General

SendMusic helping you with the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

General, Product, SendMusic News, Uncategorized

Get 6 month’s free on our Security Plan – just sign up for an account here if you haven’t done so already and then upgrade here using the code staysafe

Everyone at SendMusic appreciates that this is a really difficult time for artists, musicians and dj’s across the world.  Gigs and festivals are getting cancelled with every passing day because of the Coronavirus and it’s impact.  Many in music rely on this live income in order to survive and continue to keep their passion as a sustainable career.

We set up SendMusic to help the music community get heard – to enable artists and music makers to send their art in an easier way and for those playing music (dj’s, radio presenters and more) to find the most exciting tracks to support.  Each of the founders have been in these situations and we know how tough it can be.

That’s why we’re offering any artist, musician or dj who has had a gig cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak a full 6 months free when upgrading to our top tier – the Security Plan on SendMusic.  Just use the code ‘staysafe‘.  It’s a small gesture from us to help the makers we serve at this unprecedented time.  If you’re not able to perform your music, we want to help be the reason you keep creating until you can again.

Just sign up for an account here if you haven’t done so already and then upgrade here using the code staysafe.

If you have any questions, as always – feel free to get in touch with us.

Lots of love,
SendMusic xx

Interview with disco don Yam Who? aka Qwestlife!

General, Music Business, Music Production

I interviewed Yam Who? in this week’s blog post and asked him some questions that might just capture your imagination a wee bit. So who is  Yam Who?. He’s the internationally known alter ego of disco producer Andy Williams. One of the most consistent DJ’s on the circuit, every weekend you’ll find him rocking the dance floor at clubs & festivals around the globe including Glitterbox, Lovebox, Ministry Of Sound, Horse Meat Disco, Love International etc.. He’s featured on line ups with the world’s finest selectors including Greg Wilson, Joey Negro, Melvo Baptiste, Tiger & Woods, Purple Disco Machine & Danny Krivit. So let’s dive into the questions!

 What do you currently do?
Currently I wear a lot of hats, but in a nutshell I do the following:

  • DJ as Yam Who & Qwestlife
  • Artist / Producer as Yam Who & Qwestlife
  • Owner of 3 labels – ISM, Midnight Riot & Black Riot 
  • Songwriter
  • Journalist – Mixmag disco editor, providing a cutting edge platform for the modern disco, boogie & house scenes

 How did you break into the industry?
I started DJ’ing at university. Then there weren’t many DJ’s back then (it was a long time ago lol). Then suddenly it seemed to become very cool and there were too many. Throughout this period I always had the disco bug. I was also always into technology and instruments and I seemed to naturally drift into music production. I realised early on that the only way into music was through production and I started Yam Who. From this I naturally progressed into setting up ISM Records in 2009. Following on from ISM I sensed a missing niche in the market and started Midnight Riot and the label literally took off. I learnt a lot from starting ISM that really helped with Midnight Riot being the success that it is. Anyways all this led to getting a gig at Mixmag as their Disco editor and from here I ended up getting signed to Glitterbox which was a dream come true. I still remember getting a call from the team there and what a surreal feeling it was. I loved the label and they said they wanted to create some synergy and I now have an album coming out on their label under my production guise ‘Qwestlife’ with Tom Laroye.
I have to point out that this whole process spans 30 years, I started in music back in 1989. I firmly believe that the only way to break into the scene now is to set up yourself correctly, through things like Bandcamp and having a strong brand and releasing great music. Internet technology has levelled the playing field. The way to do it is through perseverance, ingenuity and creativity. 

How long did it take you to be a success?
As I mentioned above it’s taken me 30 years and it’s just really getting going now! There have definitely been key, formative events on the way, like when I first got into Hip Hop in 1983. MOre than just music this was a movement centred around music, dancing (breaking), art (graffiti)  and fashion – all things that I love. Even with Midnight Riot, I came up with the name after the Tottenham Riots in 2011. They had just happened and I was trying to get home at midnight, (I live in Tottenham)!
Everything comes together in a weird way. I feel nowadays everyone wants an instant fix but you have to take your time, hone your craft, practice and be creative as that breeds longevity. If it’s any consolation I’ve made a ton of mistakes on the way. 

What advice do you have for producers trying to break into the industry?
Persevere, be creative, hone your craft and hustle. Also make your music with passion, you have to come with the right intentions and be authentic.

How is it best to send music out to DJ’s, labels and Management companies?
I use SendMusic for this, as it’s so fast and reliable and you guys are brilliant at helping me out whenever I need it!

 What are your favourite go to plugins?
I’m a software junkie I think, but here are the staples:
– Arturia – V Collection
– Xfer – Serum
– Fabfilter – Pro Q, Saturn
– Native Instruments – Kontakt, Massive, Reaktor
Everyone has their own system, find what works for you, but really master whatever it is you use. Most DAW’s come with insane stock plug ins now to be fair. I also use a ton of hardware as well, loads of outboard synths. There’s something special and organic about capturing analogue signals that gives your music real warmth and depth. I think this can be lacking sometimes with solely plugins.

Do you have your own tracks mixed and mastered by someone else?
Yes I now use someone else, even though I can do it and used to do it all myself. But you reach a certain level where it’s better outsourced and I prefer the separation of the stages now.
Mixing and mastering duties fyi are done by a certain Matt Bandy, he’s great!

 What trends do you see in the scene this coming year?
The Disco vibe is just starting to really get going – it’s going to get bigger this year I believe.
Our debut Qwestlife album is out this year on Glitterbox, so excited for that and hoping that trends!
Also i’m seeing a collective of people / producers / songwriters making big songs again with  great vocals and great songwriting. It’s an exciting time in the scene.

Who are your favourite producers
There are a ton out there but right now i’m digging the following:
– The Vision – Kon and Ben Westbeech
– Art of tones
– Michael Gray
– Joey Negro
– Purple Disco Machine

How can our users get you music, for either getting signed to one of your labels or inclusion in your DJ sets?
If you go to my SendMusic Profile Page here, just send it via that! Like I said, it’s my file transfer method of choice 🙂

That’s it for this week. Finally, thanks Yam, it was great talking to you and best of luck for the rest of 2020. We look forward to hearing your art!

Pal

pal@sendmusic.com

 

 

 

 

 

Industry insider interview with….Kemal

General, Music Business, Music Production

10 Key questions with….Kemal

Some questions to you guys:

  • Do you make music?
  • Do you want to get your music on the radio?
  • Do you want to know if record labels, blogs etc. actually listen to the music that you send to them?

Well in today’s blog and the first of this year’s interview series, I interviewed SendMusic co-founder and music industry aficionado Kemal.

What do you currently do?

  • I do a few things actually including but not limited to the following:
  • Produce the Diplo & Friends show on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra
  • A&R for the Grammy nominated production trio The Invisible Men
  • Building SendMusic as the best platform to share unreleased music

How did you break into the industry?

  • I followed my passion for music. At University I started DJing. When I finished Uni my friend and I started working in Community (some might call it pirate!) radio. I also started writing music reviews for a magazine, putting on club nights and doing as many music related things as I could. It was just a case of connecting with people who had the same type of dreams.
  • It all culminated in me enrolling to do a sound engineering course. The universe then worked in my favour and I saw that 1Xtra were launching and advertising for jobs. It took me a year from the first interview to get a continuous role there – but I’d managed to gain some of the skills and experience needed with the things I was doing in my spare time and was able to work across both 1Xtra and Radio 1 late night shows before bringing Diplo to the networks.

What advice do you have for producers trying to break into the industry?

  • Your first 100 productions will be poor, get through these as quickly as possible. Try to make 3 beats a day instead of one a week – it’s a journey and a process. The quicker you get the 10,000 hours in, the quicker your path to success will be. Like anything that is skilled you need to really batten down the hatches and practice your craft, a lot, over and over again. I think anyone can make good music if they are focused.

How would a producer with a great track get it onto the following:

 A Diplo or other big DJ mix?

  • They would have to get a track to either Diplo or one of the guests we feature on the show. The best way to do this is to build your own brand. By brand I mean your artist name, releasing high quality music regularly and building a fanbase. This way other dj’s will hopefully start to like your productions and support you. Every Diplo show features plenty of music from hot new DJs / artists / producers. Try to get your music to these people instead of Diplo initially if you’re not getting the support you’re expecting. Research plays a big part of success here, find out who to send music to that has a connection to Diplo, or whoever you’re trying to reach. If your music is good, it’ll travel.

A Radio 1 playlist?

  • Again your focus should be to build a brand and create a fanbase. A producer or musician’s job is to make music that is undeniable and then try to build a big enough fanbase so that people talk about and support it. Trust me, Radio 1 will take notice, but it’s a long and lengthy process so keep at it. Put out as many high quality tracks as regularly as you can, to build a fanbase and get regular support. Also remember that Radio 1 may not be the best home for the music you’re making so try to find the right channel for whatever style of music that you produce. Use some thought here and consider what places are best for your music to submit to.

A Spotify playlist?

  • This I think has more to do with building a presence on the platform as you can now pitch for inclusion to playlists. Get as much support as possible and start with the smaller playlists. The cumulative effect of this is that it kicks in the Spotify engagement algorithm which works to put you in better contention for the larger playlists. Remember that to get onto the big Spotify playlists you need to probably be established with a solid monthly streaming number. Start with small playlists, even with 100 or 1000 subscribers, before long you will hopefully progress to 10,000 subscriber playlists and beyond.

How is it best to send music out to DJ’s, labels and Management companies?

  • First stop would be to look though the SendMusic directory (send.mu/directory) as we’ve got some major players in there – so sign up! Do your research, look at their relevant social spaces, they usually have demo drop details. Most of the information you need is on the internet, so just start digging.
  • Format wise I prefer when people send 1 track (your best!) and never more than 3. More than that and the reality is most people working in the music industry just won’t have the time to go through them all. I get 15 emails a day asking me to listen to music so if you’re sending 12 tracks it’s just not going to happen. If they want to hear more, they’ll get in touch and ask. Make sure that it’s a high res mp3 with contact details on how to get in touch, which is best done in using the file name effectively.

Does anyone really ever listen to the music at the record labels, blogs, Spotify playlists in your opinion?

  • Yes, most people get into the music industry because they are passionate about music. The underlying issue is that these people are inundated with tracks. Getting through as many tracks quickly and securely and sending feedback is why we created SendMusic!

 Do you have to have a massive social media presence to get signed now?

  • No, but you need something unique, whether that’s your personality shining through online or your amazing music making skills making you stand out. There are lots of smaller labels that support artists without huge followings. If however you’re definitely looking to be a top 10 pop star then yes, you most probably do need to work on your social media presence and have an audience already.

Do you need a Radio Plugger?

  • Radio pluggers help after you reach a certain level – when you’ve had time in a scene and built some connections. As a general rule of thumb they are more for pushing music to daytime shows and rotation. Good radio pluggers should have connections with presenters and radio production staff that can help get your music heard but you don’t necessarily need one – especially if you’re making underground specialist music.

What is the best way to keep on top of trends in music?

  • For music trends look out for what’s hot using different indicators, such as charts, sales / streaming, what’s being played on radio shows, in the clubs and in DJ mixes.
  • From a business angle read things like Music Week or Music Business Worldwide to find out about who is doing what at labels, publishers and more.

Is it better to be independent in this day and age or with a management company that can align you with singers and an infrastructure

  • This depends on the artist. I’m an advocate of doing as much as you can by yourself until managers approach you. Lots of upcoming artists think the answer is to get a manager, but the vision still needs to come from the artist – where he or she is going artistically. A manager is just an enabler. I guess the questions underlying this is – as an artist do you want full creative control or do you need help navigating the industry? It can be complex, there are lots of tricky roads to manoeuvre, e.g. record deals, publishing contracts, licensing, touring etc. You can do it all yourself (it’s easier than ever with more and more tools evolving every year) but the independent path doesn’t let you focus 100% on the craft of making music.

What plans do you have for SendMusic in 2020?

  • 2020 is already gearing up to be our best and most exciting year yet!
  • Our Mobile App will launch at the end of March and I think you are going to love it – there are also big plans in the summer centred around some key music tech events.
  • We’ll be heading back to ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) in October, where we were shortlisted as a ‘Company 2 Watch’ last year.

 

2019 & Beyond

AI, General, Music Business

Well it’s been a few weeks now since we saw in 2020, the start of a new decade and i’m guessing for many of you a reinvigorated drive to accomplish goals and realise dreams. It’s definitely felt that way for myself as a co-founder of SendMusic and a part time music producer – i.e. part time as in when I get a spare moment to create, which is quite tricky with 2 children and 2 cats. In fairness to the cats they are actually not time consuming at all really, the children on the other hand…  

For today’s blog post I thought I’d cover a few things at a high level. A quick recap of 2019, primarily focused on how SendMusic got better and developments we have coming this year and a look at the impact AI has had on the music industry. Then I will quickly highlight how the blog will be formatted moving into 2020. 

2019 

A lot happened in 2019, some good, a little bad, not much ugly. It was a great year for SendMusic, we saw rapid growth in the number of active users that we have. We also built the platform out more in light of some pretty cool ideas we’d been harbouring and also off the back of great feedback we’d received from you guys. Notable events included the launch of our 2 paid tiers which offer additional features allowing you do things like customise your SendMusic profile page to make it look your own, all part of the Personal Plan. Or even add really enhanced security parameters around the files you send, as part of the Security plan, Below is a side by side comparison.

Personal Plan $5 Security Plan $10
  • Send files up to 5GB in size
  • Store your files for up to 60 Days
  • Send files to up to 10 contacts
  • Customise your public SendMusic profile
  • Remove SendMusic branding
  • Hide the “Send Music to me” button
  • Change your background design and colors
  • Send files up to 10GB in size
  • Store your files for up to 90 Days
  • Send files to up to 20 contacts
  • Customise your public SendMusic profile
  • Remove SendMusic branding
  • Hide the “Send Music to me” button
  • Change your background design and colors
  • Watermark your audio files with an audio sting
  • Limit downloads and plays of each file
  • Send private messages to other SendMusic users
  • Listen to music sent to your profile for 30 days

Even more excitingly we have our mobile app coming, it’s in development as I write this and it looks incredible! More importantly than it’s look is the functionality it will bring when it comes to sending, receiving, storing and communicating around the music files you use. This is an area  we feel hasn’t been fully nailed yet by any one developer and we are excited to share what we think might just delight you.

If I were to sum up 2019 in the music industry as a whole two letters spring to mind – AI. Artificial Intelligence is already in use in many ways. It automates services, discovers patterns and insights into huge data sets and creates efficiencies. 

So what happened involving AI more so than ever? Well the AI generated playlist really came to the fore. 20,000 new tracks uploaded to Spotify every day and AI is critical for helping sort through the options and delivering recommendations to listeners based on what they’ve listened to in the past. The algorithm has in fact changed the way we consume and listen to music, crazy stuff.

AI also created more songs than ever. Google’s Magenta project produced songs written and performed by AI and Sony developed Flow Machines, an AI system that’s already released “Daddy’s Car,” a song created by AI. Then we had Landr mastering your tracks using AI and providing a cheaper than human service to do so. In most cases doing a very good job also!

Artificial intelligence is also helping the industry with A&R (artist and repertoire) discovery. It’s always been challenging to comb through music and find promising artists that haven’t signed to a label, but it’s even more overwhelming with the deluge of streaming music today. Warner Music Group acquired a tech start-up last year that uses an algorithm to review social, streaming and touring data to find promising talent. Apple also acquired a start-up that specializes in music analytics to support the A&R process.

In a nutshell, AI is well established behind the scenes influencing the music we listen to in many ways.

Blog

You’ll all be pleased to hear that you will be getting weekly installments of the blog, following the format below:

W1: Tips and Tricks

W2: Industry Trends

W3: Interview

W4: “Answer the Public”

W5: Music Technology, hardware

This week (as we’re in Week 4) I will ‘answer the public’ – basically responding to a question that is in response to a question that’s often asked online.

Have a great day!

Pal

pal@send.mu

Interview with Matt Thurtell from n-Track

General

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the key players from n-Track, Matt Thurtell. n-Track is a Digital Audio Workstation built to provide users studio quality recording, editing and mixing capabilities on Windows and Mac as well as on mobile – iOS and Android. It has millions of downloads and continues to grow in popularity, especially in the mobile market. So, let’s dive in with the questions….

1) Matt, please tell me about yourself 

After graduating from the Film Scoring Masters course at the Royal College of Music, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with music recorded at Abbey Road Studio One, screened at BAFTA & Cannes Film Festival, for the BBC, Sky, Audi R8, Island Records & Beverley Knight. In 2019 I moved from London to Rome.  

2) You work for n-Track, who are they and what do you do there?

We’re a DAW company based out of Rome that makes software to inspire people to create music and collaborate. n-Track has been around & evolving since 1996. My role is Head of Marketing & Sound – which means building attention for the brand, and working on sound selection & creation to build the most inspiring product for users to create music. 

3) What do you think sets n-Track apart from its competitors?

Two things: First, our emphasis is as a mobile-first music maker, geared towards creating the most frictionless experience for users to create and share their music. We’re also cross-platform, meaning you can start & record an idea from just about anywhere and then move that project onto the desktop version of n-Track to mix and refine in the studio. Recently I was talking with a NYC-based rapper, T.O.N.E-z, that used this approach, recording the idea for his vocals for theme song to the Emmy-award winning Justified on n-Track Studio for iOS on a plane, and finalising in n-Track Studio for Desktop back in his studio. I use this capability a lot – turning an idea, which could arrive at any time, into the final product, is an important part of the process in getting your sound & music out into the world!

4) There’s a fast growing market for DAWs on mobile:

– What do you see happening in this space and over what timeframe?

I’d love to see an integration with voice-led technology and DAWs over the next 3-5 years. Music is sound and emotion – using voice technology to create and refine music, like ‘Capture this melody’, then singing a line, ‘audition drum loops at 120bpm over this guitar line’, I think would create a different sensory experience in music creation. 

– How are n-Track positioned to compete in this growing market?

We’re lucky to have an outrageously talented team that love technology and develop quick. Above everything we’re looking to provide users with the most efficient way to create and share music so I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes us. 

5) Are there any exciting developments at n-Track that you’d like to share?

We’re releasing a powerful loop browser, for all versions of n-Track, packed with sounds to inspire instant music creation. As part of the release we’re introducing a new mobile-subscription called Suite Edition, which gives rappers, artists and producers access to royalty-free beats, loops & one-shots, hand-selected from around the globe. We’re going to supply the individual parts to the beats and even allow users to edit the n-Track Studio session used to create the beats, the idea being that if you’re a first time vocalist, or an experienced producer you can remix, amend and play with the tracks according to your skill level, always knowing that the raw material is already release-level.

6) I know you were a Logic user but you’ve switched to n-Track full time now, how has that been?

I’ve actually just released an album written using n-Track and the engine just gives the music a certain ‘sound’. I used Logic for 8 years, through my time at the Royal College and working on ads – I found it to be a steep learning curve. I think that after having years of experience with one DAW, the basics of another can be grasped almost instantly, but I love to work with audio and n-Track, with the integration of the loop browser, allows you to chop, pitch and tempo shift audio directly on the arrange window, without using third party programs. It removes an extra step that gets in the way of creation and I feel that the layout allows me to record and finish music quicker. 

7) If you could have any feature on a DAW, what would that be?

Inspiration. Every DAW should be striving to inspire music creation. One of the reasons I use a DAW is to use the technology to create a better version of the idea I have in my head! Also knowing that the DAW is regularly being updated to stay relevant and provide the most frictionless experience to create and release tracks. 

8) Where do you see music going to in the future, especially in this era of subscription based streaming?

Quantity. Tech is facilitating opportunities like end-to-end music creation tools, in which music can be created, marketed, distributed through a platform. And, of course, there are companies using AI to create an almost unimaginable amount of music.Ironically, through the quantity of releases, I feel that music quality will be as important as ever and I’d also add how important I think branding will continue to be… Creating attention in a crowded (but incredibly inspiring) marketplace to get your new hot track heard, streamed, placed on games, film, and TV, or played live.  

9) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A more evolved version of myself. Excited, still building, finding ways to give users the most frictionless & inspiring ways to create within the music space – likely integrating voice and AI as the technology becomes more accessible. Tech and culture will continue to evolve & for sure I’ll be creating content for whatever platforms are around in a decade. And.. still putting out music releases too, of course!

10) Tell me absolutely anything you want to say, climate change to the universe to frogs, whatever…

Check out n-Track Studio for mobile & let me know what you think on matt@ntrack.com. Thanks for your time, PaL…arrivederci, e grazie!

Where to send music demos

General, Music Business

So you’re there, that magical moment, you’ve finished a track and it actually feels like it’s finished, (well if you’re like me a track never feels finished). Anyways I digress, what I’ve found out the hard way is that making music and finishing tracks is actually the easy part. The harder part for many musicians and producers is getting their music out into the world through the correct channels, where it gets the exposure it deserves.

Unsurprisingly it’s quite confusing what you should be doing with so many blogs, labels and streaming platforms out there now. It’s so easy to waste hours on futile efforts that don’t really lead anywhere. So the purpose of this weeks blog post is to hopefully point you towards some channels that can get your tracks the exposure they deserve. Before I dive in I would suggest one bit of admin that will save you a headache down the line. Set up a spreadsheet, at a minimum have a column with the track name, another column with the person / channel / blog that you’ve sent your track too and another column with any response or action they’ve taken. It’s very easy to lose track of what you’ve sent out and to whom. Finally remember to keep any communication with any entity you reach out to well written (no mistakes) and to the point (no waffle).

  • Blogs

Blogs are a brilliant place for discovering new artists. Getting your tracks onto a decent  blog can get you significant traction. Listed below are a few good ones to ignite your search:

Soundplate

YourEDM

Dancing Astronaut

Ear Milk 

So how do you get onto these blogs? Most have some kind of demo upload method where you can post a streaming link to your track, your artist details etc. However from personal experience I wouldn’t solely rely on this method. Here’s where some ingenuity on your part comes in, actually dig into the blog and articles / posts thoroughly. Usually there is an author associated with the content. Find their social media pages, contact them, build rapport and try to get them into your music too. Don’t be pushy, instead seek feedback, use your imagination and build a connection, remember neediness is never attractive! 

  • Spotify Playlists

The biggest playlists on Spotify all have demo submission forms through which to submit your music. However don’t get greedy here with the allure of success ad and trying in vain to get your music onto the biggest Spotify playlist possible. There’s many great smaller Spotify playlists out there that are easier to get your music onto. It’s extremely difficult to get your music onto a big Spotify Playlist as an unknown producer, singer or songwriter. I’d suggest trying to get onto a smaller playlist first and working your way up the Spotify playlist ladder hierarchy. If your track is good enough and people are listening to it in decent numbers there is no reason why your track won’t get onto bigger playlists. Some Spotify playlists for your consideration are:

Indiemono

Soundplate

Daily Playlists

Artist Intelligence Agency

  • Labels

There are a ton of amazing labels out there. Like playlists the bigger ones are very hard to get onto, i’m talking about labels like Spinnin, Defected, Monstercat etc. These big labels operate very professionally as business enterprises. As such, not only do you have to have amazing music, but they are usually also looking for a big fan base – it helps them sell more records / get more streams and generate more hype with less effort. 

So it’s better to initially think about getting your music onto smaller independent labels. You’ve got a much better chance of getting your track signed, you’ll hopefully get exposure by a hungry team and you will also learn the ins and outs of signing a record.

There’s a few ways to contact these labels, some are:

Find their general submission email

A submission form on their website

Contact an A + R at the label (do some digging around their site, find names etc. and reach out as necessary!)

Don’t worry if you don’t get a response, these labels get hundreds of tracks sent to them everyday. There’s a million and one reasons why you didn’t get a response, even though your head might well be telling you that the music you make and submitted is crap. Don’t listen to your head in such a scenario and keep sending your music out there. 

  • YouTube channels

YouTube channels have the same power and reach as Spotify playlists in our current era, as such they are really important when it comes to reaching (potentially) millions of fans. 

Just check out the numbers on these famous YouTube channels:

    • NCS (13M subscribers)

If you go to the ‘About’ page you can normally find details of the channel and contact details. Otherwise work back and try to find an associated website or social media account linked and dig to get a contact. There is an excellent Google Chrome extension called Hunter that lets you find email addresses associated with a web page. Check it out below and happy hunting with that one! 

Hunter

Finally

All of these things come down to how hard you hustle. Obviously you need good music first and foremost. There are some who get lucky, those anomalies that get discovered as barely pubescent teens uploading their first track randomly onto Soundcloud and it getting discovered and going viral. I have to point out this is kind of like winning the lottery, most artists who ‘make’ it have to have a strategy to get their music into the hands of the right people and have had to push and take knock backs multiple times. You really need to develop a thick skin in this industry and take rejection as just a part of the process and nothing personal. In the end I hope you get the success you seek, keep on pushing and go get what you deserve!

Send Music to Spotify Playlists

General, Music Business

In today’s world Spotify playlists have a huge influence on monthly song listens. They are especially important for smaller artists who might not yet have large followings. Getting onto one of the top playlists out there, like “Today’s top hits”, “Rap Caviar”, “United Kingdom Top 50” etc. enables an artist to reach huge audiences and hit massive streaming figures. Take KREAM as an example, they have only 4000 followers on Spotify, yet they are reaching almost 5 million monthly listeners thanks to 3 million of their listeners coming from 5 key playlists that they appear on. The term used to describe this phenomenon is ‘playlist leverage’. In KREAM’s case they are getting over 800 times more monthly listeners than they have followers. 

It’s no surprise then that the push by record labels, music promotion companies etc. is to get songs into curated playlists hosted by streaming services such as Spotify and Apple. According to the EU’s Joint Research Centre, getting a placement on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist can generate $117,000 (£90,500) in revenue. Getting added to Today’s Top Hits, a playlist with over 23 million followers raises streams by 20 million and is worth between $116,000 and $163,000. These playlists have become the tools used by labels and managers to measure success. A playlist now can break an artist, the playlist really is now king!

So we then come to THE question, “how can I get my music onto a top playlist”? Below is some useful knowledge if you are trying to get your music onto Spotify playlists.

Not all Playlists are created equal

The in demand playlists are extremely competitive and difficult to get a placement on. They are usually owned and curated by either Spotify or a major label. Companies or indie labels own some playlists and individuals like you and me own the rest. Generally speaking one has to work their way up the ladder, from the bottom of the playlist pyramid to the top.

Spotify Playlists

Spotify curated playlists are top of the pyramid and can have well over a million followers. Songs that get onto these have usually been road tested on the smaller Playlists. Spotify look at data such as plays, skips and finishes to decide how well a song is performing. If your song performs well it has a better chance of getting onto a Spotify Playlist.

It should be noted that some Spotify Playlists are curated, while others use an algorithm to choose songs in line with a listener’s tastes.

Major Label Curated Playlists

Major Label owned playlists get decent numbers of listens. They’re often used to plug label artists to get plays and hopefully land a spot on a Spotify Playlist.

Individual Curated Playlists

These are curated by people like me and you, indie labels, radio stations, music bloggers etc. If you’re an artist breaking out, it’s a good idea to start hustling your music by landing it on one of these smaller playlists. There’s more chance of landing your music on one of these playlists and getting it out there to actual listeners.

How to get your music on Spotify Playlists

  1. Sign up for Spotify for Artists

Creating a Spotify for Artists account gets you verified and makes you credible. You also get access to features such as analytics and notifications when your music is added to playlists.

  1. If you already have fans direct them to Spotify 

Get some activity going. Get your friends, grandmother, uncle and any other fans (if you have them) to start listening to your song on Spotify. Share links to your Spotify page on your social media channels, include a link in your email signature, use any means necessary to promote your music! Spotify playlists look at data like plays, finishes, skips and listen duration. Curators are looking for those tracks that are getting love already. It’s a numbers game. 

Releasing new music with a regular cadence is another good strategy, it gets fans excited about following you, so keep creating and releasing.

  1. Promote your own music by creating your own Spotify Playlist 

Start creating your own playlists to promote your music. Include tracks you love from artists you love. Perhaps try to collaborate with other upcoming artists on your own playlist, have fun with it, be creative in curating the tracks you add. You can again share this Spotify playlist link out into the world.

  1. Start pitching your songs to Independent Spotify Playlist Owners

First find playlists that represent the genre of music you make and make a list of them. Then do some digging to find contacts at these playlists. They often have a Social Media channel linked to them such as Facebook, Youtube or Instagram with contact details on these. Otherwise there are Music Industry Directories, essentially Spotify or Apple playlist directories with contacts to reach out to. These cost to access but are worth it if you are serious about pushing your music. An excellent one is The Music Industry Connection – https://www.themicco.com/

  1. Pitch your music to blogs

Lots of bloggers have their own Spotify playlists and are always on the lookout for the next big track so consider this as a potential channel to hit up also.

  1. Submit directly to Spotify Playlists

If you have a Spotify for Artists account you can submit directly to Spotify for consideration in playlists. The track needs to be unsigned and submitted at least 7 days prior to the scheduled release date. You can only submit one track at a time, you can submit a new one after your first track is officially released. When submitting you need to include metadata such as genre, mood, instrumentation etc. Spotify use this information along with the existing information that they have on you to find potential playlist placements.

Summary

It takes hard work and dedication to get onto the bigger Spotify playlists. Aim low initially, learn how the system works and get your music placed on a smaller playlist that matches the genre and mood of the music that you are making. Playlists are definitely the power channel when it comes to getting your music hype and plays in today’s world. Ultimately people are always looking for new music that’s good so get yours out there and hopefully watch it spread virally. It might even get on a few of the cool playlists I’ve listed below. My fingers are crossed for you.

♫ Today’s Top Hits ♫

♫ Your Favorite CoffeeHouse ♫

♫ Teen Party ♫

♫ Relax & Unwind ♫

♫ Acoustic Love ♫

 

Episode 3 – Practice makes perfect

General

We have all sorts of users using our product – from DJ’s to mastering engineers to my dad – well truth be told he’s only seen it and likes the moving bubbles. One of our largest groups of users are music producers, I myself fit into this cohort.

Starting out as a producer is tough, some get lucky and get a hit straight away. Others toil away unable ever to finish a track, instead creating loops and thinking they are amazing. One of the best things you can do as a producer is to get into a finishing habit and actually just start to finish the tracks you make – as quickly as you can. Then analyse them, listen back to them, take stock and improve. This part is really easy and can be done anywhere, on the train to work or on the bus, anywhere really. It is really important to take stock of what you have created and measure how it actually weighs up against other tracks out there. Is the mix sounding good, does the arrangement work etc. Over time and with regular practice you will no doubt start creating some good music. I can’t reiterate it enough though, you must finish whole tracks and get accustomed to the process of doing so. Personally it took me a long time to get to the point of doing this but now I’ve gotten faster and actually finish music, a lot of it. This year I had over 40 tracks published for synchronisation to radio and television work, so if someone like me can do it so can you!

I believe that when making art, in this case music, it’s a vibe thing. You want to get your ideas out as quickly as you can when you’ve caught inspiration. To get quicker one of the best skills you can have is to know your Digital Audio Workstation inside out. It is essentially the canvas and paints that you work with to create. Back in the day this was a laborious task, who wants to read a long manual or .PDF, I sure didn’t and I don’t think many others did either, we just botched along picking up the odd tip or trick here or there. Luckily things have changed with the advent of the internet, there are tons of great training websites and videos out there now, some free and some paid. I’ve listed my favourite such resources below:

  • Youtube
  • Groove 3
  • PureMix.net
  • Lynda training

These are just a few but even using just YouTube properly (i.e not watching Conor Mcgregor knockouts when you’re supposed to be studying), you can find loads of great production tutorials that will help you with all aspects of your music production. Again here is where you might want to take stock and inventory of where you need to improve – is it arrangement, is it mixing, is it mastering, is it basic music theory? Essentially what actions and things to study are going to get you closer to making that next global smash?

Ultimately I do believe if you have even just a bit of talent it boils down to your TRUE desire. Do you want this and will you put it ahead of other distractions that provide short term payoffs (Netflix springs to mind for me)? I hope you make the right choice and are comfortable with your decision! Happy creating and if you want to send tracks, stems or whatever to whoever, remember to sign up for an account with use at SendMusic and improve your workflow and make more songs!

Episode 2 – Changing Rituals

General

 

Changing rituals

Let’s jump back to 1994, yes that’s a long time ago and look, I still feel young ok! Every week I would listen to pirate radio religiously, to the freshest Jungle and Drum & Bass, the sound of London at the time. Weekends would roll around and my friends and I would travel to Section 5, a record shop on the Kings Road in London that sold the freshest cuts of vinyl. Steve (the owner) got to know us and after a while he started reaching under the counter to give us special test presses and white label records – unreleased tracks yet to come out to the public. We felt special, I felt special, it was my feel good ritual, getting the hottest music, before almost anybody else had their hands on it.

At the time I flippantly thought vinyl would stay around forever and my ritual would go on, never changing. How wrong I was! Vinyl gave way to CD’s, and these then gave way to mp3’s and now we’re in the era of the Spotify playlist. The rituals to find new music and get your hands on music before others has changed, yet good music remains good music and around the world teenagers still continue to do some quite stupid things. Through this digitally disruptive period we’ve also seen record company and artist profits fall. For a certain age group getting new music is linked to piracy. Napster, the first widely used P2P service started the trend and even though it got shut down the cat was definitely out of the bag.

But things are changing – for the first time since Napster the record industry posted an increase in revenue for three consecutive years. People seemed to have warmed up to the idea of signing up for a streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music. Even better news for artists and producers is the Music Modernization Act that’s been signed into law in the US. This new law alters the way artists and producers are paid by streaming services in favour of the artists. Musicians who recorded songs before 1972 are ensured royalty payments through streaming services as part of the new act. Music creators are finally starting to get compensated fairly when their music is used by digital and satellite music services. Great news we say!

We at SendMusic also aim to help music industry professionals from all walks of music come together. Whether your an artist, a producer, an A&R, a label owner… Well anyone to be honest – if you want to share, collaborate, update and send music more simply and faster than any other site give SendMusic a try! We also give you amazing tools, to do things like let you set your music links to only stream or download, the icing on the cake is we let you create a special short-link (send.mu/) under which you collate all your social and merch links. You can then paste this link anywhere, i.e. your Instagram bio and people are taken to a landing page that contains all the links you’ve added. Take a look at mine to see what I mean:

www.send.mu/PaL

So the rituals to get your hands on music have in fact changed and we’re helping that change happen, come and join us and create your own rituals too!

Pal

Welcome to the SendMusic Blog! … Episode 1 – “The Lowdown”

General

A warm welcome to you from us here at SendMusic. We’ll introduce ourselves properly over the course of these next few blog posts but first, let’s get down to business!  We’re really excited to be launching SendMusic as we think it’ll greatly enhance your workflow and productivity. SendMusic makes working with the music files you send and receive simpler, faster and more effortless – regardless of the platform you use, regardless if it’s mobile or desktop. There’s more, SendMusic is also a tool for organising ALL your social links in one place…  Don’t have time for a website? Can’t be bothered setting up a landing page? We’ve got you covered!

“So how does it work” we hear you ask? SendMusic has two main ingredients that make up our very unique hot sauce:

1 – You can send music files and any other file types, (including very large files up to 3GB on our free account), using SendMusic REALLY easily – it’s literally drag and drop onto the homepage.

When you upload a file you can set it to either Stream only or Download. The site generates a link to all of the music file or files you have uploaded and emails this to your recipient.  Full previews are available for all uploaded files. This makes SendMusic really useful for listening to the music you receive on the go, without having to download it first to your hard drive.

You also have an option to set how long you want the generated link to expire in, which can be 1 day or 1 week (or 1 month if you sign-up for a free SendMusic account). If you do sign-up you also get access to an inbox which contains all the files you have both sent and received. If multiple files are sent and you have set the “Allow” option to Download, the user can download all the files they receive really quickly as a .zip as well as going through them individually. When the receiver listens to the file you’ve sent you also get an email telling you the file has been listened to – pretty cool right!

To sum up you can:

  • Drag & Drop files onto SendMusic
  • Add the email address of who you’d like to receive your music
  • Set the files to Stream only or Download
  • Decide how long until the file expires – 1 day or 1 week (or 1 month with a free account)  
  • Press Send and we’ll send an email to your recipient letting them know they’ve got music!
  • Send more than one file and it turns up as a playlist
  • Send more than one file to download and you can easily download everything as a zip file

That’s the music part covered… but there’s more:

2 – SendMusic is also built to promote you and your music by organising all your social links in one location and making your online presence more uniform and centralised. Just generate your own ‘send.mu/YOUR NAME’ short-link within the platform and add any sites or pages you want associated with you or your brand here.  Latest releases, videos, playlists, merch store, live dates, radio shows – plus all your social links if you want them… anything you want to share with the world or promote, just add a link to it!

You can then place this short-link anywhere you like and when people click on it they will be directed to all of the sites and pages associated with you or your brand, all in one central location. It’s so much simpler and coherent than having numerous sites and pages littered around the web!

As an example I’ve generated my own shortlink – ‘send.mu/PaL’ and added it to my Instagram bio and Twitter bio. Someone could then click on my short-link and either send me music or check out my Instagram, Soundcloud or Twitter page. How great is that for an artist, producer, musician or record label who might want people to send them demos or also check out their playlist on Spotify? Or maybe you want to buy tickets to their gig or see what merch they’ve got available? Now you can do all of this – all from one place! We haven’t thought about all the people who could utilise this function fully or all the uses as they are innumerable… but we’re eager to find out 🙂

So, why don’t you give it a try yourself? Try sending some music to your friends here – https://send.mu

You can also check out my short-link here: send.mu/PaL and send me some music or comment on my awful Instagram photos! You can generate your own short-link also!

Ultimately this is a product for people in or around music, made by people in the music industry. We’d love for you to give SendMusic a try. If you have any feedback, positive or negative please do drop me a line at pal@send.mu and we’ll take it on board. We have lots of great new features coming and some awesome people and artists already using the site. Please subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already done so and once again, thanks for joining us on the start of this journey! We’re really grateful you joined us…

Warm regards,

PaL

pal@send.mu

https://send.mu