Releasing music and achieving success as an independent artist on Spotify can seem daunting. With over 11 million artists and 1 million new songs uploaded each week, how can you stand out from the crowd?
In this article, I break down the exact process successful independent artist Nick D uses to consistently release music and rack up streams on Spotify. With well over a billion total streams, Nick has figured out what works to build momentum over time.
If you want 2024 to be your best year ever on Spotify and beyond, make sure to take notes!
Focus on Releasing Consistently
Nick’s main focus when releasing new music is consistency and frequency. As an independent artist without a record label, his goal is to steadily build up his catalog by releasing new songs regularly.
While a “hit” song would be great, Nick explains that 10 good songs released over time can add up to the same amount of streams as one smash hit. By releasing frequently, the odds of landing an unexpected viral moment increase.
- Release songs every 1-3 weeks to build momentum
- Don’t spend 3 months promoting one song – spread it out
- Releasing a “meantime” song between bigger projects keeps the momentum going
- Over time, your streaming averages will increase through consistency
Pair Music with Entertaining Content
Simply uploading songs to Spotify is not enough – you need great content that engages fans across platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
According to Nick, the music and content work together to take a song to the next level. A good song with great content can become an excellent, high-performing track.
By focusing on content ideas first and then writing songs to match, you can directly involve your audience in the creation process. The goal is to provide fans with an experience, not just a song.
- Develop engaging content ideas, then write songs to match
- Use platforms like TikTok to showcase your personality and build a following
- Turn listeners into real fans by allowing them into your creative process
Release 3 Songs: Steps for Each
Let’s walk through Nick’s strategy for releasing 3 songs to maximize their streaming potential:
- Release on Friday at midnight before playlists update
- Post content on Friday to start momentum
- Post another content video on Monday when many people stream
- Promote the new release all week
- Release 3 weeks after Song 1 on Friday
- Follow same content release schedule: Friday, Monday, more through the week
- If Song 1 content still performs well, incorporate it into Song 2 release
- Release 2-3 weeks after Song 2
- Rinse and repeat content release model
- Sprinkle in new Song 1 and Song 2 content to keep their momentum going
The key is to consistently feed the release pipeline while maximizing attention on each song with multiple pieces of content.
Optimize Content for Each Song
For each song release, Nick aims to create 30-40 pieces of unique content across platforms. He gets creative to keep fans engaged:
- Film videos in different locations and outfits
- Show different parts of the song (chorus, verse, bridge)
- Test out eye-catching hooks and concepts
This “attention stacking” exposes new groups of potential fans to the song while keeping existing fans interested.
- Film 30-40 videos per song release across platforms
- Get creative to keep fans engaged – switch up locations, outfits, parts of songs featured
- Stack attention and maximize reach with consistent, quality content
Grow a True Fan Community
Releasing great music and content is only half the battle – you need to convert listeners into true, lasting fans. Here are Nick’s top tips:
- Show your personality outside just music content – Let fans get to know the real you to foster deeper connections
- Involve fans in the process – Give fans a voice through polls, votes, etc. Make them feel part of the inner circle
- Engage fans daily – Provide inside access to your world and creative process through posts, lives, behind-the-scenes content
By focusing on relationships over streams, you can build an audience that lasts beyond any one release. An authentic connection is key.
- Reveal your real personality outside just music content
- Engage fans directly through polls, votes and access to your process
- Interact daily to foster a personal connection and community
Succeeding as an independent artist on Spotify comes down to consistency, creativity, and community. By releasing new music frequently, pairing it with engaging content across platforms, and involving fans directly in the process, you can build real momentum and loyalty.
It won’t happen overnight, but by sticking to the blueprint laid out by successfully independent artists like Nick D, you can enter 2023 with a plan set up for sustainable, long-term streaming success.
Focus on bringing value to fans, staying consistent, and most importantly, keeping going. As Nick says, “It only stops when you do.”