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How To Make A Living With Spotify and Apple Music Streams – feat. Young L3X

Young L3X is an independent hip-hop artist that makes a full time living with Spotify and Apple Music streaming revenue! He doesn’t play shows, and makes minimal income from merch – so its essentially all just streaming which is incredible. Facebook ads were a core part of his success, and he’s managed to build up to 280,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone as of me writing this.

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Important Points:

Andrew and Young L3X reveal how to use Facebook and Instagram ads to promote your music and build a following on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Find out how he scaled his ads according to his budget and make the most of it.

Young L3X and Andrew weighed experiences and valuable tips on avoiding mistakes when hiring playlist-building companies and publicists, with tips on when and when not to do it. 

Young L3X shares how they optimized the production cost of their YouTube videos by using stock footage from Pixel It and Storyblok. Both Andrew and Young L3X give insider tips on how to leverage your Spotify playlists to build a community of followers, adapting to the ever-changing algorithms of Facebook and Instagram.

Podcast Outline:

[02:16]: Young L3X talks about how he started and the early part of his career- Young L3X

[02:41]: He started using FB ads in 2015, allocating a starting budget of U.S.$40-U.S.$50, eventually leading to making his account a verified account- Young L3X 

[03:49]: Young L3X talks about how he invested more in ads (U.S.$500) and how this turned into monetized streams- Young L3X 

[05:25]: He shares his experience working with a playlist company, spending U.S.$2,000 but not gaining significant traction- Young L3X 

[06:13]: He talks about how he built a Spotify playlist that now has around 70,000 followers-Young L3X  

[06:39]: Young L3X turned his Spotify playlist into albums on iTunes and earning from that initiative too- Young L3X 

[08:48]: Young L3X shared his lack of success in monetizing from merch- Young L3X 

[10:11]:  Scaling down on creating high-value production videos for his music and just scaling down to money shots for ads- Andrew & Young L3X 

[13:03]: Pro-tip: You can also use Pixel It, Storyblok, or other websites that offer stock videos for your YouTube content- Andrew & Young L3X 

[14:55]: Young L3X discovered the power of video ads in 2017 and 2018- Young L3X 

[15:23]: Andrew and Young L3X both invests in IG story feed video ads- Andrew & Young L3X 

[16:28]: Young L3X talks about the new conversion ad he is trying for FB feeds- Young L3X  

[18:13]: Andrew and Young L3X discuss how hiring publicists doesn’t always turn out immediate results- Andrew & Young L3X 

[19:22]: Andrew and Young L3X agree that you should always review algorithm changes and be flexible enough to adjust your strategy and approach accordingly.- Andrew & Young L3X 

[20:48]: They mutually agreed that making money from online music streaming also requires investment. Eventually, it will pay off- Andrew & Young L3X 

[22:09]: Young L3X talks about his experiences of making sacrifices in the beginning to be heard- Young L3X 

[24:16]: Andrew and Young L3X discuss how to manage your expectations on converting followers when getting on to editorial playlists- Andrew & Young L3X 

[25:57]: According to Young L3X, you should get people to follow your artist profile on Spotify. If they already follow your playlist, lead them to your artist profile.- Young L3X 

[29:03]: He mentions the difference between people following your playlist on Spotify and Apple Music- Young L3X 

[29:37]:Andrew shares what he learned about Apple Music’s algorithm and how you can monetize your Spotify ads by getting your songs on Spotify- Andrew 

[34:08]: Young L3X talks about releasing an exclusive for his four albums- Young L3X 

[35:59]: He shares how his New Energy playlist into an album by dropping new songs weekly- Young L3X

[38:03]: Collaborating with Jon Lucas turned out to be the right decision for Young L3X. Especially when Jon Lucas’ collab with Eminem worked out great.-Young L3X 

[43:05]: Instead of holding inventory and spending on production costs, Andrew uses Printful to design his merch- Andrew 

[45:47]: Pro-tip from Young L3X, be flexible, agile, and quick to try out online marketing trends because everything changes so quickly- Young L3X

[49:24]: Young L3X shares appreciation for Andrew’s willingness to share information about conversion ads on his show- Young L3X 

[53:34]: Young L3X talks about how life is about influencing and inspiring the people around you- Young L3X 

[59:42]:Check the guest’s cassette “business card” that helps capture the attention of people he meets. The cassette has a QR code that links to his Soundcloud link.- Young L3X 

Wise Words:  

[20:00]:  So, I left my ads completely the same for 2018. Didn’t really change up my approach or anything, but Facebook changed; something on Facebook changed where that did not work.-Young L3X

[20:48]: That’s why I try to explain to people. Like, you could make a living by yourself. You just got to, at first, you could, you are going to invest money. You’re going to lose money, but it’s going to work like a circle. Like the money you put into it now, it’s going to come back to you.-Young L3X

[22:39]: People that really want to be heard. I feel like, or want, their music to gain some traction. You just have to make sacrifices. And if you’re, like, cut off certain things that you don’t technically need and just put that into your music. You’ll see that over time, it’s not going to happen overnight…like you said, like a year, if you do that consistently, you’re going to make good money from your music.-Young L3X

[26:24]: Then I started doing more research on Spotify’s algorithm and their popularity index and stuff like that. And realized, oh s***, I should be driving people to my artist profile to bring up my followers.-Young L3X

Resources Mentioned:

  • Young L3X’s Spotify – link
  • Learn how to grow your Spotify – link

Learn More:

If you enjoyed this interview you might also like this one I did with Chaitha about how he grew his Spotify to 250,000 monthly listeners in only 2 years.