3 Awesome Ways To Promote Your Music With Giveaways

Everyone loves getting something for free, don't they? It's human nature. And that includes your fans!

That's why in today's blog we're going to share 3 ways you can utilize giveaways to gain more fans and encourage them to take actions that can make a huge difference to your career.

But before we get started, let me answer the first question you may be asking:

"What if I don't have anything to giveaway!?"

Well, if you don't have any CDs, vinyl or merch yet, you can easily design & print a t-shirt to give away for less than 30 bucks by using a print on demand service [e.g Printful].

The best part about using a PoD service is that you can literally order one t-shirt just for the giveaway itself, and even get it shipped out directly to the winner when the competition is finished.

Now we've got the prize sorted, let's take a look at 3 ways to make the most of fan giveaways:

1] Mailing List Sign-Ups

Mailing lists are the holy grail of digital music marketing - they literally give you direct access to your biggest and most engaged fans 24/7.

And if you're struggling to convert casual listeners into mailing list members, a giveaway can be a great incentive!

Simply create an e-mail capture form (using a site like GoogleForms), and offer the chance to win a free prize to those fans who join your mailing list.

Make sure you share the competition across all of your socials and consider running a Facebook / Instagram ad campaign targeting your existing followers / engaged audiences too.

2] Pre-Saves

We all know how important pre-saves are, and securing as many as possible in the run up to your release will give your song a huge boost with the Spotify algorithm.

To encourage fans to take this action, consider offering entry into a competition when they pre-save your release.

You can use a pre-save campaign tool like ToneDen to create your pre-save / competition form, and again blast this across your social media, FB / IG ad campaigns and mailing list for maximum results.

3] Playlist Adds

As with pre-saves, every time a fan adds your song to their own personal playlists your release receives a huge boost with the Spotify algorithm.

And again, you can encourage fans to add their track to their own playlists by offering a prize.

You can get really creative with this idea, but a simple strategy involves asking your fans to create a playlist based around your song.

For example, if your song is called 'Holiday', you could set a challenge for them to create a playlist featuring their top 10 favourite beach songs [and yours too, obviously!], with a prize going to the best playlist.

This is a great way to boost personal playlist adds on your release [which Spotify's algorithm loves] without coming across as being 'spammy' with your followers, and also gives you the chance to have some fun with your fans!

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We hope you find some of these giveaway ideas useful, and if you put any of them into action please do let us know how you get on!

Got any questions? Feel free to get in touch at artists@wearedrop.net [we're always happy to offer FREE advice and pinky promise not to hit you with any schmoozy sales talk], or hit us up on IG!

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Drop© is a digital music promotion platform powered by API technology.

We connect artists with a global network of verified playlist curators reaching over 10m combined listeners, including some of the biggest new music platforms and tastemakers on the planet.

To protect the artists we work with, Drop© uses intelligent API monitoring to ensure every release reaches real listeners and operates in full compliance with every major streaming platform.

Learn more here!


How To Avoid Fake Playlist Promotion

If you're active on Facebook or Instagram, you've most likely been bombarded by ads promising guaranteed playlist placements and increased streams from fly-by-night promotion "companies"..

These services are usually incredibly cheap [$19.99 seems to be the most common price point] and guarantee results to ANYONE, without even listening to your music beforehand..

So how do these companies actually work?

And how do they guarantee playlist placements and generate streams on your track?

Well in today's blog I thought we'd pull back the curtain and show you..

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First of all, these $19.99 companies don't actually work with independent curators.

This means if you purchase a 'campaign', you'll simply be added to playlists owned by the promotion company themselves - that's how they can guarantee that you'll be placed on X amount of playlists for a set fee.

And when it comes to the actual followers on these playlists, they're almost always 100% bot generated.

This means the promotion company will create thousands of fake Spotify users and then use software to make these users follow their playlists in bulk.

Luckily, botted followers on a playlist can usually be easily identified by looking at the follower history from Spotify's API data:

In the above image [taken from a clearly botted playlist], we can see major fluctuations in the follower count over a period of just 30 days.

In fact, this playlist lost a whopping 12,000 followers in just 24 hours, then gained over 6,000 new followers just 24 hours later.

So what's happened here?

Well, Spotify most likely removed the fake accounts that followed this playlist due to suspicious activity, and the playlist owner simply replaced them with new botted followers straight away.

The wild swings in the follow stats above are even more striking when compared to the image below, which shows the follower data from a Drop© verified playlist:

We can see small fluctuations of 1-3 followers per day [which would be expected for a playlist of this size], and a gradual, organic increase in followers over the same 30 day period.

This follower history, combined with thousands of other data points covering streams, saves, follows and audience geolocation can be used to verify playlists, and is exactly what the clever API monitoring system does here at Drop©.

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Now back to our fake playlists..

Once the playlists have been loaded with phony followers, it's time for the promo company to start adding streams to your track to make their promotion & playlists look genuine.

And as you've probably guessed, these streams are going to be just as fake as the followers!

There are many different software packages available for boosting streams, but they all operate on the same principle.

First, they'll add thousands of IP addresses to the software to try and fool Spotify's detection system [this makes it look like the fake plays are coming from different listeners / devices / countries].

Then, they'll simply run the software to auto-play every song on their playlist for 30+ seconds [the time required to count as a stream] on repeat.

You can see an example of a typical streaming bot below:

Unfortunately for the fake playlist companies [and the artists who pay them], Spotify's detection system is incredibly complex and will, more often than not, pick up on these fake streams and remove the songs in question from the platform.

In fact, distributors like Tunecore and DistroKid receive thousands of take-down notifications from Spotify every month caused by fake playlist promotion companies.

For those lucky enough to avoid a take-down by Spotify, there is still a big price to pay for landing on these botted playlists..

If you read our BaRT & Spotify blog [available here], you'll know the data that's built around your song by Spotify's algorithm is crucial to your success on the platform.

And trust us when we say that the data that these phony playlists generate causes absolute MAYHEM with Spotify's algorithm, affecting how many times your song is recommended to new listeners, your Related Artists tab, Discover Weekly, Release Radar and any hope of being picked up by editorial lists in the future..

TL:DR: it's simply not worth it!

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So the next time you see that ad promising guaranteed Spotify promotion for a ridiculously low fee, you'll know exactly what's on offer [fake streams & untold damage to your Spotify data].

And remember, 1,000 streams from real, engaged listeners is ALWAYS worth infinitely more than 100,000 streams from bots.

Got any questions? Feel free to get in touch at artists@wearedrop.net [we're always happy to offer FREE advice and pinky promise not to hit you with any schmoozy sales talk], or hit us up on IG!

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Drop© is a digital music promotion platform powered by API technology.

We connect artists with a global network of verified playlist curators reaching over 10m combined listeners, including some of the biggest new music platforms and tastemakers on the planet.

To protect the artists we work with, Drop© uses intelligent API monitoring to ensure every release reaches real listeners and operates in full compliance with every major streaming platform.

Learn more here!


Everything You Need To Know About Bart and Spotify

We've all heard about Spotify's algorithm, right?

That magical, mysterious machine that can make or break the career of emerging artists..

Well for today's blog I thought we'd delve into the algorithm, explain what's actually going on beneath the hood on Spotify and answer the question on every artists lips:

"How do we actually break into it?"

Well it all starts with Bart..

No, not that Bart!

I'm talking about the real name of the algorithm running on Spotify: BaRT (which stands for Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments).

BaRT’s job is to keep users on Spotify for as long as possible by recommending music that is most relevant & engaging to the listener.

In fact, it's the musical equivalent of those pesky algorithms that keep us hooked on scrolling social media sites like Facebook and Instagram when we should be working..

To recommend the most relevant music, BaRT utilizes three main functions:

Natural Language Processing
Analyses the language, lyrics and content of a song

Raw Audio Analyzation
Detects the 'vibe’ or 'mood' of a song and decides whether it’s upbeat, chilled, heavy, minimal etc

Collaborative Filtering
Compares new songs to a listener’s current habits to decide what will suit their tastes

Unsurprisingly, these functions are supported by a mind-boggling amount of data. But there are four key statistics which have the most impact on it’s decisions:

✔ Listening history [mood, style, genre]

✔ Skip rate [less skips = more recommendations]

✔ Listening time [getting past 30 seconds is the key]

✔ Playlist placements [personal, third-party & editorial playlists]

Now we know how Spotify’s algorithm works, let’s take a look at how we can break into it and get BaRT batting for our release!

Profile Engagement

Spotify actively tracks profile engagement, and the more users interact with your content [by clicking your social media links, following your profile, listening to your playlists etc], the more positive data is fed into the algorithm.

Track Tagging

Whilst Spotify is incredibly good at figuring out the genre / mood / vibe of your song automatically, you can give the algorithm a kick start by correctly tagging your tracks on SpotifyForArtists. When submitting a new release, make sure you select the most relevant categories for your track and avoid unnecessary tags that could potentially confuse the algorithm [this also ensures your release is shown to the most relevant editorial curators at Spotify].

Similar Artists & Songs

We've already seen how Spotify uses listening habit data to recommend new songs, so it's crucial that BaRT can make a connection between your track and similar artists / songs. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by ensuring your playlist placements are targeted and relevant to your release’s genre / mood / theme.

Streams, Saves & Follows

This is arguably the most important data you can feed into Spotify’s algorithm, and again, this is where relevant playlist placements can be crucial. Hyper-engaged playlists provide high quality streams [listeners listening for 30+ seconds], profile click-throughs and song saves, which are all major pieces of positive data for your release.

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I hope that's provided some insight into the all-powerful algorithm and how you can grow positive data around your release to influence BaRT!

Got any questions? Feel free to get in touch at artists@wearedrop.net [we're always happy to offer FREE advice and pinky promise not to hit you with any schmoozy sales talk], or hit us up on IG!

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Drop© is a digital music promotion platform powered by API technology.

We connect artists with a global network of verified playlist curators reaching over 10m combined listeners, including some of the biggest new music platforms and tastemakers on the planet.

To protect the artists we work with, Drop© uses intelligent API monitoring to ensure every release reaches real listeners and operates in full compliance with every major streaming platform.

Learn more here!