When you’ve recorded a new track and distributed your music through TuneCore, one of the most important things you can do next is get your music in front of potential new fans.
You can promote your music through social media, or by playing gigs. By asking friends, family and fans to share your music through their social media can help you reach even further, but sometimes you want a bit more of a boost to reach entirely new audiences.
To help you get your music heard even more widely, TuneCore has partnered an exciting platform, Feature.fm that exists to help artists get their music heard. Offering a “digital ad platform” for musicians, Feature.fm lets you purchase sponsored streams of your music inside Deezer, the global music streaming service, as well as creating web adverts to engage potential fans with your music as well as driving them to your social media.
So what can Feature.fm do, and how do you get started?
There are three ways that feature.fm can help you get heard:
- By playing your song to a targeted audience of Deezer users.
- By playing your song to a targeted audience of people listening to the 8tracks Radio service.
- By promoting one of your existing YouTube Videos, SoundCloud tracks or mp3 across various popular music websites and blogs.
Out of these options the one that I think is most interesting is to target your music to users of the streaming service Deezer.
“Deezer has millions of users who could become some of your most loyal fans…”
As one of the biggest streaming services, Deezer has 10 million active users, and offers its service in 182 countries worldwide. These millions of users are a huge opportunity – by hearing your music they could become some of your most loyal fans. By generating more streams of your music inside a service like Deezer, you can drive trending activity, and start to rise up the Deezer charts – meaning you could get even more exposure. As an additional bonus because TuneCore pays you 100% of revenue for your streams from Deezer, you will recoup some of the costs of your feature.fm campaign from the increase in streaming revenues you get from people hearing your music!
Creating a campaign is very simple and straight forward – you just select the song on Deezer that you want to promote. If you’ve not already released music to Deezer, head to your TuneCore account and release a track making sure you include Deezer in the stores you’re sending to – or add Deezer to one of your existing releases.
“Targeting your music to the right audience is super important…”
Once you’ve selected the song you will be asked how you would like to target your campaign – you can select locations, ages and genders. You then need to add some tags – genre, similar artists and flag whether or not your song has explicit lyrics.
If you’ve already distributed your music through Spotify, you can use the “similar artists” area to target similar artists based on data – but if not, then make sure you put in some well known artists here, so that you’re getting a broad pool of potential listeners. Targeting your music to the right audience is super important – be specific enough to hit the right people, but don’t be too specific – you want to get in front of as many potential fans as possible. If someone doesn’t like your song they can skip it so don’t worry. And if they skip before 30 seconds, you don’t get charged for the sponsored play.
One thing to note before you get started – when you’re creating a Deezer campaign using feature.fm, you need to have released your music to Deezer in advance; you also need to be approved by feature.fm to create Deezer campaigns, so make sure that you’ve got everything in place before you create your campaign!
“Once you’ve created a campaign things start to get really interesting…”
Once you’ve created a campaign you get really detailed information about how people are interacting with your music. This is when things start to get really interesting. For example, with Deezer you get information about how many people have added it to their favourites, or to a playlist – but also insight into how many people have skipped the track, and when. Importantly you only get charged when someone listens to your track for more than 30 seconds – so don’t worry if you’re seeing lots of skips under 30 seconds in your analytics, that’s quite normal when people hear something they haven’t heard before – don’t take it personally!
You can see a snapshot of a campaign for TuneCore artist Karmah Cruz’s track “I Ain’t Worried” – this represents two days of activity and you can see that by spending £40 the campaign drove 2500 sponsored plays – so that’s more than 2500 potential new fans reached. One really interesting thing to note here is the “play sources”. You can see that almost everyone listened to the track on either an iPhone or Android phone. The number of Deezer users using the Deezer.com website is tiny by comparison. This is worth taking note of generally when you are promoting your music on social media (for example when using TuneCore Social Pro) – remember that the vast majority of people streaming your music will be doing so on a mobile device, and ensure that you are messaging appropriately.
“By getting your music in front of a new fan with feature.fm you may have started a relationship that continues for years…”
Much more interesting is the “engagements” section though – in the image above we can see that there are 152 “engagements” – representing 6% of the people who listened. Let’s dive into bit more detail on that section.
You can see here that 81 people added the song to their “favourites” in Deezer while another 59 added it to one of their playlists – 140 people took an action related to saving the song. Why does that matter? Chances are, if someone has added your track to their favourites, or to a playlist, they are going to listen to that song more than once. It also means that they may be interested enough in you as an artist to search you out on social media – meaning you can engage even further. By getting your music in front of a new fan with feature.fm you may actually have started a relationship that continues for years.
Some more useful information that feature.fm gives you is a breakdown of the age and gender of the people who are listening to the track – but also the age and gender of people who engage.
When Karmah’s team created the campaign, they set some broad targeting criteria – you can be as detailed as you like here – the more relevant the data you put in here, the better the audience you will be targeting.
We saw earlier see that the age range selected for the campaign is 12 to 40, and that the locations are UK, USA, France, Ireland, and Canada. For Gender, the campaign targeted both female and male listeners.
So here is where things get interesting: when you look at the age and gender or people who heard the sponsored plays you can see that females aged 18-24 heard the most number. This could be because of the “similar artists” that were used to target the campaign.
Where is gets even more interesting is when you look at engagements:
You can see that engagement from female listeners is way higher than from male listeners – and in particular at the younger end of the audience. All of this information helps artists to understand the people they should be reaching out to with their music.
“Creating our first campaign with feature.fm took just a few minutes – and already we are seeing some exciting results…”
For £40 (and remember, this is just a snapshot of two days in the campaign) Karmah not only got 2500 plays, but also 152 strong engagements as a result of people hearing and liking her music. She and her team also got some really valuable data about what kind of fan is most likely to engage with her music. All of this for just £0.26 per engagement – and with long term potential for those people who favourited or playlisted the track to listen again and again and again.
Karmah’s manager Jermaine from Public Sector Entertainment said “Karmah already has a really engaged fanbase through SoundCloud, Twitter and Instagram – but we know that as her career develops the thing that matters most is getting out in front of new fans who have never heard her music before – feature.fm has allowed us to do that in a way I have not seen from any other tool. Creating our first campaign with feature.fm took just a few minutes – and already we’re seeing some exciting results. I will definitely be using feature.fm with other artists I manage. We made a small spend to test the platform, but I’m already imagining if this campaign keeps running. With a £100 campaign spend, that could be over 6000 streams, and more than 380 engagements… With £200 campaign spend it could hit more than 12000 streams, and possibly as many as 750 engagements – and we will see some of that spend come back directly through streaming revenues. Longer term I’m sure that the value of developing these new fans is sure to pay off.”
How much is a new streaming fan worth to you? More than £0.26? Hard to say for sure, but getting your music in front of passionate new fans is possibly the most important aspect of developing your career as an artist.
Get started with feature.fm today – look for the link backstage in your TuneCore account and sign up using that link to get some free feature.fm credit to use in your first campaign.