In your dreams, your next song pitch to a streaming service might look like this: You swoop into the office, somebody gives you a coffee along the way. You a make a little joke about an algorithm, actually you have no idea what you’re talking about, it’s funny as hell though. You sit down and present two of your next singles. The songs end, the rooms starts to clap. Smiling faces tell you – we’re going to drop this stuff onto the hottest playlists on the planet, absolutely no problem. You leave, you’re satisfied.
The reality would probably look a little more like this: Your digital distributor tells you that the pitch-spots for new music are basically booked till the end of the month, and you’ll have to share a timeframe with some new electronic wunderkind from Iceland. Obviously, you can’t physically join the pitch, but they’ll try to push hard and they’ll definitely let you know how your songs perform. Don’t get your hopes up though, it’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall, remember?
Ok, thanks for bearing through this little literary conundrum with us. Hopefully, you get the sense of what we’re trying to say here: The reality of song-pitching can be a hard-knock business, so you better get your arguments cooking. Arguments for what might be your next question and the answer is: arguments for getting a minor place at the table. So, to help you out with that, we gathered some important arguments – and questions – that you should prepare. Whoever pitches your music to streaming services will be incredibly thankful for some hands-on info, helping to sell the music, in a verbal sense. Let’s start with some physical stuff:
A plausible live story
Highlight the way your project has been developing and will continue to develop, if everything goes as planned. Without getting to broad in what you say, have a compact overview of your live-achievements, connected to things that are waiting in the pipeline.
We’re talking about a 3-4 sentence info abstract here. Probably most of the people in the pitch haven’t really dug through your one-pager, even though the distributor forwarded it. No hard feelings, it’s your job to present the big picture.
A tangible musical sphere
Letting potential business partners know which musical sphere you can be positioned in greatly propels a fast understanding.
This means: doing the work an algorithm would do, compiling similar artists and establishing a pool of closely related artists.
A genuine interest
Building solid business relationships isn’t usually something that happens overnight. It takes time, and effort, to maintain close connections to people you work with.
Connecting with people businesswise, within a situation where all parties are equally invested can be an art form in itself.
Emitting the willingness to work on solid relationships can be an important part of a pitch argumentation. Know how far you’re willing to go, some partners tend to keep tighter grips on the situation than others. The better you know what you want and what you don’t want, the clearer the process of pitching music and working out deals will be.
An appropriate strategy
Wanting to push one song a month is definitely a noble thought. Chances are high, though, that an output of that frequency will not necessarily be matched by the possibilities and enthusiasm of the rest of the crowd. It really depends on the platform your working with – Soundcloud won’t care if you upload one song a month, or fifty – because each platform works differently. If your goal is to get into exciting playlists on Spotify, you have to keep in mind the rules that apply there.
Try thinking of your current status as an artist. Are you priority? Less than that? Way less than that? Be realistic about your position within the food-chain, without beating yourself up about it. Things can change really fast with a single release, so try to maintain a little patience.2 join the family and show some love for this!