ManageMental Episode 87: How To Get Discovered in the Digital Age

Original Article: "5 Ways to Help Your Music Get Discovered in the New Digital Age" by Jeremy Young on Soundfly's Flypaper Blog.

Spotify’s algorithmic innovation still may not be very good at that quirky randomness and personal subjectivity of peer-to-peer music discovery but what it definitely does have is the ability to help listeners “discover en masse.” And if you’re an artist, you’ve got a better shot at reaching ripe global audiences now than ever before. So here’s some advice about what you can do as an artist to up your discoverability.

1) The community aspect is still important for listeners.

When you release new music, try to make sure all the relevant information gets sent to Discogs and AllMusic. But also, use your various communication channels (social media, email newsletters, your website, press releases) to actively promote those connections and build links between these projects wherever possible.

2) Platforms dictate differing listener behaviors. Use this to your advantage.

Normally, your music appears on almost all of these platforms anyway, so this only really applies to when you upload certain music to certain platforms, as a marketing and promoting strategy

Consider uploading to Bandcamp before Spotify and Apple Music, because it incentivizes people to buy.

On SoundCloud, tracks are very much isolated from album releases — they’re regarded as singles, or B-sides, or works-in-progress. Use this to build a relationship with your audience, and incentivize following you, so as to get these exclusives before anyone else.

Spotify is great for building a wide audience, showcasing public-facing play statistics, and leveraging the similarities of your sound to artists much bigger than you so you can chase opportunities.

3) It pays to hustle.

Why wouldn’t you send your newest release out to everyone on your press list?!

You really never know, it could be the right moment, right place, right music, and all it takes is one journalist to explode your band. It pays to send your music out to everyone that might write about it.

4) Never stop playing shows.

One of the best ways to reach new audiences is, still today, to get up in front of an audience and show them your best stuff. Pitch yourself as support for bigger bands touring through your city, or put together a bill of artists that you’re excited about. You might not get every opportunity you propose to venues or promoters, but just keep at it. Play live as much as you can and people will start discovering you organically.

5) Tag tag taggity tag everything.

Every tag, every blog post header, image caption, and very piece of oft-repeated text you generate on the internet, contributes to the building of an increasingly accurate picture of your musical project.