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I Heart Songwriting Club is a global community of passionate songwriters who love to help and inspire people to become great songwriters!
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Ways to Power Up Your Digital Marketing and Make the Most of Release Day

Based on the Podcast Episode: “Power Up Your Digital Marketing and Make the Most of Release Day with Viv Mellish” – Episode 38, The Magic of Songwriting with Francesca de Valence

Traditionally, a record label takes care of music distribution and marketing for their artists. As an independent artist without a label, how can you get your music distributed onto streaming sites, promote your music on those platforms, get more streams and be heard around the world?

To help us answer these questions, we chat with Viv Mellish from GYROstream. We also discuss how you can best use your digital distribution service and power up your digital marketing game to make the most of release day and reach as many people as possible.

Elevate your digital campaign for your next release with the insights from this podcast audio below, or read a summary in the blog.

How do I get my music onto streaming sites?

Independent artists need to use a music distribution company, like GYROstream, to get their music onto streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and social media platforms like tik tok and Meta.

Once you’ve chosen your distribution company, upload all your assets which includes your wav file, artwork, and metadata including your ISRC code which tracks the royalties your song earns, your artist credits, and lyrics. The distribution team will then review the content to ensure it complies with platform guides and then it gets uploaded to those streaming sites on your chosen release date.

How do I choose my genre for my metadata?

Lots of artists starting out are confused by what genre they are, but you will need to know the primary and secondary genre of your music when you upload to your music distributor. Generally, choose the genre that is most aligned with your sound. But if you’re not sure what this is, do some research.

Simple ways to clarify your genre:

  • Play your music to a small group of people that you trust and that might know a thing or two about genre.
  • Go onto streaming platforms and listen to the genre that you think might be most aligned. Ask yourself, does this sound like me?
  • Use a site like Every Noise. On this app, you can type in an artist and it will tell you what genre they are. And vice versa. It’s a great resource to explore genres and find out who fits where.

How to best prepare for release day

With 120,000 songs being uploaded to DSPs each day, how can we ensure your song doesn’t get lost on release day?

Your goal for a pre-save campaign should be to aim for the highest impact possible on release day. So preparing pre-release is the most important thing you can be doing.

  • Prepare for your release at least 6-8 weeks out from release day

Deliver your song to your music distributor at least 4 weeks out (ideally 5-6 weeks out). If you’re delivering for the first time you have more work to do as you’ll have profiles to set up on the different streaming platforms which you can’t set that up until you’ve delivered your song.

  • Set up your DSP backend profiles and use free tools in those backend platforms to pre-pitch your music

Once you’ve uploaded, approach your distributor and ask for the info from them to register you for all the DSP backend artist profiles, like Spotify for artists, Apple for artists, Amazon for artists, Tidal for artists. So when people listen on those platforms, they can find out more about you. Having that set up before release day happens is important, but that process can take a while to set up. Whilst you’re there, utilize the free tools to pitch to editorial playlists within those backend platforms.

  • Do a pre-save campaign on socials and your mailing list

Another reason for uploading to your music distributor early is timing needed to get your pre-save link and use it. A pre-save link is something that your fans can click on to pre-save your song so it’s automatically added to their streaming library on release day.

It’s a powerful marketing tool for artists to be able to encourage followers to take action and builds hype for people to listen which creates impact on release day. All this information feeds back to the DSPs which tells them that people are listening.

Put together a 2-3 week pre-save campaign on socials and on your mailing list and invite people to click through. You might make a bunch of pre-save videos, depending on your skills, capacity and brand style.

Then once the song is out, people can go and listen to it. You only get one release day, so make the most of the lead up!


How a pre-save campaign can impact release day

A strong pre-save campaign can have a big impact on release day. Firstly, it means that on release day lots of people will be hearing your song.

Secondly, because DSPs have built-in analytics systems to see what is being listened to, they will likely make suggestions to new audiences based on the amount of listeners on release day. Given that the aim of the platforms is to keep people listening, if they see that people are listening to your song because of your pre-save campaign, the algorithm will flag that to suggest it to more people. And if that’s happening from release day, then algorithmically or editorially that can help propel a song.

What happens after release day?

People say you need to see things in 7 different places before you decide if you’ll purchase it or not. So you want to try to hit your audience as many times as possible with a similar message to let them know your song is out, whether that’s making your own videos, or using the free promotional features within the backend of the DSPs.

For example, update the Artist Pick feature on Spotify which shows people what you want them to listen to first. As well, update the discuss tab on your YouTube profile which helps trigger algorithmic recommendations in the platform. Or utilise Spotify Canvas where you upload a looping video that can be shared to Instagram stories.

And the most amazing thing is, all of these features are free and are artist friendly!

Streaming vs CD sales

There is a long tail in terms of revenue sources that people can earn from music from streaming versus CDs. Being as impactful as possible from release day, will create longevity in your listenership. Previously people would have bought a CD and you would only make that money once from your fans, but with streaming you can be making money over and over again. But it’s not about one play, about the continuation of the play. The key is to get people to listen again and again.

Paid Digital Advertising

When you share your pre-save link, you’ll likely do that organically through the free tools on social media sites. But you can also put together a paid advertising campaign.

Advertising is more beneficial when you know your audience and you have some data on them. Depending on where your audience is, is where you should direct your ad budget.

To help identify your audience, look at the backend of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube analytics. Are they similar or different across platforms? Look at this and formulate an ad strategy and plan from this.

When you’re releasing for the first time, you won’t have data around who your audience is. So you’ll need to experiment with different audiences. But as you get to know them, you can learn how they work and use that in your next presave campaign.

Understand that your objective is to grow your audience. And if they resonate with you, then they will likely resonate with your music.

Want a little help managing your own digital music release?

Join our Level Up Club to get real-time mentorship from professional artists and music industry leaders. This all happens completely online and is available for all time zones. You’ll receive comprehensive resources, templates and tools to help with your digital release, career plan and much more. Learn more about Level Up Club today!

About Viv Mellish:

Viv Mellish is a founding partner and CMO at independent, Queensland-based digital music distribution and artist services companies, GYROstream and DistroDirect. Viv oversees GYROstream and DistroDirect’s global marketing and A&R strategy as well as the wider artist promotions team across DSPs, PR and Digital Marketing. Viv has previously held marketing, communications and PR roles in a range of sectors including music, the Commonwealth Games, politics, theatre and film. She is also on the board of QMusic, Queensland’s peak music industry body which also oversees events such as the QMAs and BIGSOUND.

Episode Show Notes:

Get your creativity, confidence, and songwriting output flowing. Join The Club and receive the support and structure to write 10 songs in 10 weeks and get feedback from a private peer community. This is THE essential writing practice that has changed the careers and lives of 1000s of songwriters worldwide.

Just getting started on your songwriting journey and need more hands-on support? Establish a firm foundation and develop your musical and lyric skills with our Beginner Songwriting Courses. They are the perfect place to begin and cover everything you need to know to write your first songs. You’ll receive lessons from Francesca directly!

Don’t struggle to write your next album – write an album a year with ease! Watch our Free Songwriting Masterclass.

Want more for your songwriting but don’t know where to go from here? Take the I Heart Songwriting Club Quiz to discover your next steps and inspire your way to writing better songs.


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Podcast theme song: “Put One Foot In Front Of The Other One” music and lyrics by Francesca de Valence

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By |2024-01-11T11:47:56+10:00November 30th, 2023|0 Comments

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