How To Get Algorithms Promote Your Music

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I bet you’ve looked at another musician or like, “I make better music than them!” And yet, they’re growing way faster than you and it probably makes you feel terrible. But in my experience, there’s so many of you who are making great music who are also good at making TikToks or Reels, and yet you’re still in algorithmic jail. This is probably because you’re playing a game that you don’t understand, since how are you supposed to win a game you don’t get the rules of? And those rules are how algorithms work, but you don’t need to be some Neo-like, Matrix-seeing nerd to get that it is actually shockingly easy to see how it all works. Hell, even a musician who makes country rap could understand it.

So in this video, I’m going to show you how to make connections to other artists so algorithms start to recommend you on Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and all the other platforms so that you can figure out what you’re messing up and let the algorithm grow your music. So let’s start off here. Algorithms are actually shockingly easy to understand. There’s two ways they figure out how to recommend you. The first is user modeling. This is really simple. What these algorithms do is they make profiles of users of the platform and their interests. So let’s say you follow 10 artists. They find people who also follow those 10 artists and then they suggest the other artists those people follow to you and vice versa. It’s a hair more complicated and smart than that, but I’ll get into all that a little later.

The second is music genomes. This is where the algorithm analyzes your song for sound and then rates it on a variety of different markers. This is helpful since it can match it to people’s moods and it helps to discriminate recommendations. Since think of it this way, let’s say you’re having a dance party. You wouldn’t want to be listening to say LCD sound systems, upbeat bops, and then have that song someone great come on, you know, where he’s talking about death and funerals and all these things and all of a sudden the party is fighting to get in the bathroom to end it all from the miserable depression from putting on one of the most depressing songs of all time. Or if you’re listening to some classic outcast to set the mood and you’re like, hey, out of your date and then all of a sudden Andre 3000’s new ambient flute album comes on and suddenly your date is asleep like me when I listen to that record.

Music genomes basically allow the algo to be a bit more smart and not bring down the mood solely based on artist connections since after all artists have multitudes of moods. But what so many of you don’t get is oftentimes when you’re in algorithmic jail, it’s because the algorithm has absolutely no clue who to serve you to because you haven’t given it any hints and yet you’re blaming the algorithm. Everything about pointing that finger inwards. I mean really you’re not even like giving it any good hashtags. You only follow your cousin Paulie who posts about his pickleball league all day and not music and your friend Norman who just creeps on barely of age girls all day and uses the word princess way more than any man who isn’t playing Legend of Zelda all day should or just as bad. You’re using ridiculous hashtags like best new music and hashtag music video that tell the algorithm nothing about the people who are most likely to be your fans.

So let’s talk about making connections so you can win this game. So because these companies mostly model behavior off of other users, a lot of what they do is keep a running score of how many connections that user has to that artist. So if you listen to say, playboy cardi, you probably already listened to these five other artists. Everyone else like you does too. But if you are not listening to one of those five artists, that artist is going to get recommended to you since it seems like you will be likely to like them. To measure this, the platforms are always keeping a score of your connections to other artists and you know, when people engage with the content of those other artists as a marker to know who they should be recommending.

This is why I constantly tell you, you need to find smaller artists in your community so you can build connections with them since your score is never going to be able to get high enough to be connected to playboy cardi unless you really pop off. But a small artist that’s building up and growing, you can get connected to. So let’s say you’re tagging other growing artists who are around your size on TikTok. You found one to three hashtags on TikTok where if you do a search, you see artists who have fans who would love you of a similar size and monthly listeners on Spotify. And now you are interacting in that hashtag, following the artists and creators who post in it regularly. You post comments and even video replies. Well, as long as your videos aren’t trash, you should start making your way into this algorithm. And if you’re making videos with your songs earworm, you should then be getting into the feed of people who like your music and getting connected to those artists.

And then the listeners will head to Spotify and listen to you and connect you to the best possible music fans, the ones who are listening to Spotify, who already jumped over from TikTok, which is going to really give you a lot of algorithmic connections. And now you have connections on two platforms with the people who in this genre enough are scouring TikTok and jumping to Spotify, who really are the most passionate music fans, which is really going to get you off on a good foot. But you know that concept, cloud bombing? You know, when you see a bunch of cool famous people or even just a bunch of musicians all taking a picture together. This is so effective because people, when they see a bunch of their faves in one pic, it often inspires them to share it, make fun of it, make some snide remarks about it, but they tag all those people and starts to deepen the algorithmic connection with all of them and kind of create a critical mass.

And this often wraps up a bunch of new followers for everyone involved in the cloud bomb as people want to understand their favorite artist community. I typed this on the morning after the Grammys, you know, that cursed award show where I’m faced with a doom scroll of enough cloud bombs to supply a whole war if cloud was a weapon. Wow, that joke. But really, as the platforms analyze, when they see a spike of activity of new connections, they all often suggest users to follow whoever is spiking in those connections to the followers of the other people connected there. But it’s also important to understand that recency matters. Often times this is about who you’re connecting with in the present day and on a regular basis since a lot of the biggest artists have a lot of connections since they’ve been making them over the years and they’ve been building up their algorithms. So you have to continually be doing content that gets you connected to these artists.

Since over time new artists will come around and build connections to these artists and you won’t get a recommended unless you’re continuing to make new connections and continuing to grow. But one of the reasons this is so effective is that when the artists you’re connected to grow, well, if you’re connected to them, you get recommended continually while they grow and vice versa. Which is why you hear so many artists with millions of streams say so much of it is algorithmic playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar as well as those interest based algorithmically programmed ones. But I also should say, whether you get on user playlists that fans make or editorial playlists, one of the main benefits you get from these is that listeners are listening to you alongside of a bunch of other artists and building algorithmic ties to you, which is often what does the best building for all the algorithmic playlists.

So everything here in the ecosystem matters. Since we have ties to these artists, their growth is often your growth. We should probably talk about the strongest bonds you can build. So it’s obvious to see why one of the biggest music marketing opportunities today are doing features, collaborations, remixes and split releases. Since when you do these, you live on the artist’s page and you go into the algorithm with them and endlessly convert fans over as you’re getting their fans to listen to you and vice versa as you spread around the internet and your song goes and gets new listeners throughout the lifespan of this artist. But also when fans share that artist, you get tagged with that artist continually racking up even more connections. And when people are loving that song, they can have an easy hint to go deeper on you and you’re already part of a song they like and in the community with an artist they enjoy.

And if you missed my full video on that, I highly suggest you watch it as it’s in the description below. But truly the ties you get to the artists you collaborate with help you grow algorithmically, whether it’s on the YouTube browse page, Spotify radio, discover weekly recommendations on Instagram and TikTok for years to come, which is why they are so huge and why everyone is investing in them with budgets. But let’s go over to those genomes we talked about before and talk about how they figure in. Most of the platforms don’t use genomes, but the ones who deal with sound and recommendations often do. And since this is how some of the streaming audio sites get more sophisticated in their recommendations, seeing as the algorithmically programmed playlists like Furry Love or Skiing Orgy or whatever obscure thing Spotify makes you. Well, those are a huge part of what you see in big artists streams these days.

These genomes need to know why people skip some songs from artists that they usually like the song of. And this is where the genome comes in. If you go to musics, that’s a website that aggregates Spotify’s data. You can see some of Spotify’s data on your song or any song for that matter. And what we’ll often see is Spotify is playing songs with similar scores and danceability or say instrumentalness since that’ll be really high in an algorithmic playlist like ambient music for dirty dorm rooms. You know, you rock that one on the reg, but these algorithmic playlists are often playing similar things for people and keeping a similar mood. Basically, genomes are a check on that the artist isn’t working in a different mood to make sure that the algorithm itself doesn’t mess up the vibe.

But there’s some small complications to all of this as the algorithms pick up so much today with AI detections. The songs of the backgrounds of your video are like hashtags and they regularly serve people who use the same song to make videos to users who watch the video with that song. The same goes for the words in your video that are in the title or even what you put in captions is they’ll often try out similar subjects to people who’ve engaged with the subject a lot. But let’s get into the compounding effect of all this. When you set up all these good algorithmic connections, let’s say you’re doing a tour and have a collab with another artist or you two just constantly talk about each other and go live together. If fans start to tag you two together, the algorithm on each platform starts to recommend you more and more. And as you get new fans, those fans have pre-established connections to listening to and discovering other artists which you then start to get recommended with.

And when each of these artists gets bigger, if you’re still connected to them, you will get recommended of their success and continue to grow. This is why the artists who do what I recommend and continue to stress consistent sustained promotion as well as collaborating really are the ones who grow fast. This also brings you to listeners attention on short form since if you’re regularly getting tagged with them, the chances you come into a potentials fan algorithm grows more and more and gets you connected to other artists and the algorithm learns what to do with you. But the way this compounds is when people are tweeting, Instagramming and doing @tags about your collaboration or the shared show you have or whatever you did together that spreads from platform to platform.

Just think about it this way, if the fan of you on Instagram who likes other artists just like you then jumps to Spotify to check you out and starts rinsing you, well, you get connections to all their other artists and then they’re going to follow those other artists on Instagram and vice versa and the circle of algorithms keeps recommending you. But one of the things to keep in mind and why I love this so much is these are the most adamant music fans who are often the ones who listen to the most music and that’s why they help you grow so much more than buying ads. So to do this work effectively you need to continually be finding artists that are of a similar size or just a little bit bigger and connecting yourself to them.

If you do your community research and people enjoy what you do and are constantly working to tie yourself to your community and actually pay attention to doing this at scale, meaning you don’t try to do this with artists with hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners when you only have hundreds, well this is going to get you a great algorithm that will hopefully love you. But you want to know more specific on what you do each day to get this to happen. So let’s get this out of the way. The first thing you need to do is figure out your micro genre and niche and for Chrysek, for those of you who make fun of how I say that word, both pronunciations are correct. So turn in your grammar police badge to the local nerd station and take notes instead of coming for me in the comments you dorks. Okay but first you need to know that micro genre and what you sound like and if you don’t know that I have a video on how to figure that out in the description.

After that you need to watch my video on how to find community and grab my free spreadsheet to collect some information which is also in the description. Let’s assume you’ve done that so now you have a list of tons of artists who are similar to you in sound and your niche micro genre. And let’s also remember it’s not just about sound. Sometimes you can even add niche identities. This can be queer or if you’re Asian or if you sing songs about hockey or other artists who don’t sound like you but you have something in common. All of this can get put into an algorithm and get recommended upon in this day and age. So let’s say you got a hundred of those on a list now because you really believe in your music and are hardworking and really want to make your dreams come true.

Now we want to follow all those artists on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube as well as any of the short form text sites like Threads, Blue Sky or whatever we’re calling Twitter right now. You want to start engaging with these profiles and commenting and doing video replies to teach the algorithm that you are in this community. Now watch the hashtags these artists use and click on them and search for them. When you see ones where artists are similar to you, that’s the ones that you should be using in your own videos but also regularly look at this search and comment and video reply to videos in this and interact with the artists who are part of this community and really teach the algorithm that these are the people you should be being shown to the fans of.

But most of all, reach out to the artists you find, collaborate, do shows together, do things online together like going live and chatting. I don’t know, get creative but continue to get fans to have conversations about you and with you and the other artists your fans like who are on the way up and most likely you’ll all build together and all will work out and you’ll get out of algorithmic jail and everyone will hold hands and everything will be great and won’t that be wonderful. Okay so here’s the thing, while you just learned all about how algorithms work, if you really want to grow your fan base, you need to understand how to blow up on YouTube which is on the video that’s linked in the screen right now. So make sure you watch that next if you really want to level up.

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