CD Baby helps you fast-track the Spotify ‘artist verification’ request process.
Once upon a time you needed at least 250 followers on Spotify to become a verified artist on the world’s most popular streaming platform. No longer.
Spotify has opened up the artist verification process to ALL artists and labels, regardless of how many followers you have, and it’s sooooooo simple.
- If you’re NOT using CD Baby to distribute your music, you can request verification right now. All you need to do is go HERE, and then just wait for them to verify you.
- If you ARE using CD Baby to distribute your music, we’ve partnered with Spotify to get you INSTANT ACCESS to your Spotify for Artists account. Go HERE.
If you’re verifying your account without the help of CD Baby, Spotify will ask you a few questions, and then they’ll review the information you provide to make sure you are indeed the person who should be granted access to the corresponding Spotify for Artists account. That can take a few days, but once you’re granted access, Spotify will verify your artist and give you the little blue check mark on your profile.
Why get verified as an artist on Spotify?
Spotify artist verification is important for a few reasons. Perhaps the most important has to do with playlisting. It’s possible, of course, to get your music onto playlists without being a verified artist on Spotify, but verification can really help you in your efforts to be taken seriously on the platform, get the attention of Spotify’s algorithm, and also get noticed by Spotify playlist curators.
In addition, once you’re verified on Spotify, you can:
- Share playlists directly with your fans
- Update your artist bio on Spotify
- Update your artist profile image directly from your Spotify for Artists account
- Access analytics for your top 1000 songs
- Pin songs, albums, or playlists to the top of your profile
- And more
How to build your initial following on Spotify
Here’s something I’m ashamed to admit: I didn’t really get into Spotify until 2016.
I signed up for a free account when Spotify first came to the United States about a billion years ago (in tech terms) but I never really used it. Then a year or two later I verified my “Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights” profile, just to — ya know — check it off the list. And there that profile sat, mostly neglected for a couple more years.
But a few things happened in 2016 that got me hooked. For one, I put out a new album. It was my first record in five years, and those years away from releasing new music happened to coincide with the rise of Spotify, so I had some catching up to do!
Second, I fell in love with playlisting (yes, I’m late to the game there too) for the very practical reason that I could compile all my daughter’s favorite songs in one place and then have an easy way for other people in the family to access them as well.
Third, I attended Charles Alexander’s talk at the DIY Musician Conference about the power of Spotify playlisting as a tool for indie artists to build a fanbase and drive revenue while bypassing the traditional means of gaining traction in the industry. He preached, and I was converted.
As a recent convert, I realized that step one would be to get my OTHER artist profile (my solo “Chris Robley” profile) verified too, because that little blue check-mark on a Spotify discography page is more important than I knew!
[To learn a proven strategy for getting your songs onto more Spotify playlists, download our FREE guide “Getting Your Songs on Spotify Playlists: a streaming success guide for DIY Musicians.” It will take you through a series of achievable steps that will increase your chances of a high-profile playlist placement.]
Once you’re verified though, you still need to court listeners on the platform. So I figured I’d list the steps I took on this little adventure of building a following on Spotify.
Working your way towards a Spotify following
Set a goal
How many followers do you think you can realistically get on Spotify in a short period of time? What’s your timeline for acquiring those followers? Two weeks? Three months? It’ll be different for every artist, but it’s worth setting a goal for yourself so you’ll know how and when to focus your promotion energies on building that Spotify following, as opposed to any of the other messaging that you need to send about tours, videos, or other platforms. You don’t want different messages competing for your fans’ attention, so setting a goal can help you prioritize.
Prepare your website
1. Embed the Spotify Follow Button on your website’s homepage so visitors can follow you on Spotify without having to leave the page they’re on, like this…
2. Integrate a Spotify Play Button into your site as well to encourage visitors to start engaging with your music right away (again, without having to leave your website).
3. Create a Spotify-centric page on your website — like THIS — where you’ve embedded a Spotify player (for your latest album, single, or playlist) AND a Spotify Follow Button. To do so, click the ellipses next to any song, album, or playlist on Spotify and select “copy embed code.” Paste that code into any HTML page.
Ask your fans to follow you on Spotify
Perhaps it goes without saying, but the most important thing you can do to get more people to follow your music on Spotify is…ask people to follow your music on Spotify!
Watch: I’m going to do it right here…
If you listen to music on Spotify, there’s a small thing you can do that will be a big help to me: FOLLOW me there!
That way I can keep you updated whenever I release new songs or playlists.
If you have a second, please click “follow” below. It really will be a huge help and I’ll send an immediate psychic hug in return. Thanks!
[Did it work? Did you follow me? Hopefully! ; )]
Be sure to put this kind of request in your own voice, of course, when you reach out to your fans. Once you have an idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to ask:
4. Message your fans on social media and ask them to follow you on Spotify. Send them to the Spotify page you created on your website. This page will have everything they need to take action and engage with your music on Spotify, while you still control the experience from YOUR website.
Be sure to explain how a “Follow” on Spotify is one of the best ways to show support for the artists they love on that platform.
Consider creating a special image just for this purpose (you can use it on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as an email header, and more). Here’s mine:
6. Link to the Spotify-centric page on your website (at least for the duration of your campaign to build your initial following) from your:
- YouTube video descriptions,
- Twitter bio,
- the “about” section of your band’s Facebook page,
- Instagram bio,
- and more.
7. Tell your fans at shows to get out their phones and follow you on Spotify. If they can show you on their phone that they’ve followed you, merch discount!
8. Consider digital advertising via Facebook, YouTube, or Google to attract additional followers.
Remember, if you run a Facebook ad, they don’t love text on the image! So the example I posted above would need to be edited to omit some or all of the text in order to have maximum effect when promoted through Facebook.
Create and promote playlists that feature your music
9. Let your fans know whenever your music is placed on someone else’s playlist. You can see a list of Spotify playlists that include your music within your CD Baby account’s Trending Reports section. Proud of a placement? Let the world know, and ask them to follow you on Spotify!
10. Encourage your fans to share those playlists containing your music with their friends, or to create a new playlist of their own that contains your music.
11. Keep putting out new music and creating new playlists of your own. Every time you have a new release or a new playlist, it’s another chance for you to spread the word about your music AND ask for listeners to follow you on Spotify.
Here’s just a short list of the kinds of playlists you can create:
- greatest hits
- set lists
- moods and themes
- your local music scene
- songs that feature a particular instrument
- behind-the-scenes (where you distribute commentary tracks under a related artist name, such as “Chris Robley Talks About Some Stuff,” that talk about the stories behind the songs, and then create a playlist that intersperses those spoken elements with the studio recordings)
- what you’re listening to in the tour van
(For playlists that mostly feature other artists’ music, be sure to include one of your songs in there!)
Go HERE to read some best-practices for creating your own playlists.
12. Encourage followers of your personal profile to also follow your artist on Spotify.
Alright, that was my game plan to increase my following on Spotify. Got any tips or tricks to add? Let me know in the comments.