“How do I get my music out there?”
This is without a doubt one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to music marketing. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer or single solution – it’s a series of strategies and areas of focus which we want to show you in this blog post.
You might have done all the hard work in getting your track primed and ready for release, only to get a handful streams on Spotify that probably come from your family, friends, and the few social media followers you have gathered so far. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone.
If you’ve tried the usual areas of music promotion already (music influencer blogs, local press, radio, SubmitHub…), then let us show you how to make your next steps with 7 actionable ways to get your music out there and receiving the exposure it deserves.
1. Music Supervisors: Take Aim and Pitch
Not sure what a music supervisor is? The job of a music supervisor is to locate music that would work well on TV shows and in films. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t one of the easiest routes of exposure to secure, but imagine having your music featured on the latest hit series or upcoming movie!
The easiest way to find them is through LinkedIn, just give the term a quick search. If you have no luck with this, you can try a site called RocketReach which helps find the email addresses of professionals and you can use it to hunt down some of those music supervisors.
To ensure that you find legitimate music supervisors, you can check the credits on TV shows or movies and see who they are.
Music supervisors will have a handful of shows or movies they are trying source music for. They usually work for a producer and are responsible for several music curations at one time. So, even if your music isn’t right for one production, it could be more suited to another further down the line. If nothing else, it’s worth networking wit these people just so you’re in their line of sight.
This is a good way how to get your music out there. The first thing that gets cut on a movie or TV show that goes over budget is the music, which is why so few major tracks are used on movie soundtracks. This becomes your opportunity to pitch your royalty-free music.
2. Potentially Get Onto Netflix
Mastering the skill of networking and pitching to industry professionals will be hugely beneficial when it comes to getting your music out there. This time, look for videographers or filmmakers and attempt to connect with them all. They are easier to connect with than music supervisors because they love to expand their networks.
Filmmakers are useful to connect with as they might get commissioned to create a documentary, advert or a short movie of some kind, and it is their job to do all of the editing and post-production, hence they will often need to find music quickly. This is where you can jump in.
Their budget will always be limited, so anyone offering royalty-free music in their network could be called upon. Try and make sure it is you! It might seem like you’re missing out on a big pay check, but early on in your career, the exposure that this sort of coverage would gain you is even more valuable.
If they choose you, your music could be used on a popular TV Advert, a documentary or even something on Netflix.
3. Be Searchable
One of the places that a production team of a TV show, documentary, video game, or any audiovisual production might look for appropriate background music, is a music library.
The good thing about music libraries is that the more established ones have an extensive list of clients across all media and locations. This way, they can easily search their archives for the type of music they need for their current content requirements.
Music libraries are always looking for music so chances are they will be warmer to your approach than most other options. They are a good choice as they could potentially put your music in front of a huge amount of clients. With some careful consideration as to what keywords would describe your music accurately, your track could show up in a lot of searches and end up being used in a notable audiovisual production.
When you’re just getting started, considering music libraries could help you get that all important foot in the door.
4. Reach Out to Ordinary People
Reaching out to regular people on Instagram and Twitter is a powerful method for getting your music out there. But how can you make people care enough about your music?
For this method, you look for artists on Twitter in the same genre as you, who have released tracks recently, and then find the people who have shared those tracks. Then, direct message these people who shared the music saying something along the lines of:
“Thanks for sharing that track, I absolutely loved it. They inspired me a lot to make my own music and I’ve got a pretty similar sound to them if you want to check out my track…”
People will give you feedback and the chances are that as they shared the original artist, they are very likely to share your music too. This is something fairly quick that you can do every day to make sure that your music is regularly being shared and popping up on people’s feeds.
You can watch a more detailed description here of how to get your music out there with Twitter.
5. Influencing the Influencer
If you can pitch your music to an influencer on Instagram and they fall in love with you and your profile, then they can help you get your music out there.
The best way to start contact with them on Instagram is to reply when they post a story. They are more likely to take notice of this than a reply to a regular post or by DM. They will be looking for opportunities to engage and for the people who are engaging with their content.
If you go straight for the DM, you’ll be going in cold, and once they have replied to you a few times on their stories, they will recognise your name and are more likely to read a DM you send them later down the line.
Never beg them to share your music, but ask their opinion on your music and if they like it. If they reply, you won’t go into the requests pile, instead, you’ll show up in their notifications. When you release your next track, you can let the influencer know that you’ve got new material ready.
Continue to engage with them on their profile and let them know that if they have a piece of content that they need music for, they are more than welcome to use your song royalty-free. It’s about building relationships.
6. Become the Counter-Strike for Copyright Strikes
YouTubers are always looking for royalty-free music and not enough artists are pitching to them. It’s a wide-open opportunity for musicians and a great technique for gaining exposure.
YouTubers are forever getting copyright strikes, so the offer of royalty-free music is going to be music to their ears – literally. So, opt-out of the content ID on your track, and then they can use your music without worrying about a copyright strike.
Have a listen to see what music is in the background and the kind of content they create to determine whether your music might be suitable. If it is, then go and pitch to them – what do you have to lose? When it comes to pitching to Youtubers, you can usually find their email address in the About Me section of their YouTube channel.
If they ask for the Mp3 version, send it over and they’ll be sure to appreciate the effort you’ve saved them. Plus, you’ve gained some great coverage. Some YouTubers may use the same track over and over again as it is so difficult to find a music source to rely on and that their audience likes.
Consequently, this strategy can result in multiple plays, over multiple pieces of content and in addition, the YouTuber should put your artist and track name in their video description and maybe even your Spotify link. If people really like your music, this makes an easy direct link to gain streams.
Some influencers on YouTube have Spotify playlists that their audience listens to constantly. For example, If you got your music played on a Casey Neistat video, then it will go to his playlist, and people will stream it.
7. Don’t Forget the Twitchers
A lot of artists have been successfully pitching to users of the video game streaming platform, Twitch. Again, this is another under-utilised method for expanding the reach of your music.
Twitchers are ideal for pitching to as they can have millions of live views on all of their videos. Their playlists are not updated often, and they often loop the same song over and over in the background while they play video games, during the break and even when they are speaking.
You might have to do a little more work to find a contact for these guys, but a quick search on YouTube or Instagram is always worth a try if they have profiles there too.
So, as you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to start building some real reach with your music, and any connections you make along the way could result in a windfall of track listens and new fans later – just be patient.