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Spotify vs Twitter: The best distribution channels for emerging artists

Is it true that with the proliferation of streaming, it’s harder for artists to make a living? There’s no denying that music fans are streaming more and downloading less. Plus with so many sites, platforms, and channels, it’s a full time job for artists to add their music to every distribution outlet to make sure their music is heard. And even then, how do artists know that a “listen” translates to significant revenue when album sales are declining?

To find out more about how music fans discover new artists, we conducted a nationwide general population survey of 1,000 people between the ages of 18-49 who’ve attended at least one concert in the past year. We wanted to understand discovery habits among concert-goers since fans who attend live events spend 20x more on music than non-ticket buyers, meaning these fans are most valuable to the biz. Check out the full report here: From Stream to Ticket: Mapping the Value of Music Discovery.

So what are the best distribution channels for emerging artists? We took a look at a variety of discovery platforms from Pandora to Facebook—and found some fascinating differences.

Finding #1: Fans who discover an artist on Youtube are more likely to spend money on that artist than fans who discover an artist on other streaming services.

Make sure you’re albums and tracks are searchable on Youtube, plus take advantage of Youtube’s robust analytics to track fan behavior.

Spotify Pandora SoundCloud Youtube
Bought a song or album by them 67 75 50 77
Went to see them perform at a live show, concert or festival 51 44 50 56

 

Finding #2: However, fans who discover an artist on social media are even more likely to spend on albums, tickets, and merch than those who discover on Youtube.

Discovering an artist on social media provides a similar social proof as good old word of mouth, combined with the ability to immediately listen to a song. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours everyday posting content to Twitter, just make sure you get your music in the hands of those with major social media clout (klout).

Youtube Facebook Twitter
Bought a song or album by them 77 78 88
Went to see them perform at a live show, concert or festival 56 64 50
Bought artist merchandise (poster, t-shirt, mug, etc.) 32 31 44

 

Finding #3: Ultimately, emerging artists should play more shows to help fans discover their music.

Listening to an artist on Youtube or Facebook just doesn’t have the same spine-tingling feeling as seeing an artist perform at a festival stage or at your local watering hole. Fans who discover an artist at a live show are more likely to buy his/her album or pay for a ticket to seem him/her perform again than any other discovery platform.

Youtube Facebook At a concert/festival At a bar/club
Bought a song or album by them 77 78 72 86
Went to see them perform at a live show, concert or festival 56 64 75 57

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start playing more gigs! Don’t wait until you go on tour to starting getting in front of more fans, set up a show on Eventbrite and start selling tickets instantly. Whether it’s selling tickets to a house concert, or creating an event page for the next time you’re playing at a neighborhood coffee shop, we’ve got everything you need to pack the house before you bring it down.

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