The promotional challenges facing an unsigned band are well documented. Everything costs money, money you don’t have. Getting on the radio requires a plugger and ultimately you will be fighting for scraps with playlists dominated by major label signed artists. The same is true of the music press. Have you ever tried getting in the NME without professional PR support, label backing or a big advertising budget? There was a time when Facebook provided a genuine opportunity for a band to achieve genuine, organic reach but even that has now been replaced by paid for promoted posts.
So what opportunities are left for new artists to promote themselves effectively? The answer as it turns out is Spotify. Yesterday a self released alt-folk duo from Leicester called The Daydream Club achieved one million plays on Spotify without any paid or professional support.
How? The answer, the humble Spotify playlist and good old-fashioned listener power. A few weeks back the band spotted plays of their last single ‘Soundwaves Of Gold’ were shooting up. Why? It wasn’t being played on radio and there was no other promotion. After much head scratching they discovered they had been added to a Spotify curated playlist called Autumn Acoustics. The Daydream Club were joined on this playlist by more established artists like Ben Howard and Nick Drake and it was clearly having a profound effect. Spotify users were listening to the playlist and clicking through to hear more from The Daydream Club, within days the play count was growing at a staggering rate. The duo’s last self released EP ‘Found’ was finally getting the audience it deserved.
On the back of this playlist a couple more of the band’s tracks were added to other Spotify curated playlists (without any payment, or plugging) and the play count kept rising. After just two weeks the plays had smashed through the 1m mark, and they are showing no sign of slowing down.
Spotify is frequently criticised for not paying artists enough per stream, and just this week US pop star Taylor Swift has removed her back catalogue from the service. But for The Daydream Club and thousands of other unsigned bands, the hardest part is just being heard. While radio continues to fail new artists, maybe, just maybe unsigned artists have found a new unlikely hero… The humble playlist and good old-fashioned love of music. Thank you Spotify.
About The Daydream Club
Adam Pickering and Paula Walker met while studying at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The self released duo are known for their girl/boy harmonies delivering both epic and intimate in equal measure. The Daydream Club (TDC) are currently working on new material for a run of singles, with the first single ‘Saltwater’ set for release in March next year. The ‘Found’ EP was released in October 2013, following a hugely successful fan funding campaign. The EP was mastered by Pete Maher (U2 & The White Stripes) and contains the singles ‘Found’ and ‘Soundwave