So today I wanted to cover whether music promotion companies are a thing. Who doesn't want to get heard, right?
And here they are, the music promotion services all over the internet, which can make you the next big shot for a few hundred bucks. You probably know where I am going with this.
And don't get me wrong, there are legit services out there, I am sure.
Most of them, however, are scams.
They don't just take your money and go. That's not how things are done these days.
You are told these promotion services manage your Instagram and Spotify, for example. And they sure do. They buy some subscribers and likes, maybe pay for some Spotify plays.
If you are not aware of such things and the fact that they exist, you may think your account is blowing up. Suddenly you get thousands of people “engaging” with your content.
If it's a monthly subscription kind of company, you will keep seeing small improvements which are just a fraction of a price you paid.
You know what, let's kind of divide this post into a few sections, so it's not as plain and boring.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter Music Promotion.
I am sure there are a bunch of peeps who use Pinterest, Tumblr, and such services just as much, but these are the three main ones.
So let's say a promotion company or a so-called “Label” claims they will manage your social media. This is usually the most base service you are going to get.
Nobody steals from you. They do indeed manage your social media accounts.
There are tons of automation tools for social media. You get automated follows, likes, comments, unfollows, retweets, and a lot more (Jarvee is a good example of an all-in-one social media automation tool).
When to use social media automation tools?
Here is a little video by Gary Vee where he explain when it's appropriate to use social media automation tools!
I have to admit there are tons of them on the market, and it takes the time to find the one that works for you. There are also limits on how many people you can follow, like, etc. depending on how old/popular/engaging your account is.
If someone tells you they have figured this out, he/she is probably selling you something. To be safe, you start small and keep increasing the numbers every week or so.
Well, it's kind of a process when you use a tool (a scraper, duh) to get a list of accounts based on specific criteria in bulk.
Let's say you are an EDM producer like Futurenova and look for EDM fans. You go to Major Laser's profile and go to his followers' list. It's over 3.5 millions as of now.
You don't need to scrape all of them. It will take you forever to follow or even like every single person on the list. Moreover, some of the accounts are fake, and others are dead.
If you are a small producer, might as well filter out anyone with 10k+ followers, as they probably won't follow you back.
Then filter out people who follow 5k+ or even 2k+ accounts, as they won't ever see your post so that you won't get any engagement whatsoever. If they only follow ten people, they probably won't follow you.
You probably want the accounts you follow to have more than ten followers also, as those are mostly bots/dead accounts.
And none of these numbers are written in stone. I used my common sense when typing these numbers down. They are definitely different for everyone.
Some services will do scraping automatically, and they are the easiest to use for the beginners. Others will allow you to tweak the settings and filters a lot more but are more complicated. It's all about how much time you have to spare.
The services start at around $10 and go up in price as more accounts are added.
SMM (Social Media Marketing) Panels
They offer a lot of services for pretty much any social media out there. In this section, we are talking about Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in particular.
They can be used to kick-start your new account, so it looks more appealing and legit to people, but be careful. First, it's against the ToS of all social media platforms. Not like they investigate each spike in every account's activity, but still.
Try to make it look natural.
You should also realize that all the engagement you buy is rarely the real engagement, no matter what the description of the service says.
There is a chance you can go viral when buying thousands of likes, but more often than not, you won't.
Not necessarily the most honest/fair method, but it's being used by more people than you can imagine.
It wasn't them who bought the followers, but their social media managers and promoters. If the world famous people use them, why can't you? Exactly, you can!
Just a little example for you.
Don't go crazy with all the likes and follows. I know a music producer who was at like 1k and the next week he is at 20k.
I look at his subscribers, and they all look fake. You can tell once you've been doing this for a while. I messaged him, and he said he went viral.
No matter who features you, even the biggest IG accounts, you won't get this type of engagement.
I've been looking into the music marketing industry for a while, so I know it's a tricky industry to be in.
And most people will believe he went viral indeed. He can technically sell shoutouts to newbies now and bank on the fact they are so innocent and trusting.
Alright, I took my time here. Just a critical thing to know.
Youtube Music Promotion
Promoting your music with YouTube is another thing you may get offered. Let's say you have a track recorded, mixed, and mastered. Maybe it's your first track, and you don't have any music distribution services set up yet.
And this music promotion company you looked up on Google claims to make your music video/lyric video to go viral. Or something similar, you know?
Can you trust them?
Well, it depends. The first warning sign will be for them to have a set fee. It means they don't even want to listen to your track or look at your music/lyrics video and see if it's worth promoting.
Some of them will stick, some of them won't. Don't be surprised when you find out that 90% of your views/likes have disappeared after a couple of months.
These kind of services are usually relatively cheap and don't require any work from you. All they need is a link usually.
If you think you can monetize your videos this way, you are mistaking. If you have a partnership with YouTube and your monetization enabled on the video, you have to be careful.
You can jack up the views, and no one will care too much, but if these are monetizable videos, you can get in trouble.
As a result of going with a budget music promotion company, you can get both your AdSense and Youtube accounts banned. Be cautious and careful, that's all I am trying to say.
Look, there are hundreds if not thousands of playlist that can make your song popular. Not viral, but popular.
I know DJ Akademiks, Adam 22, and Gary Vee have very popular playlists where they add young artists' tracks daily or weekly. These playlists are curated by a legit team and are marketed quite well.
I wouldn't be surprised if in a lot of cases you will have to pay a decent fee to get on a big curated playlist like that.
Back when I released my first track, I remember myself searching for playlists to get a placement on. Some will want me to pay even to be considered to get on one. Others would have so-called “curator” who will listen to the track and suggest how to improve it and make it better.
You pay $10+ to hear that you need to mix your percussions with your melody better. I mean it took him a few minutes to conclude that.
Hundreds of young artists submit their music for a small fee, and you have to point out something that you personally dislike in the song. A dream job, isn't it?
This kind of services is not something you should look into, because they make money by just telling you how to improve your track. The music taste is subjective, and you can't call it good or bad just based on your taste.
The third type of playlists is what I call fake playlists. You get a guy who messages you on IG about a playlist placement. And it's only $70-$300. Wow, that's your chance to become the next Drake, isn't it?
Well, there are a few things to consider.
First, you look at the songs on the playlist. I got an offer from a guy, and he just had top 40 songs in his playlist. No other aspiring musicians whatsoever.
And the playlist has around 5k followers. Why would you follow a playlist with just top 40 songs if you hear them on the radio all the time anyway?
So can I call it a scam? Well, I would've gotten the placement on the playlist, so technically I can't.
Definitely not. Even back in the days, with no Internet, there were sketchy peeps. Now it's easier than ever to scam honest and trusting. Stay safe, my fellows!
Big Music Blogs
I happen to follow them on both IG and Twitter, and they post A LOT. And by a lot I mean they can tweet over 100 tweets a day, for example. If you think appearing in one of them will change your life, you are mistaking. Do it the right way – check out my post about press releases!
Some services on the Internet offer article placements on Forbes, BuzzFeed, Medium, and so many more big-name websites.
Even if you are ready to spend a lot to get famous, you have to be smart. And some of the services are not very legit either.
Let me give you an example.
We all know Forbes. It also has a lot of subdomains with a lot less traffic and exposure, but they are still considered to be a part of Forbes.
When you pay to be featured there, you may just appear on a small Forbes subdomain no one has ever heard of.
Kind of sad, you know. So be proactive and do your research before paying!
Okay, I feel like this post wasn't entirely about music promotion companies. It's more of “Why pay triple or more for a service if you can do it yourself?” That's kind of what I tried to explain.
As I said before, they likely won't scam you, but boost your stats for a period of time. These days everyone focuses on numbers, and we tend to overanalyze things.
Well, no one is going to make you Kanye West famous, even for $100k. I mean they can sure try, but it's not going to be an easy task for either them or you.
If it doesn't, just move on, don't waste more time. At this point, you have to test quite a few things before you find what works for you.
Ok, let me give you an example.
If you like people and you are not self-conscious and stuff, you can do more live streaming on IG and add a lot more vlog kind of stories.
If you are more of an introvert, you are likely to post your music a lot more. You can also write bigger posts.
Anyways, this is everything for today. Do a little research for yourselves, and start promoting! If you haven't put together your music studio just yet, go check out my guide on how to build a music studio.