Best practices for optimizing Spotify for branding & communications

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, [Subscribe] Plus teach release strategy via The School of Deep Cuts. Join to learn how to build release plans that scales audience & revenue.

This is a look at an artist’s Spotify profile through the eyes of a music marketer.

Hopefully, this gives you:

  1. Tips for optimizing your own Spotify page for improvements in branding, comms and sales
  2. Insight into a marketer’s mind when releasing records

It’s short and practical.

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Artist: Junglepussy

Junglepussy is an American rapper and actress from NYC. She released her 4th LP, JP4 on October 23rd, 2020.

Disclaimer: I don’t work with Junglepussy, rather just a fan of her work.


The good, the bad, and ugly of music livestreaming

Quarantine concerts are playing an interesting role in keeping public arts alive while life is on lockdown. When the lockdowns started artists and celebs started live-streaming as a way of staying connected and lifting people’s spirits. Some more successful than others.

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Media criticism for artists and celebrities adopting live-streaming to stay connected with their fans. Source: The Atlantic

At this point, every concert is canceled through at least 2020 placing pressure on artists to make more of their business digital, live-streams included.

This is the good, the bad, and ugly of livestreaming.

The good

Many mistakenly approach livestreams as a video streaming platform or in place of live — mediums that both reward polished rehearsed entertainment.

Livestreaming is more akin to radio with a built-in social network. …


23 KPIs for record marketing

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe.

When you start a record campaign, your label lays out Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to evaluate a campaign’s success or failure, which govern whether your project continues to be funded or phased out.

Streaming and social platforms allow us to see the real time impact of marketing efforts via a wall of metrics that when pieced together tell a story. However, few artists know which metrics are the right metrics. …


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Optimizing your release in 2020 might set you up for a few of these next year

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe.

Some catch-phrases often thrown around the room in label marketing meetings…

“It’s a summery record, so it needs to be released in summer” — a&r person

“nope, terrible idea to release a record early March or April because SXSW and Coachella, there’s just too much noise” — marketing director

“Basically everyone starts checking out by November so don’t release then or December because there’ll be no-one here to fix your stuff should anything go wrong” — project manager

These broad claims bear truth but I wondered, just how much truth? To find out, I analyzed 691 album releases from 2019 in the US trying to find answers to: when are the best and worst times to release an album, how style of music effects release windows, and how can marketers strategically plan their record campaigns around optimal release weeks in 2020.


How creative direction transforms and prolongs music careers

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe.

Creative directors take the audible message of the song and create imagery that conveys the emotion and message of the song. In music, where budgets are generally strapped but ambition runs high, they are the ones that deal with these constraints to bring the artist’s vision to life. At the very base level, they should be able to define the artist and music’s look and feel — which contextualizes the songs and draws listeners to the music. …


…and how to do it for a fraction of the cost.

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe.

Two conversations I keep having as a music marketing consultant:

  1. “We’ve got the money, we just don’t know where to spend it. What actually matters?”
  2. “We have high hopes for this release but the budget’s tight because we’re already so far in the red”

When thinking about marketing a record, the first place I start is with the overall budget. It’s your greatest predictor of marketing activities and provides the following:

1) Viability of your marketing ideas

Shawn Mendes pop-up shop to support his self-titled record, London May 2018 is an example of a marketing initiative that can have a high impact but is a huge investment financially and logistically. To execute this at the highest level requires adequate lead time to source sponsorship, product and programming and not something that can be executed on a lean budget. …


Developing a ‘More Pls’ YouTube content strategy for artists

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts. Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/2yphFYx

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Taylor Swift’s ME! music video

As a music marketing consultant, I spend a good chunk of my day working with artists and their teams to figure out how to make their music stick. The trend right now is to market at the distribution level — give content away to Apple or Spotify in hopes of playlisting, follow closely the best practices prescribed by Amazon or Pandora for support, work with SoundCloud on something creative etc.

While that’s all important stuff, the platform that’s most underleveraged and misunderstood by labels and artists is YouTube. …


Not a 50 Cent reference.

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When I start working with a new artist client the very first meeting I do is a discovery session where I to get up to speed on their brand and understand how I can help as a music marketing consultant.

This article is part 21 of my go-to questions I ask the artist before the album campaign and part my process for what I’m trying to uncover at each stage of the interview. …


Pouring new listeners on an artist toot sweet

I write about music strategy via my semi-regular newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe.

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This piece is pt.II of Playing to Strangers — why your most profitable fans are those that haven’t heard of you in which I debunk the myth of fan loyalty in building an artist’s brand arguing that scale comes from amassing many light, casual listeners. You can listen to me break this down in depth with Cherie Hu on her Water + Music podcast.

Here are 13 ways to market to light listeners, engineering demand for an artist’s work without diluting the integrity of their core product and creative vision. …


Why marketing to folks who haven’t heard you are most profitable

I write about music strategy via my fortnightly newsletter, Deep Cuts, Subscribe. This is pt.1 in a series of marketing to casual fans, pt.2 details 13 tactics labels use to market an artist for scale. You can listen to me break this down in depth with Cherie Hu on her Water + Music podcast.

How do you build an artist’s brand? Can you do it from the bottom up amassing fan after fan until there’s a rabid enough base to breakthrough? …

About

Amber Horsburgh

Music marketing consultant. Downtown Records & Big Spaceship alumni. Writes about music, strategy and feels at Deep Cuts http://bit.ly/2yphFYx

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