2,100 Monthly Listeners vs 7?! Why Pandora is the best streaming platform for new artists
Updated: Jul 8
Hello music industry, I'm the new guy. If you're not sure, ask my 109 rabid Facebook fans by clicking here. I released an album in March, and I'm getting to know the differences in music streaming platforms and how they benefit the 99% of artists that are out there that you haven't heard yet (me included!). Pandora is crushing the competition for the little guys and I wanted to share why.
Pandora uses what they refer to as the Music Genome Project. In short, it's artificial intelligence that analyzes "...the musicological components of the song. Based on this data, the matching algorithm will create a station populated with artists with similar data" (Pandora Support). At first this sounded impersonal, and for a music purist that knows it's more than just the frequency and tones being generated that make a song, I was skeptical. However, as I was experiencing the nosedive of monthly listeners on all music streaming platforms a couple weeks after the album release, (and my family and friends went back to listening to One Republic), Pandora's streams and listeners were picking up steam. The Genome had started sneaking a couple songs into radio stations such as Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga, Randy Rogers Band, and Red Dirt/Texas Radio. Pandora was soliciting my music to other listeners that the Genome decided would like my music as well.
And they did! The Genome shared with listeners, who gravitated to a particular song on the album Whiskey Finds a Way. It's gotten over 4,300 streams and accumulated 2,100 monthly listeners as of this morning. Not rich and famous just yet, but enough monthly listeners to slip me into the top 12% of all artists on Pandora! They also give you some data access via Next Big Sound(.com) and it shares a slick little map of the regions my song is being played (see below)
I'm based in southern AZ so it makes sense I have the largest dot in my hometown. But the growth in Texas and Oklahoma, along with Ohio in the northeast is giving me some killer insight as to how to plan a fall tour and which single to keep pushing. Honestly, I didn't consider myself to be "Texas/Red Dirt Country", but now I know those are my people, so let's go with it!
Was has Spotify done to help get my songs some exposure? Nothing.
They seem to offer a lot of "tips" for artists that require me to invest more money in affiliate products, but no sharing of songs to other potential fans unless you pay. I haven't paid a dime to advertise on any platforms and I don't intend to. They all seem like scams and I'm trying to grow my career organically, with great music and amazing blog posts. Sure, Spotify is a huge streaming service and it seems to me like you'd have some luck and accidentally get found on searches when covering songs, but where's the art in that? Fun fact: my younger brother Jeff is a pianist and he's got 32,000 streams on a cover song because he spelled it wrong, and so do others when they search. So great! Here's the link.
Bottom line: it's worth the extra hoops you have to jump through to get your music on Pandora. Let the Genome work it's magic, especially because it's free! Oh, and here's Whiskey Finds a Way as found of Pandora. You can also download any of my songs for free on the main page of the website, if you click on the tune and shoot me your email. Cheers!