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March 1, 2017

How to get the most out of your artist profile

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Spotify for Artists makes verification easier

Want to get verified on Spotify and edit your artist profile?
It’s now easier than ever!

Spotify is very important to us here at Spinnup – it is one of the major online retailers we distribute each and every one of our artists to, and we collect Spotify trend data which we give to our artists in the ‘Stats & Activity‘ of their account, which we believe is very important to knowing how your music is going. Plus they started in Sweden, just like us!

Lately Spotify has been going through some changes, which can have an impact on each and every one of you, both as artists and as listeners. So if you find yourself asking, “what’s new with Spotify? And how will it affect me?” Well, we got you covered.

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Fan Insights / Spotify For Artists

Back in late 2015 we told you all about Spotify’s beta version of Fan Insights, but now *drumroll please* Fan Insights has been renamed ‘Spotify for Artists‘ and is available to all artists!

In the two years since Spotify launched data tools for artists, they have been talking (and listening) to artists and management teams all over the world to optimise this aspect of their service and make it as useful as possible.

Spotify describes the reincarnation of their data tool as “a one-stop shop designed to guide you through Spotify.” What they mean by this is Spotify for Artists will help you access improved audience insights, song data and play listing information

This helps you get to know your fans better by finding out where they live, how old they are, what features they’re using to discover your music, and what other artists they are listening to. Just read the testimonials of artists who have used the new Spotify data to make more informed touring and release decisions, which means you can too. 

As well as improving their data insights tools, it is now easier than ever to manage your Spotify artist profile and…

Get Verified!

No longer do you have to wait until you have 250 followers to even be able to apply for verification. Instead, now all you need to do is have access to Spotify for Artists!

If you don’t already have access to Spotify for artists, click here and follow the steps to access your account.

But if you’re already verified don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything to keep the pretty blue tick on your profile. The new verification system means you’ll use Spotify for Artists to add and remove playlists from your profile, but use your personal account to create and edit them.
Read more about Spotify’s new artist verification here.

Spotify-Playlist-Notification

Artist Profile

Now that you’re a bonafide and verified Spotify artist you are able to freely edit your public profile! Get your creative hats on because now you can update your artist image as often as you change your outfit – sounds like a lot of work, but each to their own! You can also show people what music you’re jamming to by choosing your ‘artist’s pick’ that sits at the top of your profile, and add playlists – either ones you’ve created or your favourites that you want to share with your fans.

That’s a lot of info, so to break it down…

What does this mean for existing verified artists?

  • You will keep your verification and all playlists will remain
  • You will now add and remove playlists in Spotify for Artists, but you create and edit them from your personal account, like always
  • If you’re using Fan Insights, you need to switch to using Spotify for Artists

What if I’m not verified?

  • You can become verified really easily, simply by accessing Spotify for Artists, no more 250 followers!
  • You will need to add/remove playlists in Spotify for Artists, but create and edit them from your personal account
  • All blue ticks should appear around early May, so you may need to wait a few weeks for it to appear on your profile.

There is so much on offer here for you to take advantage of, so access Spotify for Artists and explore the full rundown of new features on the Spotify blog.

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songwriting__GIFs

The songwriting process, as explained in GIFs

Songwriting style always varies depending on the person. However, this unusual and very personal creative process is something that in the end connects each and every songwriter. If a picture says a thousand words, we bet these GIFs say even more to describe everything that happens during your songwriting process.

The moment, when you suddenly get an idea for a song

FINALLY!

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When someone interrupts you while you’re in the middle of writing

Why is that people ONLY need something when your inspirations finds you??

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When you forget the perfect melody you JUST came up with

Please, come back

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When you are utterly absorbed in the weird trance of writing

Dance fingers, dance!

When you realise how lit your song is so far

I see flames (and a GRAMMY maybe…)

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When you can’t finish your song because writer’s block or an emotional breakdown gets you

WHAT RHYMES WITH ‘PINEAPPLE’ AND WHY AM I USING THE WORD PINEAPPLE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?

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When you finish your chorus and realise how catchy it is

Self-appreciation is the key.

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When your amazing song is unfinished and hasn’t seen the light of day, but it still baffles you that no one appreciates your genius

Unacceptable.

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When you listen to your finished song and it actually turns out to be good

Be humble (or not.)

 

Soldier on friends, we’re right there with you.

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how-to-edit-connect-profile

How to manage your artist profile on Apple Music

We get a lot of people writing in to our support team asking if we can swap their picture on their Apple Music page, or edit something on their Spotify profile. While we would love to help, this is actually something you can do yourselves!

To make it all a bit easier, we’ve put together some tips on how to manage your Apple Music artist profile. We’ll be posting similar articles relating to all our digital partners, like Spotify, Deezer, Amazon and more so stay tuned!

What is Apple Music Connect?

Apple Music Connect is essentially your artist page on Apple Music, but it is also a platform that allows artists to share their own content! This could range from behind the scenes photos, song lyrics, messages to fans, videos and more.

Fans can then like, comment and share through iMessage, Facebook, Twitter, or email. This is open to all artists on Apple Music, not just the global superstars, so make the most of it! All you need is to log in to your Apple Music Profile, and share anything you like from an iOS device.

apple-music-connect-profile

 

Unlike other music services that allow you to edit your artist profile, Connect allows you to take control of how you market yourself as an artist and connect with your fans (no pun intended!)

How do I access my Connect account?

To get started you first need to have your music already on Apple Music. Next step to claiming your artist profile is to request access to connect by signing in here with your Apple ID and password.

Once you have signed in click the + button in the top left corner of the screen.

Connect1

On the next screen click the + button next to ‘Artists’.

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Search for your band or artist name which will come up in a drop down menu and select the correct one and click the Add button.

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You can then choose the role you have in the band or artist’s career, either band or group member, solo artist, artist manager, or label representative. Choose the option that fits you best, fill in your details and hit the submit button up the top when done.

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Apple will then review your request and send you an email to notify you when you can access your Connect account.

How do I edit and share to my Connect Account?

In Apple Music or iTunes hit the New Post button and choose which artist or band profile you want to post to. Write a message or add a link, then tap the + button to add things like photo and video to your post.

connect uploadKeep in mind you can only share up to 90 minutes of audio, videos that are max 8 minutes long, JPEG or PNG images. If you’re sharing content you’ve filmed on your phone or iPad you can upload it all direct to your Connect account straight from your device in the Apple Music app.

When someone searches for you in Apple Music and lands on your page, they will see your music and a ‘From The Artist’ section where the content you choose to share will be shown. Remember you must own the rights to this content and it is not monetised, you will only earn via sales and streams on your actual music on Apple Music and iTunes.

Read Apple Music’s guide to uploading content to your Apple Music Connect page here. You can then share all of this to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to increase the fans you reach!

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same_artist_name

The importance of having a unique artist name

We know how hard each and every artist out there works on their music. Writing lyrics, composing melodies, tightening the production, getting tracks mixed and mastered, sorting distribution – there are so many steps that are taken before your music actually makes its way out into the world. So how much would it suck to go find your tracks online, only to find it’s been put on someone else’s Spotify or Apple Music page?

Unfortunately this happens all the time on music streaming and download services when too many artists have the same name. It’s no one’s fault, with the sheer volume of music being created and released there are bound to be double ups on artist names.

Stores often mix-up content when a product (your music) is delivered with the same artist/band name. This is because they handle their content administration automatically so it’s frequent that artists with a very similar or the same name are allocated under the very same artist page. It’s not easy for computers to be able to tell the difference between DJ Cool from Tokyo and DJ Cool from Timbuktu!

This is why it is so important to come up with a unique artist or band name, and research it before you release anything.

When you start your musical career using the same name as an existing band or performer you make life difficult for yourself because:
  • You may end up with your music appearing on someone else’s Spotify, Apple Music, or other store profile
  • It will be harder for people (think A&Rs, managers, promoters, and FANS) to find you online
  • You might not be able to register a website or social media profiles under the name you want
  • You risk infringing on someone’s trademark, which can be very serious

For example, Tahlia Barnett performs under the stage name FKA Twigs, you may have heard of her… The FKA, which means ‘formerly knows as’, was only added to her stage name in 2014 because a Brooklyn-based duo called The Twigs tried to sue her for infringing on their copyright. No matter how successful you are – no one has the time and money to waste of a lawsuit like that!

There are lots of ways to come up with a unique stage or band name, but here are a few to get you started:
  • Use your real name – sounds obvious but a lot of artists want something ‘different’ or ‘cool’ but there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple
  • Combine your real first name and a made up last name, have some fun with it!
  • Deliberately misspell a word, take out the vowels, or use an acronym à la Desiigner, WSTRN or U2
  • Flick through a book or the dictionary, close your eyes and point on a word. Don’t laugh, it worked for Destiny’s Child!

For more ideas to find your band name, read 5 ways of coming up with a great band name.

Once you’ve come up with your name, check as thoroughly as you can to see if it’s already being used. A few ways you can do this are:
Choose_your_Stage_name
  • Search for it online – type it into Google, or enter www.the-artist-name-youve-chosen.com and see if the URL has been taken
  • Type the name into music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud and any others you can think of to see if anyone is using the name
  • Search for social media accounts that use that name. If they’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube it’s unlikely you’ll find anyone with the same name on any other social media sites
  • Check if there is a trademark registered under that name. Here are a few databases you can check

This is all well and good for new artists starting out who haven’t settled on a name yet, but what if you’ve already got a problem with duplicate names?

It’s not the end of the world!

For starters names can always be changed, a lot of famous bands have done this in the past and if you’re releasing music under the name ‘Dave’ you might want to think about making it a bit more unique now rather than later.

If you have released music through Spinnup and your tracks are appearing on someone else’s store page, there are a few things you can do. When it’s happening on Spotify, you can apply for a Verified Artist Page if you have 250 followers or more. For more info on that, head to Spotify Artists.

But if that’s not possible for you, please contact our support team and tell them you have a Separation Request. They will then get in touch with Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL or any of our other retail partners to request your music be separated.

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how-to-make-your-profile-look-great

How to get the most out of your artist profile

Did you know that as soon as you’ve signed up to Spinnup you can create your artist profile and connect your socials before you even make a release?

Part of what we do here at Spinnup is give artists some of the best tools to make the most of their career, and access to social stats and the artist profile are just two of them. They’re both really important as connecting your social accounts in will give you up to date graphs and statistics will allow you to track your fanbase, and your artist profile will make you visible to the Scouts and A&Rs.

The artist profile is a great mini-website style profile that you can use to send to Scouts, A&Rs, promoters, producers or managers. The way we like to think of the Spinnup artist profile is like your audience’s one-stop shop to being able to get to know you or your band, find your music and social media accounts, and contact you (but only if you allow them to!)

And while setting everything up is pretty straightforward, we thought we’d run through how to make the most of it with a few tips and tricks.

Spinnup_connect_your_socialsOnce you have created your free account or logged in, hit Settings in the left-hand menu and scroll down to Social Accounts. You will see options for Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube.

Simply hit the connect button and a window will pop up for you to sign in to that account, that’s all it takes!

 

create_your_Spinnup_profileNow, onto your profile – just click on Artist Profile in the menu to get to your edit page.

Artist Information

Here you enter in your artist name and create your unique profile URL. We recommend making this as close toy your artist name as possible, and use a ‘-‘ for any space in your name, e.g. Lady Blah Blah would be written ‘lady-blah-blah’ and the link would look like this: https://artist.spinnup.com/lady-bah-blah.

Remember you are not allowed any special characters, letters and numbers only!

Artist Bio & Videos

Next is probably the most important part – your artist bio. This is where you get to introduce yourself to the world, describe your musical background and style or any achievements you may want to boast about. We say the more the better (within reason, of course) as it never looks very good when all a profile says is, “John from Johannesburg”

Here are a few ideas of things you can write about in your artist profile if you get stuck:
  • Where you are from/grew up
  • How you got started in music
  • What instruments or other musical skills you have, e.g. songwriting, producing, mixing
  • Any musical influences you might have
  • Notable gigs, venues or festivals you have played in
  • Any radio stations or Spotify playlists that have featured your music
  • Other artists or producers you have worked with
  • What your plans are for the future, e.g. working on an EP, finalising the next single

Write in a way that is natural to you as you want to reflect your personality, but remember to also keep it professional. Some people choose to write their profiles in the third person to make it seem more official, but that’s totally up to you. Just so we’re all on the same page, writing in the third person means to refer to yourself or your band as ‘they’ or ‘he/she’. For example instead of writing, “I recently played at The Empire where I debuted music from my new EP,” you would write “Lady Blah Blah recently played at The Empire, where she debut music from her upcoming EP.”

my_Spinnup_profileOnce you’ve got the words down, you can add video ! Simply find the YouTube videos of yours that you want to embed into your profile, and copy and paste the URL, not the embed code, into the text of your bio wherever you want it to sit, and viola!

(Psst…look left to see what we mean)

 

Artist Image

Next drop a hi-res image of you or your band into the Artist Image box, which will feature at the top of your artist profile. If you hit ‘View Profile’ on the right hand side you can preview all changes to get it looking how you want. The perfect sized image is 1200px wide and 600px high (although you can use other sizes) and must be a JPEG or PNG file.

Links & Social Accounts

This is another really important step and can often be the trickiest. By connecting your social media accounts you are allowing the Scouts and A&Rs to easily find you online. We highly recommend this as it will help you track your fans and followers, but could also play a role in you being discovered by the Scouts and A&Rs at Universal Music. Once you have connected your social accounts

When linking your accounts, make sure to enter the last part of your social media URL only in the box. This is where a lot of artists go wrong and leads to broken links, and no one likes broken links!

Check out the GIF below to see how to properly insert your social links so they a) work and b) are nice and neat.

Spinnup-artist-profile

Underneath your social accounts, you can choose to leave a contact email address and phone number. This is entirely up to you, but we recommend leaving at least your email address so that people easily can get in contact with you.

The last, and newest, feature of the artist profile is the music player! As soon as your first release is live in stores, an extra ‘Music’ tab will appear at the top of your profile which will have a Spotify player for each release you have made on Spinnup. You can see how it works on UK band King No One‘s profile in the GIF below.

Spinnup_Profile_Spotify_Player

So what are you waiting for?

Create or log in to your artist account, connect your socials, pimp your artist profile and start sharing it with the world!

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how_is_discover_weekly_made

How does Spotify make your ‘Discover Weekly’ Playlist?

If you’re a Spotify user you’ll probably be well acquainted with the sorcery that is the Discover Weekly playlist.

Each and every Friday you’re served up with a brand new playlist of seemingly random tunes that are *almost* always perfectly suited to your weird and wonderful music tastes.

Okay, so we know this isn’t exactly magic but some complex system of algorithms that us mere mortals will never understand. That is, until now.

Thanks to the guys behind The Science Of Everything YouTube channel, who brought us such educational videos as why gymnasts are so small, or how you’re related to Kevin Bacon, have broken down the mystery behind the infamous playlist.

Basically, it’s a combination of your listening habits + the thousands (millions? who knows) of playlists out in the wide Spotify world that select the artists and the tracks it thinks you will like. Okay that’s not a great explanation, so watch the video below

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musician-press-kit

The importance of a musician’s press kit

It is universally acknowledged that knowing where to begin when marketing yourself as a musician can be enough to make your brain explode. With so many choices looming left right and centre, it can seem impossible to prioritize. Should you focus on your social media channels or should you be making flyers? What about networking events, do they matter? Read more

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computer white

The importance of an artist website – taking your music to the next level

So you’ve recently made a release with Spinnup and are confused as to what to do next. In the eyes of many musicians, there is only one way to craft your way to the top – by forging an online presence on free social sites including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. But whatever happened to building a personal website? Are they still important in the musical sphere?  Are they worth investing in?

The answer to these questions is YES – in a world where first impressions are key, running a slick, well designed website is imperative to you as a musician. With fans waiting for you to dazzle them and competition flying around, social networking just isn’t enough to promote yourself and your journey anymore. A website separates you from the rest; it is convenient, helps you engage with new fans and connect with old ones but also allows your followers to get to grips with who you are.

Having your own website also makes you look super professional and serious about your career – there really is no better way to increase your credibility and get people hitting play. Building a customized website is also not as expensive as people think. Platforms such as WordPress offer some awesome free templates meaning all you need to spend money on is your domain name and your website hosting. Furthermore, one of the best things about having your own corner of the internet is the freedom and control. Unlike social platforms, you can set up mailing lists but keep all contact information from them too. WordPress offers detailed website insights along with Google Analytics – the perfect way to keep an eye on your traffic and improve your site all the time. Score!

To summarise, running a website allows you to invest in yourself, create great content, use your social networking accounts to direct traffic to your website and get people coming back for more!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments on having a website and if you do, which platform you use!

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Mixer hands

Investing in Music: Record Labels and How They Can Help You!

Most artists who want to make a career from their music still seek a recording deal.  They want to be introduced to the best producers, sound engineers and session musicians in the business. They need financial support and professional help to develop marketing and promotional campaigns’. Alison Wenham, chair of WIN

We know you’re interested in making music and are hoping to make the most of your release with Spinnup. One of the big questions you’ve probably thought about is whether you need a record company and what they actually do. Record companies exist primarily to discover, nurture and promote artists and, according to global industry bodies IFPI and WIN, they also invest around $4.3billion worldwide in the business of promoting artists and repertoire (A&R), marketing and promotion. So how do they do this and how can they help you? As explored in a report published by IFPI and WIN, the record label is..

1) THE RISK TASKER
Firstly, record companies remain the largest upfront investors in artists’ careers. They ‘shoulder the financial risk inherent in trying to break a new act’ and, in order to see the artist succeed, the label must invest a significant amount of time and money into each campaign. Due to the ever-evolving success of online marketing, the industry has slowly concentrated more on marketing digital platforms which enable them to target more individual groups of consumers using creative strategies and clever promotions. In an era highly influenced by the likes of YouTube and Vevo, Record companies typically produce two or three videos per album meaning recording costs can vary widely between individual projects. Yet the costs of online marketing are increasing and record companies are also responsible for advertising across television, radio, print and outdoor media to drive awareness of their artists. Furthermore, the recording industry is global in scale and exports artists internationally; but it also heavily invests in local repertoire.  In 12 of its leading markets, local repertoire accounts for more than 70 per cent of the sales of the top 10 albums. 

2) THE SUPPORT NETWORK
In order to concentrate on making music (and performing it!) artists often need to quit their day jobs and therefore require financial support need professional help to develop marketing and promotional campaigns. Record labels provide bespoke support by sourcing and nurturing teams with the experience, expertise and dedication to help you catch the attention of the broadest range of audiences. With access to hundreds of digital partners, the label can create digital campaigns, develop new platform services, provide artists with access to in-depth consumer insight, data research and analysis, engage in social media promotion, direct consumer campaigns and more.

Furthermore, the record label aims to support you at every stage of your career. Darcus Beese, president of Island Records, reinforces this: “The challenge for us is to get to album three. The first album is a given, the second is the hardest thing an artist and label can make and the third means you’re on your way to a career. It’s easy to burn brightly and have early success, but can you sustain that for a decade or longer? That’s the business I am in.”

3) THE BRAND PROMOTER
The relationship between artist and record label is of paramount importance in relation to artist exposure and revenue. Record companies not only help you build your brand and vision, but can offer album and song writing advice personal to YOU.

To read more about label investment and how this can help you, click here

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Spotify

The Spotify vs Taylor Swift debate – what does it mean to you?

Taylor Swift recently sparked debate among the musical sphere by removing her entire discography from Spotify on the grounds that ‘music is art and art should be paid for’.

Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, counteracted this statement, arguing that Swift would have been on track to earn $6 million from the site this year alone. For unsigned artists, this topic is particularly relevant as it raises the question – what does Spotify streaming revenue mean to you?

Spotify’s service centres around encouraging users to pay for music through a platform that rewards artists with the royalties they deserve. In doing this, Spotify says it plays a key role in steering users away from illegal downloads by offering a free service that allows people to try it out before hopefully subscribing to their premium tier and that they distribute almost 70% of all revenue back to distributors. Ofcourse, if you use Spinnup to get your music on Spotify, you keep 100% of the royalties from your tracks! The chart below from Spotify in 2013 demonstrates the royalty payments for a variety of album genres:

Relative-Figures-Chart

According to the online statistics released by Spotify, the average per stream payout equates to between $0.006 to $0.0084. So what do you think? Tweet us with your thoughts!

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