Big Updates from Spotify

I’m going to get straight to the point today since I’m excited to talk about what happened at Spotify’s Stream On event this week and what you need to be jumping on.

1. There is now going to be a “swipe-able vertical feed” which will be video-based and play previous of music. It will replace the carousels you are used to today and makes the app “feel alive”.

2. There will be a new pre-save featured that can capture fan interest months before a release, called Countdowns. No longer will we have to use third party apps to create pre save pages – we can now do it right in Spotify. Over the next few months, this should become an option for all artists on Spotify to use! Fans who pre-save a release will be notified when the song or album comes out. Spotify’s data indicates that 80% of pre-savers return to the platform to stream the song or album during their debut week.

3. Discovery Mode and Smart Shuffle will begin to roll out for all users (I have already seen this pop up on my Spotify app), helping new artists get discovered through algorithmic recommendations.

4. I’ve already mentioned Marquee in my best of 2022 tools post, which they claimed that on average, Marquee is 10 times more cost effective at getting listeners to stream your music on Spotify than ads on the most popular social media platforms. But I’m more excited about their new feature that will be rolling out called Clips – which will allow artists to post 30-second videos to their profiles. Get on the waitlist for that here.

5. Concert Listings and Fans First – You will still need to use Songkick to highlight your concert dates on your Spotify profile, however, they are going to now surface your upcoming gigs in the ‘Now Playing’ view and fans can say they are interested, creating a more personal gig calendar for the user and more data for you as an artist. Fans First is also important for artists because this will help you target your top listeners to get exclusive offers from you.

This is only the beginning of what I gathered from the event, but all in all it’s very exciting and you’ll see Spotify changing a lot this year. Get on the waitlists and start brainstorming how you can start using these new features for your upcoming releases!

ReEngage your followers

When the new year hits, the cleaning bug starts to go around. Clients want to make things organized, and simpler, and that includes pruning their email lists. When you take a look at your own open rates, you may see things like 20% or 30% open rates. This is totally normal and actually good in the scheme of things. (Read: What is a good open rate for emails?)

This brings up what to do with folks that haven’t opened your emails in months… or maybe years. They probably are not interested in your updates and have routed your messages straight to trash. As much as you may want to think maybe they will read your next message, think about all the emails you get and if you open them all or even care to read past the subject line. It’s really tough to break through the noise unless the people on your list actually care about what you’re sending to them. It’s best to remove them to clean up your list and in return save you money!

In Mailchimp, you can filter out folks that aren’t opening your messages in a few ways. You can see people who haven’t opened ‘all’ of the last 5, 10, 20 or 50 campaigns. Depending on the frequency that you send campaigns, this could mean over a few months or a few years that they didn’t open an email. And don’t worry, if someone did open a campaign during that time, that email will be filtered out. You can also try their ‘rating’ system to filter out the lower-rated contacts, although, I don’t find it very dependable as I’ve seen folks that have never opened an email be rated 2 stars.

I’ve tried this on a handful of clients’ lists, and I typically see with the ‘who haven’t opened all of the last 20 or 50 campaigns’ filter, it can be up to 30% of the list! Depending on the total of your list, that can be a big chunk that you’re paying for that’s not even opening your emails!  Trust me, it’s not worth holding onto. 

In order to feel like you’ve done your due diligence to make sure these emails don’t want to be on your list, I recommend sending a ‘re-engagement message’. This is a hail-mary, last-call email that you send to these people who haven’t opened a message in a while, asking them once and for all if they would like to stay on your email list.

It can look like this:

Subject line: I miss you.

Hello there,

It’s been a while since you last opened one of my emails. Do you still want to hear from me?

If so, please reply to this email with a “YES”.

Otherwise, I’ll assume you’d prefer to not hear from me and I’ll remove you from my mailing list. No hard feelings.

With gratitude,


I’ve also seen clients offer to send free merch, CDs or coupons to their store for ‘rejoining’ the list. It could very well sway a subscriber to stay.

If not, don’t feel discouraged. As said before, this will save you money and also bring you closer to the true, committed fans that you will enjoy connecting with!

Cheers to that, 

Best Of 2022 Tools for Musicians 🔧

Can you believe we are at the end of this year? Personally, it flew by for me. It was a very interesting year with clients getting back to some form of normalcy with touring, yet approaching it very differently. It seems the pandemic shifted how my client’s approached their income streams and business structures for the better. I think musicians are working smarter and creating healthier ways to make a living from performing. Yet, with everyone going more online and strategic, it does make it more competitive. With the right tools though, you can make the best decisions at that moment.

As I did last year, I thought I would recap some of my favorite tools I’ve used or discovered this past year to pass on to you. FYI – I have no affiliate links below. These are tools that I use or genuinely recommend. Here we go!

1. Viberate – If you’re doing tons of online campaigns on social media, this might be worth the splurge to access full data information. This site is a comprehensive way to view your analytics online. You can even compare yourself to other artists to see how you stack up. You can have a free account, and test out the premium features with a 7 day free trial.

2. Canva – You’ve probably heard of Canva by now, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re not savvy enough for Photoshop. The site constantly improves its functionality and brings tons of inspiration every time I open it up. I use it every week – and the paid version is totally worth it when creating promo materials for social media. Getting to be able to just click and resize graphics is worth it alone!

3. Spotify Marquee – Marquee is a new campaign tool within Spotify’s artist tools, allowing you to send full-screen sponsored recommendations of your new release to relevant Premium and Free listeners. Enjoy 20% this month on your next campaign (even if it’s scheduled to run outside of this month).

4. Shopify – Last year you might remember that I recommended Ecwid as an e-commerce platform, and I still do, but a recent trial has me leaning towards Shopify. It’s just as easy to use AND big bonus, it can connect with your Spotify account to sell merch to your listeners there. If you’ve got any sort of following on Spotify, you don’t want to miss that opportunity.

5.  Signnow – If you’re sending out contracts or agreements to band members, venues, etc., you NEED this tool. This allows you to send documents via email for online signature. In this day and age, you cannot do it any other way! Most people do not have printers, and you’ll be chasing for physical signatures when it’s so easy to do it online. Dochub is another platform I recommend for this type of tool, and you can use it for free for up to 5 documents a month.

6. Patreon – Patreon lets musicians create subscription-based channels, set up their prices and rewards and build a monthly income by offering specific perks to their supporters. It’s so easy and such a smart way to connect with your die-hard fans.

7. Tip Jars – Now, there’s not a specific app for this. You can use or AddThis, or something like that. But I found that the clients that do have a tip jar button on their website or emails, usually get a little extra cash in their pocket! So, I don’t think it hurts to have this option open to your fans.

What tools did you use the most in 2022? Anything you want to share with me? Hit reply and let me know. I’d love to know what has been working for you!

See you in 2023,

Manage Your Lyrics on Spotify, Instagram, etc.

It’s been a busy summer on my end – not only personally (Hello, I had another baby!) but also keeping things strong with clients. Momentum is building with my clients as they are establishing their revenue streams with album releases, tours and updating their online stores. I’m also helping some clients clean up their catalogs – making sure registrations are complete with these new releases and set up properly. It can be kind of a headache when there are now 8 recommended ways to register your music. But it’s totally worth it to everyone when it’s completed.

Another new thing that came up for one of my clients is that we noticed not all of her lyrics were showing up on Instagram when she was trying to promote it. We were under the impression that our distributor would send those lyrics as it was delivered to the store. But no, that was not the case. There is a separate (surprise!) platform that you must load your lyrics on to connect them with Spotify, Instagram and more so that when people share your music on stories, they can show the lyrics!
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The platform is called MusixMatch. The good news is it’s very simple to get set up. Here’s how to do it.
1. Sign up with MusixMatch as an artist and become verified to access your artist profile. This can take 1-3 days for them to verify you.
2. Once you’re verified, your catalog of LIVE music should load up and you can see where you need to add/edit lyrics. Note, that you will not see unreleased tracks.

Once you add the lyrics and it’s verified, you’ll need to sync it to the track.

1. Click on the track in your catalog within Musixmatch
2. Click the tab ‘Sync’
3. Hit the play button, and then you can scroll through the lines to line up the lyrics to the song. It takes a little time to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s very intuitive! Then hit Send!

Here are some additional guidelines:
Transcribe all repeated parts in a song
Transcribe the lyrical audio content only
Don’t use multipliers (e.g. avoid x2)

I hope you find this helpful! So take the extra step to get your lyrics on these platforms – it is a popular feature to have in stories so you don’t want to miss out on having that available for your listeners!


Tips for getting booked at Festivals

Summer and music festivals go hand in hand. After seeing so many cancel the past two years, it’s wonderful to see musicians and people feeling safe and excited to attend and participate in festivals.

For musicians, getting booked at a festival can be a great way to attract attention to your music. You can reach a new fan base as well as make new connections in the industry. Although the thought of getting booked at a festival seems like a daunting task, with some simple steps you could be securing your spot at the next festival quickly. 

Here are some of my tips:

  • Target the right festival. Be selective, do the research and choose the right festivals for you. It’s much better than using the scattergun approach. Location wise, if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend staying local (same city or same state) as festivals might like to promote local bands.
  • You will need to have a strong electronic press kit (EPK) and have your links organized. Festivals are going to want to see you are relevant with some sort of fanbase and brand.  A well-maintained website shows that you are serious about making a name for yourself. Have some good photos on your site, links to social media, streaming sites and videos (live and produced).
  • Familiarize yourself with each festival’s deadlines and requirements. Some might ask you, “why should we pick you”? My advice is to give an example of a recent gig, a quote from a review of your music, or share some impressive numbers, like your music video hit 100K views in one day.
  • Keep yourself organized. I opt to have a spreadsheet to track deadlines, where my client has submitted and when we need to follow up. It makes checking in on the status of each much easier than trying to remember where you are with each submission.

Festivals receive hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions for just a handful of opening slots so if you don’t get picked don’t get discouraged. Learn from it and get ahead of it for next years’ submissions.

Hope you have a great summer festival season.



TikTok isn’t going anywhere

I hope you’re doing well this Saturday morning. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts on TikTok – a platform I haven’t spoken about yet, embarrassingly enough.

I get asked consistently what social media platform is best for promoting musicians. When social media was at its height of growth in the latter 2000s, the answer was, “Get on everything!”. Now, I find that people are focused on working with certain platforms that tailor to their niche and desired audience. So, this could mean for you a focus on Youtube and Facebook, or a focus on Twitter and Instagram, or an overload on TikTok.

I’ll admit, I’m a TikTok viewer, but not a user (I blame my age). I also understand that it’s not going anywhere and it can be the best platform for some musicians if their niche lives there.

With almost a billion active users, TikTok is now an integral part of the music marketing landscape. TikTok allows users to upload short videos usually around 15 seconds, which is recommended (but can go up to 60 seconds) to a scrollable feed.

Below I put together what I feel are the best ways to get started with TikTok. I’m by no means an expert, but maybe this will encourage you to get started with TikTok if you weren’t sure before.

Download the app and get to know it, follow other musicians, see where they are succeeding in and engage with content that you genuinely like. 

– Add your own music to TikTok. To distribute your music on there, you need to work with your digital music distributor and make sure your music is being sent to TikTok. Hot tip: Cover songs make up a large portion of TikTok’s most shared content amongst fans and users. The reason why cover songs are a great way to grow your audience is that they draw listeners in through the familiarity of a well-known song.

– Take fans ‘behind the scenes’ in your posts. People love ‘raw, uncut’ snippets of everyday life and to be part of the journey.

Hashtag everything! Your song titles, your artist name, as well as more general music-based hashtags.

– It is important to note that unlike Facebook and Instagram the focus isn’t on making yourself look perfect. It’s about being real, being authentic, having fun and inspiring others to create because of it.

– Follow trends and take part in challenges. If you see that you are interested in a trend and have an idea for a cool video, feel free to create it and share it, nothing is off-limits. 

– Keep in mind, that if you post at least two or three times a week and stay active, TikTok will be more likely to promote your content.

– I hope these tips will encourage you to dip your toes into TikTok if you’ve been thinking about connecting with your fans there!

Happy TikToking,

“NFT, yeah you know me!” (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

I thought I would talk about something relatively new that could affect the music industry in a major way in the very near future …..NFTs.

What are NFTs? 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital tokens stored on a blockchain that can record the ownership of a wide range of digital or physical items, from digital art to event tickets or even music. As well as a token, NFTs can be coded in a way that allows for royalty payments to the creator, which makes them a highly interesting technology for musicians. Songs, albums, music, lyrics, and soundbites can all be NFTs.

Experts say NFTs will be especially transformative in shaping the future of music. NFT sales totalled $25 billion in 2021, compared to just $95 million in 2020. Read more here about how NFTs could define the future of music.

How does it work?

NFTs are a kind of cryptocurrency, but instead of using money, they use assets like art, tickets, music or merchandise. NFTs operate on a blockchain, which is a publicly accessible and transparent network — meaning anyone can see the details of any NFT transaction. NFT could be defined as a rare collectible that is stored digitally. Artists and musicians can create NFTs themselves to auction off as various forms of digital media to their fans who pay using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. A musician or band will decide what they want to sell to their fans, be it an audio file, concert tickets, merchandise or something else. Then they will inform their fans of the release of their NFT drop, and put them up for sale at whatever value they would like to sell their works.

How will it help?

For years, musicians have been poorly compensated for their music. The typical revenue split of  50/50—with only 50% of revenue going to the entertainer and the rest shared among agents, lawyers, and distributors. Despite the ease with which people can now listen to music, according to a study, artists receive only 12% of the money made by the entire music industry. This is where NFTs are making all the difference. NFTs could have a huge effect on streaming platforms that simply don’t earn artists enough. We could see an era when artists are able to do business directly with retailers and sell their NFTs like they used to do with self-made CDs.  Fans who buy the NFT become an owner of the musician’s work. They are then able to store the music NFTs in their crypto wallets, and if they want, may sell off the NFT to a higher bidder in the future. Despite being the owner of the NFT and being able to sell it, the musician who created the NFT can earn from the re-sales of their work as well, which is one of the most powerful ways music NFTs can empower musicians.

“NFTs will give artists another outlet to create exclusive content for fans in a more artistic fashion. In the future, we’ll see the value of songs appreciate, like Basquiat paintings.” – Dallas rapper Rakim-Al Jabbaar

Currently, there are only a small number of musicians who are exploring the uses of music NFTs such as  Kings of Leon, Tory Lanez, Aphex Twin, Ozuna and Belave. . However, with increased knowledge by musicians and fans, the opportunities for artists to benefit from NFTs are growing substantially. Read more here about the Kings of Leon being the first band to release an NFT. 

Water and Music wrote an article about the various strategies that music NFT platforms use to attract, onboard and retain their fans, collectors and artists in an increasingly competitive marketplace if you’re interested in learning more.

I know I’ll be keeping a close eye on how musicians are working with NFTs and how it could potentially help your profile relevance and garner new audiences!


I Spent $100 on Playlist Submission Sites – Here’s What Happened

Today I wanted to share with you a “case study” – if you will – on getting your music added to Spotify playlists. Spotify playlists continue to be a great way for musicians to gain listens, new followers and engagement with their music. But, getting on them or finding quality playlists is not easy.

One of my clients had a release last month and wanted to try and get the track on Spotify playlists with a budget of $100. So, here’s what options we had and what happened.

Getting on an official Spotify playlist wasn’t an option to attempt since my client released the track immediately, and to be considered for a Spotify playlist, you have to submit it at least 2 weeks in advance of the release. They only consider unreleased tracks for their playlists.

So, moving on from that…we researched several sites that offered playlist submission services. We ended with moving forward with the following 3: GrooverSongrocket and Submithub. We split the budget across the three.

SUBMITHUB – Submithub allows you to submit tracks and music videos to blogs, record labels, radio stations, Spotify playlists and YouTube or SoundCloud channels.

For $27 we bought 30 credits and submitted them to 22 curators. Granted, we had some layover credits from previous campaigns so we were able to submit to what Submithub calls ‘Premium’ curators, so in total, we used up 54 credits. 

Results: We got a 100% response rate, and got approved for 1 playlist.

Would we use them again?: Overall, yes. Set up was simple and was reasonably priced. I also liked the fact you could see the genre match, quality level and influence level of each curator. The filters are great too so you can really narrow down what could work for you.

GROOVER  – Groover is a French company that guarantees feedback and visibility from blogs, radios, playlists and labels. 

We spent about $40 USD and were able to submit to 17 curators. We do have some credits left over.

Results: As Groover’s about statement says, you do get feedback, but we’ve had 0 success on placement.

Would we use them again?: No. It really seems better suited for music that you’d like feedback from vs media placement. Set up was quite simple as well, but you are overwhelmed with 1500+ curators, so it’s important to filter down to exactly what you’re looking for.

SONGROCKET – With Songrocket, you can pitch your music as independent, label, PR agency or management to Spotify playlist curators – so they are focused on what we were looking for.

We purchased a plan for $45 where we could pitch up to around 20 playlists / 9 unique curators.

Results: We got a response from 9 curators so far and one playlist placement.

Would we use them again?: Probably not. While setup was simple and appreciated, the cost didn’t match its value.

A runner-up site that we considered using was MusoSoup, however, they required a press release which we felt was not worth our time to write out for a cover song release. This might make more sense for a track that we’d really want a lot more media push around.

How many more plays did we get on the track after those two playlist adds? It was just under 400 additional plays that we gained from the 2 playlists this campaign earned.

Overall, it was really interesting to see how far $100 (actually, a little more) could take us with these playlist submission sites. With anything, I’m sure it depends on the timing, genre and quality of the track, but it’s safe to say that with a limited budget you’re looking at limited results. It would take a lot more money to gain more plays using this strategy.


Ads on a Cover Song – Should You Do It?

February is here and I don’t know about you but things are in FULL swing for 2022 already. Releases, tours, etc. are all being carried out and there’s definitely an energy going around. It’s exciting – and quite busy! But the good kind for sure.

For one client in particular, she is strategizing to cater to more private event bookings and looking to enhance her content to showcase her skills for those types of events. She brilliantly created a medley video, where she performed dozens of cover songs within minutes. It’s entertaining and does exactly what she needs it to do – showcase her range for performing live.

With this video, she obviously wanted to release it and get as many views as possible before pitching it to event bookers to show that she has an impact with her music. Usually, you would put out the video and then to grow views exponentially, place advertisements on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. However in our conversation about this strategy we both stopped. Cover songs are not exactly approved by these platforms to post and place ads on (unless you have the license set in place). And this was more complicated, this was 15-30 seconds of multiple cover songs! Plus it was not an official release meaning no license was obtained at this point.

We both hit up Google but the answers were too vague or mostly just about cover songs / licensing. We knew we could likely post the video without getting it taken down, but advertising could be a different story. Her page already was shortly suspended for another release earlier this year so she wanted to be very cautious about this.

I reached out to colleagues in the industry:
“You should be fine if you cleared it with the distributor.” 
“Not likely to come down but highly unlikely to be allowed to monetize someone else’s copyrights”
“It’s definitely not allowed to be used as an ad. Whether or not you can get away with it is another story.”

I also remembered the “mash up star” GirlTalk who was very popular in the late 2000s, how he sampled thousands of songs without licenses, and was hit hard with cases of infringement. He came out hot after the trails of the recording industry cracking down on illegal downloading. In the end, he came out fine as it was deemed that his samples were short enough to not hurt the original release. In short, if you heard the sample in his music, odds are it only made you like the original track more. If you haven’t heard of him or his story, watch the documentary about him and copyright infringement here.

RiP!: A Remix Manifesto (2008) - Watch on Kanopy or Streaming Online |  Reelgood

Back to my client, we discussed what could work for us and still help her reach her goals of getting this video in front of as many eyes as possible.

We decided to post the video on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, but only placed advertising on Youtube. While advertising on Facebook and Instagram would have been nice, it was highly likely those platforms would either not allow it or take down the video. And Youtube developed a monetization system to allow rights holders and content creators to bypass the usual licensing process for cover song videos.

And…we’re still standing today, all profiles and videos live.

It also made more sense to focus on one video to grow views on, and thinking ahead, we’d most likely be sharing a Youtube link to future bookers vs a FB or IG link.

I wanted to share this story because we couldn’t find the answer when we were looking, and my hope is that this can help other artists make a decision when posting their cover or medley videos.


Do’s and Don’t’s of Job Posting

I hope you all had a recharging holiday season and already kicking down doors in the new year! For some of you, I’m sure you are looking at your business and building your team. I myself have been there and have learned along the way on how to bring the best possible applicants to the table. SoOo, today I wanted to share some of those tips so when you’re posting a job for a VA or anyone else for your team, you are creating attractive and effective job postings. 

Here are my do’s and don’ts of job posting descriptions.DO: Write a good job description

This might be obvious, but you do have to go beyond the ‘Musician seeking Virtual Assistant’ or ‘Seeking Graphic Designer’. You want to be clear and concise in your job description. When writing a job posting, focus on the essential details. Include key responsibilities of the job and be specific with what you are looking for. What helps me is to sit down and write out all the daily, weekly or monthly tasks I expect from the person as this is the ground level of what the job entails.

DON’T: Start hiring before you are prepared

You want to make sure that you have the right accommodations to expand your team. Growth is great, but you must have a clear idea of what you need and what can work for you financially. You don’t want to go in blind or lead candidates on.

DO: Clarify what’s required and what’s desired

Some skills may be essential for the success of the candidate; others are desirable but can be learned on the job. Make it clear which skills fall in which category to help applicants make the right choice when deciding to apply. This is also an opportunity to hear from them how they would handle learning a new task!

DON’T: Make the application excessively lengthy

A survey found that 60% of applicants who thought an application was too complex or long would likely not even try to apply. As mentioned in the first “DO”, keep it clear and concise. A somewhat long application is perfectly fine in order to be thorough, but at a certain point applications can simply become far too extensive. 

DO: Get enthusiastic

Enthusiasm can show through how your job description is written and can really sell on applicants to apply! Discuss growth and expansion opportunities that that person can be included on if both of you are successful!

DON’T: Try to eliminate bad candidates

If you’ve had a bad fit in that role before, it can be tempting to write a job posting to turn away similar candidates. Avoid this urge; instead, write for the ideal candidate, not the “not bad” candidate. Keep negativity out of your job posting.

DO: Reply to all candidates

Even if it’s not a good fit, do try to reply to all candidates. They deserve to know if you’re considering them for the job or not. And make sure to be timely about it. Taking weeks to respond is not professional to an applicant.

I hope you find this helpful in your endeavors of building your team! If you have a job description you’d like me to review, shoot it over! I’m happy to give feedback and help you build your support team. :)Cheers,