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A Musician's Guide To Streaming

Hi, Conrad from The Luka State here. We're an independent band from Winsford, Cheshire; that's right between Manchester and Liverpool to you southerners. We decided to launch our own YouTube show, Listen To This, to showcase the underground bands we're buzzing off right now. Tune in each Wednesday at 7pm

We also made a handy little guide to help other bands like us get their music up online too. Think of it as our Christmas gift from us to you with love.

On-demand music streaming is one of the fastest trending methods of music consumption of our generation, which isn't a hard award to win considering the music industries gone tits up since the noughties. So if there's more music consumption, why are us artists getting less money?

Instead of earning a nice £100 from selling 20 copies of your new EP, you'll need around 15,000 streams to earn a tenner. Ironically, you'll probably use that tenner to pay for your monthly Spotify subscription. You won't have to go far in the music industry to hear about how terrible music streaming is for making a living, but what if there is more to streaming than just a source of income...

We suggest that you stop viewing it as a source of income and start to see it's potential as a promotional platform for getting your music out to fans. Making something accessible, without an exchange of ownership, has marketing and promotion written all over it. Treat your streaming career as a means of getting fans rather than making money from your music and this will benefit you way more in the long run. Do this right and the money will soon follow.

This guide will show you that it's not all bad. Treat it right and streaming can offer you more than you'd think. By pulling the focus off of making money and aiming it at just getting people to hear your music, your fan base will grow, more people will listen to your music and more importantly the people you want listening to your music will listen to your music. Follow these steps for a competitive edge that will get you ahead of the game.

1. Choose the right distributor

As an unsigned artist you'll need to get your music distributed to get it live on streaming platforms. There are a whole load of services out there, each with a different set of bonuses to suit your band's needs; they are the gatekeepers between you and the platforms that will get your music heard. Take time to find the right one for you. (See our full guide to see what we think of the biggest services)

2. Plan ahead

If it's your first release with a new distributor we would advise you set up the release 2-3 weeks before the date. If it's your first release ever, check that no one has released music under the same name. If they have tell your distributor you are a separate artist or you'll find your music in another bands profile.

3. Visuals count

A picture tells a thousand words, but a video tells a hundred thousand pictures. Give your music a visual experience and suddenly there's so much more to explore. People of today have the attention span of a spoon. Potential fans need something to do with their eyes whilst their ears listen. For your first video, try and stay away from any cliché, you know, like a performance video at your local skatepark. The smaller the budget, the more chance for you to get creative!

Taking time to learn about the music industry and how it can be manipulated separates the men from the boys and the girls from the women.

Breaking your artist career will be a process of trial and error; learn from the errors, stick with what sticks. The music industry is a business so be an innovator, be an entrepreneur and be creative!

Download the full guide at

Add your comments below and tell us if this blog was useful and we'll do more.

Meantime, allow us to plug our new Youtube show Listen To This below and if you're a band that wants to be featured, leave a comment.

Conrad, The Luka State

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