So, you have been promoting your music through playlist pitching and social ads on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. But do you really know if the campaign was successful? Do you know what you should be expecting from each channel? How are you measuring it? If you don't have clear answers to these questions, you may be flushing your money down the toilet. 

In this blog post we give you a few simple guidelines and tactics to ensure you are deploying your campaign resources correctly, particularly when it comes to playlisting and music ads on social networks. 

Before you Start, Set the Baseline

Depending on whether you are using Spotify For Artists, Chartmetric, or other analytics platforms, some stats are not available over a timeline– i.e. you can only see the today's number, and not what it was two weeks ago. Therefore, it's vitally important for you to capture a THREE pieces of information before launching any music promotion campaign. 

Save Rate: This is the number of Saves divided by number of listeners. This is a key metric that major labels and streaming services pursue aggressively, and we know for a fact that SFA does not track this over time. This metric measures the stickiness of your track– are people just listening to your music and moving on, or are they stopping and saying "Wait a minute! I love this track!"? This metric is particularly important when measuring your Ad campaigns. 

Source of Streams: This is an often-overlooked mix of stats, but are very important and relevant to your promotion efforts. Spotify for Artists gives you a snapshot of where your streams are coming from, and it can help you judge the effectiveness of either an ad campaign or playlsiting campaign. (Playlisting would have a larger number of “Other Listeners Playlists” whereas ads might come more from “Your Profile and Catalog”. They don’t give you these numbers over time - so it’s important to screenshot your baseline so you can compare how it changes throughout your promotional efforts. 

Followers, Monthly Listeners, and Streams: Get an exact snapshot of the number of Followers and Monthly Listeners before you start. We have heard in the past some artists seeing some discrepancies in their historical stats in analytics platforms, so better to capture it beforehand. It’s best to check multiple 3rd party platforms like Chartmetric, SpotOnTrack, and Viberate, to get a clear picture of where you are starting. 

Auditing your Ads Campaign

Many music marketing YouTubers and gripers on r/musicmarketing will say that running ads for your music is not financially smart because they don't generate enough streams. However, these folks don't get that the role of Ads in an overall campaign is not to generate streams– it is to find fans. Read more about this holistic strategy on our blog about The Funnel Approach.

When doing one-on-one ad campaign audits with labels and artists, the big KPI we look at is Save Rate progression. How did the Save Rate change from the beginning of the campaign until the end? Ad campaigns drive listeners with SIGNIFICANTLY higher intent to your track, therefore the Save Rates for those listens will be many times higher than listens on a playlist where the track is mixed in with dozens of other tracks. 

So what does 'good' like? Typically, we see Save Rates DOUBLE for successful ad campaigns. When it comes to levels, anything above 10% Save Rate is considered pretty darn good.

Additionally, you can look at “Total Followers” on Spotify as a secondary metric to track. We see that many artists see bumps in their followers directly correlated with their SongFly ad campaigns- these are the long-term listeners that are a result of your ad campaign, and you can monetize with the Funnel Approach outlined above - in short, this is where ROI can come from!  

Auditing your Playlisting Campaign

The number one thing you want to gauge is whether the playlist placements you were able to garner actually made an impact on your visibility on Spotify. The easiest way to do this is to look at your Discovered On list. Here you are looking at two things– How many new playlists appear on your top 20 Discovered On playlists? How many of these were directly added via your playlist pitching efforts? 

The latter above is the first order impact of playlisting, and the former is the ripple effect of the direct placements. You see, many playlists are considered 'feeder' playlists that influence other playlist curators. Therefore, direct placements during a campaign is not an entirely accurate measurement of the overall impact of the playlisting campaign. 

All in all, based on our benchmarks, a successful playlisting campaign should add at least three to five new playlists to your Top 20 Discovered On list for an emerging artist.

Gauging your Overall Campaign Results

When it comes to seeing the overall impact of your campaign, it's all about Followers, Streams, and Time. You can take a read through our blog post on Fanconomics to go a bit deeper.

After wrapping up your campaign, we recommend looking at two main metrics: Followers and Streams. BUT, as we mentioned earlier, you need to accommodate for the ripple effects of your efforts. The objective of any promotion campaign is to jumpstart your track and give it a momentum of its own to grow. Casual listeners become fans, algorithms get triggered, and so on and so forth. At the end, you should wait at least 3 months after the end of your campaign to see the outcome for your track, and then measure again in 6 months. 

To summarize, measure first, consider the right metrics for both playlisting and ads, and then continue measuring long after the campaign is over to get a true measure of the success of the campaign. If you do these things, you will feel much more secure about whether your campaign did well. 

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