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Free vs Paid Music Promotion

Jan 21, 2022

Paid VS Free Music Promo

  The way we promote our music is crucial to how many people it can impact. If you do a google or YouTube search on music marketing you will find thousands of videos and many may have conflicting, or even contradictory information. So, how do we understand the best way to market our music with so many options?


Although there are many sub categories I believe the main categories of music marketing can be broken down to paid and free strategies. Even within these two there are so many methods in marketing of our music. Understanding some of the options is the best way to know what is the best fit for you right now. 

A key to this is being flexible and understanding that what may be a good strategy for you today, most likely, and probably should evolve over time as you go further on your music journey.


  This by no means is every option, but these are all things that I have personally done to promote my music and have suggested and helped others do as well. My hope is that you can get a grasp of what is possible both with paid and free options.



Pitch to curators

  The strategy I have used the most is pitching my songs directly to user generated Spotify curators. In doing this I find playlists I think my song would fit on and then contact the curator through Facebook or Instagram and introduce myself and send my song to them. Obviously this can be a very time consuming process but over time I have built up a list of curators who are supporters of my songs and add them.

  If you are interested in getting a guide walking through the steps I take (and even a sample message I send to curators) click the link below for a free download.

Build your own playlist

  One of the most valuable assets in today's streaming age is Spotify playlists. If you can build a successful playlist on Spotify, you can serve many people and also share your own music on your lists.  Build lists that you love and listen to them, that's the best way for Spotify's algorithm to push your list out to others.


Social Media

  Using your social media to promote your music is a great way to get it heard. True, social media platforms are flooded with promotion so in this strategy it is key to be true to yourself and tell your story. The more personal we can make our posts, the more likely we will resonate with people who care about us and our music.



Playlist Submission tools

  There are MANY playlist submission tools out there. You have to be very careful about these and many are not legit services.  Basically these services allow you to purchase pitches where you can submit your songs directly to playlist curators. Since these curators are vetted it makes for a much more legitimate chance of landing placements. One of the best and well known services is SubmitHub. I have used SubmitHub in the past with moderate success.


Music Marketing Services

  Music marketing services cover a wide range of services. From playlist pitching, to running ads for you, and even doing some artist development in certain cases.  Just like with the playlist submission platforms, it is important to be careful who you bring on to help you market. Leaning on the experiences of your artist friends and in your community is key to finding the right agency to trust.


Facebook/YouTube Ads

  Running ads on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube etc. can be a great way to get your music exposed to new people. Setting up and monitoring ads can take a great deal of technical understanding, depending on the platform you choose. There is also a risk of not setting them up correctly and missing the highly targetable audience you are looking for. Sometimes it can be a good idea to have a music marketing company help run these types of ads, but that will also add to the overall cost as well.


  I hope that seeing a few options of both free and paid promotional tools helps give some clarity. Understanding what is best for you right now takes time and consideration. Don't be afraid to ask others for help to gain wisdom from their experiences. Going the free route takes time, but does not cost anything so it could be a good place to start. Another thing to consider is using both free and paid strategies at the same time for maximum reach.


  What types of promo have you used on your music journey?

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