I can remember counting down the days until the release of the latest album from my favorite bands when I was in high school.
It was something I looked forward to time and time again.
But what about now? Do albums still matter? Should we even bother with them?
I believe so.
But I don’t believe we should release albums exclusively. Or even release albums every time.
Singles, EPs, and albums all still have their place. It just depends on our goals.
Here are three ways I think about...
How often should I release new music?
I get this question a lot.
The short answer?
As often as you can.
But not everyone has all the time in the world to create and release new material at light speed. Most of us have full-time jobs, families, and a slew of other stuff that vies for our time.
So what’s an artist to do? How can we stick to a regular release schedule without burning out and still maintain a life outside of music?
The way I see it, there are sort of three distinct options...
The most powerful playlist on Spotify isn’t RapCaviar or Pop Rising, and it’s certainly not that playlist you just pitched to that has 150,000 “real” followers.
No, the most powerful playlist on Spotify is Discover Weekly.
Now I can already hear some of you saying, “But Tom, what about Radio? Or Release Radar? What about other editorial playlists?”
I can even imagine at least one of you saying, “Well, my playlist is the best curation of music on the internet.”
My response: enjoy your...
Pitching to user-generated playlists on Spotify is absolutely pointless.
For details, I recently dropped what I feel to be one of the most important videos I’ve ever made on the topic if you want to check it out.
But just because user-generated playlist pitching is a horrible idea, that doesn’t mean every playlist on Spotify is bad.
In fact, I would argue there are several playlist options on Spotify that are incredibly powerful and good to keep in mind.
Focusing on these playlists will...
We’ve all been there.
A new campaign kicks into gear and the cost per result (CPR, which is just ad spend divided by results) is through the roof.
Cue the cold sweats, the fear of wasting money, and the existential crisis wherein we wonder if we should really be doing this “music thing” anyway.
Look, I dislike a high CPR just as much as the next guy, but the truth is, cost per result is only one of many factors that add up to the success of an ad campaign and, ultimately,...
Streams are vanity numbers that are easy to fake.
It takes very little effort or money to rack up a slew of streams on Spotify, and while those big numbers may look good to the untrained eye, any discerning individual can tell exactly where those streams are coming from.
It’s not difficult to track.
And what’s more, those hollow streams do absolutely nothing to advance the career of the artist who paid for them.
Now, if you’re after a quick money grab from Spotify’s payout pool without...
Finding success as an independent artist lies in mastering the great game of attention.
Ultimately, we want to focus someone’s attention on our music for three and a half minutes (let’s be honest though, these days it’s really more like two and a half minutes) over and over again.
But while getting listeners to our music is the ultimate goal, the game doesn’t start there.
If we want people to listen, we have to get their attention in the first place, keeping it long enough to earn their...
Finding success as an independent artist is not nearly as complicated as most of us want it to be.
Much like any other business, there are some primary truths that are required to turn the dream of being an independent artist into a reality.
First, the fundamentals: have a great product that people want and tell them about it.
Everything else is secondary.
For us, this means making great music and making sure people know about that great music so they can enjoy it.
At its core, it really...
Spotify just announced Jam, a new collaborative listening experience for its users.
And while this seems exciting on the surface, it’s important to recognize that Spotify has a long and checkered history of not knocking this sort of thing out of the park.
Solving these problems is important for us both as listeners and as artists because the more bot issues the platform faces, the less effective Spotify’s discovery tools are for everyone.
So the question is: can Jam solve some of the early...
A consistent content strategy is challenging for many artists.
Coming up with ideas alone is a tough beat for most of us.
I mean, I’ve been consistently creating content on the internet for years now, and I still struggle to come up with what I feel are good ideas.
So how do we navigate the content creation process with music and artistry as the end goal?
Well, here are three content “types” I believe we all use and could afford to think a little bit more about.