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independent artist advice

Harmonising with the Future: How to Navigate the Music Industry Landscape in 2024


If taking your music career to the next level in 2024 is at the top of your New Year’s resolutions, you will have to do plenty more than unleash your magnum opus and hope for the best. If previous trends have taught us anything, it is that long-term strategies, harnessing fan power via community engagement and finding ways to monetise your music away from streaming platforms are the cornerstones you need to rest the foundation of your career on.

In 2024, there won’t be a radical shift away from these music marketing fundamentals. However, as we stride into 2024, the music industry stands on the cusp of a thrilling transformation, driven by innovative trends and strategies that promise to redefine the landscape for artists and their audiences.

Leave Your Music Industry Pesimism in 2023

Even though, in some ways, it may not feel as though the music industry has fully returned to form following the pandemic, the tenacious swathes of innovation exhibited by the industry have shown that the industry is far from in decline. While the ‘mainstream’ may be somewhat of an abstract phenomenon these days, there are still plenty of signs of life and potential.

For example, Live Nation reported a 27% increase in revenue year-over-year in Q2 2023, signalling a robust recovery. This revival has been further bolstered by high-profile artists like Taylor Swift, whose Eras Tour is projected to generate a staggering USD 1 billion in revenues by March 2024, alongside a significant boost to local economies.

Collaboration has also become a cornerstone in this new era, with artists, venues, and businesses joining forces to enhance the live music experience. Furthermore, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music continue to thrive, offering artists a steady stream of revenue through royalties. This has been crucial in offsetting losses from cancelled performances during the pandemic.

Innovations in virtual concerts and omni-channel platforms have also played a significant role in the industry’s comeback, allowing artists to maintain a connection with their fans. The music industry’s ability to adapt and innovate in the face of adversity has not only ensured its survival but has also paved the way for a brighter, more resilient future. As live music returns and streaming platforms grow, the industry in the US and the UK is poised for a vibrant and prosperous era, buoyed by the lessons learned during the pandemic.

2024: A New Era in Music

1. Embracing the Digital Shift: The Rise of AI and Streaming

If there’s anything that can drive disdain in the hearts of independent artists, it is the mere mention of AI and Spotify. It can be easy to overlook how both artificial intelligence and streaming platforms have the potential to revolutionise the music industry. As just one example of how AI can facilitate an independent artist’s growth in the industry, AI-driven hyper-personalisation is transforming how music is marketed, enabling artists to target audiences with unprecedented precision.

Meanwhile, streaming platforms are reaching new revenue highs, though artists must be wary of solely relying on them. The key lies in leveraging these digital tools to enhance audience engagement and diversify income streams.

2. The Power of Content: Beyond Music


In 2024, the role of the artist extends beyond music creation. Embracing the influencer persona, artists should be inclined to tap into diverse opportunities, including content creation and direct fan engagement. This trend underscores the importance of viewing music as part of a broader business strategy, where every interaction with fans is a chance to strengthen relationships and build a loyal community.

By harnessing the power in parasocial relationships, independent artists can put ample momentum behind their every move. However, there is a balance to be struck between becoming a content-creating machine and only appearing on social media to drop a new release or announce a new tour, which brings us to our next point.

3. Community and Superfans: The Heart of Success

The growing focus on community and superfans is reshaping marketing strategies. Artists are encouraged to cultivate a dedicated fan base, recognising that a small group of passionate supporters can have a significant impact on their careers. This approach involves creating exclusive, subscriber-only content and fostering a sense of belonging among fans.

Whether you sign up to platforms such as Patreon, do exclusive merch drops via Spotify Wrapped for your most invested fans or create a mailing list which you will use to deliver exclusive digital goodies to your most loyal followers, the power of the super fan isn’t to be underestimated.

4. Short-Form Video Content: Capturing Attention

Short-form video content is dominating the digital landscape, and its influence in the music industry is undeniable. Artists must adapt to the decreasing attention spans of audiences by producing engaging, concise video content. This trend offers a powerful tool for promotion and connection, allowing artists to showcase their personality and creativity in bite-sized formats.

With the reel format spilling out from TikTok onto Facebook and Instagram, it is time to perfect your short-form video content creation skills. Use it to plug your new releases and tours, or simply to just provide a window into your creative process or bolster your connections with your fans.

5. Alternative Monetisation: Beyond Traditional Revenue Streams

The music industry’s traditional revenue models are evolving. Artists are exploring alternative monetisation strategies, such as merchandise, live performances, and personalised experiences. This shift requires artists to think creatively about income sources, ensuring they are not solely dependent on streaming revenues. Stop pouring your effort into lamenting the royalty payment structures on streaming platforms and see the potential in more lucrative revenue streams.

Conclusion: Harmonising with Change


As we look towards the future, it’s clear that the music industry in 2024 is a landscape of immense potential and change. For independent artists, the key to success lies in adapting to these trends, embracing the digital revolution, and focusing on building strong, direct relationships with their audience. By doing so, artists can create a sustainable career path, marked by both artistic fulfilment and financial stability.

For more advice on how to take your music career to the next level in 2024, enquire about our artist development services, and keep following our music trends updates to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the ever-evolving music industry landscape.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The Artistic Evolution: Embracing Change in Music


In the ever-evolving landscape of music, change is not just inevitable but essential. The journey of an artist is marked by an incessant quest for creativity and innovation. As we delve into the stories of bands like PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, and Fleetwood Mac, we uncover a shared narrative of transformation. These artists, once confined to their original sounds, dared to venture into uncharted territories, thereby cementing their places in the annals of music history.

The concept of ‘selling out’ is often debated in the music industry. When artists deviate from their original sound, they are often accused of abandoning their roots for commercial success. While it may be the case that record labels push artists in different directions to maximise the profits banked by the oligarchs, it is ludicrous that independent and up-and-coming artists are also greeted by the same accusation. Especially if they have complete creative freedom over what they innovate and orchestrate.

Any real music fan will be aware of how difficult it can be for independent artists to create a comfortable living without seeking other means of income. Just take a recent interview with Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in the Guardian on how their fans are amazed to hear that they are back in the office after playing shows and they have been fired for taking time off for touring. It is time for music fans to gain perspective and view transformations as acts of autonomous expression, where independent artists exercise their creative freedom to explore and grow, rather than conforming to external expectations.

If you have been caught between feeling compelled to replicate your earlier material and daring to metamorph your sonic signature for your next releases, this article, which demonstrates the detrimental nature of assimilating your older material out of obligation, may give you a clearer view of which avenue to take your future releases.

Loyalty vs Innovation

The music industry often presents a dichotomy: remain loyal to your original sound or innovate and risk alienating your fan base. This dilemma is particularly poignant in the cases of bands like Radiohead and Fleetwood Mac, who dramatically altered their musical directions. Radiohead’s shift from the grunge-inspired “Pablo Honey” to the experimental sounds of “Kid A” and Fleetwood Mac’s evolution from blues-rock to the pop-rock anthems of “Rumours” are testaments to the rewards of embracing change. Their success stories challenge the notion that loyalty to one’s original sound is the only path to enduring relevance.

The Adage “If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix It” Doesn’t Apply to Art

In the realm of art and music, stagnation is akin to regression. The musical journeys of PJ Harvey and Depeche Mode provide inexplicable examples. Harvey’s transition from bluesy punk-rock to a more accessible indie-rock style, and Depeche Mode’s evolution from upbeat synth-pop to a darker, more atmospheric sound, demonstrate the artistic necessity of breaking free from the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mindset. Their willingness to reinvent themselves not only kept their music relevant but also allowed them to explore new depths of their artistic potential.

The Muse Isn’t Always Found in Chartered Territory

Exploration beyond familiar boundaries often leads to the discovery of a muse that redefines an artist’s work. The Beastie Boys’ transformation from a hardcore punk band to hip-hop icons and Nine Inch Nails’ journey from synthpop to industrial music highlight the importance of seeking inspiration beyond the comfort zone. These shifts not only revolutionized their respective genres but also opened up new avenues for creative expression.

New Material Doesn’t Obsolete the Old

A common fear among artists is that their new work might overshadow or invalidate their previous creations. However, the evolution of these bands shows that new material can coexist with and even enhance the appreciation of their earlier works. The new sounds do not erase the old; instead, they add layers to the artists’ narratives, enriching their musical legacies. You may receive backlash from your fans who find a sense of pride in saying that they have been following you from the start and have grown accustomed to a certain style, but you can’t please everyone’s subjective view, attempting to do so will only serve as an inhibitor to your creativity. That’s the same creativity that drew them to you in the first place.

How Fans Can Decree Music Is ‘Terrible’ When It Is Made with the Same Talent That Produced the Art They Fawn Over

The reaction of fans to an artist’s evolution can be complex. While some embrace the change, others may be quick to criticise, forgetting that the talent and creativity that endeared them to the artist in the first place are still at play. It’s crucial to recognise that the same spark of genius that created the beloved early works is driving these new explorations, even if they take a different form.


The stories of these iconic bands serve as a powerful reminder to musicians and artists everywhere: the pursuit of creative evolution is not just a right, but a responsibility. Embracing change, exploring new horizons, and challenging the status quo are what keep the flames of creativity burning. As artists and fans alike, we should celebrate this journey of evolution, for it is in these changes that the true essence of art is found.

If you have a brand-new sound you want to showcase, submit your music today to see your music featured on our top 10 UK music blog.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

How to Maximise the Impact of a Limited Music Marketing Budget

Music Marketing

Independent artists are inundated with options on how to spend their limited and overstretched music marketing budgets. From paying for social media ads to trying to gain traction around a new release via Google ads to paying for prominence on music and video streaming platforms to handing money over to a PR team and hoping for the best to funnelling all your cash into touring or playlist services, the options are overwhelmingly endless.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to where independent artists should invest their marketing budget. Each platform offers unique advantages and disadvantages and caters for different target audiences. There is no shortcut through the research you will need to undertake to determine which platform or mode of marketing aligns best with your work and promotional goals.

To get you started on the monumental task of discerning what you will need to consider before tailor-making your marketing strategy, we will outline some of the fundamental considerations that are essential proponents for an effective music marketing campaign.

How to Put Your Money Where Your Music Is

The key to any effective music marketing campaign is putting your music in front of people who are more likely to be interested while simultaneously showing potential fans what you’re about, why they should care, and how you can become a major landmark on their personal map of the music scene.

Before using your creativity to conjure marketing ploys, set your budget for your objective, and before you get downtrodden by the bigger is better adage, remember that it isn’t the be-all and end-all. Limited budgets can be just as effective in relative terms if you prioritise and drive your campaign with creative ideas.

Before you invest in social media ads, Google ads, playlisting, radio campaigns or other PR services, it is crucial to consider you can cover all the essential expenses first, including music production costs, physical manufacturing, digital distribution, merch production, rehearsal space rental, music and recording equipment, travel expenses, printed promotional assets, photoshoots and web design and maintenance. Once all those bases are covered, you can start to consider your marketing priorities and how they will open revenue streams.

If you are completely at a loss with how to set a budget for promoting a new album, single, EP or music video, a good rule of thumb to use is investing 30% – 40% of the production cost on promoting the project. For example, if you spent £2k producing your new music video, set a promotional budget of £600 – £800. The return on investment may not come back to you immediately, but never forget that your music is an asset, which can open doors and generate revenue in a myriad of different ways.

How to Prioritise a Limited Music Marketing Budget

Many independent artists make the mistake of trying to spread themselves too thin and attempting to take advantage of every conceivable method of music promotion. If you are pouring minimal funds into each marketing mode, you will effectively be reducing the impact of each investment. Focus on a limited number of channels rather than being overly ambitious and attempting to be everywhere all at once.

Always make an informed choice on where your existing listeners are more engaged. Sponsored posts on social media are highly effective; as a bonus, the results are measurable, they’re accessible to artists on a limited budget, you’re fully in control of how much you spend, and you always have the option of altering your campaign along the way.

The second most cost-effective music marketing tool is YouTube ads; a typical video ad will set you back £0.01 – £0.03 per click, depending on your targeting, bidding goal and ad type. Regardless of the variations, the cost of a YouTube ad campaign is low compared to other forms of music marketing. Plus, as of 2023, YouTube has over 2.70 billion monthly listeners, and YouTube allows musicians to place their ads on videos or channels similar to their own, and it is easy to use metrics to track campaign performance. Click here for more tips on how to maximise your YouTube campaign.

Always remember that your music marketing campaign should be as unique as your music; what works for some, won’t necessarily work for you. Your most effective marketing campaign may not come to you the first time around; be prepared to collate the data to see what works and what doesn’t – you can always perfect the formula the next time around or see the opportunity to use a unique angle or idea.

Get Acquainted with the Idea of Sweat Equity

Creativity and tenacity are just as valuable proponents in an independent artist’s marketing strategy as significant sums of cash. If you are working on a tighter budget, lean on your fanbase to put momentum behind your marketing campaigns while coming up with creative incentives for them to do so.

Even if you want to move your sound into an international arena, don’t think you’re bigger than thinking local. Host a listening party at your local record shop, launch your new project at a local bar, and network with the local figureheads of the music scene, including radio DJs and journalists.

Word-of-mouth marketing, especially in the internet era of music, should never be underestimated. After all, that is effectively how songs, music videos and reels go viral. Once momentum gets behind a digital asset such as a song or a music video, there’s no telling the heights it will reach.

For more advice on taking your music marketing to the next level, learn how to expand your fanbase, get more traction behind your releases and maximise your exposure, contact our award-winning A&R team and ask about our artist development services.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Streaming is King: Here’s How to Conquer the Domain in 2023

Music Streaming

As streaming platforms, such as Spotify, which continues to reign supreme in 2023 with a dominant market share, reached saturation point a long time ago, independent artists have a seemingly impossible task ahead of them if they want to hit the ground running with their new releases and become popular playlist staples.

Perceptibly, battling it out on the streaming platforms themselves has become futile. New uploads are just a drop in the ocean, and it is enough to make the era of indie landfill in the 2000s and 2010s seem like a euphonic utopia of opportunity. It is no surprise that given that we thought music was derivative then, we are positively dejected by the prospect of an industry where millions of banal hits pile onto the airwaves each year.

So, what’s the remedy?

It may be the case that streaming platforms are proliferated by hack hobby musicians, and there isn’t a lot that can be done to prevent their access to streaming platforms. But for professional musicians worth their salt, there is everything left to gain in the industry. Well, relatively. New up-and-coming artists who have any true staying power in the charts have become sonic unicorns. Especially with the disappearing phenomenon of the mainstream music industry, but great music, which is marketed as masterfully as it was made, still has a fighting chance. Especially for artists willing to harness fan power.

Marketing your music outside of streaming platforms has become crucial to making an impression. Or at least achieving streaming stats and monthly listening figures that don’t want to make you throw the towel in. If you’re searching for the average number of followers, monthly listeners, or streams you need to be regarded as a success in the industry, you might as well be looking for the average length of a piece of string. There is no fixed number that you can achieve that will signify that you’re a success – unless you’re Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, Drake, or the Weeknd, that is.

Streaming stats boil down to several factors. From whether your genre or style thrives on streaming platforms to how much money you throw at a pre-release campaign. It isn’t always a case of the best artists being the ones to send their streaming stats through the roof. Therefore, streaming stats aren’t yardsticks you should use to determine your worth as an artist.

This article will highlight up-to-date streaming platform stats to show you what you are up against as an independent artist, before suggesting some of the ways you can ensure your new releases rack up the streams and garner fans who will support you away from streaming platforms – which is where the real revenue streams will start to flow.

2023 Music Streaming Stats

To conquer your enemy, it pays (in this instance, $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on average) to know them. To understand the music streaming market in 2023, we have collated a list of streaming platform stats:

  • 10,000 – 50,000 monthly listeners will help you earn $100 – $600 each month.
  • The Weeknd and Taylor Swift are the only artists to break the 100 million monthly listeners mark on Spotify with 106.89 and 100.91 monthly listeners, respectively.
  • Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande are the most followed artists on Spotify with 115.03 and 93.76 followers, respectively.
  • As of September 2023, Spotify holds music from 11 million artists; their music is listened to by 551 million active monthly listeners.
  • The rate of Spotify uploads continues to soar in 2023, with an average upload rate of 120,000 per day.
  • You would need 625 million subscription streams or 1.875 billion free streams to achieve gold certification on streaming platforms alone. Which is infinitely higher than the 500,000 album or single sales you would need away from streaming platforms.

How to Increase Streams on Independent Releases

When it comes to streaming platform stats, remember that everything is relative; your milestones should always be set based on your current standing in the music industry and what is possible based on your marketing budget. By setting attainable instead of lofty and ‘in a perfect world’ goals, you will have something to push for and celebrate to achieve.

Here are some of the best ways to maximise the success of your singles, EPs, and albums across streaming platforms:

  1. Value user-generated playlists as much as Spotify-curated playlists. Read our guide to getting playlisted here.
  2. Start marketing your new releases and pushing your pre-save links across all your social media accounts six weeks ahead of the release date and create unique content to make the countdown interesting.
  3. Collaborate with artists who already have a strong presence on streaming platforms or partner up by curating your own playlists.
  4. If you have a strong enough social media presence, consider paid advertisements on Facebook and Instagram.
  5. Link up with pluggers, and promoters who have a track record in maximising streams.

For more inside views into the music industry and tips on how to take your music marketing campaigns to the next level, keep following our blog, or get in touch for one-to-one sessions with our award-winning A&R team.

Of course, you can always boost your streaming stats by submitting your demo to our top 10 UK music blog, which is heavily frequented by staunch music fans and industry figureheads, who are always scouting for fresh talent.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

What Happened to Music NFTs?

Music NFTs

It was only last year when Pitchfork published an article on how NFTs are shaping the way music sounds, and Rolling Stone pegged them as the ultimate way for artists at all levels to monetise their music, so what happened to music NFTs? How many NFT holders have as much buyer’s regret as Justin Bieber after he purchased a Bored Ape NFT for $1.3 million back in 2022, only for it to lose 95% of its value? And perhaps, most importantly, will they ever make a comeback?

In this article, we will answer all the above questions to give independent artists and music fans looking to support the careers of their favourite artists a no-bullshit account of where the NFT market currently stands. But first, we will give a brief introduction to music NFTs, which work a little differently from your standard NFT.

What is a Music NFT?

In short, music non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are distinct digital assets that are issued on a blockchain (a distributed ledger that contains a growing list of records, referred to as blocks), which are tied to a single, EP, album, entire discography, or video clip. NFTs can also represent everything from gig tickets to passes to money can’t buy virtual experiences to exclusive merc.

The hype around Music NFTs started to amass due to the unfairness of the distribution of wealth in the music industry. In 2023, the global revenue of the music industry is expected to surpass $65 billion, but the vast majority of those funds will pour into the pockets of major labels and platforms instead of the cups of songwriters and musicians.

The pipedream of an idea was that music fans could replace the oligarch record labels, and more direct connections could be created between independent artists and their fans. Unfortunately, as you can probably gather from the radio silence on the subject of music NFTs, the revolution was a lie.

Where Did Music NFTs Go Wrong?

With Music NFTs came the promise of an income revolution, and we have to admit to getting swept up in it originally. When Justin Blau and Justin Ross founded the music NFT marketplace, Royal, gave NFT owners’ rights to the songs sold on the platform and enabled artists to decide the percentage of royalties, we were stoked to anticipate the financial opportunities for independent artists and the profiteering middlemen cut out of the royalty equation. Here are just a few reasons why NFTs couldn’t help the average independent musician.

  1. Crypto Volatility

The value of the cryptocurrencies used to purchase NFTs is volatile. The most popular cryptocurrency used to purchase NFTs is Ethereum, while it isn’t completely impossible to buy NFTs with fiat currencies by using credit and debit cards, the vast majority of NFT marketplaces require you to hold cryptocurrencies. For example, at its peak in November 2021, 1 Ethereum token was valued at over £3k. By January 2022, its value almost halved and at the time of writing, 1 Ethereum token is worth £1297.57. Holding crypto is a great way to see your life savings wiped out overnight. Regardless of what the crypto bros say.

Ethereum Price Prediction 2023: When Will The Bear Market End? Watch This Key Pattern - Bitcoinsensus

  1. The Inaccessibility of the Web3 World

Unless you only go to see house DJs perform and buy tickets to grime gigs, you will have probably noticed that the average music fan tends to be in an older demographic. Many indie, rock, punk and metal fanbases are ageing populations, and can you really see the average Gen X or boomer music fan getting to grips with the Web3 world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs so they can support their favourite artists?

The ’50 Quid Bloke’ is used to heading down to their favourite record store or affixing themselves to eBay every Sunday evening to pick up tangible wares they can use in music-centric rituals. They are also the most likely to have a negative reaction to the introduction of new technology that they can’t quite wrap their heads around and break into a “back in my day diatribe”. In 2023, YouGov and Consensys discovered that only 34% of the people they surveyed had ever heard of an NFT. But apparently, Gen Z is dumb because they don’t know how we used to burn CDs on our PCs or how cassette tapes used to function.

WHEN MUSIC wasn't "In The Cloud" - Audiophile News & Music Review

  1. Only the Richer are Getting Richer

In 2022, a survey discovered that most NFT buyers invest in NFTs to make money. However, almost the same percentage lose money. Only 14.7% were interested in investing in a community, and even fewer respondents reported that they bought NFTs just to own a digital asset. So, the fans are operating at a loss, but what about independent musicians who are already scratching a living and stretching their resources thin to monetise their music? Yeah, they’re screwed too.

Grimes may have been able to make more money than she has ever made in her career via NFTs, but she has also spent years integrating herself into the type of communities that would be interested in NFTs. She’s digitalising everything, and if her latest single, I Wanna Be Software, is anything to go by, that is still not enough to sate her digital desires.

The Takeaway

Unless, as an independent artist, you have time to indoctrinate yourself into the Web3 world and you are already backed by a hardcore community of fans who are likely to engage in that world with you, it is unlikely that music NFTs are going to come along and save your career. The only musicians making millions are the musicians who were making millions (or near to that mark) before NFTs became a massive phenomenon.

With that being said, there is something to learn from the rise and fall of music NFTs; community and fan power are everything. There are other ways to enable your fans to back you. Take Kickstarter campaigns to fund new albums, and platforms such as Patreon as the perfect example. Learn more about how to harness the power of your fans here.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Should Bands and Artists Create a Threads Account for Music Promotion?

With the launch of Meta’s new Twitter-esque social media platform, Threads, musicians can have even more irons in the social media fire – which won’t be news to the ears of artists who loathe to spend their days attempting to think of new content ideas for each of the platforms and feel the subsequent unpopularity anxiety as you wait to see how the engagement pans out.

But for every artist keen to expand their reach, this article will touch upon some of the key differences between Twitter and Threads, why the platform has been launched at this stage of the game, and whether or not the site will be a good place for music promotion.

What is Threads, and Why is it Here?

If you have logged onto Twitter lately, you will have noticed that Elon Musk seems to be on a one-man mission to tank the platform and shed himself of the status of being one of the richest men on this capitalism-scorched hellscape we call 21st century existence as he presses the self-destruct button by-proxy by bringing about questionable changes.

In his short tenure of owner and CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk has decided to cap the number of Tweets users can read, allowed people to buy their way into becoming a verified member, deprioritised non-verified users, and perhaps most insidiously, allowed users to be as misogynistic, transphobic, and racist as they please.

While Musk is attempting to gaslight everyone into believing that his platform is seeing record levels of user engagement, the quantitative data tells a very different story. The web analysis site, Similarweb, has revealed that since March 2023, there is a 18.7% decline in traffic, which is hardly surprising given that the platform is now a playground for Proud Boys, TERFs, Incels, white nationalists, and every other imbittered far-right which makes hating a demographic 99% of their personality under the guise of being a stand up person. Furthermore, 1 in 4 Twitter users now believe they won’t be inclined to use the platform a year from now.

With Twitter descending ever further down the gutter, Zuckerberg found the opportune time to launch his own Twitter-like platform, which is being marketed as the ultimate place to share ideas & trends via text. At the time of writing, the app has launched in over 100 countries; however, European residents may need to wait a little longer as the launch has been delayed due to privacy concerns.

Within 7 hours of the app launching, Meta counted 10 million members; as of the 6th of July, 30 million users had created a profile on the platform; however, even Zuckerberg admitted that there is plenty of work to do before it is as popular as Twitter. There is also plenty of doubt that the app will ever become as integral to news and political culture.

Differences Between Threads and Twitter

Threads is already being considered a formidable competitor to Twitter. Of course, Elon Musk doesn’t share that sentiment. Nor is he ever likely to, given his increased rivalry with Mark Zuckerberg, which has opened up the possibility of the two tech giants stepping into the ring with each other.

Here are the key differences between the two platforms, as things currently stand:

  • Threads has a 500-character limit, whereas the character limit on Twitter is 280.
  • Twitter is charging for its blue ticks, whereas Threads users can carry their blue badge over from Instagram.
  • Threads is only available to users who have an existing personal Instagram account.
  • Threads allows all users to post videos up to five minutes in length, whereas Twitter limits video content to two minutes and 20 seconds – for verified users.
  • Only Twitter allows users to view what is trending; Threads users will be limited to what is on their home page.
  • There is no option to save drafted posts on Threads.
  • After the launch of Threads on Wednesday, the 5th of July, when you are scrolling through your Threads feed, you won’t see ads.

Will Threads be a Good Platform for Music Promotion?

For bands and artists who already have a significant following on Instagram, the new Meta platform is absolutely worth trying out for size. The connection between the two apps could be vastly beneficial for artists looking to streamline communication with their fans and audience.

As alluded to by Music Review World, Instagram Threads is a promising platform for music, tour, and merch promotion, as it enables artists to reach their interested and highly engaged audience directly.

While it is impossible to say whether the platform’s popularity will endure beyond the novelty stage and what engagement levels will be like compared to other platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, as things currently stand, the future of Threads looks promising. Especially with the current zero ads policy. That alone may tear users away from more-established platforms. Who can actually say they want to scroll past endless ads while they are trying to stay connected to their friends and favourite creators?

For more guidance on how to up your social media game, keep checking out our music news updates. Or get in contact with our award-winning A&R team for one-to-one support.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Do Music Reviews Matter in 2023?

Do Music Reviews Matter in 2023

It has been over five years since the last issue of the NME hit the shelves in March 2018. In those bitter-sweet five years, the music industry has undergone rapid and unprecedented change; with that in mind, we will answer the question; do music reviews matter in 2023?

A critical acclaim consensus may not be able to make or break an artist in the same way it used to when journalists were revered as iconic golden-eared tastemakers in the music industry. Even with swathes of 5-star album of the year accolades from the likes of the Guardian and the Times, there is no guarantee that there will be a high demand for your gig tickets and digital music.

On the flip side, when journos and critics have very few positive things to say about a new release or a live performance from a well-established artist with a die-hard fanbase, negative reviews will have a minimal impact as the fans play a bigger role. Take Nick Cave & Tom Waits for the perfect example; neither of them has had massive commercial hits, but each has a dedicated fanbase ensuring their legacies and discographies became a perpetuating part of music history.

Do Music Reviews Matter in 2023

Social media has changed the game for many musicians. No longer do they have to rely on magazines and zines to communicate what their art is all about. Similarly, in this era, everyone can voice an opinion online, and even though most journos would disagree with this statement, no one’s subjective view is more important than anyone else’s.

With that said, in 2023, positive reviews still matter, especially for independent artists looking to make their mark in their respective scenes and build those fanbases.

Typically, the more trusted, revered and admired the journalist and publication is, the more worth is attached to their words. However, it would be naïve of new artists to think they can secure reviews from household name publications right off the bat. It isn’t impossible, especially with the right PR team and backing, but more often than not, major publications only feature established artists.

There is no shame in working from the ground up by getting featured by indie websites and blogs first. Their reach may not be as wide, but the connections you make can put you in good stead with valuable other figures in a scene, and the soundbites you can pull from the features are great for bolstering your reputation, proving to promoters that there is an appetite for your music, and for your future press releases. Many independent artists also tend to slather positive soundbites, which capture the essence of their music, across their social media bios, streaming platforms, and websites. In short, the more of a presence you have online, the better your chances of standing out from the rest of the crowd that is oversaturated with artists, all looking to get ahead.

In Conclusion

So, to succinctly answer the titular question, in our modern and often warped era, critics and journos are only really valuable if they spend their time flying the flag for artists who may have otherwise slipped under the radar.

Never judge the popularity of a blog or a website on the number of likes, comments, and shares they get on social media. The times may have changed, but many blogs still maintain loyal readerships, consisting of music fans who are keen to listen to some new music and explore new talent. It can be hard to see the true ripple effect of reviews, but if you trust in the process and continue to spread the word and boost your signal by submitting music to magazines and blogs, it will be time well-spent. Of course, you will need to ensure that you are submitting to the right blogs and have a perfect pitch to stand a chance at seducing writers into hitting play on your music.

Submit your Music for Review with A&R Factory

If you have a new release that you have poured your blood, sweat and tears into and want it in front of industry figures and music fans alike, submit your music to A&R Factory.

We are always open to submissions from artists of all genres, and as a top 10 UK blog, you can share your A&R Factory review with pride.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

2023 Music Trends for Independent Artists

2023 Music Trends

With 2022 almost in the rear-view mirror, A&R Factory has investigated the top 2023 music trends for independent artists and feigned optimism for the year ahead after a somewhat mercurial trip around the sun for everyone in the music industry.

It would be naïve to expect to stroll into a utopia given the year music has endured, especially with the recent YouGov poll showing that half of the British public feels priced out of the music industry. However, there are a few key trends to note and slithers of hope for independent artists.

The Top 2023 Music Trends for Independent Artists

  1. TikTok Will Be One of The Best Platforms for Music Promotion

The big three social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have had to make room for a fourth major league player in recent years. In September 2021, the platform broke the 1 billion user mark, and the number of active users will grow in 2023.

The platform, which is no longer solely for annoying Gen Z dances and other feats of filmed narcissism, is already unparalleled in its ability to offer user-generated content campaigns and make artists go viral.

Once the ball gets rolling on TikTok, the momentum around new phenomena can be hard to stop. To get started, use a distro company, such as Ditto, which can publish your music on TikTok. Once your music is on the platform, bolster your music marketing campaign by creating catchy videos. Share 15-second viral-worthy clips of you performing cover songs, deconstructing your tracks, giving behind-the-scenes glimpses, or collaborating with influencers.

TikTok now offers an exponential amount of potential to independent artists. Leave your grievances with the app behind you as you enter 2023.

  1. Publishing & Sync Deals Will Offer Greater Opportunities

While music publishing and sync deals may not replace playing live as the biggest revenue stream for every artist, there is ample financial opportunity within it, especially as it has become a more lucrative endeavour than selling physical copies of your singles, EPs, and albums.

Social media influencers, adverts, video games, television, YouTubers, and Netflix all need licensable music. If you want to quit your day job to focus on music full-time, syncing your music offers some of the best opportunities to do so.

While it is slightly sad that, in popular culture, music is becoming increasingly less of a standalone entertainment format and more of a complementary format to films, TV, ads, and games, it is worth taking note of and taking advantage of. For independent and unestablished artists, the best shot at sync success is by teaming up with a music publisher. Sync placements can also be obtained by placing your music in libraries or attempting to build those connections for yourself.

  1. Music Genres Will Become Even More Inconsequential

The shift towards genre-fluid music has been amassing traction in the last few years, and that will continue to be the case throughout 2023. Gone are the days when younger generations of music fans partook in tribalism defined by their favourite artists.

In the past decade, an increasing number of artists have been unafraid to wear their eclectic influences on their sleeves, which has paved the way towards music unconstrained by restrictive genre parameters.

While it may seem safer to release records that fit into pigeonholes, the advent of mood-orientated playlists on Spotify has made it easier for artists to market genre-fluid music. You can also read our guide on how to promote genre-fluid music here.

  1. Independent Music is Expected to Boom

With the soaring costs of tickets to bigger shows, more and more music fans are turning to grassroots shows to get their live music fix, and the live music arena isn’t the only area where independent artists are thriving.

In April 2022, The Independent Music Insider revealed that indie music celebrated its fourth consecutive year of growth, with UK indie labels taking 27% of the chunk out of the total revenue. One of the main drivers behind market growth for independent artists lies in the opportunities presented by social media.

In 2023, even more, independent artists will celebrate a wider reach via social media, cutting out the necessity of signing a record label deal that strips autonomy from artists and takes a massive chunk of the profit too.

  1. Streaming Platforms Will Become Even More Popular

If you were hoping that 2023 would bring in the end for Spotify and its other poorly paying counterparts, unfortunately, the opposite is expected to happen. In fact, in 2023, the number of people utilising streaming platforms will outnumber people who own physical copies of music.

This popularity shift will impact how record labels operate and how artists make their money. However, that doesn’t have to necessarily lead to financial ruin for artists. There are still plenty of avid vinyl collectors, and physical sales opportunities will never be completely obliterated for as long as you can get inventive with your merchandising.

  1. The Appetite for Socially Aware Artists Will Grow

Anyone with an iota of taste whirling about their consciousness lamented at LadBaby reaching number 1 in the Christmas charts in 2022 as he paraded under the poxy guise of a selfless do-gooder.

Thankfully, some artists know how to project their socially aware conscience into their music career without angering half of the population. The appetite for protestive music is expected to grow throughout 2023 as we contend with the mother of all cost-of-living crises and the perils of Brexit.

Whether you implant meaningful messages in your music, work with organisations to address social issues or partner with charities, it’s a great way to stay relevant and reach a like-minded fanbase in 2023.

To keep up to date with the best independent music throughout 2023, keep checking out our reviews of some of the hottest up-and-coming independent artists. If you have new independent music to promote, submit your demo for review, or use our Interview submission service to introduce your music to our millions of readers!

Article by Amelia Vandergast


12 Ways to Get More Music Fans

Music Fans

With a loyal fanbase, independent bands and solo artists don’t need to rely on the mercy of major record labels anymore. Attracting new music fans should be a massive part of your music marketing strategy – don’t just bank on them finding you.

This article will cover 12 top ways to get more music fans. Not every method will be appropriate for every artist – so use discretion when deciding which methods will be right for your career and music.

  1. Play Live

Heading to shows and festivals is no longer the top way music fans discover new bands in the digital age of music. Yet, if you can bowl over someone at your show, you will make an ever-lasting impression. To maximise your success with this method, always look for gig and festival opportunities outside your town and city – unless you’re happy to remain a local band.

  1. Collaborate

Whether you’re collaborating with other musicians, photographers for your band photos, video directors for your music videos, graphic artists for your cover art, or big-name producers, all collaborations are a great opportunity to expose yourself to new people and strengthen your fanbase. Keeping your music career 100% DIY might give you a great sense of pride, but ultimately, it can cost you!

  1. Spotify Playlists

Finding new listeners via Spotify playlists may only help you to attract passive music fans, but it can be key to boosting your metrics and getting your future music in more ears. With enough engagement with your former releases, you will increase the chances of future releases appearing in generated playlists, such as Discover Weekly playlists. For your best shot of getting on the playlists with millions of listeners, always claim your Spotify for Artists profile and submit your music to the editorial team.

  1. Radio Play

Before your music starts to be automatically selected for international radio stations, don’t be above submitting your tracks to independent, local and internet radio stations. Their following may be smaller, but there is remarkable strength and passion within every grassroots music scene. Radio stations may not be as important as they used to be in the 90s, but they still have their place in the industry, especially for up-and-coming independent artists on a budget!

  1. Submit Your Music to Blogs and Magazines

Music fans can be extremely fickle. They won’t want to hit play on a track until they see a credible industry figure adding to the hype around it. Submit your music to sites such as A&R Factory to put yourself in front of a readership of millions of music fans, promoters, independent labels, and music publishers.

  1. Pay for Promotion

If you are serious about your music career and know your music has a shot at success if it falls into enough of the right ears, invest in paid-for-promotion if your budget can accommodate it. While some promotors out there will charge you £3,000 for a month-long campaign, this isn’t always the case! Some music promoters are happy to promote independent music they believe in for a nominal fee!

  1. Strengthen Your Social Media Presence

Social media has radically transformed the music industry. Especially regarding how artists can connect with their fanbase. When you are initially growing your fanbase, putting out posts that barely get any attention can feel depressing, especially with how much engagement other bands get. However, with a smaller fanbase, you have a great opportunity to create valuable relationships with your fans!

  1. Pay for Sponsored Ads

If you don’t have enough cash flow to pay for a PR campaign but you do have some to strengthen your position in the music industry, Sponsored Ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube can pay off massively. Sponsored ads can help you advertise new releases, merch drops and tours outside your social media circles. However, for sponsored ads to be effective, you need to research your target audience. Your Spotify data can come in handy here, as it will show you fan demographics.

  1. Do Interviews

Interviewing on a music podcast, radio station, or YouTube channel is a great way to expose yourself to new music fans who follow the podcasts, stations, or channels. For shy artists with plenty to say about their music or anything else, they feel passionate about, submitting to interview services that will conduct interviews via email will be less daunting.

  1. Nurture Your Existing Fanbase

Once you have reeled new fans in, don’t expect their support to be unwavering. Regardless of your talent, you should never feel as though you are above the people making your music career a possibility. Where possible, always respond to comments left by your fans. When you get more popular, liking comments will suffice, but until then, always let your fans know how gratified you are for their support. Furthermore, you will want to stay fresh in the minds of your fans, so always ensure that you are posting on social media consistently – not just when you have something to hawk!

  1. Partner with Charities and Other Good Causes

As a musician, you have a platform that stands above most of the population. If there are charities or causes you believe in, use your position to support them. You can donate the proceeds of your singles to charities you want to advocate. Or you can use your social media platforms to fight for what you believe. Do not be afraid of getting political. You might rub some people up the wrong way, but you will also inspire support and respect from fans on the same page as you!

  1. Create Cover Versions of Your Favourite Songs

Many independent artists have shot to relative fame by covering artists and bands that their intended fanbase is already listening to. Even if you hate cover bands, covering other artists’ material is a clever marketing ploy – especially if you then upload snippets of your cover songs to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, in addition to uploading your cover tracks to streaming services, such as Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Deezer and Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast