Breaking down Spotify Promotion and Social Media with Dublin’s emerging band Find Joy.

In the cozy basement of Simon’s Place, a café in George Street Arcade; we met with Colleen and Mark, two members of Find Joy, an Alt Pop emerging band hailing from Dublin. Around a warm tea, we discussed their journey to promote their music on streaming platform such as Spotify but also on social media.

The difficulties of getting listeners on Spotify

In 2022, 38 millions of songs had no listening on streaming platform, it’s 24% of the music uploaded, we also know that 42% of songs only have 10 listening or less, it’s 67,1 millions for 158 million uploaded in the last year. These numbers showcase the difficulties artists can encounter to promote their music.

As the platforms of streaming are today essential to share your music and to develop your career, it can be complicated to actually get your audience « Our favorite platform is spotify, There’s a ridiculous amount of songs that get uploaded on streaming platform everyday it’s crazy, even with the tiny streams we have (around 7 000 for one of their song), we’re still higher than most of the artists on Spotify. ». (Mark, Find Joy).

Nearly 80% of artists on spotify have fewer than 50 motnhly listeners (2022)

With an average pay per stream between 0.003$ and $0.005 these stats published last year shows that most of the artists on Spotify don’t touch a lot of money from their songs. (This rate can vary depending on the country of origin, the type of subscription, and the specifics of the deal between Spotify and the rights holders). According to MBW on an article from 2022, only 0,2% of the 8 million artists on Spotify are generating $50k plus a year from the platform. It means that you need to have a huge amount of streams by month to have a decent salary from it. That’s why also supporting artists by buying their records, merch or just going to their gigs is really important.

Now in 2023 there’s 11 millions artists and creators and 1,800,000 songs are uploaded on Spotify every month on average.

But among this vast ocean of artists and song how can you be a rock we see from miles away ?

One big help to get listeners on Spotify are the playlists, from small to big, they can really bring you a wide audience. If you upload your song on Spotify for artists 2 weeks before the release, you have the chance to pitch the song to editors and curator to get in one or multiple of these playlists. It’s a 200 words page to promote your song « We try to be super concise in these pages and straight to the point : this is what we’re doing, this is why you should listen to our tracks. A lot of it is just trying to convince other people to listen » said Mark, the guitarist of Find Joy.

Cat Burns on the cover of New Music Friday UK

Find Joy, actually succeeded to have one song apart of the prestigious new music Friday UK playlist on Spotify, this was the first time they were added to a playlist after a lot of applications made, but according to the group, it was worth it. « that’s our most streamed song, we had 3 thousands listening in a week, the majority of our streams are from that song being put in this playlist, people were listening internationally. Those playlist absolutely help, big time. Also it helps to promote your music, venues look at that sort of thing as well, when you try to book it. They also always search you on Spotify and see how many listeners you have in the city. (Mark, Find Joy)

How many time did you try to and how many time did you succeed?

“Now we know much better how to approach the editors. We tried a lot but we only got into once, but I think we should get more, but still that was one playlist but it gave us so many streams . Even if you apply for a hundred things and you only got one, that one pick can still helps you get so much. We learned to deal with rejection ; because we know it’s worth it. We say yes to every opportunity that comes through our way, because why not ?”

How Find Joy promote on social media

Just like streaming platforms, social media are now a huge help, even indispensable for artists if they want to grow their audience.

Each application has its own particularities, from instagram to more recently Tik Tok, the type of promotion is completely different.

For Find Joy they mainly promote on Instagram trying to keep it professional, and they also have Twitter where they’re more loose, they promote in some funny ways like homemade memes to catch people’s attention on Twitter.

Tik Tok an app revolving music promotion

Find joy told us about how they were thinking getting on Tik Tok, a social app known as being a huge influence on the music industry these days.

“It’s a dangerous game because it can go really really well but also really really bad, we have to be careful of the right portrayal of how we want people to perceive us. You can jump on some trend and try to be something that you’re not, it can be a little bit cringe.”

“There’s a fine line on tik tok between being creative and promoting and being cringy and following the crowd while people are just not having interest.”

Colleen and Mark of Find Joy

It is true that if you blow up on Tik Tok on one song your audience can change and you have to be prepared for that.

For example it can happen that half of the people coming to your gigs will sing along with you only on 15 seconds of one your song, and some of them will not show that much enthusiast on the others because they don’t know it and maybe don’t like it. We believe it’s better to win the loyalty of your audience not only on one song but on your whole discography and artist’s journey.

It’s just one bad example and getting famous on Tik Tok or on the internet can go very well and bring you a strong audience and a lot of popularity and opportunities for doing gigs and festival which is often the source of financial security for artists, but you still have to be prepared for the major exposure and the good or bad changes it can bring.

“We’re a bit afraid to start on tik tok but we’re interested in the future, we just need to figure how to do it the best way. The professionals also told us that there’s other avenues than tik tok to become bigger, so if it works it works, if not it’s not the end of the world, there’s other avenues.”

“The music industry is always repeating. It’s not new challenges we’re facing, it’s just the same old challenges just in different forms, the tik tok thing is just the new form of the distro kids back in the day, or to pay people to put your song on he radio. The challenges are just repackaged.”

A strong link between Tik Tok and Spotify leading the music market

There’s a strong link between Spotify and Tik tok, most things people do after discovering a song they like on Tik Tok is to go to Spotify and add it to their playlist, which increase the streams of the artist. The viral song will also be added to a lot of editorials playlists which will grow even more the audience. It can grow the monthly listeners of the artist to millions.

According to Vox, this pipeline between Tik Tok and Spotify happened to all of the 125 artists that went viral on Tik Tok last year.

“Out of a group of 332 emerging artists that landed on the most streamed song charts on spotify, a quarter of them have Tik Tok to thank for their big break”

Vox “We tracked what happens after Tik Tok songs go viral”

The strong relationship between Tik Tok and spotify is a major factor of the music business and industry now, attracting many labels and artists to promote their music. It’s therefore why Tik Tok is considered as one of the best apps to promote your music online.

“Spotify basically pays out label according to their share of the total streams in a given time period, if you get a hit that does a billion streams other 6 months that can add a few points of your market share which then increase your payout of the Spotify pool”

We invite you to watch the entire video to understand the major effect Tik Tok has on the music market, business and industry.

Importance of Branding and imagery.

Mahalia’s album cover for “Love and Compromise”

The imagery and the brand of an artist can be as much important as his music, how many time did you check a vinyl only because you liked the cover and knew nothing about the artists, or how many times did you click on a song on Spotify because you liked the imagery ? For most of us a multiple amount of time.

This image helps to convey a vibe, what the artists want to portray and send to the audience. Each musical genre has its own particularities in terms of aesthetic and it can therefore help the audience to know what kind of music an artist might do before even listening to it.

This also permits to the listeners to identify with the artist and to put himself in his shoes.

“It is a natural human impulse to try and assign some kind of image to anything we hear but cannot immediately see. This is especially true when listening to music. Some song lyrics can be presented as an audio story and it is only natural for the brain to try and fill in the visual portion by itself.”

Jon for The Importance of Branding In Music Advertising

There’s also a particular sensation of satisfaction when the artist gives the same vibe as the one a person was imagining while listening to his songs.

It’s therefore really important for emerging artists to establish a recognizable image that can be linked to their genre, the story they share, the sound they make. A strong image will provide them more interest in their songs and therefore increase their visibility The listener can identify more easily to the band and the message, the vibe they want to convey and it can also even helps the artist to sell some merch.

What about Find Joy, what type of image do they showcase as an alt pop band ?

“We’re into alt pop all of our single covers so far have been abstract art, actually by French artists, linking alt pop to alt art style, we have also the same style, we all wear docks, it’s just little things like that, just as people we’re pretty similar. We got compared to London Grammar in these terms. But it’s just our own selves, our own style and we create our aesthetic like that. With some influence from media and film.”

The image of Find joy is therefore based on their personalities and so also on their musical taste.

As we were saying earlier, people can get into some artists because they identify through their image, through their clothes, their vibes… So we wondered if when Find joy look at their audience do they think the people there share the same aesthetic as them ?

“Yes in some senses, says when we played the Whelan’s one to watch, I feel like everyone there had a similar vibe, I feel like the people that are interested in underground music are always a little bit alternative in the way they dress. Workman’s too, it’s kind of a venue where art and music students hang out so we have kind of the same vibe. But of course we have older people coming to our shows who don’t share our styles but style enjoy the music.”

Mark, the guitarist of Find Joy

Here Mark showcases that there’s a direct link between what a person listens and the way they dress, Each genre has its own fashion specificities and you can easily identify a genre of a concert just by the people waiting outside the place.

A good example is “The Disciples” a photography series by James Mollison who strongly capture the distinct styles of music fans outside concerts from 2004 to 2011.

The disciples by James Mollison. (on the instagram of sleepingongems)

Listen to Find Joy

With an upcoming EP they’re currently working on, this must be the perfect time to start listening to Find Joy.

This band hailing from Dublin knows how to transport you with their alt pop music, An occasion to discover an emerging band from Ireland, with dreamy sonorities evoking a feeling of nostalgia and freedom.

You can catch them on Instagram and Twitter but also on Spotify and all streaming plateform.

Léna Mercier

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