How To Use Spotify For Artist Research

Concert promoters have used information from radio charts for decades. Knowing how popular an artist is on radio can give you a better understanding of their popularity & can help you create a more data-driven offer. Radio charts & spin reports can also be valuable resources to make sure you are placing ads & running promotions with the right radio station(s).

However, Terrestrial radio is only one piece of an ever evolving puzzle. According to “The Infinite Dial” report by Edison Research and Triton Digital, the share of the public listening to online radio continues to grow. As of 2019, 60% of Americans ages 12 and older had listened to online radio in the past week & 41% of Americans are listening in a car using a phone.

Spotify has 163 million monthly active listeners as of March 31, 2020. It is important for us as event marketers to use every tool we have available, so we are going to outline a simple strategy you can implement to help make sure you are using Spotify to its full potential.

Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify Ad Studio is a self-serve platform that allows you to create audio & video advertising campaigns. The minimum budget of $250 makes adding Spotify to your advertising plan a very simple proposition. Their targeting is what makes it a no brainer & allows us to collect a little data along the way.

How do I know how popular an artist is on Spotify?

Spotify has an ad creation tool that looks very similar to what we are used to on other self-serve ad platforms. As you add targeting parameters, the estimated reach & frequency numbers update in real-time, which give you a pretty good gauge of how many people listen to an artist in your market. Follow these simple steps to get a good understanding of how popular an artist is on Spotify in your market:

  1. Log in to your Spotify Ad Studio account
  2. Click ‘Create an ad’
  3. Select that you are promoting ‘A concert or artist merch’
  4. Name Your Ad
  5. Set a schedule and budget that gives you a large enough sample (1 month / $1,000)
  6. Add your geographic targeting (you can target by DMA)
  7. Under Additional targeting, select Fan base
  8. Type in an artist’s name & select the appropriate artist profile
  9. Take note of the Estimated reach number in the far right column. This gives you a good indication of how many people in your market listen to a particular artist on Spotify.

How do I use this information?

Depending on the artist you are researching, this number may not be groundbreaking by itself. Here are a few tips on how this information can be very valuable:

Should I advertise on Spotify?

This one is simple.. Our entire job is to find people where they are and make sure they are aware of concerts, right? In many cases, users are making a conscious decision to search for and listen to a particular artist on Spotify. That’s a pretty good indicator that they are your target. Even if the audience is small, Targeting Spotify usuers is much more effective than loading morning drive with a bunch of rotators & hoping for the best.

How popular is this artist in relation to another artist I have more information on?

Certain genres are more popular on Spotify than others. If you are gathering information on an emerging artist you are not going to have any historical sales data to work with. However, you could look at how popular an established artist in the same genre is on Spotify & compare. This is certainly not an exact science, but it can help you identify trends.

How popular is this artist in my market vs. another market I have more information on?

We all know that artists perform very differently in different markets, especially near the start of their careers. That’s the problem with looking at an average on Pollstar, right? By changing the geographic targeting in Spotify Ad Studio you can see how popular an artist is in one market vs. another. If you have history with the artist in another market, or can share information with another promoter there this can be a valuable gauge to help you on your way.

Additional Spotify Resources

Additional Resources For Artist Research

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