This article is written by our friends at feature.fm. feature.fm is the first ad platform built exclusively for music, giving you access to promote your music directly inside streaming services. Play your songs to your target audience at the right time. Understand how people genuinely respond to your music with real-time insights so you can make better decisions about how to further develop and promote your songs.
Think about all of the apps on the app store. App developers spend years of their lives mastering coding, using computer keyboards as their instrument. They spend countless hours developing apps they truly believe in, then they release those apps into then world for free. And usually no one downloads them. Sounds familiar, huh?
Just like apps, a ton of hard work, time, and money goes into creating an album, but that’s only half the battle. Despite spending countless hours in the studio, the biggest challenge most artists face is getting their music heard.
As a start up company ourselves, we can tell you that going to market and promoting your product is just as important as creating an amazing product itself. And as an artist, your product is music! Think about it like this: You can spend years working on your chops, writing perfect songs, and creating an amazing album, but if you just upload it online and hope someone will listen to it, you probably won’t be successful.
The Value of Music Promotion
The key to getting noticed is your music promotion – marketing, advertising, and PR. This is what gets you visibility after you’ve created a great product. And yet, most artists aren’t willing to spend half as much as they do on the recording process. Why?
Businesses spend tons of money on marketing and promotion. It would be insanity to spend time researching and developing a new phone or gadget and then put it up for sale without telling anyone. It’s the same with your music.
There are plenty of things you can do to promote your music for free using your email list and social media, but you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in your promotion and focus as much as possible on getting people to actually hear your music. It’s all about airplay and exposure. Don’t miss out on gaining real fans by worrying too much about immediately getting paid. If you truly have great music, it will pay off and people will keep listening. If you believe in your product, then it’s worth the investment.
The Power of a Play
If you look at yourself as a start up, then music is your product. But unlike say, a phone, whose use and purpose can be explained, music’s value is different to each individual. Would you become a fan of a band without ever having heard their music? Probably not. Music is emotional and needs to be experienced to understand the value.
That’s why the best way to promote a song is to play it to people. And if you want to play it to people, you need to be where they listen – inside streaming services.
The Changing Listening Environment
Sure, people listen to radio too. Radio has always been king when it comes to breaking a new artist or getting exposure. It’s a great place to reach a mass audience and is also the one time that people give up control over the music they are listening to, making it extremely powerful for music discovery. Most artists, however, will never be able to get their music played on terrestrial radio.
The power of radio hasn’t changed, but the way people listen to the radio has. Now that people are transitioning into streaming services, it opens up a powerful new platform to reach listeners – one that’s totally accessible for low-budget indie musicians.
The New Music Economy
Fans are willing to support their favorite artists and pay for music, just not in the same way they used to. There is a fundamental change in the psychology of what it means to pay for music. The days of “Here’s my music, if you want to hear it, pay,” are over. The new approach should be “Here’s my music, if you like it, support me so I can make more!”
This means getting your music heard is your acquisition cost to gain new fans. Once you build up your fan base through exposure, you can offer your fans many ways to support your music whether it’s through concerts, merch, crowdfunding, or anything else that you can sell to them.
Why we Built feature.fm
Feature.fm is an ad platform built exclusively for music, opening access for all artists to promote their music inside of streaming services and letting fans buy sponsored song plays to support their favorite artists.
Ultimately, 91% of artists are undiscovered and we want to help more artists find their fans in the most efficient way. Instead of an ad, we’ll actually play your music to streaming listeners.