The current music market is incredibly dense. Just jumping into relevant playlists on Spotify will most likely shower you with new and established acts, likewise with activity going down on Soundcloud and similar platforms.
The broader the field or niche you want to approach, the more you have to think about your role within this narrative. This means finding out who they key media players are, being places and tastemakers to pitch new music, but also finding out what is currently trending, music wise. Even if you’re running completely against the stream, this type of music market observation will make it a lot easier to participate, at least understand the mechanisms that define the online music ecosphere.
Let’s begin with some noise:
Engage in relevant media research
Knowing which media have a strong push in terms of follower reach and engagement is quite important. Many platforms are keen on inviting up and coming, new artists to premiere material exclusively. Sometimes the actual reach of a media player isn’t as strong as sold, though – be it by professional, visual representation and such.
Make sure to check stats across various social media platforms, especially for engagement before committing to exclusivity. This way you can set up a database of media that are actually relevant in your sphere, with an active userbase of hungry, potential streamers.
Keep an eye on CI
Start developing an eye for different CIs, meaning corporate or artist identities. If you’re trying to push music to certain tastemakers, do your homework and soak in what they feature.
Visual culture is just as much part of the game as the music behind and surrounding it.
So, build an awareness for patterns and themes stretching across different spheres of content you are planing to release in.
Snowball your way through Spotify’s hottest
Knowing about yourself also means knowing about yourself in contrast to others. Dig through Spotify’s trending artists, and be sensible to certain similarities.
Get a feeling for what is currently finding its way into playlists you want to be introduced to – and understand the aesthetic radars that are working these gateways.
There are plenty of examples of artists working completely outside of an awareness of inside, playlist knowledge. Knowing what’s trending right now can help you get a feeling and orientation concerning the position of your own music – be it as part of a wave or completely outside of a current movement.
Activate your no-BS radar
Being strictly honest with yourself in terms of selecting music to pitch to gatekeepers is vital. And also description-wise: If you’re trying to sell a sound as funk driven, Daft-Punkish danceable, then you’d better live up to it. If you’re not – don’t try to build bridges to places that aren’t there.
Especially blog gatekeepers, even if addressed via services like Submithub, are very sensitive and know A LOT about musical categories and aesthetic streams. The 100th semi-Weeknd just won’t cut it, and they won’t have to listen through 3 Minutes just to arrive at that conclusion.
Forget sliding down easy street
Even if what you do seems entirely unique and unheard of. Be prepared to find things very, very similar and maybe even entirely more compelling. Just dig through your Spotify mix of the week. Try not to worry about that though. If there’s something special about your output, others will get a taste of it. And sometimes it’s not even the thing you find most attractive or special.
Finding your spot in a market narrative can definitely help you radiate an overall, complete visionary aura across multiple channels. It is the music that will have to prevail though. Concentrate on creating a musical narrative that transports your true standalone potential. Everything else will follow.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!