Maria Hanlon is a London-based radio presenter, DJ and music writer who also works as a Team Assistant at BBC Music Introducing in London. In this guide she shares everything she’s learnt from her career so far on how to get your music played…
Make Your Own Playlists
This is a brilliant starting point as it’s a quick and easy way to get your music played on Spotify. Create your own public playlists, filled with music you love and most importantly, your own music. Your playlists could gain lots of followers which will improve your chances of getting played on other, bigger playlists.
Get Your Music On Discover Weekly & Release Radar
Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists are unique to every single user on the platform. Instead of being curated by Spotify’s staff, they’re created by the platform’s algorithms. Getting onto a listener’s Release Radar playlist is simple – all they need to do is follow you on Spotify. Then, whenever you release new music, it’ll appear in their Release Radar playlist, it’s that easy. Spotify UK’s director of artists and management previously stated that Release Radar alone generates more streams than any of Spotify’s self-curated playlists, so take note!
Grow Your Following
Often the more followers you have on streaming sites, the more likely it is that playlist curators will take you seriously. Make sure all of your friends, family and fans are following you on streaming sites. Also remember to share your tracks across all of your social media platforms and promote your streaming accounts wherever and whenever possible.
Become Easy To Discover
Make sure your music is easy to find. Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and Juno are some of the most popular places music lovers head to find new music. Include your social media links on all of these platforms so fans can get to know you better, and follow and connect with you across different platforms. Often if people find you on Spotify and love your music, they’ll want to follow you on Instagram so make sure you have all the links people need in the right place so you’re easy to discover.
Use Social Media
Whether you’re a lover or a hater, social media plays a key part in getting discovered online. If you manage to get played on the radio ask the station if they have a social media template or social media assets they can send you so you can post on your socials. Also, remember to share the link to the show and promote your radio play on social media so people can tune in. If your Instagram needs some love, see my guide on how to create Instagram content here.
Create A Press Kit
First impressions are important in the music industry. Radio presenters, producers, A&R scouts, labels & DJs are bombarded with music every day so when they listen to your song it has to stand out and be easy to find. Your press kit is a chance to send your MP3/WAV along with links to your website, social media and biography. A well made press kit looks professional and has everything in one place so people can find links to everything they need in one neat and tidy document. Find out how to write an effective artist biography in our guide here. We can also help you with your press release needs – read on.
Upload Your Music To BBC Music Introducing…
Since its launch in 2007, BBC Music Introducing has been one of the best places to get your music heard. It supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians and gives great exposure to the freshest artists across the UK. Presenter Jess Iszatt from BBC Music Introducing in London shares her top tips for standing out when uploading your music to the BBC Music Introducing Uploader here.
Target The Right People
Make a hit list of people you want to listen to your music. Besides radio, you could email pluggers, promoters or music writers. Invite them to your next booking/ gig, they might want to write a review for it. Or ask them if they would like to feature your new single. Do your research and find a music publication or organisation that seems like a good fit for your sound and build up a direct relationship with them.
Consider A Physical Release
Before digital music, artists and bands would wait outside radio stations to hand out their CD’s and records hoping that they might get played on their favourite station. Nowadays, it’s much more efficient to send your music digitally and often stations simply don’t have the time to listen to an album in full. But, could it be impactful to go back to the physical form? Sending a mixtape or album to a radio station could stand out as it’s much less common nowadays. Plus, with vinyl and cassette sales ascending, promoting your music physically as well as digitally whether that’s through CD format, posters or merch, if you’re able to, might still be a good idea.
However you decide to release and promote your music, I hope my advice has been helpful and has given you an insight into how and where fans find music. Give my top tips a go and hopefully your music will be played across many different music platforms soon. Good luck!