Hey everyone, welcome to another glorified blog post here on the official Megaglitch blog, where I share with you my journey into becoming a synthwave music producer! In this post, I want to share my experience with using Spotify to promote my music over the past few years, why I don’t think it’s the best platform for artists, and why I’m putting all of my marketing efforts into Bandcamp.
When released my debut experimental album back in 2021, Endless Echoes. I had the opportunity to join a few small communities of artists in the synthwave genre who were kind enough to give me some tips for growing a listener base, and one of the things so many people talked about was Spotify.
Oh, you have to make sure you create an Artist Profile on Spotify. Oh, you need to get your music on this playlist and that playlist. Oh, you need to make sure you’re listening to this playlist and promoting this track to help beat this algorithm and yadda yadda yadda.
After almost two years of focusing on Spotify, I came to a realization. Spotify is not the best platform to be focusing my marketing efforts. Sure, my music can be found there, but I should just leave it as that. I shouldn’t be trying to beat any algorithm, I mean, I make music for myself and others to enjoy, not for some Ai f**king algorithm, right?
And then I discovered there were websites charging artists to submit their tracks to be considered for a place on popular playlists. I mean, what the actual f**k?
Now, I’m not speaking for anyone else other than myself here. My experience with Spotify hasn’t been that great. In fact, when I compare my performance to other platforms such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp, Spotify just sucks, full stop.
And probably more importantly than vanity metrics and passive listeners that Spotify gives you, artists get paid close to jack sh*t for their work. It’s not even worth mentioning. I mean, that’s poor, and so it makes me wonder why anyone would even consider promoting their music on the platform.
If you’re reading this and you’re an artist making music, I don’t care what type of music you create, surely you deserve more? You don’t have time to f**k around with algorithms and sh*t.
And I get it, yes, Spotify has a pretty massive audience reach and potentially you can get folks discovering and listening to your music… And then they f**k off again. Or you have your music removed from playlists because you didn’t help to play the “algorithm game”. F**k that!
Now, I’m sure there are going to be some folks saying –
“Yes, but your music has to be really good to be on this playlist and that playlist”.
I’ve had some songs rejected not because of the production value but because it doesn’t sound the same as this song or that song. Or it doesn’t fit in. I’ve had people tell me my music needs to sound more ‘mainstream’. I’m trying my hardest not to laugh here.
This is the part that I really need to highlight. I create music that I enjoy listening to. Often, it doesn’t fit into a generic genre. It is inspired by synthwave and darkwave, but it’s still unique I’d like to think.
That’s always been my motto in my music writing. Create music you like. If someone else happens to also like it, then that is a bonus. The music industry is super saturated with copycats and me too artists, I don’t want to be one of them.
The opening track on my new album, ‘Neon Highway‘, is an instrumental piece that fits in no specific genre that I can think of. But, it’s simple, it’s catchy, and familiar with the #synthwave genre. The song racked up over 1,200 views on YouTube in a few weeks, which is pretty cool for me.
So, with that out of the way. My focus is now purely on promoting my music and merchandise on Bandcamp, growing a listener base, getting real fans, and real feedback about the music I’m creating, and thus selling my music too.
Now, I’m not saying that Bandcamp is perfect. It’s far from perfect, in fact. But I have to say that I like their vision and ambition to help emerging artists the right way.
Yes, their website design and UI look like 1996. I know this because my day job is being a freelance designer and web developer. Yes, their marketing tools suck, but in my opinion, they are by far the best platform for music promotion and building a fan base because of their unique proposition.