For artists, music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music will be top of mind in the new year. Aside from having democratized the ways in which people listen to music, CNN recently reported how the platforms have evolved the ways in which artists engage with their fans.
Growing fan interactions into a loyal following is the goal for most artists. And powerful data makes that possible by illuminating strategic marketing decisions, thereby allowing performers to focus on creating music.
Recently YouTube Music partnered with Feature.fm music platform, bringing along its more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users, one billion hours of daily video watch time and billions of views. Artists who use Feature.fm to better deliver their music to target audiences now have access to conversion and attribution data reporting to track streams from both YouTube Music and YouTube.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Feature.fm and further deliver on our mission to make YouTube the best place for every fan and artist,” says Adam Smith, vice president of product management at YouTube. “Feature.fm’s capabilities like smart links and pre-saves will help fans easily discover artists on YouTube, while also enabling artists to gain insights that help inform how their music promotion efforts are reaching YouTube’s global audience. It’s a win, win for everyone.”
The Feature.fm Smart Link integration fosters deeper functionality and ways for artists to market their music more effectively with YouTube Music and YouTube. As artists, managers, and labels automatically connect YouTube Music and YouTube to their music smart links and track the number of click-throughs and streams to both platforms, they are closing a data attribution gap that informs higher accuracy of results and more impactful music marketing decisions.
Focused on the unique needs of artists, Feature.fm also developed a “pre-save” feature that allows fans to save preferred music in streaming platforms. And featuring an easily accessible link to YouTube on an artist’s landing page is key. Not only does it increase the visibility of an artist, but it also guarantees that conversions and streams will not be missed as fans connect with the preferred version of a song that is tied to royalties. Because artists today have multiple revenue streams, including merch and NFT sales, they welcome a platform that can streamline business and direct fans to all those promotional tools.
“One of the biggest challenges I face as an independent artist in the digital age is the pace at which digital media and distribution evolve,” says pop artist Madge, who explains that the landscape of streaming, social media and direct sales seems to change weekly. “Learning to adapt and maximize your project across endlessly evolving platforms can feel like trying to beat a mutating algorithm. Artist projects have to be so much more than writing songs, they must be strategic, almost gamified systems of production that value marketing nearly as much as creating.”
Working with TikTok and partnering with Ditto Music, Create Music Group, Secretly Group, Empire and AWAL, Lior Aharoni, co-founder and CEO of Feature.fm, says that streaming will lead music to become even more diverse and accessible as it has done for television and other media. And small-name artists are leading the trend, which makes music better for consumers, and the industry overall. According to Music Business Worldwide, the amount of revenue that Warner Music attributes to its top five superstars has declined 10 percent during the past decade.
«We saw so much talent out there, but it was difficult for them to grow a fan base and revenue … you were either a superstar, or no one knew you as an artist,» says Aharoni. «Now we’re seeing more opportunities for artists to meet fans and showcase themselves as a brand. They’re creators, not marketing professionals, so we are giving them the tools to build small businesses.»
As the integration of conversion and attribution data reporting to track streams from both YouTube Music and YouTube leads to deeper functionality, artists are closing the data attribution gap and marketing their music more effectively. And every artist knows that well-marketed music opens the door to stronger fandom and monetization opportunities.