The 6 Best Music Promotion Services For Indie Musicians
Start Here:

What are you most interested in? arrow pointing down

Get Started
songwriter playing a songmusic producer at work stationrock star performing on stagetour manager making phone callmusic teacher with studentmusic therapy session
songwriter playing a songmusic producer at work stationrock star performing on stagetour manager making phone callmusic teacher with studentmusic therapy session

The 6 Best Music Promotion Services For Indie Musicians

Author: Caleb J. Murphy

Last updated: May 11, 2020

Reads: 2,271


Caleb J. Murphy is a Songwriter/Producer based in Austin, TX. He is the founder of Musician With A Day Job, a blog to help part-time musicians succeed. He is also a contributor to CD Baby's DIY Musician blog, Sonicbids, and Bandzoogle. His work has been shared by ASCAP, Hypebot, and Music Think Tank.
FULL BIO

Many times, music promotion services make big promises to indie musicians. But do they actually deliver on those promises?

Honestly, it’s difficult to know until you’ve tried them out. So in this post, I want to make it less difficult by reviewing six of the best music promotion services I’ve come across.

The best music promotion services are:

  • Instagram and Facebook Ads
  • Spotify Ads
  • Show.co
  • Radio Airplay
  • Soundplate
  • SubmitHub

Why Music Promotion Is So Important

Making great music is only the first step to successful music promotion. Some people say that the work is all that matters and that it should sell itself.

But that’s only half true.

Great music will sell itself, but not without a little nudge.

And that nudge could lead to great things for your music career. Because music promotion is not so much about gaining more fans as it is about getting more true fans1. So really, you need your music to get in front of the right people rather than all the people.

I want to tell you about some music promotion services that can help give your music that nudge it needs.

Beware of Fake Music Promotion Services

Before I go through the services you should consider, let’s talk about the types of services to avoid.

The things I mention below are all legit, but even they have downsides to be aware of. Everything in life has pros and cons.

But there are some promotion services that are just downright sketchy. And you should avoid them at all costs.

Here are some red flags to look out for.

Do they accept anyone?

Let’s say you visit a music promotion company’s website and you see a “Buy Now” button or something similar. This tells you one thing: they will accept anyone and everyone.

This is not good news for you unless they offer a service that truly would benefit any musician, like writing a new bio or helping to improve your press kit.

But if they don’t care about working with only quality artists, then they’re probably not that good.

Do they promise follows on social media?

If you sign up with a company that promises Facebook likes or Instagram followers, just don’t work with them. You can get in big trouble for this.

Plus, as an indie musician, you don’t want more likes or follows, you want more true fans. And you’re not going to get them with a music promotion service that has bots (or paid freelancers) to “follow” you.

You ever get those suspicious messages on Soundcloud?

I don’t know about you, but I get sketchy messages on Soundcloud all the time. Every time I release new music, someone messages me and promises Soundcloud likes, plays, and big exposure.

Here’s one I got recently:

Direct message from a SoundCloud scammer

Don’t respond to these messages.

Do they promise YouTube views?

If you have to buy YouTube views, are you really succeeding at YouTube? Also, any company that sells YouTube views is definitely using bots. This obviously isn’t allowed and it could get you in big trouble.

Can they name specific artists who they’ve helped?

A good music promotion service will either have a list of clients they’ve helped and/or they’ll have testimonials posted on their site. If they don’t, ask them. If they’re sketchy, they’ll say something like, “We’ve helped many top-performing artists” but not actually give you any names.

Yeah, stay away.

Do they promise playlist inclusion?

If a promotional company promises to get your music on Spotify playlists, avoid them. A good playlist curator will, you know, curate the playlist. That means selecting the best songs and turning down the not-so-good ones.

A company can’t promise to get your songs on a playlist, unless that playlist has little to no engagement or followers.

Slide Do You *Really Have What it Takes? Do You *Really
Have What it Takes?
Let's See Let's See

What Are the Best Sites to Promote Your Music?

Now let’s talk about some solid music promotion services. I’ve used most of these, so I’ll share my experience with them.

Instagram & Facebook Ads

I don’t know about you, but I see Instagram ads all the time. And sometimes they get me. Sometimes I actually click on them. I’ve even followed people because I initially saw their IG ad.

To start running an Instagram ad, just hit the “Promotions” button from your profile. Then you can boost one of your current posts. Or you can go through your Facebook Ads Manager and then choose to run it on both Facebook and Instagram.

Hootsuite has a complete walkthrough2 of how to run Instagram and/or Facebook ads. You can also check out Facebook’s ad page for more info.

Spotify Ads

Advertisements are one of the oldest methods for getting the word out, and they’re still effective. That is if you do it right.

I’m annoyed by Spotify ads about 90% of the time. But that doesn’t mean Spotify ads are inherently useless, it’s just irritating the way people make the commercials.

So if you can create an ad that compels people to listen rather than expels them away from their computer, you’ve got a chance to win over some new fans. As a fan, I’d rather hear your music in the ad right away so I can decide if I’m interested or not.

On Spotify’s ad page, you can learn more and contact Spotify about running your ad.

Show.co

If you want to run a Spotify ad as well as use some other music promotion tools, you can work with Show.co.

They can help you launch your ad on Spotify, RollingStone, Billboard, Pitchfork, and elsewhere. You can also use their other features to grow your fanbase, such as by running a Spotify pre-save campaign, building your email list, and premiering a YouTube video.

You can get started for free, but the free services are limited to Social Unlock (giving your fans something free in exchange for a social follow/like), YouTube and Soundcloud listener-to-fan conversion, and giving away something free for a fan’s email.

Radio Airplay

Even though Radio Airplay “guarantees” internet radio airplay, they’re still a legit company.

Here’s how it works: you get a certain number of free credits to play your song on Jango, a free music streaming platform similar to Pandora. Then your song can be included in Jango’s algorithm, which plays your song next to other similar artists. You can also buy credits to get more streams.

The reason I trust this service is because:

  • Jango is a legit music streaming platform people actually use
  • I use it and I see real people listening to my songs
  • Radio Airplay partners with reputable companies, like CD Baby, Tunecore, and Disk Makers

Soundplate

Soundplate is a record label and music platform that also partners with Spotify and Deezer playlist curators.

You can browse through the playlists based on genre and submit your music for free. They just ask you to follow the playlist before you do so.

What might end up happening with a lot of these playlists is that they get a lot of unengaged followers from all the musicians submitting their music. It’s free, so they probably get a lot of submissions. But I still follow some of the playlists I’ve submitted to because they actually have music I like.

Also, Soundplate doesn’t charge anything because it doesn’t cost them anything. They simply connect the curator with the artist.

SubmitHub

If you want to get your music featured on music blogs, radio stations, and Spotify playlists, you can use SubmitHub.

Whether or not you believe music blogs still have leverage, you can at least get good press that you can post on your website and include in your EPK.

In Ari Herstand’s in-depth guide on SubmitHub, he says you should submit your music about 4-6 weeks before your song’s release date3.

Rate this article. What did you think?

FAQ

Nobody has asked any questions...Want to be the first?

References

  1. 1Kelly, Kevin. "1,000 True Fans". KK.org. published: 4 March 2008. retrieved on: 11 May 2020
  2. 2Tran, Tony. "How to Advertise on Instagram: A 6-Step Guide to Using Instagram Ads". Hootsuite. published: 24 April 2019. retrieved on: 11 May 2020
  3. 3Herstand, Ari. "How To Submit Music To Blogs, Spotify Playlists, Labels, Radio: SubmitHub Review". Ari's Take. published: . retrieved on: 11 May 2020
We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.