How to Promote Your Music Online [Part 1: Music Channels]

The ultimate checklist for effectively uploading music, plus links to useful article guides.
How to Promote Your Music Online [Part 1: Music Channels]
How-tos
Sara Mekinc

Let’s address the elephant in the room right away: there’s no secret formula that guarantees a straight path to the top of the charts. What you’ll need for your career to take off is a good amount of effort, time, and some old-fashioned creative thinking. 

When it comes to building your online presence, you’ll need to cover three main areas. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help. 

➡️ Part 1: how to regularly upload and share your work.

➡️ Part 2: how to promote it across your socials to build your fanbase.

➡️ Part 3: how to pitch to promotors, playlists, venues, and tastemakers.

Data helps you greatly in every area, and we’ll go into the details at each step.

Part I: Share your work on music channels

With so many channels out there, it’s smart to get to know the specifics of each one and see what’s best for you. Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Beatport… each of them has its own pros and cons, ranging from genre specifics (for example, if you play Black Metal, there’s probably no use turning to Beatport) to local availability, need for a distributor, etc. 

Still, once you go past the technicalities, the basic principles apply to all of them. 

 

🤖 Make sure your work is discovered and remembered. 

The more professional your profile looks, the better chances you have of people subscribing or sharing your work.

  • Your cover art and descriptions should be complete, engaging, and describe you in the best possible way. You have a good chance of getting noticed if you offer something different.
  • Include metadata in your digital formats. Sorted metadata can help you both with licensing purposes and landing a spot on a soundtrack. Read more about metadata in this article.  
  • When possible, “enhance” your song titles and descriptions in ways that are not only informative, but also increase your chances of getting found via SEO (search engine optimization). Your music appearing at the top of Google searches is what you’re looking for. 

📺 Handle YouTube like a boss.

Once you've uploaded your music to YouTube and tweaked your profile to perfection, the real work starts. 

With some time and effort, you can find a channel that will give you a shout-out, or connect with other artists for a collab – see the Mike Williams interview we mentioned above for more. 

📌Tips and Tricks on How to Be a Successful Musician on YouTube

🎧 Get discovered on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud has grown hugely popular over the years, especially in the independent Hip Hop and Trap scene. If that’s your jam, you obviously need to learn the ropes to stand out.

  • Apply the right tags to make your music easy to find.
  • Provide additional links to iTunes, Bandcamp, etc.
  • Early releases will help you build momentum.

📌5 Tips for Musicians on SoundCloud

🎼 Break through on Spotify.

To release music on Spotify, you’ll need a label or a distributor. If you don’t have one yet, do some research and see which one's a good fit. Viberate analytics can provide insights into successful artists and the labels behind them.

  • Upload good-quality tracks – both from an artistic and a technical point of view.
  • Pitch to playlists. Have a “promo-pack” with interesting visuals and bio ready to send anytime.
  • Engage fans across channels. Don’t bet on playlist popularity alone, and try to maintain a 5% monthly listeners-to-followers ratio.  

See other artists’ advice on getting onto playlists.

🎚️ Optimize your Beatport releases.

Similar to Spotify, you’ll need a label or a distributor to release tracks on Beatport. You can do your screening of artists and the labels behind them with our Beatport analytics.

  • Promote your tracks across all channels. Put links into your profiles. If you drive traffic to Beatport, you might get additional exposure (features) from Beatport. 
  • Make your profile interesting. Make sure your visuals look good, and write a description people would like to read.
  • Research genres and similar artists. See if any trends or tactics have worked in their favor, and whether you could apply similar strategies. 

📌Five Key Steps for Optimizing Your Beatport Releases

💸 Monetize.

If you want to make music your career, you need to approach it like a business. Having more than one revenue source is a good idea – so research your options.

Spotify boasts high subscriber numbers, with 130M paying subscribers (and a further 156M free users), ahead of Apple Music with about 70M paying subscribers, meaning not only are you likely to hit the one-million mark faster on Spotify, you also get more promotional exposure

Soundcloud Premier and YouTube allow you to monetize directly – you can upload your music straight to the platform without having to go through a distributor. 

📌 How Much Money Is a Million Streams?

📊 Monitor your stats and improve your performance. 

With many channels to manage, a growing audience to think about, and an always-changing industry to succeed in, staying agile is perhaps the most important tactic. Having a complete analytics tool helps you stay on top of the game. You can try Viberate analytics which will help you to:

🔎 get to know your fanbase,

🎯 identify your dominant channels and learn from the best in your genre,

👣 effectively track your promotions, new releases, and social media efforts,

🕸️ work on your music network and find new collab opportunities,

🗺️ research potential markets and find new opportunities.

 

Let's recap...

Did we mention you can stay on top of music analytics with one easy-to-use toolDo check out what the right music data can do for you – there’s a plan for almost everyone. 

Sara Mekinc

Sara Mekinc

Content Specialist at Viberate
Avid concert-goer, a sucker for creative wordsmithery, and 100 % biodegradable. Google "melomaniac".