Best Practices for "Always On" Music Marketing

An explanation of the Role of the Music Marketing Lifecycle in a Post-Streaming Era.

The Pre-Streaming Era: Music Lifecycle Marketing

The role of the music marketing lifecycle for a single, album, or EP made sense in the pre-streaming era.

It cost more to create & distribute music back then.

Fans couldn't experience your music unless they purchased a CD or record. And they couldn't buy a CD without you spending money to create, ship, and sell that CD.

This was riskier because you had to spend a lot more money for the opportunity to make money off a record.

Marketers would mitigate risk by marketing during small timeframes. This was usually around the days right before and after song came out when attention was at its peak.

Daily sales volume for a record would usually be highest around release. Then they would decrease after hitting an inflection point.

The Post-Streaming Era

In the post-streaming era, the role of music marketing lifecycle needs to change.

Music production is now cheap. And Music distribution is even cheaper thanks to streaming services.

What makes modern distribution attractive to artists is on-demand streaming and algorithmic playlists.

On-demand means fans can listen to your music the moment they download a music streaming app. Regardless of location and without having to spend money to create & ship your CD to a foreign country.

Algorithmic playlists by streaming services like Spotify provide artists with incredible marketing leverage.

Playlists like Discover Weekly act as virtual volunteer promoters. Getting artists music in front of new fans while they sleep, at no extra cost to them.

These playlists update on weekly, and in some cases, daily basis.

This means that every week is a new opportunity for artists to get placed into Discover Weekly. And every day is a new opportunity for artists to get placed into Daily Mix.

The evergreen nature of these playlists render the traditional music marketing lifecycle obsolete.

It doesn't make sense to emphasize marketing during the 30-90 days around a release.

It instead makes sense to emphasize marketing an entire artist's catalog year-round.

Here's why. Music recommendation algorithms only care about one thing. Getting their users to stay engaged with their app for as long as possible. This happens through repeat listening.

The more songs a paying user listens to, the happier they are with the service. This means they'll continue subscribing each month to the app.

The more songs a free user listens to, the more opportunities the streaming service has to serve them ads. This means the streaming service can either sell ad inventory or get a user to upgrade.

In this context, it doesn't matter how recent a song is. What matters is how popular the song and artist is and whether the a user will enjoy it upon first listen.

This is where "Always On" Music Marketing comes in.

Best Practices for "Always On" Music Marketing

Always On Music Marketing is exactly what it sounds like.

β€ŒIt means artists are always investing time and money getting their content in front fans.

Best practice often comes in the form of running the Spotify Growth campaign year-round. This is also coupled with releasing new music every 6-12 weeks.

This provides artists with a steady stream of new fans & followers. And increases the number of streams they have with each release.

These new fans build a relationship with the act through repeat listening. Artists are then able to monetize this relationship through livestreams, merch, etc. (More content on this coming very soon).

They then re-invest their profits back into their Always On Music Marketing strategy.

Next Steps

Already have a Spotify Growth Playbook campaign running? Check out the final part of our music promotion guide for other campaigns you can run through ToneDen:

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