The 8 powers Spotify for Artists gave to creators in the last year

In 2018 Spotify expanded their Spotify for Artists platform to give artists unparalleled power over their music and their profile. Here are all of the nifty and useful tools Spotify added last year.

Spotify for Artists gives artists control over how their profile looks, what it says and many more vital powers on the world’s favourite music streaming service. They are always expanding the service so that artists can influence their presence in new and exciting ways and engage with their fans and as we look forward to a 2019 that hopefully puts even more power in the hands of artists lets look back at all the things we gained from Spotify on their platform last year.

1). Upload Your Music

A simple way to upload your music directly to Spotify was the most frequent request we received in 2018. And in response to it, we began rolling out a new feature in the Spotify for Artists app that allows users to upload their music with directly. As of this writing, the feature is invite-only, but you can sign up to receive future updates on it here.

2). Submit Your Music for Playlist Consideration

Another request we encountered was for the ability to get your song considered for inclusion on one of Spotify’s thousands of playlists. We made fulfilling this request a top priority and unveiled a way to do so back in October. Now all artists have to do is either log into their Spotify for Artists account (or head over to Spotify Analytics) and select one unreleased song to submit to the editorial team. But when you do, be sure to include all the details about the track—what genre it belongs to, what mood it pairs with, etc.—so that our editors have all the information they need to decide where your song fits best. We even made a couple videos to show you how it works!

3). Photo Galleries

One of our main goals with the Spotify for Artists app is to allow artists to be in complete control of their presence on Spotify. That’s why, back in March, we made it possible for you to upload your own images to a personal photo gallery. They can be photos from your latest gig or behind-the-scenes shots of your life on tour. Whatever they are, you you can add up to 125 of them and edit the order however you like.

4). Sharing to Instagram Stories

It’s a truism that being a social media wiz can help your visibility and thus your career (check out our do’s and don’ts of social media here), so we set up a brand new integration with Instagram and Facebook to allow easy sharing between the two platforms. Fans and artists can now share Spotify albums, tracks, artists, and playlists directly to Instagram stories, complete with deeplinks that’ll drive followers back into the Spotify app to listen to music.

5). The Game Plan

The Game Plan is one of our original video series designed to educate artists on the most important aspects of using Spotify to manage and grow their career. It features interviews with dozens of experts, including Spotify employees, industry veterans, and a bunch of big-name artists, such as the Teflon Don himself, Rick Ross (plus Little Dragon, Mike Posner, Vérité, Sheryl Crow, and more). This is the community of committed music lovers who are helping to shape and build Spotify, and the topics we’re tackling are integral to that: playlistingroyaltiesstream sharehow to read your data, and so much more.

6). Best Advice

If you’re gonna get sound career advice, we figured you’d better hear it from savvy artists with a wealth of experience and knowledge to pull from, so we launched our second video series, Best Advice, where artists like Christina Aguilera (above), Kamasi WashingtonRick Ross, and Mary J. Blige give some great tips on everything from how to hone your craft, deal with critics, harness your emotions, and everything in between.

7). The New Free Tier

As a savvy artist who likes to stay informed on industry trends, you probably already know there are two main ways a music fan can listen to Spotify: as a premium subscriber and as a free user. This summer, we rolled out a new free version of Spotify, with a bunch of new features, and one of the key differences in the new free app is an easier way for fans to discover their next favorite song. Free users now experience better personalized playlists, designed to introduce them to new music, week in and week out. They can listen to songs on demand in playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mixes, as well as in select editorial playlists, ranging from RapCaviar and ¡Viva Latino!, to Ultimate Indieand Alternative R&B, and more, depending on their tastes. There are more than 90 million people using the free version of Spotify. That’s a massive audience of potential new fans.

8). Co.Lab Events

As an artist, you’re part of a vast community, and in 2018, we set out to facilitate a way for you to tap further into that by offering a series of in-person, on-site events in NYC and LA. We brought together artists and industry vets to talk shop about TouringMerchRelease StrategiesRevenue Streams and networking, giving those who could join the chance to learn strategies for their careers, gain some useful resources—through presentations and one-on-one workshops—meet other artists (and, you know, have a couple drinks or have some photo opps). For those of you who couldn’t make it to the event, don’t worry—we’re publishing interviews and plenty of tips and tricks from music supervisors, label reps, brand expertstour directors, and our many other panelists over the course of the next few months, so watch this space. And of course, there will be more events to come. Here’s to 2019!


Get your music on all of the top streaming services and digital music stores around the world completely for FREE when you upload to RouteNote. We offer free distribution to Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon and many, many more.

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How to find fans with Spotify’s new playlist submission feature

Spotify’s playlists are some of the biggest influencers in the music industry today with millions listening every day and artists can now submit their music to playlist curators for consideration.

In July Spotify launched their playlist submission tool so that any artist with music on Spotify could send them to the music streaming giant’s roster of curators for consideration on one of their massively influential playlists. Some playlists have millions of followers who return every week as they are updated and with so many potential listeners being included in one can make artists’ careers with one playlist inclusion as we’ve seen with artists of our own before.

Spotify have revealed more about how their new tool works so you can make sure you’re submitting right for the best chance to be featured on one of Spotify’s great playlists. They’ve made it so that you can select the metadata about your song so it gets put in front of the right people and selected for the right playlists, making it more likely to be chosen.

Here’s how it works. When you and your team submit an unreleased song—and Spotify for Artists allows you to submit one at a time—that track enters a pool alongside others from artists both unknown and unsigned, as well as superstars and major-label acts. Spotify’s teams of editors and curators comb through those pools looking for songs that could work on any of the thousands of playlists the service offers. With this change to the submission process, you can fine-tune which pools your music ends up in, helping the right editor find it in order to consider adding your tracks to, say, Chilled R&B or Infinite Indie Folk.

Spotify’s senior product manager, Steve Shirley says: “Metadata is just information about the music itself. What we’re asking is that you describe your music to help put it in front of the right team of editors. It’s detailing the genre and the specific attributes of the song that we think would get in front of the right people. Everyone who has music on Spotify is now able to get their songs in front of the people making these really impactful playlist decisions.”

What do Spotify want you to put in and how do you do it? They explain it below:

First, you’ll pick the song’s main genre. You’ll have plenty of options, and you can also choose up to three subgenres. “We’re asking you to pick one top-level genre, but then you can tag it with additional subgenres,” explains Shirley. “For example, there’s country rock, there’s folk rock, there’s hard rock. These are important distinctions.”

From there, you’ll be able to pick up to three music cultures, which encompasses both the language and cultural influence of the music, as well as the location of the artist making it. “We have editors all over the world that are looking for music for their specific market,” clarifies Shirley. “If you’re an editor in Finland, you want to make sure that the playlist that you programmed to represent Finnish music culture is highlighting the music coming out of that market, in addition to other globally relevant releases.

Next up, you can select up to two moods—say, Chill or Fierce or Sexy. What’s the mood of your song? Then, you can choose up to two song styles. Are you more of a Ballad or Beats type? You can also tell us which instruments are featured in the song.

“If you want to tell us that there was a banjo or an organ or a synthesizer or whatever, we have all those options that you can tick,” Shirley says.

Then there’s a number of yes-or-no questions as well as one more about the nature of the song:

  • Is this a cover?
  • Is this a remix?
  • Is it an instrumental?
  • How was it recorded? (The options are Studio and Live.)

Seems like a lot of boxes to tick, right? A lot of categorization when it comes to art. Shirley gets this. Prior to work for Spotify, Shirley played in bands and worked for the independent label Original Signal, which included independent artists such as Longwave, Butch Walker, and Ingrid Michaelson. He’s aware that artists don’t like to feel boxed in, and they often blanch at assigning a genre or quantifying descriptor to their music.

“We don’t want artists to think we’re asking them to label their art,” explains Shirley. “We’re just asking for information to help our editorial team figure out the listeners that might love their music.”

“As an artist, you might not feel like the music you make is straight-ahead ‘pop’ but you might select that genre because you feel the Spotify editors that make Pop playlists are best suited to determine which listeners your music is perfect for.”

Submitting all of this metadata is optional, of course. Spotify isn’t forcing anyone to pick a genre or a mood before uploading their song. But Shirley points out that Spotify has more than 5000 owned-and-operated playlists and receives huge volumes of submissions daily, and helping the editors out also helps you out.

“If you don’t submit, you’re in this sea of more than 20,00 songs that come in every single day, and the chances of an editor finding it are pretty low,” he says. “We’re not saying it’s a requirement; you can still get on a playlist even if you don’t submit,” he says. “But it definitely increases your chances if you do.”

RouteNote Troubleshooters: My audio won’t upload

I’m creating my release but my audio won’t upload when I select it from my computer.

If you are having issues uploading your audio to your release first of all you should try clearing the cache in your web browser. Clearing the cache often solves technical issues with the site. Once your cache is cleared make sure to accept the RouteNote website’s cookies.
If this doesn’t help at all try to sign in and upload again in a private or incognito window. If this works then the issue is within your browser and you may need to try clearing your cache and cookies again.
You will need to remove all of the metadata, including the artwork, that is attached to your audio file(s) if there is any. If you are on PC there is a guide on how to do this here. If you are on a Mac then you can use an app called Tag Stripper to remove your metadata.
You can also try running your audio file(s) through ID3 remover to remove metadata that might be getting in the way of your upload.
If you’re still having issues our friendly support team will be happy to help you out so just send them a message at support@routenote.com.

Brendan Kavanagh (Dr K.) Teaching Boogie Woogie Piano at London Train Stations (Video)

Brendan Kavanagh (Dr K.) has been making some amazing headway of late on YouTube with teaching the London general public about Boogie Woogie piano. The Dr K. YouTube channel is now over 330,000 subscribers strong and it looks like it will be going higher even faster in 2019.

Take some time and have a listen to Dr K. Make sure you also keep an eye out in a London Tube Station near you!

How did your music do in 2018? Spotify Wrapped has you covered

2018 has been the most incredible year for music streaming ever, both for artists and for listeners. Find out how your music has done on Spotify with Wrapped 2018 for Artists.

2018 year has been an immense year for streaming with more people around the world streaming music than ever before. There’s no better time to have your music online and we’re seeing more and more artists uploading their music to Spotify and all of the other great streaming services all the time.

Spotify have an early Christmas present for artists, wrapping up their year in music. As we head towards a new year with fresh new music and opportunities Spotify have launched Wrapped for Artists in their Spotify for Artists platform. It offers up a platter of info on who’s been listening, how many people have been listening and more so you can easily see your music’s year in Spotify.

To access your own Artist Wrapped log into your Spotify for Artists account which you can access either on mobile or from a computer. If you haven’t claimed your artist profile before then what are you waiting for?! It’s free and simple and you can do it here: artists.spotify.com/c/access/artist. As long as more than three listeners have listened to your music before October 31st then your year is ready and waiting, Wrapped for you.

Spotify for Artists is a platform that allows you to see how your music is doing all year round with detailed analytics on which of your songs are working, fan hours streamed, year-over-year comparisons and more. In addition, Spotify for Artists lets you customise your artist profile like the images, biography as well as choose your Artists’ Pick – a song features at the top of your profile, and much more.

Share your Spotify Wrapped with your fans and have a Happy Holidays! Here’s to another amazing year of streaming in 2019.

Get massive discounts on Shure’s best headphones this week

We’ve seen loads of great deals and discounts since Black Friday with Cyber Deals Week lasting all week on Amazon. We’ve found loads of amazing deals on Shure’s high quality microphones, headphones, wireless systems for guitars and mics and more.

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones – $79 (20% off)

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Shure SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones – $149 (25% off)

SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones feature a precisely tailored frequency response that delivers rich bass, clear mid-range and extended highs. Optimized for studio recording and critical listening with a closed-back, circumaural collapsible design and a detachable, coiled cable. Includes SRH840, threaded 1/4″ gold-plated adapter, carrying bag, replacement ear pads, and user guide.

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Shure SE215SPE-B-BT1 Wireless Sound Isolating Earphones – $129 (13% off)

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Shure SE425-CL Sound Isolating Earphones with Dual High Definition MicroDrivers – $239 (11% off)

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Music streaming is making artists’ old music more popular

Music streaming is bringing new life to artists’ back catalogues as listeners rediscover older music and ensure that it’s not forgotten as newer tunes get released.

Music streaming has done a lot for the music industry in the digital age as more listeners move online for their tunes every day. After years of falling revenues music streaming helped create the industry’s largest growth in 15 years last year. That growth only gets more considerable every year as more and more people get into streaming, particularly Premium subscription services, and it appears it’s bringing new life back into old releases too.

‘Frontline’ music is the music industry’s term for any music released in the past 18 months old and is what labels and influencers push most because it’s fresh. With music streaming making the entire catalogue of artist’s music available on-demand listeners are consuming artists’ older music much more than before. It’s easy to discover and go back through any artist’s entire library now giving older music more value than being shelved in the record stores.

Writing for Music Business Worldwide, music trends analyst Denis Simms says that with less focus on immediate popularity investors are willing to take more risks in music opening up opportunities for more artists and promoting creativity. He says: “The days of putting enormous pressure on first week sales to see a return on investment are fading. Instead, the game is now fixated on capturing and sustaining engagement with your audience.

“Done successfully, streaming revenues will continue to flow, month after month. This has led to a renaissance for once-dormant music rights, suddenly infused with the value provided by the virtues of being a gradual and predictable revenue stream… With music rights becoming a more secure and profitable bet, both traditional and new investors have become less risk averse and more confident.”

Whereas before sales of a new album would be a deciding factor in an artist’s success now it’s based off of a whole variety of elements. Whilst their new music plays a large part, touring and playing live has become a much bigger part of artists’ careers. It helps to promote artists’ music and creates more listeners on streaming services. As distribution costs have become infinitely cheaper, without the need to print thousands-to-millions of records, labels are able to put more investment into other areas of their artists’ music.

Read Denis Simms’ full article on the evolution of the music industry and how it is proliferating in the digital age here.

RouteNote helps independent artist get to No.2 in charts

We’ve been helping artists get their music around the world for over 10 years now and we’re seeing more and more success stories from artists who didn’t need a label to make it big. Two RouteNote artists are currently in the Top 10 for one of the world’s biggest population of music lovers – China

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China is breaking out as one of the biggest digital music audiences in the world with 1.4 billion ears across the country ready for the latest tunes. That’s why we are doubly thrilled to see 2 artists who use RouteNote to get their music worldwide in the top 10 for the music charts in China.

Janji is currently all the way at the top with his track ‘Horizon’ currently sitting at number 2 in the whole country. On top of Janji’s amazing performance in the charts, the producers new track has been used in over 9 million videos on the streaming app TikTok – China can’t get enough of Janji right now.

Another of our favourite artists is also doing incredibly well in China. Axero is currently sitting at number 9 in China’s official charts with his track ‘Trip’. Axero has long been one of RouteNote’s top artists, managed by our Outertone label, and it’s incredible being part of an artist’s journey to such amazing achievements.

Thanks to our partnership with Kanjian both Janji and Axero easily sent their music to the top music stores and services across China. Kanjian are China’s best source of music and with a focus on new and independent artists they are the perfect entry for artists uploading on RouteNote to get their music in front of one of the world’s biggest music audiences. In fact, Kanjian’s own music store boasts the largest catalogue of indie music in the entirety of Asia.

You can upload your music to Kanjian as well as all the major streaming services and stores in the West and the East, totally free on RouteNote. Start your journey today and get your music heard around the world at www.routenote.com.

YouTube has paid out nearly $2 billion for music in the past year

YouTube have reinvented themselves for music in the past year and it’s paying off as musicians are making more than ever before on the world’s home for video.

Only 1 year ago and YouTube was a very different place for artists. The Google owned video giant was scrabbling to sign deals with the major labels and smaller rightsholders and publishing agencies as pressure from the music industry mounted over their poor payouts for artists with a streaming rate lower than all of the music streaming services.

That all changed this year with the launch of YouTube Music. Their new service offers a dedicated music service offering all of their varied music content from full albums to music videos and live concerts. Most importantly of all, with it’s own dedicated platform music now gets paid much more fairly on YouTube and not the same ad-revenues that every YouTube video receives.

YouTube revealed in their new report on fighting piracy that in the last 12 months they have paid out more than $1.8 billion in ad revenues to the music industry. That’s a giant 80% more than the year ending September 2017 when they had generated just $1 billion for the music industry. They say that all-in-all they have paid out over $6 billion in total ad-revenues to the music industry, meaning the past 12 months make up almost a third of all their music payments. That’s how significant YouTube Music is to artists and their livelihood on the video streaming site.

YouTube say in their report: “Combined with revenue from our growing subscription service, YouTube Music Premium, and money earned from monetising fan uploads, YouTube is contributing a meaningful and growing revenue stream for the industry while providing a powerful platform to engage with fans around the world.”

YouTube presented Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off as an example of the success that artists can find on YouTube. By July 2018 Swift’s music video had been watched over 2.5 billion times, which was more than 10x the amount of times it had been streamed on traditional streaming services. According to research by MIDiA, music videos now reach 1 billion views 10 times quicker that they did in 2010.

It’s a lucrative platform and now they’re compensating artists fairly, it’s a great place to be discovered and listened to. YouTube are definitely paying out artists more now but even last August their Head of Music, Lyor Cohen claimed: “Critics complain YouTube isn’t paying enough money for ad-supported streams compared to Spotify or Pandora. I was one of them! Then I got here and looked at the numbers myself.

“At over $3 per thousand streams in the U.S., YouTube is paying out more than other ad-supported services. Why doesn’t anyone know that? Because YouTube is global and the numbers get diluted by lower contributions in developing markets. But they’re working the ads hustle like crazy so payouts can ramp up quickly all around the world. If they can do that, this industry could double in the next few years.” With an 80% increase in music ad-revenue in the past 12 months, Cohen wasn’t wrong.