – https://amzn.to/3pdcmFw
Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy
Hey guys welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers
Hello, and welcome back to another brand new episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host Christian casino and we’re back with a new guest. I’m super excited for this one because this is gonna like be the secret sauce that I think every producers looking for. So I welcome you, Matthew, thank you for joining us. Remind me how do you say your last name? I forgot to ask you that. Yeah, well,
thanks for having me. First off and of course pronounced Voltaggio.
It’s Is that is that Italian?
That’s hardcore Italian.
Yes. Yeah, another Italian brother here. I’m half Italian half Colombian. Oh, no way. Yeah. But my last name is Colombian. So my dad’s side of the family is Colombian and we ate so funny because everyone mispronounces it. Everyone thinks it’s chi Sado. But it’s casino by guests then, like the white American way of saying it.
Do you do you? Usually, like, correct people if they do it wrong?
It depends. If I’m like in a rush, and I don’t care, then I’ll just be like, yeah, that’s my last name. Like I really want to Greg, someone else, Greg.
I only have one friend who has like a mispronounce last name. And he just didn’t care. So he would not like correct anybody. So it was like only like six years until the friendship would that I heard it pronounced differently in he’s like, that’s actually how it’s pronounced. I just never corrected anybody. Oh,
my God. I yeah, I guess at that point, if you’re, if your last name is that confusing, it’s just like, whatever you say is what it is. You just move on. I gotta roll with the punches. Um, anyway, so uh, Matthew, I wanted to have you here. have you on here because one of my clients, Jase, who goes by disco, killed the drummer, incredible producer really make some fun stuff has been working with you. I guess he’s a mutual client. After listening to the pot a podcast episode. I can’t remember which one he had mentioned. He realized he needed to kind of start diving into some marketing stuff and happen to have found you which it seems like a lot of people are starting to be in that situation. But you go under the artists name Best Friends club. That’s it seems like you have found the little secret sauce to marketing music. Because what was it just last year, about a year ago, you had figured out how to basically get on editorial Spotify playlist, self releasing your tracks and getting over a million streams. Is that correct?
That’s correct. I would say maybe not the secret to overall music marketing. I think it’s maybe more of a secret of like, Spotify side of things, like kind of hacking the algorithm and kind of boosting Spotify streams. Really a little bit more of that which I’ve dialed in. But I mean, I mean, in the last year or so, in particular, it seems like that’s all anybody really cares about. Really.
That’s what yeah, that’s why everyone cares. Funny because like my most downloaded episode is literally about how to get more streams. Yeah, that’s all it’s about it. So it’s, it is very clearly a topic that I mean, most EDM producers or I mean, most artists in general,
and maybe even podcasters in the future, too. That’s where they’re pushing. It’s just like
any Well, yeah, 100% in Spotify, I know Spotify, just which I’ll mention this at the end of the episode cuz I’ve got a little I’ve got a tidbit of information I need my listeners to do but apparently Spotify is releasing ratings for podcasts now. We’re just gonna help with algorithms for podcasts
make sense? I think their whole thing is like they’ve been switching. It’s like Spotify is the place for audio or not thing. Yeah. Music anymore. They’re really pushing podcasts lately.
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy there. I mean, it’s a smart move. They’re really extending out their brand and like, I mean, scooping up massive podcasts to for exclusive deals. I think they’ve gotten I don’t know how many they have now. It’s got to be at least like maybe under 10. Now, it’s you know, Joe Rogan was the first one. That was the big one. And then now I know they they had a couple I think that podcast calm color Daddy, I think is now exclusive on Spotify, which that was there with Barstool Sports. Oh, okay. And that was me. I think that was like a 20 million contract dealers
are going up to the the biggest ones they can
Yeah, it’s it’s pretty wild. But going along with this, it’s Spotify is kind of the place to be it’s I you know, it’s an interesting I for me for electronic producers. I’m sitting Till maybe in this is maybe my old school mindset of how I was raised as a producer before Spotify was the monster it is now, I still think Beatport is like a massively beneficial place to hang out for producers just because you get, I mean, you can get so many accolades in terms of charting, which is really good on like an EP K. And to potentially sign to bigger labels, it’s, I’d say, sometimes it’s easier to get supported by bigger artists, because the further up you’re climbing the charts, artists are looking for new tracks on there,
I got and I actually would like DJs, like trying to play.
Exactly, and you know, they have radio shows that they might be buying your tracks. And then on top of that, it’s I mean, people are paying a flat fee for your tracks. So you
actually get paid not like a fraction of a penny,
exactly, you could get a bigger return on your investment, do it the right way. But that might all change though, my attitude towards that is probably going to change after this podcast, because you’re self releasing your tracks, meaning you’re you’re not, you know, you’re not getting a 30% cut based off of a record label. And if you get a million streams, you’re getting a fraction that and potentially, you know, if there’s a co write involved with that, if there’s a vocalist like that, that margin of percentage gets smaller and smaller. So you’re self releasing, and still getting the benefit of a million streams. So you’re still collecting that paycheck at the end of the day, which is, I mean, it’s why if you can get an artist who’s pumping out really high quality tracks, and they can hack the spot Spotify algorithm like you and they are releasing a track a month and they’re getting that million a month. I mean, that’s that’s like that is potential.
That’s a full time job salary money, right? That really,
exactly. It. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting. So I’m so excited that Jace had introduced us because this was like, I was waiting to find a guest like this. So I’m very, very excited to have you on this is gonna be a really fun conversation. So to start it off, I mean, we kind of go into your background, your story, tell us about how you went from working your day job kind of working on music throughout your life to now as of this week, or last week, quitting your job going that this is? Yeah, is the other point is you I mean, last year, you’re working a full time job figured this out. And then within the last week, you’ve quit your job because of what you’ve what you’ve found. So let’s hear your story. Tell us a little bit about you and how you got there.
Yeah, so I guess like well, I guess one thing is, I haven’t just been working on music for just like the last year, I’ve probably been doing some sort of music stuff since I was like, 13. I’m 30 now. So it’s been a while. And there’s been a lot of like, you know, playing in bands playing shows, like, I think the first thing I was trying to make pop off was like a MySpace page, like back in high schools. shows the age there right there for sure. And then basically went through like a, like a slow transformation of the kind of music that I wanted to put out real quick talking about it is like, basically, I was kind of against a lot of electronic music for the longest time. And then I went to this festival did a little bit of em. And like there was this one, it was a remix of reds. Something what’s it called? In the sky? by Norman, something? I don’t know. I’ll just name drop the it’s the remix by Red X is the song’s called in the sky thinking that’s like an older like 6070 tune. And it was kind of like remixed to be like, more electronics.
You know, is it fire in the sky?
I think it was camera. Yeah. I don’t think it’s like, Norman Green, Green Book bomb or something. It’s like, let’s look this up and look it up. But basically, that was kind of experience. And then from that, I was like, Yo, this is cool. Like, I don’t have to be like a stubborn like, it needs to have guitars in it for to be cool. Like, appeared in the sky spirit. And this guy there? Yes, there it is. Um, and so from there, I started kind of doing more electronic stuff. And then I was playing around with like Facebook ads to kind of like build, like my audience there. I think one of the first things I was doing was running Facebook ads, with the objective of growing like, you could create bots inside of messenger. And basically having like this like world where you could like, take quizzes and unlock songs and all that kind of stuff, which was cool, but it didn’t really go too far. And then I think it was sometime last year or maybe the year before that, where I was starting to just like release a few songs on Spotify, like I did about 52 weeks in a row in 2018. I want to say I worked on a new song and put it out on like YouTube or Facebook, that kind of thing like not really pushing it hard but the idea was each week, I wanted to finish a full song from complete start to end I mix it and master it and then put it out there. So by the end of that year of doing that, one, I got pretty good at making music. And then two, I had 52 songs, so I started releasing them once a month on Spotify. For the maybe the first like six months of doing it, I didn’t give too much of a shit about and I wasn’t like, I wasn’t really into Spotify that much. I wasn’t like, I didn’t want it to definitely put money into it. And like, run Facebook ads to Spotify, I was kind of ignoring that and wasn’t into it. Then I released a song on I released two songs on like a smaller label. And they were they were like, Oh, can you put a bit of money in Facebook ads to kind of like push it was like, Okay, I’ll do that. And also like, it’s more of a special release. So I kind of want to have a good impression here. I put a bit of money into running Facebook ads over that. And that sounded okay. Like it did. Basically before then I wasn’t even hitting anywhere close to like that 1000 mark, you know, as a little alligator, and you’re under 1000.
shameful way of being like, Hey, your musics not doing exactly.
All my releases had that. And I think once I did, did a bit of Facebook ads to it. broke that mark, maybe hit maybe like 2000 streams or something like that. So then I was like, okay, that’s kind of cool. Let’s like keep trying that. Obviously, it wasn’t like a return on investment thing. At that point. It was like, right, people are listening to music. I’m pretty happy about that. Then I think the next song did a little bit better. Now that when hit a bunch of different algorithmic playlists, I think in the first month that maybe hit like 10,000, which is was great. And I think now it’s at about 40, which is pretty nice. And then after that I released a song called lie low. And this is kind of interesting. It seemed like from running the Facebook ads, my Facebook ad hit Martin Garrix. If anybody knows who that artist is, Oh, yeah. And then he tossed that song in one of his Spotify playlist. Whoa. Yeah. Oh, and the reason that I, I have a feeling that’s how we found it is at that time, with Facebook ads, you can basically target different interests, different artists. And one of the artists I was targeting was bonobo. And so I noticed that in the playlist. It was like a bonobo song. And then my song so it almost looked like he was like, wow. Like there was like seemed like that might have been the connection. Like he was listening to bonobo and then like, Facebook decided that’s one of his interests. And my ad found him and then it just happened to slide me and under there. I was like, That’s nuts.
Daddy’s real quick, I want to I want to pause there. This is a really interesting marketing tactic that I’ve never thought of. But like finding an artist, I mean, if finding an artist that you look up to you reference a lot of their music, you’re writing similar stuff, find out who they listen to, and then yet be able to add that interest of like, just to like on the off chance you happen to end up on their feed. And they can that is a really interesting tack. I mean, I’m sure you weren’t thinking about that at all in the moment. But
specifically, the goal. I mean, also like just to go on a tangent, but you could also send ads based on like zip codes and stuff like that. So theoretically, if you’re willing to share, I know this artist lives in this area. And I think he’s interested in these things. You could target those interests limit to that zip code. And like, you could you could technically run an ad say like, Hey, Joe Rogan, like listen to this, and try to hit him. No guarantees you do it. But that’s wild.
I didn’t even think about Wow, that opens up the realm of possibilities of like, just, I mean, just from the stance of like, I want to try to end up on their playlist or see if they start if they find my track, and then they buy it and they start supporting you somewhere. That’s like, damn, okay, that’s really cool. That’s really really awesome. Something I
haven’t fully explored. Maybe that’s something I’ll try to do. But like, theoretically, you could use Facebook ads as a tool to do that. So yeah, so that happened, which was pretty cool. And also that was kind of like one of those like, I feel like a lot of like, success in music in general is kind of like stacking wins. And so that was felt like one of those first wins. It’s like, whoa, like, if that happened, what else can I make happen? You know what I mean? And just like, it’s that little bit of confidence as well as like, like a feather in the cap kind of thing. All of a sudden you can kind of like it’s an it’s in my bio for everything.
Credit social credibility. Yeah, I mean, it’s exactly what it is. 100%
So obviously, after that, I was like, Okay, that’s cool. I’m gonna keep trying this kind of Facebook ad thing, like focusing in on trying to grow Spotify. From there. I did a couple of extra releases. You know, some did okay, some did not that great. I think this part is kind of interesting. I this like, kind of a not the coolest idea in retrospect, because it didn’t do too well. But I was like, I wanted to, actually I guess one thing to say versus then I also released a remix with an artist that larger than me name’s Mallory shadow Mallory. And that also was kind of the first one that got on an editorial playlist, same kind of strategy running Facebook ads to it. And it seemed like from release to release it was picking up streams on those agar Have the algorithmic ones like release radar and that kind of stuff. And this was the first one where it seemed like it was added. I don’t know, if it’s a full editorial playlist, it was called Fresh finds basement. I heard that it might be what’s called an algo tutorial where it’s like, I don’t know, something in between them. I don’t know if there was an actual editor like picking up that one. But that one was kind of cool. Nothing too crazy on that track, either maybe was like 20,000 streams or something. And then I remember it was I think it was in October, I’ve released this, like, remix of the Canadian National Anthem from Canada, but I don’t know if I mentioned it. Kind of almost more going for like a, if anybody searches like Canadian National Anthem, maybe they’ll find me like an SEO kind of thing. Fucking bombed. Like that didn’t go well, at all. Okay, but that was like, easily probably the worst campaign that I ran even like the first Facebook ads campaign around the first time I tried did significantly better than that one. Which is like to say like, there’s ups and downs with this thing. But especially considering the next one was the song that I released called Lo Fi nights, and that one now has like 1.7 million streams. So that was directly after that huge bomb. And so this one, I feel like, the main way that I really did get this one is by releasing music consistently, like month after month after month, especially if you do a single at a time, you can pitch that single to the Spotify editors. So basically, you’re probably not going to get their attention at all. Clearly, I didn’t get it for like months and months and months. But I think by being consistent and putting in those pitches, like getting in front of them, but they’re probably ignoring you. But you’re getting more on those release radars, you’re getting those algorithmic playlists and all that kind of stuff. building momentum getting in front of the middle more often, it gives them a reason to be like, Okay, what the fuck is going on here? Like, I’ll listen to your damn song. Finally, that one picked up and went just nuts. I think it landed on like three or four editorial playlists with the biggest best one being I think it’s called lounge house. And there’s like 1.5 or 6 million people on that playlist. That’s huge, which was badass. Yeah, it was like really cool. And like, honestly, in terms of like, ROI, and all that kind of stuff. Like, I definitely made nothing back really like relatively, like, maybe up until that point, I made like 40 bucks in royalties. But it was, it was definitely building like a buzz around my like artists name before then. But then obviously getting in like a huge editorial playlist that suddenly had millions of streams, that’s like, was really nice. In terms of credibility as well. Um, moving on from that. I figured, what should I do next? Particularly, I did a little bit of research into this. There’s a lot of information about people talking about like, how to get on editorials. Mostly, it’s just like a, here’s how you pitch it in the back end. And like, hopefully, you get it. I was trying to look for like, what do you do once you get on one? Because it’s
everywhere. Right? Yeah. But there’s no information on it. Like, it’s really more just like, oh, yeah, you can get on it. And hopefully you do, but you probably won’t. It’s like, okay, that doesn’t really help anyone, let alone after actually getting some. So I did some digging. And I had to kind of, I guess what I found was an article where it was the head of marketing at Spotify. Not like the Daniel Eck, guy, the main guy, the head of marketing was talking about, like, what do you do once you get on any of these playlists? And I think the main thing that stuck out was he said something about, we’re looking to see if when you land on one of these playlists, if you lean back, or if you lean forward. So I think basically, the idea is like, are you just letting the editorial playlists do all the work? Or are you actually starting to drive more people to that song and promoted as well and get streams from things other than that playlist? So I decided to lean in. And what I did was a couple of things. One thing was I kept running ads, but I switched the ad to be a, instead of running to the song, it was running to a playlist, which was kind of themed around that song that caught Lo Fi nights, basically made it so it’s like you land on the playlist, the playlist cover is the album art. And then the first song is that song. So there’s a connection between like, add, and like the whole experience of seeing the adding getting to the music, and started building up a playlist. So that playlist I think has about three or 4000 people probably like more like 3000 people following it. Now after running ads to it. I think that was just nice, because it was another like way that that song was getting streams, in addition to the editorial playlists. And also now at this point, it’s built up an asset for me. So anytime I drop a new song, I can throw that in there, at least for a little bit. Or if it makes sense to leave it in the playlist, I can leave it in there. And that helps with newer releases. And then also there’s like a certain point, generally, it’s about 1000 followers on a playlist, and like certain other requirements, but then you can be one of the playlists on like playlist push and submit about summit hub and all that stuff and make a little bit of money. It’s not crazy money, like from what I’ve seen from it. It’s maybe like 50 to 100 bucks a month or something from accepting or like going through those submissions. Not crazy, but at least Get like help facilitate ad spend and all that stuff and just build an asset for your own music, which is kind of nice.
means like diversifying your portfolio a little bit. That’s
exactly right. And like, I think that’s what they were kind of like that, quote was talking about where it’s like, are you just like letting us do the work here? Or like, are you serious about this, like, are you putting in the work yourself a little bit.
The other thing too, is that you have to remember with these tech companies, and you know, something, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, like all of these companies, the one thing that I learned early on in marketing with like music was on Facebook. And like, when you’re making posts, now, Facebook is pretty much pay to play. Now, if you have a business page or music page, whatever
it is, 5% of any organic posts will see.
Yeah, exactly. And then to make matters even worse, Facebook will not show your posts to pretty much anyone, if you’re sending them outside of Facebook, right? Where else so like, if you’re posting a YouTube video or a Spotify link, they’re gonna be like, ooh, we want them on face. So we have our own Spotify thing. Exactly, Spotify is gonna do the exact same thing where they want you to bring people to them. So if you’re bringing them business, they’re going to see that and they’re, you know, it might not be someone literally at the Spotify headquarters looking on their computer or watching you, but it’s gonna be these algorithms that are noticing, oh, hey, you know, Matthews bringing us more people to his playlist, let’s push him more, because he’s, he’s leaning into it
that and that’s essentially, I think what it is kind of like, generally, looking at how anyone can succeed on Spotify, my understanding of it is what the algorithm is looking at. And by effect, what the algorithm is looking at what also the editors are gonna be looking at two is the percentage of people that are saving your song, when they listen to it, the percentage of people that are listening to it more than once. And the and the amount of people adding it to playlists. So stream counts is obviously a factor, like, the more streams your song has, that’s great. But also if like 0% of people are saving it, because it’s all bots that are listening to it, or no one’s repeat listening to it, because it’s clearly not that good of a song, like the algorithm can see that kind of things. It’s looking for, like, Oh, like this type of person, which you can target on Facebook, you could target people that like this, this and this, bring them over. And then the Spotify algorithm will be like, Oh, this specific person is listening to the song, and they’re saving it a bit like 40, or 50% of them are saving it, that’s pretty fantastic. Then also, it looks like they’re also listening to it about twice each. And it seems like a decent amount of them are also adding it to their playlists. The Spotify algorithm sees stuff like that, and goes, let me push this thing out. My whole objective in my life is to keep people on Spotify. So if I see something that people are listening to, and liking and saving, I’m going to push that out to similar people. So I can keep those other people on Spotify. And that’s kind of like how it seems to work. It’s very similar to like, how even like Google works and how Facebook works, like, all they’re trying to do is keep people on the platform. Spotify is no different.
That little tidbit of information is extremely valuable, because it takes this idea of like, okay, so I need to get streams on my Spotify tracks. So let me let me just, you know, in my marketing campaign, I’ll send out an email to my list, showing people and having them either pre save it, or just go stream it, I’ll post on my social media channels. And I’ll see if I can get some friends to post it as well. And people assume, well, this is what I’m supposed to do. This is what works, right? But then they don’t get anything and they’re like, What the fuck, why isn’t this working. But having these like this treasure trove of other tools that you need to be utilizing, like shares, playlist and like getting people to not not just for your listeners to stream it, but to Playlist it or keep playing it over and over again, it it unlocks this idea of like, okay, now we can adjust our current marketing strategy and like what our goal is, what’s our goal? Do we want someone to just stream the track? Or do we want them to stream it and playlist it and keep playing it like, now we can get into a different mindset of like, let’s actually come up with a much better strategy on what marketing terms we’re going to use or how we’re going to actually develop a different strategy other than just like posting the link and getting people to click the link. It’s got to be much more than that. Yeah. And I
think it’s a pretty important distinction, too, because if it were, if the whole name of the game were just number of streams, then it would make a hell of a lot of sense to go on, like, scam my spotify.com or whatever, and just purchase fake bought streams. And I think that’s also a reason why that Spotify makes these kind of the goalposts so that it’s going to send the song to people that are more likely to listen to it, but it’s also not going to reward people that are doing sketchy ass shit. Basically,
I know people who have bought farms who literally are like, which is so funny because it’s, I’ve talked about this in the past, and we can even, you know, talk a little bit about it right now. But bots are like, the even bots on like, let’s say getting Facebook likes or Instagram followers, it does no one justice, it fucks you over in the long run significantly, people are like, they’re so obsessed with numbers, and they think that, Oh, if I just have this big number here, so and so is gonna pay attention to me, and they’re gonna want to sign me to their label, they’re gonna want me to play shows, they’re gonna want me to do XYZ. But the issue there is that they’re those people are under the assumption, if you’re giving them those big numbers that you have some sort of valuable asset or resource that they’re needing. And so then putting their money on you, you know, betting on you that you’re going to bring this traffic to them. And when they release a track, you bring nothing to the table, or let’s say you play a show for a venue and they assume, well, this guy has 50,000 followers on Instagram, what how would he not pull heads to our venue, and then you play a show and no one shows up? That’s an issue because now it’s like fan weighs exactly it now. It’s like, oh, this person’s full of shit. But then you also run the risk of these companies are getting very smart about how to detect bots and people faking their numbers. And that’s a that’s a quick fucking road to a ban. Yeah, they will outright ban and delete your entire account.
I think that’s like something that’s been coming into play a lot more recently, I think, especially in the last year or so, where it’s like, they seem to be taking a lot more seriously, I think they’re officially calling it artificial streams. And from I’m seeing cuz I also started teaching some of this stuff. And like, so I’ll get questions about this. And like, it seems like, what they’re doing is like, if you, if you if you fuck around, they might first just remove the streams. So say, if you only have actually three streams, but you bought 30,000, all of a sudden, one day, just gonna go way down, back down to three and actually show the actual number of streams. That’s like, almost like step one. Second thing is that they’re starting to Remove Tracks now. And then I don’t know if it’s like, if it’s like a strike system, or if they just decide to, then they’re also pulling down the artists as well. And on top of that, it seems like they’re also talking to the distributors, too. So it’s, it seems like, once, if you get a song pulled down, then say if it was like districted, because I think district had does this where they’ll be like, Yeah, you’re not gonna release anything from with us anymore. Not this artist, not by another artist named like, we don’t want to we don’t want you doing this at all, because you’re ruining our reputation as a distributor. Wow.
That’s a problem. Yeah.
So it has like pretty big implications, let alone just the fact that you’re not actually building an audience, let alone like, I mean, yeah. What’s the point of having 30,000 million streams? If it’s not actually like a single person’s listening to you? The whole goal is to have people listen to your music, not bots. You know what I mean? It’s, uh,
yeah, it’s, you know, I really think it’s, it plays into the ego, just people are, their ego is telling them that they need to have big numbers, because they’ll look good. None of their friends and family. It looks. Yeah, it looks like they’re accomplished. But in reality, it’s like, I mean, you could do it all day, and you can tell people you’re accomplished. But at the end of the day, you’re like, deep down inside, you know, you’re you’re full of shit. Yeah, it’s, it doesn’t fucking mean anything. So, but yeah, the man I’ve pushed so hard to like, do not go the bot route, it does nothing for you, whatever you think you’re going to get out of it, you’re not going to get it, you’re not going to get recognition, you’re not going to get shows from it, you’re, you’re not going to get anything from it, you’re not going to get you’re not going to feel fulfilled, you want to talk about like, how, like creating music and art and something that you love and having this passion and getting trying to get something out of it. Those bought streams are not doing that.
And it’s like, Spotify is actively moving against this, so you’re probably just gonna get your shit pulled anyways. And do you know if those bots actually count towards a royalty payout? So that’s actually what I was going to talk about next. So like, one thing is, it does, it will count. So that’s why Spotify is now being way more active against it. So they’re like, now they’re actively trying to find out, like, who’s doing this out? Quite literally stealing money stealing money. And like, I believe that my understanding of it too, is how that royalty number is created is like almost changes on a monthly basis. And it’s looking at like the overall amount of streams happening on the platform, and then uses something like that to figure out what the actual rate is for the month. So by adding in fake streams like that, also reducing the payout for everyone involved to so there’s also some like, other technical implications as well. Oh,
interesting. I didn’t realize that that’s like a pool that so it’s it sounds like they almost have like a pool of royalty money and based off of Wow, interesting based off of the stream rate of everyone, they’re going to divide that out. Whoa, that’s really interesting. Well, there’s
many reasons and then obviously, Spotify in the, I mean, they’re not I don’t think they’re a profitable company, but obviously they’re trying to make money. So anytime
it’s if you look at their margins, it is fucking crazy how much money they actually lose. And then people like, Listen, I’m all for artists like making more money. Yes, I get that. But the thing is, Spotify has no money to give. That’s it. That’s what people have not wrap their head around, artists have not wrapped their head around, like looking at their their profit and loss ratio. And they make no money at fucking all, which is like the issue is the sure they it’d be nice if artists could get paid more. But there’s, there’s no more money. It’s loud.
It also, I think, the main real way they make money as for investment, I think I think they’re publicly traded. And if not, they definitely have like individual like angels and all that kind of stuff. I think also, what gets annoying is when you see like the the CEO of Spotify company’s not profitable. He’s raking in hundreds of millions or whatever it is. So then people see those kind of things like, Okay, you want to give a little bit of that to us? Yeah.
Yeah. Well, I’m curious. You know, if you look at that, I’m really curious if like, if, okay, if he if his network is XYZ, or is that is that his salary he’s taking away from Spotify? Or is it other investments that he’s made, just in assets that he’s built up over the years? That’s the I think that’s why I’d be interested in probably
changing I think, just like, I swear, I saw something that he just invested like $10 million into like military contracts or something like that some weird shit. It’s like, okay, so the money is not going to artists, it’s going to you and you’re putting your money into stuff like that. A.
Yeah, and I’m sure that’s just an accumulation of assets, personal assets that Yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s really, it’s, I’d be curious to see what his salary actually looks like, at Spotify. Like, what is he taking away from Spotify personally, because I, yeah, I wonder I don’t know if that’s public or not? Because if it’s I mean, if it’s less than a few million, then it’s really he’s really not taking that much.
Seems like that’s actually $330,000 a year in comp. But that’s a salary from Yeah, but I’m wondering if there’s like bonuses.
Oh, there’s I’m sure there’s some sort of bonuses, but if he, if it’s publicly traded, he’s probably a majority stockholder. He owns a majority of the stock.
So you’ll still represent of it or something like that. And it’s okay. Yeah. And so that gets like 1.6 billion.
Yeah. So that’s where he’s raking in then from shareholdings and getting interest on that. And then yeah, but I mean, 300,000 for a yearly salary is fucking nothing. But I would be curious what those bonuses look like, because like, I bet those i Yeah, I bet the bonuses are like over a million. Which is Yeah, which is interesting. But even then still, like you, you increase that fractional rate that they have. And I bet when you look at the dollar amount, and you look at the account, after that, it’s it’s probably an extreme rate of additional money that they’re losing based off of just adding a fractional amount.
100%. And I think, yeah, and then that to bring it all back full circle, that’s definitely why they’re being more aggressive. Yeah. Yeah. Like, they don’t want to pay that out. And they don’t want to like be known as like, also, I think I’d actually another thing too is Spotify is actively trying to push their, like Spotify ads kind of program. And it’d be hard to sell ad space to advertisers, if the advertisers knew like, the majority of it was was bought streams anyways. Like, they don’t want to be spending money on ads to bots. So that’s like another component to it.
Right? Yeah. Let’s let’s jump into that ads, but ad space, cuz I think you were telling me that you do buy ad spots on Spotify, correct?
No, I haven’t. I’ve was looking into it. And I chose not to, like I might maybe do as an experiment. But right now, it seems like it’s not as advanced as what you can do with Facebook. And there’s also like, when I’m running my Facebook ads, I’ll only usually spend between like 102 $100 Canadian for, like, release, but I try to keep it pretty like pretty Lean Cuisine. And I think with the Spotify one, it’s like you have to spend a minimum of 250 and like, I’ve heard really bad things about it, actually. So I haven’t been too active and trying that like I want to eventually because like one thing is like Facebook ads have gotten me to where I’m at and I’m pretty appreciative of that. But I hate Facebook. adds, they’re constantly changing. Like, it’s, it’s very frustrating to keep up with all the changes, like especially, like in the last little bit, there’s a lot of Apple iOS 14 changes, oh, I really nightmare and that kind of stuff is always happening and like it and at any point they can be okay. Cambridge analytical happened we’re gonna jack our prices up a little bit to make up for some of the lost money. It’s like, it’s nice but it sucks to have like, have your balls in their hands, you know what I mean? Like if you don’t have any other
Yeah, this I want to get into this in just a in just a minute, I want to I want to go back to the Spotify ad thing because I agree with you, I haven’t looked into Spotify ads too much. But that’s I mean, Spotify ads could be so extremely valuable in terms of a source for other artists to promote their music. And, I mean, it’s almost like, it’s ironic, because for Spotify, because it’s like a filter loop, or I guess I should say, for artists, it’s like a filter loop where artists could be posting their tracks, to attract more eyes and people to Spotify to play their music to try to get money from that. And then they invest it just right back into Spotify to grow that additionally. So it’s like, they could keep this filter loop going if they had the right ad platform specifically with like, just being able to target playlists, like I want to target this playlist. Because this is the thing that I was wanting to do with my podcast where I was like, Dude, if I could just spend whatever amount I want in terms of budget, you know, not a minimum, but like, I want to spend $5 a day or whatever on Spotify ads, similar to how Facebook runs their ad, ad platform, or Google. But if I wanted to spend $5 a day and just have some sort of pre roll 32nd ad that I could be running in a playlist that specifically for electronic musicians. That would be I mean, I would literally be able to tap into the our audience Exactly. For this podcast it Yeah, but you did not
have that ability. Oh, it’s like something no you can do is I think as an artist, you can do like your listeners, or like maybe people that follow you stuff like that. It’s like you can’t like Facebook, you go in and be like, I want to target this artist, this artist and this artist in this genre. Granted, as long as they have like a big enough audience for to show up in Facebook. That’s the thing. But with Spotify, you can’t do that. It’s very frustrating.
Yeah, it’s it’s so weird. This one little thing could I mean, they could wipe out a majority of Facebook ad users just on the artist side, tracking all this extra money for profits, but then it would also wildly benefit artists, I mean to It’s insane how beneficial that just the targeting playlists would be. And then you I mean, you could get into the realm of now let’s specifically specifically target you know, an artist. And
if you were doing like a remix or a cover, you could like, send that cover, like to a song or whatever you want to do, or your song sounded a lot like XY and Z songs like, Oh, if anybody loves that song, if they heard my song, I know they’d love it, you’d be able to do that. And like, really like, that’s where Facebook is nice. Like, if you could do it on Spotify, I would definitely be interested in doing that. But also, what I guess another thing that does also suck with Spotify ads, as it is now is when I was trying to run like a, an ad to my own music. What the way that I do on on Facebook is I send the from the ad, it goes to us like SmartLink music link page that I just created myself using WordPress. And like, then I have a button and you can click listen on Spotify. And that takes you to Spotify. With Facebook, it’s all about the Facebook pixel, you put the Facebook pixel on things. And then that’s how the Facebook ads platform can know when the objective that you want was hit, say listening on Spotify, and then optimize around that. So when someone completes that conversion event, it be like, okay, that person was X, Y, and Z, they were this age and this age, and they can use all their crazy creepy Facebook stuff to find more people and bring them over Spotify. One thing is that they do not let you put the Facebook pixel on Spotify. So that’s why you have to go around those little like hoops, you need to send it to a page and then have the conversion event fire on the listen on Spotify to kind of prevent bots from hitting it and get as close as possible to that actual event that you want to happen. The one thing that’s also really knowing is Spotify ads, you can’t send them off to one of those link pages. And then back to Spotify. They want to just keep you on Spotify. And the main reason that I didn’t like that is one nice thing about when you’re sending it to your own page. You can be collecting the pixel data for Facebook for Google for YouTube, all those other ones. So your you own the data a little bit more as opposed to like only keeping it in Spotify or only keeping in Facebook. It would be nice if you could run Spotify ads to your page, then you’d be able to pick them on Facebook so also hit them with Facebook ads to bring them back. But you can’t they don’t allow that level of
I know this is the other thing I brought up so many times before too. I can remember who I met. But that one little thing. I think it was a podcast episode I mentioned, but like the pixel two, like, if you could add your pixel to Facebook, that so for, for anyone listening who just has no fucking idea what we’re talking about in terms of the pixel the pixel is like, like what you were saying you paste this bit of code on your website, depending on you know, sometimes you have to install it in like what’s called the header or if you’re on something like WordPress, there’s an application that you would download to your WordPress site. And you just input this little secret key there. And that essentially allows your allows Facebook to connect to your website and your Facebook account so that it can it can now tell, okay, any users that are associated with this website are also linked to this Facebook Business account for the process of ads so that they can track conversions. They can create look alike audiences of anyone who’s visiting your website, they look at their Facebook account, and they can say, okay, this person is like you were saying this demographic, this income range, they went to this school, yeah, they they have these interests, and they can find someone that looks just like that person to now you can start running your ads to that. So if you just just so listeners can understand what we’re what we’re saying and what this big picture would look like, if you could take that pixel. And you could add that to your Spotify account, that would mean that you would now be able to track all of your conversions on Facebook based off, if you’re just sending them directly to Spotify, you can now track when someone plays your stream, that could count as a conversion, that could be your conversion
content, Facebook to be like, optimize around that. So to send ads to them. Whenever that stream gets played. That’s, that’s a conversion event now find similar to people to that and get that cheapest possible, then exactly, this is probably why they don’t want to do it. Because if it was like that, not only would Facebook be tracking when you bring somebody from Facebook, to Spotify, and then you’d have that pixel data, it also be all the users on Spotify that stream it too. So if you get like, that’s one thing of super annoying for me, is like landing on these editorial playlists, having hundreds of 1000s of new people listening to my music, if I was able to also pixel those streams, then I’d be able to hit them up again, with Facebook ads super cheap, but because that’s not all integrated. It’s just in their system, and it’s lost. And they’re just two middle fingers up at you basically
like, I’m curious how much data Facebook would be able to extract from Spotify. If Spotify allowed views. That’s what your what what Spotify would be doing is Spotify would be giving Facebook, the keys to the kingdom of looking at all of their analytical data. So I can
do whatever they want with it. I think that’s all they deserve. It’s like Oh, thank you for that billions and billions of data points.
That well, and I’m yeah, I’m curious. I mean, they would be able to probably do so much with that information. I mean, potentially even launched their own streaming platform, and like hack it, like do the same things that Spotify, they that that would probably be a ridiculous dump of information. This is in this I mean, takes me back to my point of the most recent podcast episode I did on the blockchain, and how that would change the music industry. And essentially, what we’re talking about would be like, it’d be on the level of like, the the freedom of the internet in the sense that no one owns the internet. So like no one would directly own the blockchain to be able to have this data out like this data would basically be public access. And you could use it in ways however you want for your music, it would, it would be extremely transparent in terms of what you’re getting what’s happening with your information. And especially if you’re talking about royalty payouts, and what the value of a stream you want to have for your track. There’s, there’s a lot of really interesting, interesting stuff with the blockchain. I think. I’m curious, like, if anything is going up against Spotify, with music, it would be like the blockchain and if it is they’re
like counter opposites, right? Like Spotify is like, infinitely infinitely produced and reproduced and like given like no value, and then, like blockchain stuff, I
guess I’m thinking more of NF T’s least in particular, where it’s like, technically, it’s infinitely reproduced but note but for the purposes of NF T’s, it’s not easily produced and it has a decided value, not like a fraction of a penny that’s decided with a pool never like the proprietary element of like an algorithm and how that algorithm is controlled and how it’s out of your control is so dangerous to like, what you have as an artist and the brand that you’ve built, especially because We’re going to get into this, you’re at the whim of that algorithm, you’re at the whim of that company. Take the blockchain, add that. And you’re to take Spotify out of that and replace it with something like the blockchain. And you’re no longer necessarily at the whim of this one specific company, you’re just at the whim of what your skills and budget is in terms of marketing and how you can get in front of people. There’s still so many logistics in terms of like, how that needs to be dealt with and worked out and what it would look like.
I think also like for that, in particular, like getting to a level of like common understanding, I think a lot of people like find it very confusing, and will not participate. Because of that. They can see it
is very fine. Yeah, I still even get confused with some with with certain things, different aspects of the blockchain and how it can be used, but like smart contracts, and the Ethereum network is, it’s the that would be the way to go in terms of being able to maintain the process of, of like, watching streams, who streaming it, what the value of that stream is, and then being able to pay you out like that, on the Ethereum network with smart contracts would be the way to go. And I think Blau is either working with a company or he’s slowly started vomiting, its audience or something like No, no, it’s royal.io. dead mouse, I think is the one behind audience. But royal.io is all about essentially moving the music industry over to the blockchain in streaming. It’s really interesting stuff. But that’s, that’s a whole nother episode. To get into which, which I’ve done, you know, I did a basic theory on what the blockchain would look like and how to change the music industry. Like getting into actual streaming stuff and company building a platform on the blockchain, that would be a whole nother. But real quick, I let’s let’s talk a little bit more about your your process. So because I’m sure there’s there’s a lot of people listening, they’re like, Okay, this sounds cool. This is maybe the route I should go. But I still don’t understand what how do you how do you go from having no streams at all to this massive mastering? So I’m curious, what does your process look like? Like, let’s say you, you got the final master for your track. It’s ready to be released because you self released? What does your your whole promo plan look like from point A to point B? Now, obviously, I’m sure you have, you might have some secret sauce stuff that you don’t want to give out. But in terms of like, what can you tell us like that, especially if there’s little tidbits that really significantly helped you think
first thing is you haven’t like the song mixed and mastered, that’s definitely one thing. But I think a huge, huge component of and I’ll do like to stress this is having, like 10 or 11 more songs ready, right away. Like, I think the name of the game here is releasing a song every single month, for as long as you can do it. Main reason for number one is I kind of mentioned like this, like the release Raider players, playlists, all that kind of stuff. And you can pitch the Spotify editors, ie the release radar in particular, you can be on that within the first 20 days of the songs release. And then also gives you the opportunity if the song does well to be pushed on to the release Raider have similar listeners as well. So to maximize that, you want to have as much music ready as possible, you want to be able to release one song one month, and then get ready to release the next one, like almost like a week or two after you’ve just released that song. I think this is important because as an artist, like it can be very challenging, trying to complete music on time and all that kind of stuff. And then music marketing is not fucking easy either. So if you’re putting yourself in a position where every single month you need to right, mix, Master finish a song. And then also do prepare all the the music marketing stuff, you’re like you’re setting yourself up for failure, I would say make sure you have like a solid batch of tunes that you’re ready to release, kind of like a rough idea of how we want to release them over the course of the next couple of months, that minimum at least six months. And then that way, once we actually get to this checklist kind of part. You can just focus on the music marketing, and deciding maybe like maybe being a little bit playful with like which song you release, in which order you can kind of pay attention to like, oh, how the last song do that one was kind of chill and it did really well. So we do maybe a more chill one again, you can be a little flexible of how you’re releasing it but have that music ready to go so that you can focus all your efforts on the music marketing, without being distracted and getting stressed out about having to finish a song. Then when it comes to like actually releasing the music. The first thing obviously is get the music done, then you’re going to want to submit it to district kid or your distributor, whichever one you’re using. Generally, there’s a lot of different advice going out there. I usually just try to do it at least like three weeks in advance is all I really try to do. Because usually these distributors are pretty quick I think was district it’ll take like two or three days. And then that’ll give you the opportunity to pitch to the editors So once you have it just submitted through the distributor, a couple days later, you’re going to pitch it to the editors, you can only do one at a time. That’s why I recommend going with singles. And then you’re gonna want to do that at least a week in advance to if you can kind of like the further back you can, the better. Then once that’s done, the next thing that I usually will do is I will start preparing all the creative assets for the ads, because the main thing that I’m going to be doing for my releases is running ads. So this is going to be the main things are creating like video ads, which usually what I’ll do is like have like, three about three different variations. It’s usually just kind of like basically like the artwork animated, and just three different sections of the song. And I’ll do something very similar for social media to like, I’ll have like the artwork, basic animation of three or four of those. So I could drop those like once a week, during the actual release campaign, then once the ad creatives are created, you’re gonna make sure you have like the music link set up, whatever you’re using, if you’re creating your own, if you’re using hyped it tone, and all those kind of things, that’s kind of that that step, then the next step is just to take those things, set that up into a Facebook ads campaign and schedule it to run on release day, I usually prefer to do releases on Mondays instead of Friday’s main reason just being it gives you a few extra days in my I guess hypothesis, you can be running traffic with Facebook ads for the first couple of days to kind of like pre juice the data, then on Friday, when the release radar gets pushed out, which is every single Friday will be a really straight up push, there’ll be a bit more data there. And then you can start getting boosted streams from the release radar. Also, in that kind of step of scheduling, the Facebook ads also go into like the Facebook creator studio, and schedule out all the social posts for like the next three or four weeks as well. And then after that, that’s honestly basically it like the whole, like 90% of it for me is setting up in the pre release, like making sure that I’ve set up the ads, which audiences I’m going to send to making sure the creatives are set up and scheduling all that stuff, so don’t have to worry about it. So that way unreleased A, I can just chill. I can respond to like messages the best I can, which I’m not always the best at. And then just make slight slight tweaks to the Facebook ads. And like every three or four days, you want to check on the ads, make sure things are working campaigns that aren’t working, add a new test, whatever you want to do, I’ll usually run the ads for about two weeks, sometimes three, if it’s going well. And then at that point, I’m hoping to have triggered the algorithm to kind of get a more release Raider playlists. Obviously, if an editorial happens, that’s great. And then after that, after about one or two weeks after the release is done, getting ready for the next release right away,
right away. And that’s like generally the path I should probably, I guess, plug, if you go to Best Friend’s club.ca forward slash release dash checklist. I have like a seven step checklist that anybody can check out. It’s basically those steps and then each one of the steps. It’s kind of like interactive, so you can click it and be like, okay, distributor, here’s how to do that. If you don’t know how to do it, here’s more information, all that kind of stuff. That’s basically how it works.
I’ll put down in the show notes to envious audio.com/episode 69. You got to have 69 Yes, yeah, you gotta put that we are immature. And we’ll we’ll play on that joke. But um, that will be there for you guys to check out. You guys can click that and go. Go down that. Download that checklist. So I’m curious. The one thing I didn’t notice that’s involved with your, your kind of promo plan is pre saves and getting people to pre save your, your Spotify track? Have you played with that at all? Have you? Have you gotten any results from it?
What so I’ve tried it from running Facebook ads to pre saves, I didn’t see the best results is very expensive. Nobody was really doing it. And then so I guess from experimenting with a little bit like my kind of like, final conclusion. And obviously I’ll keep testing as I go on. But right now it just seems like if you’re gonna spend your time, your energy and your money, trying to get somebody interested in your song, you might as well do it when you’ve got their attention. They can actually listen to it right away. I think particularly if you’re spending money on it. Like, there. I think I saw some someone did research on it. There’s a cool company called intrapreneur. And I think they did a video or something about this, where they were looking into it and they saw that there’s actually no out the algorithm is not going to boost you for pre saves or anything like that. It’s Oh really no, it’s actually just
it’s just saves interest.
It’s not a pre save aspect. It’s just the Save aspects. So the same as if you’re running it on any other day. I think that’s kind of interesting. It’s really just comes down to like saves, repeat listens. The overall number of streams and playlists adds. It can kind of get a bit more unreleased, but also, man, okay. You’re gonna also, if you’ve ever tried to pre save a song, it’s fucking so annoying. Like it is the way that the integration works. It doesn’t like save your Spotify information. So you’re gonna click it then you’re gonna have to Type in your username and password again, authorize it every single time. And then you have the luxury of pre saving this track like, no one’s
No, it’s so much friction. No. And here’s the thing. You’d be lucky you have great fans. If they do that. You’d be lucky to run ads to random fucking people who have no idea who you are and get them to do that. Yeah, it’s really too much friction. Yeah.
So I think all those reasons are why I kind of, I’m not too interested in the idea. And I know, like, people seem to think it’s a cool idea, because it does seem pretty cool. Like, oh, like, people can pre save it. And they could also add it to the playlist and also look at their emails, like in theory, that’s fantastic. But I think it practice, especially because at the end of the day, the user experience is so poor, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t work, I don’t think,
right, it’s can put a bad taste in people’s mouth. And if especially if they would potentially be a fan, they might not be a fan after that. And if you’re like that need to do that, too. It’s just think it’s better advice, might as well burn your money, and that you at least get some heat from that this winter. But that study is interesting. I’m gonna check that out. If I’m gonna look for that find it. And I’ll post that in the show notes. Because that’s really interesting, because I’m get now I’m excited to hear people talk about how it’s important to pre save tracks. And they’ll be like, No, you should look at this study. Because it’s not that because I was that person, I was the person that was like, pre get people to pre save your track. You want to get involved in the Spotify algorithm, but now it’s like, oh, no, that’s bad advice. Do not do that. I mean, that’s just a waste of time and energy.
If it was a way that you like, if you had like a mega fan base, and you just had to like say on your like, Twitch stream, like, hey, everybody pre save it, and they just do it. Yeah, sure. But I think from like, like, I think our perspective where it’s usually like, Yo, we’re just out here trying to get a couple streams, we don’t we don’t have a huge fan base or nothing. We have limited time, we have limited energy, we have limited resources, I think it’s important to like, put those in the right areas. We’re at this stage that we’re all probably at.
I agree. And I think this is actually a perfect transition to go into what we were, we were going to start talking about earlier about this idea of these platforms. And the fact that we’re kind of at the whim of whether it’s the Spotify algorithm, whether it’s the the way Facebook ads, runs in the console, they’re constantly changing their ad plan, every ad platform is constantly changing whether or not it’s it’s YouTube and potential censorship they have going on. Like there’s, there’s a lot of different aspects of these, these massive companies and these massive social media platforms where if you’re not playing by their rules, you could get fucked or if their rules change, and you’re not necessarily breaking anything, or doing anything sketchy, but just a simple switch of a little bit of code and an algorithm completely alter the way your i This happened to me. So I don’t know if I’m, I don’t know if I’m shadowbanned on Instagram, or what I’m not sure what I did wrong. But a couple years ago, I was putting out a ton of content on Instagram daily or was like yet, like, daily, or it was like either every other day, every few days. I can’t remember maybe it was weekly. I can’t remember. But I was putting out 100 All on Google. And I was all in putting out a ton of content doing it consistently. And it was working. It was working. But I mean, my growth was it. I mean, I’m just about to hit 400 followers. But mind you at the time this I just started my business. I had no followers. And I built that following over probably a year or so from zero to I mean, I was getting I was getting at least one or two, maybe three new followers per day just based off this content screen. Every time I create a post I was getting like 70 Plus likes a bunch of saves. Yeah, number of shares like, yeah, it was it was consistent. It was exponentially growing. There was at one at the at the height of it. I was at something like 200 followers. And within one or two months, I had gone up another like 100 followers. So it was like, exponentially growing is it was fucking fantastic. And then my engagement and interaction went off of a cliff. overnight. I have no idea what happened. My strategy didn’t I didn’t change my strategy. I was thinking it might have been hashtags like I had been banned from some hashtags or something, but it was engagement plummeted. And it’s never been the same. The I’ve tried. No, I’ve tried. I’ve tried changing the content I’m creating. I’ve tried changing hashtags I’ve tried, you know, like different tragedies of like changing the alternative text or whatever in it, which is like for the accessibility feature for people who are who are like blind They use voice activation stuff. And so it’ll pull up content based off of the different alt texts that you have. But I tried all of these different strategies, in never has my account ever been the same reaching the same amount people like I was, I was reaching people that had nothing to do with my account that won’t followers or anything. And that’s how I was getting followers. And it’s never been the same. So it’s, it’s instances like these were a simple switch of something whether or not you did something wrong, or they just changed a platform again, I have no fucking idea what happened to my account, I’ve got no answers from support, I’ve reached out to them multiple times, I’ve reached out to other people to see if they can give me advice I’ve tried that advice doesn’t work, nothing happens. So this right here is a perfect example of why you should not rely 100% on trying to grow on one platform. And that’s just your dedicated source. That’s the biggest route to failure when something goes wrong, where your reach doesn’t hit the same, the platform dies, and something like tick tock emerges. And now you need to try to build somewhere else. I’ve talked about this a number of times. So how important is it for you to be collecting leads in conjunction with your ads or or aside from them? Whether it’s collecting emails, or just getting people onto your website? How important is that factor to your entire system in your growth?
I would say like it’s definitely, it’s very, very important. I think even one thing is collecting leads. So collecting email addresses, that’s like the ideal situation. That’s kind of like the difference between like renting an apartment and owning a home, the renter can change the deal at any point you’re on on out on the street. Whereas if you own a list of emails, and you’re actually emailing them and speaking to them as often as you can, you actually own that space. And you get to make the rules there, you can say this is now a membership, and it cost this much per month, or you just can reach them for free. At any point, you don’t have to spend ads to reach them, which is basically, we were actually talking about it earlier in a small way. But like that’s what Facebook was doing. Used to be able to build up your Facebook page, have just post stuff to Facebook, and everyone would see it. And slowly over time, they’re like, Oh, we’re gonna push that to 60% 40% 30%. Now only 5% or whatever it is, sees those posts, because they change the rules, they want you to spend money on their ad platform to reach those people. So it’s pretty important, I think, to build out your own, like ecosystem, your own space. I am still kind of figuring out how to do that. From an artists perspective. I figured that out from like a more business perspective, which we can get into. Because that also did lead to like the me quitting my job thing. I don’t know if we mentioned on the full thing yet. But from an artist perspective, what I’m really interested in and this is kind of what I want to really focus on in the new year is I want to figure out how to build like a Patreon. But maybe not just a Patreon more just figuring out how can artists build their own memberships. One thing about Patreon that seems good is there’s like the name recognition and all that kind of stuff. But I do know that they take like 10 or 15% of the the rates and all that kind of stuff or whatever the pledges, I don’t know what they call them, I still into research at which I will be doing. But also, I’m kind of bullish on the idea of if you own a membership, then you could also have a free tier. And I don’t think Patreon really has something like that. I really like the idea of like, you could like build that free tier, which essentially would be an email list. But I think people will respond more to a membership, figuring how you can have some kind of recurring content, whether it’s like a live stream, access to unreleased songs, whatever it is, and then you could have people join the free tier. And then over time when they’re ready. After you’ve given them a whole bunch of you go given a bunch.
Go. Dude, I’m not even kidding you my fucking listeners, I’ve shoved that book down their throat. Okay, perfect. Oh, yes. Oh, yes, this is probably the 30th time it’s been brought up over the span of the entire show. Go giving is the way to go.
So I’m thinking like similar ideas, but in a membership context. And that way you can get people on for free there is that like, one thing that’s talked a lot about in like lead generation in like the marketing world is having something called like a lead magnet, something that you can give away for free, that’s value that people actually want to like, I want to give my email address to that, so that we can stay in touch and maybe you give me more stuff, and then maybe I might buy something. I think it’s very difficult for music because it’s been very hard. Maybe before it might be here’s a free download. But with streaming and the value of an mp3 Going down to nothing. It’s very hard to have that carrot. But I think the idea of having like a maybe like you do have a patreon and that first year is $5. But you can do the free membership. So like there is a value to this that you are getting for free. You’re saving $5 a month and getting all this access. I think that might be an interesting carrot. And then the idea of then you could build your membership and you could have more advanced tiers. Maybe that could be enough to start Paying for Facebook ads for growth of the membership and the Spotify, you could actually be building that house so that you have this audience. And if Spotify says, we’re cutting the rates in half, and also, whatever they decided to do,
right, talking about the membership thing, I think building your own membership platform on your own website because Patreon can do the same.
Exact same thing. Exactly. Exactly.
And we’ve done you know, I did a whole podcast episode on Patreon with actually another another guy named Matt. And I’m forgetting his last name but
so hard to pronounce like
he he has a Patreon, his patrons fucking badass. His websites awesome. He’s built a he’s built a solid following. But you know, Patreon is very valuable. I think that there’s a lot of great insight on that episode to on how to build a Patreon.
worth researching it, basically,
it’s okay that I think that podcast episode will be a good insight for you,
you know, that was,
ah, let me I can look at it right now. It’s, you know, after you do so many damn episodes, it’s like, all the all of the names and titles like
I like that.
Oh, yeah, what I’ve hit, I’m almost at 70. And so it’s like, I don’t even remember what the 13th episode, people will tell me about episodes on like, Was that an episode? I don’t, I don’t really remember it. But I
think that’d be while you’re searching it, I think it’d just be valuable, because I don’t know anything about this. But like, one thing is, I feel like I figured out the Spotify algorithm, I figured out the Google algorithm to we’ll talk about that later, getting an idea of how to use YouTube as well. And now I’m at a point where it’s like, Okay, I’ve conquered quite a bit, my confidence is an all time high. I feel like I could fucking figure out memberships. And if I could figure out memberships for artists, I think that would be such
memberships. I think memberships is the next tier for indie artists who want to be independent, because because this is what we’re talking about, like, what we’re talking about is building that house, you’re building these assets that you can utilize for yourselves. So that you can go full time this is this is what it’s all about. It has to accumulate to this. And I, you just might not get that with most record labels. Today. Most record labels don’t I’ve talked about this. So many times, most record labels, do not give you what you’re looking for and what you’re supposed to be getting when you’re giving that royalty percentage. record labels are supposed to be building this house for you in terms of like, they’re running the ads, they’re giving you the streams, they’re giving you all this access to this audience instead, they’re just
because Okay, and usually, that’s exactly,
because they’re they’re supposed to be getting a return on their investment for putting in the dollars of promoting your stuff. But they’re just an extension of ditional.
They’re paying the $10 a year for distributing on your behalf. Thank you so much for that.
Exactly. And then on top of that, they will bill with a straight face turned to you and say alright, what’s your budget to run ads for? And you’re like, What the fuck am I doing? Like, I have to now pay money to give away a royalty percentage. That’s what you’re doing. It’s, it’s fucking lunacy. This is like one of my dreams is to start a record label and actually do what a fucking record labels and those to do like support. That’s my goal. Exactly. That’s my goal. That’s like, gonna be my pet project for much later down the road, like, in a couple of decades, that’s kind of my goal in mind, because I need it again, with a record label, you have to have the capital to withstand these huge investments, you have to have that capital. So it’s it you know, when I hear people in their 20s, who are like we’re starting a record label we’re doing it’s like, okay, are you a record label? Are you a distributor? Because what’s going on blurring in a exactly 49 is Patreon your blueprint to success with Matthew evil 100 great episode.
That’s like a first phase of the of the New Years. I’m just studying patrons trying to figure it out. So I’m definitely picking that up yet.
But the membership thing is like it. It’s that ownership is so fucking valuable and important, where it’s you don’t own your memberships on Patreon, at any any moment, Patreon can increase how much they’re going to take from you. They could ban you up, they get like there’s you’re just leaving, you’re leaving your fate in the hands of others. And we should all know as producers that that’s not what we do. I’m sure there’s a lot of collaborations people have had. There’s a lot of shows people played and they put their faith in the hands of others hoping that they’re going to get something out of it. And they fall flat on their face and they realize how bad of a time investment this was. So you cannot leave it’s the same like tick tock. You can Don’t leave your fate in the hands of one single platform, if you’re growing it on tick tock, you need to have some sort of third party or not really third party your own own source that you push that audience to take like. So the idea of all this, and what you I love, what you’re building I’m seeing the pieces fall into place is it’s like, at the very baseline, what you have is you have good music, and the tear above that, yeah, and lots of it. And the tear above that is now attracting people to whether it’s your Spotify account, or your Instagram account, whatever it is where you want to funnel that audience into, you need to start getting eyes on that music to start building that fan base, and really vary with those actual fan. Exactly. And then from there, you need to push those people somewhere, you’re it’s a sales funnel. Yeah, we’re creating a sales funnel here is it’s like, at the top, we have good music. In the middle, we have pushing people to these platforms where that music is heard where they’ll enjoy it and our own. And at the bottom of that, we now need to push those people off of those platforms onto our own platforms. And usually, it’s those superfans being pushed there. And lucky for you, the listener, those super fans are the ones that are buying your memberships and sharing the fuck out of it in like getting their other friends signed up on it and involved in it. So the end of that needs to be getting them on to our own platform where we own that audience. And again, we’re a think of us, we’re small Spotify, we’re small Facebook’s, we don’t want them on that Facebook platform, enjoying our content, I mean, we do, but eventually we want them off of that
base. So that way, when those things at the top change, when instead of Facebook, it became Instagram, instead of iTunes became Spotify, when those things change, you still have those actual fans in your own space at the bottom. It Okay, now it’s this site and my musics on this and you can actually direct them to that without having to spend money to get them over there. I think that’s how you like the best way to like weather storms. And whether it’s iOS changes on Facebook, or Spotify, royalty rates going up or down or them just thinking you did artificial streams by mistake and kicking you off, like owning the fan base and creating a special, unique experience for them. So they actually want to be there. I think that is probably the future or at least that’s where I want to focus my time figuring out how to how to get that and how to show other people how to do it as well.
I agree with the I think what this is the thing that I’ve been pushing a lot of a lot of the listeners to in getting themselves in this, this mindset of being a business owner, and you know, artists shy away from that. And they want to be as far away from as possible, if that’s if that’s you, fine release with record labels, because that’s the idea of what record label is their, their their handover
management company or whatever you need to do like
it, they handle that business side of things, if that’s the route you want to go Go for it. It instead though, in most of the listeners here are like that, like this, if you want to be independent, and you want to run things your own way, not enough, that’s not discounting the fact that you do have to establish and build up a team over time, because there’s, there’s certain people who have better strengths than then you who can, who can accomplish things in a better way that’s, that’s not discounting that much time to exactly, there’s a need for that there’s a need to establish a team, someone who could potentially book you, you know, in an agency or something like there’s a time in place for that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, if you want to go full time, unfortunately, you just starting out, especially where we’re at now. There’s so many of us, so many producers, so many DJs so many artists, it’s so accessible to create music and put it out now the music’s not that’s the music’s not enough, it will never be enough ever again. For some and I’ve said this a million times for some it will be there are those Martin Garrix is of the world there’s the very, very slim, small percentage of people where it’s just, they have the connections, and all they have to do is put out music, and then they can play shows. And that’s it.
But those have always been those the exception, not the rule. And it’s becoming even more like that.
We are now in a world where you have to start coming from these things of being a full time artist from a business mind mindset. You You have to figure out a way to take this thing you’ve created and marketed in a way where you can get eyes on it and start curating streams, or purchases or whatever and turning this audience into an asset and building this house that you’re you’re trying to build. That’s what we’re trying to do here. So interesting.
Like I also remember there was a quote, I think it was from the CEO of Spotify, and everyone was so pissed about it, but it made so much sense. I think the quote was something along the lines of like, hey, it’s a new era of music you can’t like Sit back and release an album every three years anymore, you’re gonna have to release a lot more frequently engage with your fans a lot more. And people were really pissed about that. And like, sure, I guess it sucks that we all can’t be Radiohead and release masterpieces every three years. And that’s it. But like, if you’re starting from scratch, like, you do need to be a little bit more into way more out there, you need to stay in front of people more often engage more often. And like, specifically, if you want to succeed on a platform, it’s like one of those things where if someone’s telling you who they are, believe them. And Spotify is fully saying this is what you need to do. So to get like up in arms about it, it sucks. But it’s like, it’s what needs to be done, you need to be more consistent. And like the artists that are more consistent or persistent that really do want it will figure out ways to put out more music and actually promote it and get in front of eyes and stuff like that. Yeah, I
agree in when we’re looking at this to from a business mindset and like the market, let’s look at the market in general, the free market, okay, when there is a need for something like music, and let’s say 10 years ago, 20 years ago, when there weren’t these streaming platforms, it was difficult to write, record, produce, mix, Master and release all of your music that was difficult to do. So the value of that was much higher, when we look at just album sales in general, like if you’re selling an album, at a store, that price of the album is going to be it’s gonna cause
that used to be the distribution chain, instead of spending 20 bucks district kid you had to figure out how to press the music, it properly recorded in a studio $40,000 for that, and the like the distribution was getting into a store, you couldn’t get into a store, or on radio, no one could listen to it. Yeah, which makes a lot of sense. But now it’s so easy to it’s a lot easier to bring these in your own get it up on your own
all that there was so much less competition 20 years ago, people doing this that it was much easier to just make the music, figure out a good system of putting it out getting in front of people and those people purchase it, it was much easier to do that. And now we’re in an age of the streaming platform and iTunes really changed us all and then Spotify you know, embrace that even more in just provided the new way of iTunes and releasing music that and that coupled with the fact that to create music, it became so much cheaper that all you needed was a laptop in $300 and you could write a platinum winning record you could do that you could still do that
too. Like it cracked me loops and just using like the piano roll on your keyboard done
it if you if you have a creative year and you you know how to structure music and you know music theory you can do so the competition has increased. I mean, probably in infinitely I mean the the amount of people who can now access writing software and just write their own music and then they can literally pay I mean you can go to a shit why am I can’t believe I’m blanking on
the one of the free distributors. I think there’s a couple amuse.io Musa root note does it too. And I think a couple of them have like three tears, but they take a big chunk of percentage.
Yes, well, I’m used gives all of your royalties, and it’s free. So it’s Yeah, so I’m like you go to a platform like a muse and you can literally put your music on iTunes and Spotify today you can put you can make some shitty fucking 16 bar loop and put that out. So like the ability to do all within $300 or less I’m $100 or less because FL you could buy $100 Or you could just like crack it you can literally sell it and does 90 day free trials or something you can literally do this for free now. So the the the the plethora of music now being released, the competition that is out there is so massive that you can’t get away with just the music. This is coming from a free market business side of looking at things when you have a massive amount of competition come out with a product like that at such a cheap level. Well, now it’s no longer like it’s such a fucking crowded market, they the only way to do this is to stand out through value propositions in good marketing and trying to make yourself look better than the person sitting next to you. That’s the only way to go about this. Which is why like getting involved in Facebook ads and marketing and creating your own platform in the you know, talking about going a step above this with a membership site. This is the way you’re gonna be able This is the new way of music. It’s the new artist it’s been in and I’ll tell you what, right now, if you can figure that path out, you will never need another normal job again, because you can there are so many other opportunities out there for you. Whether it’s actually marketing for other artists, whether it’s teaching people how to do it, whether it’s Selling different checklists or, or ways of going about it. Like there’s, you could go the content marketing route and create a podcast dedicated to that and make money just off the pot like you could teachers are, you could teach anything that you’ve learned how to do, you could get hired by a record label you could get, there’s so many other fucking avenues you could do, you could go just from learning this one skill set of how you establish an audience, the world is your oyster at that point. And you’ll never need to work and no another normal,
not even something just like limited to music, it seems like any, like a YouTube content creator or anything like that. No content creator is valuable until they have that audience. Like No, nobody’s gonna want to give like a partnership, like sponsored video kind of thing to an artist that doesn’t have an actual audience built in. It’s all about building that audience. So whether you’re an artist or a tick tock dancer, or whatever. Building that audience is so important, anybody that knows how to do that, or knows how to do a portion of that extremely valuable. And then I think too, like, one thing definitely want to get into is, I’ve talked about a little bit, but I’ve just been able to quit my job and go full time with music. As of a couple days before recording this podcast, like, literally, it’s only been a few days ago. And the way that I was able to do that was by diversifying my revenue streams significantly. So at this point, now I have about like 4 million streams on Spotify. And that’s pretty great. But that’s really only like four months or so of full time income. And, again, it’s very similar to like being beholden to only one source or whatever, like I was on a bunch of different editorial playlists, the majority of those streams were coming from those editorial playlists. So I knew for a fact that over time, they’re going to have to slowly like move my song off it, if not within like a week or something. Because usually, that’s almost a problem with a lot of playlists you get on the playlist. People don’t really listen to you that much like they’re not saving your music, because they’re just listening to the playlist. And then eventually, you’re off within a week or two, because the playlist creator needs to like refresh the playlist. I was lucky enough to be on a lot of these editorials for like months and months and months. But I knew over time that that stream count was gonna go down. And then so were those royalty payouts. So what I personally did was I just started teaching people what I did, basically, with a lot of stuff we’re talking about today, starting writing articles about these certain things, making YouTube videos, starting to figure out how to get like ranked on Google so that I have a decent amount of people visiting my website each week. And each month, and then slowly adding in things like ads on the website ads on YouTube affiliate links, sort of building a little course that I only privately sell on the back end of my like email list, all these small little things. We’re slowly building up my revenue streams as the royalties were going down. And now I have like a nice little diversified source of revenue streams, and I’m able to do the thing that everyone wants to do winning the job. Yeah,
the diversifying is the thing too, it’s like it’s one it tells you, it kind of shows you what do you like to do? Because you have to test these things out, you have to figure out what is it that you like doing, and the only way to do that is to diversify and test all these different, whether it’s, you know, doing the marketing stuff, or it’s teaching them creating content teaching, it’s you have to, you have to it teaches you what you like to do. But then it also allows you to not rely again, like we’ve been saying rely on one thing, the one thing when you go into like, invest, and you let’s say you’re going to some sort of stock broker, or like, for instance, my girlfriend does, she works at Northwestern Mutual, which here in the US is a company that handles Financial Planning and Advising, and they also sell life insurance. And one of the things that they talk about is diversifying your investment portfolio. So, yeah, when there are when there, those big ups and those big highs, you’re still riding those and you’re getting, you know, you’re making a lot off your investments. But in those big dips and those big lows, you don’t feel it as much because you’re not beholden to one company that you’re invested in better while something’s tanking and it kind of exactly so it exactly, it evens out the playing field. Um, as you know, we’re coming up on time, and we’re about to wrap up. But there’s there’s one thing that I wanted you to kind of talk a little bit more about, because when we’re at I’ll preface it with this when we’re talking about running ads, or our our tracks and different things that we’re marketing and trying to get out there. The one thing I want to say to the audience is it’s very important to consistently work on those ads, like your first the first ad you run is not going to be successful. It could very well be that the 10th ad you run is not going to be successful. But the 11th ad could be so Just as with producing, the way you get better at writing, music is consistently continuing to write music, the better you get, the way to those successful ads is consistently writing ads, testing them, figuring out your way, and finding what works like you, you have to do that through investment of budget, you have to do that through consistent, consistent consistency of writing tracks and promoting those. You just have to be on these platforms and testing them. So one of the most important things I’d say we could say is don’t get discouraged by bad ads that don’t do well, and keep working on them. But going a little bit deeper into that. I’m curious, what advice do you have to listeners, when it comes to testing? What is it that you’re testing? What do you focus on? What numbers do you pay attention to? And what should listeners also be paying attention to?
So with Facebook ads, in particular, really the the main thing that really makes or break an ad isn’t usually like the caption, it’s not usually like the actual ad creative as much. It seems like the biggest thing is the audience. So I think the biggest thing is that you can test or the audience so trying, you know, different artists against different artists in different ad sets, or artists against different genres that you might want to do. And then also, when you’re creating your own custom audiences, and look alike audiences testing different local audiences, say like, 1% of Instagram versus Facebook, versus 95%, video view watches, there’s all sorts of things you can do, as well as targeting different countries, you definitely want to do that. It seems like really the main thing that I’ve noticed, and it seems like a lot of like the general consensus teaching Facebook ads kind of thing. Is that audiences the most important 100%
Well, with that, I think that pretty much wraps up everything we want to nail. Is there any are there any last words that you want to say just in terms of like, the episode topic, and then after that plug away, because I know you have some, you know, personal business stuff that you’re offering for artists, which are very valuable, I’ll say right now, but is there anything in terms of the episode topic that you’d like to nail on blast, little tidbit? Yeah,
I think really, the main thing is like whether you’re doing Facebook ads, or Tik Tok, or anything like that, and really does go hand in hand with what you were just saying is that like, it’s really about the consistency and putting out a lot of music. So by releasing more music, you have more opportunities to get better at producing more opportunities to get better at running campaigns, whether it’s Facebook ads, or tick tock campaign that you’re doing more chances to get in front of your audience, have them remember, you deepen the connection each time you release a new song, and they enjoy it, they’re becoming more, you know, bonded with you, or whatever the cool word way to say that is, the more times you release music, the more often you’re going to be having a chance to trigger the algorithm, more chances, you’re going to have to put pitches in front of Spotify editors, and all that really just makes you better, and puts more of your music out there and grows your back catalogue, I think it’s really the most important thing. And it’s also by doing it consistently, consistently like that, it think that’s really what builds momentum, it’s like stacking your wins, whether it’s you start getting over 1000 streams for the first time. And then by doing it over and over again, you’re constantly passing it, then all of a sudden, you’re hitting 10,000, I think that’s amazing for you to experience that. And then also think it’s amazing for the your audience, the fans that are actually watching that to see that happen. They want to grow with you, when they see that kind of growth, and you actually celebrate your own wins and give them a chance to also celebrate with you, I think that’s where the momentum really occurs. That’s when you might start seeing more streams triggering the algorithm, that’s when you might see the editor editors being like, Okay, this guy’s being this guy or gal is being very consistent. I’m seeing it grow all the time, I’m going to add to that momentum, I’m invested in that person’s growth, and I want to help push them further to so I think, really, that’s what it’s about. And like heard a quote before, where it’s something along the lines of quantity begets or quantity breeds quality. So maybe you’re not the best right now. But if you keep putting stuff out, trying your best each time, over time, you have no choice other than to improve not just your music, but also the stream counts and people following all that stuff. Like, be consistent. It’s gonna suck. It’s gonna be hard, but it’s worth it and it can pay off
perfectly. Well said, man, I appreciate it. That was That was beautiful. I love it. Thanks. Well go ahead and plug away anything that you’ve got going on right now anything you’re working on and where you would like users to or I should say where you would like listeners to go to, to check some of your stuff out.
Yeah, so if it’s music, you want to hear my stuff, I guess like I never really mentioned but it’s kind of like chill, chill, like Lo Fi house kind of music, deep house music, all of that kind of stuff by the sexy kind of stuff sometimes. And you can just go to Spotify and type in Best Friends club, or wherever you’re listening to music just type in Best Friends Club, you’ll likely you’ll likely see it. If you want to learn more about like this spot. To find stuff, and all that, I think there’s two main things you can do. Pretty much I’ve written about a lot of these topics now. So there’s anything about Spotify, you have a question about just type it into Google, and then also type in Best Friends club, there’s a good chance that I’ve written about it or made a YouTube video about it, and it’ll just appear in the search results for you. And if you want something a little bit more specific, mentioned a little bit earlier, but there’s this release checklist that I’m giving away. Best friends club.ca forward slash release, stash checklist. I think that’s the best way that I could help that kind of goes over the entire strategy and has, if there’s any step that you’re confused about, it tells you why that stuff’s important, how you can get more free information about how to complete that step. All that kind of stuff. I think it’s probably the best way I could help you out.
Sweet dude, Matthew, I appreciate this was a ton of fun. I mean, the amount of knowledge packed into this app episodes awesome. So I appreciate your time, man. And I look forward to seeing your growth and seeing what you look like after a year of being full time with music. And seriously congrats on that. That is such a huge accolade. It’s so I’m honored to be hanging out with you in that first week.
It’s real fresh.
It’s fantastic. Well, I appreciate it, man, and we’ll talk soon.
Awesome. Thanks so much.
Thanks for checking out this episode of electronic dance money, as always head to envious audio.com/episode 69 to check out the show notes for this episode. For any listeners listening on Spotify, keep an eye out for the new rating system that’s coming out for podcasts on Spotify. So if you want to support the show you enjoy what you’re listening. You’re learning a lot and you want to share this with others. Be sure to rate the podcast, whatever you feel is fair that way the algorithm can tell other EDM producers about the show. That way they can get the help just like you. Thanks for hanging out guys. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. And I’ll see you guys next time.
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