**This is not an advertisement.**
Any links included are simply to give credit where it's due as best I can and to share the resources that I found helpful.
So, I mentioned in another post that I was going to do a separate post about all the different "free" promotional tools... so here it is! (It does cost money to distribute music, so maybe they are more like "complimentary" tools rather than free...)
Once you submit a single or album for distribution AND it is officially delivered to the streaming platforms, you will be able to request access to your artist accounts and all the resources that come with them. I used CD Baby to distribute my music, so if you used a different distribution company, your experience might be somewhat different than mine and I'd love to hear about it if it is!
I actually learned a lot by reading the CD Baby DIY Musician Blog.
Here's a list of the platforms that I found to have useful promotional tools (mostly at no additional cost).
- Spotify Artist Account
- Apple Artist Account
- YouTube Official Artist Channel
- Pandora AMP
Show.co is CD Baby's marketing website. When you release music through CD Baby, you can set up an account with Show.co and from there you can launch ads and Spotify pre-save campaigns. From what I can tell, the Spotify pre-save is the only free promotional tool available on there (correct me if I'm wrong). This is a great way to get the news out about an upcoming release and to get followers and listeners on Spotify!
Spotify is a very popular streaming service, you've probably heard of it even if you don't use it. To request a Spotify artist account, your music must be delivered to their platform. Once that happens, you can use your artist account to build a public profile as a verified artist on Spotify. You can upload a profile picture, a gallery of photos and a short bio. You can also post an artist pick where you can feature a new release or any other music that you want to feature. You can also feature playlists on your profile that can feature your music if you want. This allows listeners to learn more about you, see what kind of music you like, and even buy merch. The Spotify artist profile also lets you upload short 3-8 second videos to accompany each song. This tool is called canvas and I think it's pretty fun! Spotify gives you an inside look at how many people are listening to your music, how many followers you have, and other useful information about your audience. Spotify also has a collection of informational videos and a blog for artists to read with lots of advice on how to use their platform.
The Apple artist account is a lot simpler. Like Spotify, you have to request access once your music has been delivered to their platform. Once you are granted access, you can set a profile picture and check on info like sales, streams, and Shazams. (Shazam is an app for identifying music). You can also get this information sent to your email, if you want.
If you distribute your music to YouTube, it shows up as a "topic". An official YouTube artist channel combines your already existing channel (if you have one, otherwise you can sign up for one) with that "topic" so all your content shows up in one place. It also combines your subscribers. People can subscribe to your "topic" and your channel separately, but if you have an official artist channel, everything is combined! This ensures that your subscribers will be able to find your music and your videos easily! It also gives you a profile you can manage with links to your website and social media as well as a section for social networking with your subscribers on YouTube. You can post updates and let people know when you have new releases coming up and you can even tag other channels if you are collaborating with another artist or you want to feature someone else on your channel.
Pandora AMP is a resource I haven't tried, yet. It sounds pretty cool, though! I am waiting for my claim to be approved. You have to request to claim an artist, then verify your identity... This feature allows you to record a short message that will play before or after your song on Pandora. You can promote new releases or encourage people to follow or subscribe to your accounts or go visit your website!