2020 has been an unprecedented year for the world and the music industry alike. With no live events, more importance was placed on other industry verticals – and while many people struggled, new opportunities emerged as well.
With promising news of COVID-19 vaccines, we’re feeling hopeful that the music industry will be a much less difficult place next year. So, to help you plan ahead, please accept our little EOY gift: a list of useful – and affordable! – tools that we think can help to propel artist careers forward in 2021.
Data & analytics
You might know Spot on Track as a platform to track Spotify and Apple Music data – but the platform now includes radio data tracking across six thousand stations in 116 countries. The global live industry will take time to get back up to speed after the pandemic, and radio is playing a bigger-than-expected role in bringing in new audiences. That means that understanding which markets drive awareness through radio plays is important as they can then be built upon – not only for fan-building but to drive revenues through public performance royalties.
While radio tracking has been available on platforms like WARM (€7/ month for 1 song, €49/month for 10 songs), Soundcharts ($49/month for comprehensive data on 10 artists) or Chartmetric ($140/month for the full suite of tools), Spot on Track’s pricing is more accessible. With the Pro account, users can track up to 10 artists, tracks, or albums for €6.99/month and for €9.99/ month you can track up to 250 artists/ tracks/albums.
Granted, Soundcharts and Chartmetric offer many additional features, but if you’re keen to see radio data, and don’t need many more features, Spot on Track is a great solution. There’s also a two-week free trial – so you can check out the depth of the data and see if it’s useful for you.
SyncFloor was launched in 2020 as a non-exclusive sync marketplace, offering the ability to search a database of songs via “natural language” – such as sentiments and specific qualities. The platform also offers a rich hint system – like the one on Google Search – to further assist your search. You can already find music from catalogue partners like TuneCore, Believe, Sub Pop and Communion, but independent labels, publishers and distributors of any size – as well as independent artists – can sign up and become a partner.
Joining is free, and the platform takes a 10% cut on completed sync licenses. Each catalogue partner receives a SyncStore™: a custom, branded storefront that is locked down to that catalogue.
Your storefront can then be integrated into your own domain – and optionally display a sync video reel, to attract more business.
SyncFloor also has a sister site, songsforpodcasters.com, specifically to provide licenses to the burgeoning podcast market. Both sites could be great, affordable tools to drive more exposure and revenues through sync.
When MusoSoup launched in 2018, it promised unsigned artists the ability to deal directly with music bloggers and playlisters, without needing to spend big budgets on PR. What differentiates this platform’s approach to that of competitors like SubmitHub is that Musosoup’s team review all music submitted by artists. It’s to ensure they only accept music they believe to be of high quality: good songs, the thinking goes, stand an increased chance of getting coverage.
All accepted submissions will be sent out to the platform’s network of registered blogs and writers, who can get in touch with the artist if they want to offer to do a feature. Artists can choose to pay £15 per submission – which means if they receive any offers, there are no additional costs – or choose the “coverage plus” tier, which means that any offers may have potential additional costs for enhanced marketing.
One challenge for Musosoup will be to extend their existing network database to include more big media outlets than the few notable ones they have at the moment. Therefore, it’s currently less about big-media exposure – but is a great way for newer artists to get some initial press, feedback, and quotes.
Kwettr is a new marketing platform developed by the team behind Dutch record label Black Hole Recordings. Previously a boutique marketing agency, Kwettr will launch its new and free-to-use artist marketing platform on 1st December, and its interesting features include its “social unlock” tool, allowing artists to leverage funnel marketing – automatically showcasing different pieces of content to fans if they’re repeat visitors of the artist link.
This will ensure fans are not shown content they’re already familiar with and they can continuously deepen their engagement with the artist. Other features available on the platform will TOOLS include direct message campaigns, influencer marketing, smart links, and reports designed to help artists and labels understand the online strategies of their contemporaries.
Each year, NY:LON Connect – the music business event organised by Music Ally in partnership with Music Biz – awards a prize to the best entrant in the startup showcase. The winner this year was one-tap AI video creation app Trash. In May the platform announced the launch of its Trash for Artists app. It allows artists that own all of their rights to upload their songs to Trash’s music library – not only to create their own music videos using the app but also to allow other users to use their music in their video creations.
With the power of user-generated content continuing to grow in importance, it’s a great way to get in front of creators and incentivise sharable UGC around an artist’s tracks. As a reminder about just how important UGC is in this modern landscape, check our feature on YouTube’s new Analytics for Artists.