Submitted by Peter Åstedt
How do we get more streams on Spotify? The question is always the first question the artist asks me when we talk PR. In my world, Spotify died around 2017. Spotify has never broken an artist neither did any record shop in the 80’s either. It’s just a platform where you can get what you want to listen to, but you have to know what you want to hear.
That clerk that did know you personally in the record shop probably could hint to you of a new record that you would like back in the day. But that was just you, not the whole world. The biggest source has always been word of mouth. Friends that have found a song and then play it over and over at that party you were at. Or just force you to listen to it in the car over and over again. Back in the day, it was hard to get all these people to listen to your record. Same today, of course, easier to reach people digitally, the problem today is that they are bombarded by songs so at the same time you will be drowned in the sound.
Radio was a good friend of this and still is. Since when you drive you can’t really skip songs the whole time, and the playlist that you have is so predicted. Here many put on the radio to listen to songs they know and then fill in with a new tune here and there. Same with traditional media. Look at it, there are so many influencers. But then the ones you know are the ones that also are in the old mainstream media.
Here is the key to how to get people to listen to your song. You appear in old media and people read that and look you up on the platforms. Actually, that is how it was in the old days as well. Nothing has really changed. The problem today is that you must have a better story for the media. In the old days, you could run with the same story. You could lie a little but also that you are big in Japan and so on. Today everything can be checked. We easily see that you are not as listened to as you would love to tell the media. At the same time even if your song is played like hell, you don’t have a clue how that song was spread on the digital web of today.
Suddenly you have to be much better at serving the media what they need. It’s not enough that you have done a great song, you know that 60,000 songs are released a day, not a media worth story. You need to have some hooks in the bio, not just that you are a struggling musician, but so are the other 60,000 people that also released songs that day. Everything has also been perfectly packed. Long gone are bad photos since today with all technical equipment you just need to be able to produce that. And you have to be available on all platforms since if you get lucky and get on the old media you never know which platform people will look for your music on. I bet you don’t have your music on Twitch?
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the legendary Record World International and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian-based charity, The Drive Foundation.