Big news for the independent artist community. Spotify's major changes to their royalty models are now in effect as of April 1st. What does this mean for you? 

  • Songs with under 1K streams (and an undisclosed number of unique listeners) will not be eligible for royalties. 
  • Labels & Distributors (and ultimately artists) will be charged for songs that have a high amount of "artificial streams" detected. 
  • Increase the minimum track length to 2 minutes for "Functional Noise" genres - for example white noise or nature sounds. 

Navigating New Thresholds with Genuine Engagement

At the core of Spotify's policy update is the push towards fostering genuine engagement between artists and listeners. The 1,000 stream threshold necessitates that artists not only release music but also ensure it connects with an audience that is broad and engaged enough to cross this new barrier. For independent artists, this means strategizing around release promotions, social media engagement, and community building is more crucial than ever.

The challenge lies in achieving these streams in a way that reflects authentic listener interest. This requirement may seem daunting for emerging artists who are just beginning to carve out their space within the digital landscape. But don’t worry - at SongTools we are here to help you navigate, and even capitalize on these changes! 

Adapting to the Changes. Strategies for Independent Artists to get to 1,000 streams:

  • Pre-Verified Playlist Promotion
    • Playlists can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they are a great way to reach new audiences, but on the other hand, it's important to ensure that you are working with legitimate playlists. This is where Playlister.Club comes in - we have built the largest community of pre-verified playlists to help you avoid any issues and reach genuine, hand-verified audiences. Playlisting is a crucial element in any music genre to achieve the first 1,000 streams. However, it's essential to be cautious about who you partner with. You can always rely on the experts at SongTools to collaborate with only the best playlists."
    • SongFly Ad Campaigns:
    • Alongside hand-verifying playlists, our one-click advertising arm at SongTools also has built-in bot protection. With Songpage we are able to filter out fake clicks and maximize authentic engagement on all of our TikTok & Meta campaigns – and the best part is that it’s completely automatic! 

Quick Guide to Achieving 1k Streams. 

So now that you know how important it is to garner real engagement, and all of the preventative measures we take at SongTools to make sure you stay away from any strikes, let’s put it into an action plan for you to get to those first 1,000 streams. 

Let’s take a look at one of our tester tracks: an Electronic Dance song called “Fly With Me” by house producer Robousto. 

Robousto had a very small following leading into this release (Only 80 Spotify followers at the time of release) - so even if all of his followers streamed his song, it would be nowhere near the 1000-follower threshold he needs to achieve to start monetizing with Spotify’s new rules. So what did he do to get past this threshold? 

Step 1: Utilizing's $48 packages for an initial 30-day boost

Getting in front of hand-verified playlists is a key pillar of getting past 1,000 streams. In his case, the 23 independent playlist placements he has garnered over the course of the month have been essential to drive basic discovery to the song and see solid streaming pickup: 

Step 2: Enhancing engagement and save rates through SongFly ads to trigger Spotify's algorithm for further organic reach.

Next, by launching a one-click Instagram ad campaign with minimal upfront work and costs, he was able to drive even further direct discovery of his song. From a budgeting perspective, we suggest going for a daily budget that will allow you to run a campaign for at least 14 days. It's essential to keep in mind that the benefits of these campaigns are not limited to the direct streams that you get from the campaign itself. By enhancing the direct engagement of your song on Spotify through an increase in save rate, you can reap a lot of other advantages as well.

In short, a combination of hand-verified playlists and direct-to-fan advertising can trigger Spotify Radio and Release Radar to have a more significant impact on your streaming numbers, making it easier to reach the 1,000 stream threshold.

*Bonus Result* Not only did this tactic get the single to reach the 1,000 stream threshold within the first month, but there were other incredible benefits to the tactic including: 

1. +25% increase in long-term Spotify followers that will stream new releases in the future and engage with the rest of the catalogue

2. Pick-up on platforms beyond Spotify, specifically in this case Apple Music saw a large increase in new engagement while the campaign ran:

This blueprint serves as a guiding light for independent artists, empowering them to navigate the latest changes in royalty system. At Songtools, we are committed to helping you reach the new 1000 threshold in an organic and cost-effective way. We’ve have helped thousands of artists get there – and we can't wait to see you become one of them!

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