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Journey to 1 Million Spotify Streams feat. Alex Bochel

In this episode I talk with Alex Bochel about how he used Facebook ads to get over 1 million streams on Spotify and grow his own network of Spotify playlists.

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Important Points:

Utility playlists are a great tool for musicians. By doing so, Alex got more Spotify streams and created a targeted approach that resulted in tens of thousands of followers and a million streams. But, his goal was really towards increased engagement to get people to stream more of his music, not more people to listen to and follow his music.

When creating conversion ads, Alex encourages artists to use different parts of the music. You might be surprised to find that the best parts of the song are parts you thought were boring.

Andrew and Alex agree that it’s efficient to implement budgeting strategies and A/B test various elements of ads, such as song parts, cover art, and targeting. Cost per click or follows are good indicators too for budgets.

Based on his experience, Alex finds it valuable to prioritize engagement by using Instagram DMs for new releases, fostering a tight-knit community on Discord, and building an email campaign.

Podcast Outline:

[00:05] Alex gives an overview of what keeps him busy: EDM music producer, DJ, and music marketer- Alex

[01:50] Alex liked making “joke” music, so he started making an 8-bit music video game with chiptune-style music- Alex

[02:07] Fiverr was instrumental in Alex’s introduction to Music marketing, selling 8-bit music on the contracting site- Alex 

[02:41] Andrew and Alex met through Adam Ivy’s course learning, trying out new strategies for FB ads

[04:25] Alex did not get a lot of streams, despite getting genuine engagement on Facebook. He began to think about how to market his music more effectively after seeing Andrew’s playlist strategy ads- Alex

[05:47] Andrew shares his experience with link-click campaigns and how it has become unreliable over time- Andrew

[06:18] Andrew and Alex discuss how they calculate their cost per click or follow for accuracy- Andrew and Alex

[08:15] Alex shares what helped him succeed in setting up his playlists: utility playlists grew his streams and followers

[10:04] The goal for Alex is increased engagement to get people to stream more of his music, not more people to listen and follow his music- Alex

[13:47] Alex encourages artists to explore using different parts of the music when creating conversion ads- Alex

[15:02] Andrew and Alex discuss budgeting strategies and different ways musicians can A/B test their ads-Andrew and Alex

[20:10] The waterfall strategy for ads, according to Andrew, utilizes the one winning song and creates a playlist behind it to add average-performing ones- Andrew

[21:29] Andrew and Alex talk about their experience using Spotify ads- Andrew and Alex

[22:48] Andrew briefly shares his experience with TuneIn and one of the major crashes they had about 6 months ago- Andrew

[24:49] Outside of FB and playlisting, Andrew and Alex discuss other strategies, including the use of Instagram for promoting music- Andrew and Alex

[27:24] Alex shares that he’s been on Discord for almost a year for his fans, something he planned he’ll do once his stream revenue kicks in- Alex

[30:17] When Alex started his Discord channel years back, it was meant for his Minecraft streams since his music is gaming EDM- Alex

[31:05] Interacting with Discord audiences and hearing their voice was an amazing experience for Alex- Alex

[35:07] Alex reveals to Andrew that he does shows. Instead of traditional shows, Alex DJs at weddings and is an amazing source of income.

[37:05] Andrew and Alex talk about their experiences and encounters with show promoters- Andrew and Alex

[39:34] Andrew shares how some venues take 20-30% from merchandise sales- Andrew 

[43:42] Clubhouse was something that did not work well for Alex-Alex

[46:25] Andrew acknowledges that some musicians do well in YouTube even if it’s not for their music– Andrew

[47:08] Andrew’s music videos are on his separate YouTube channel for his music: Andrew Southworth Music– Andrew

Wise Words:  

[10:04] So, a lot more streams than listeners, which is the goal for me. I want people to be listening to a lot as opposed to a lot of people listening. – Alex

[13:47] A lot of times, different parts of the song make a huge difference. I love seeing that there are like at least three different sections of the song because you have no idea which section’s going to perform the best. And a lot of times, it’s not the chorus, it’s the boring verse that you don’t think people would want to click on. But there, it is at 10 cents per conversion compared to 30 cents for the most exciting part of the song.– Alex

[26:02] Instagram’s always worked really well for me. I always DM everyone that follows me. That works great because people are like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t know that you would talk to me’. And then they say, ‘Hey, this song, the Hopeful Effect, I love this song so much. I’ve been listening to it all summer, and that always feels really good’. So it’s almost like fishing for a compliment because you’re putting yourself in front of them Alex

[28:35] I did a video on how to run Facebook Messenger ads to kind of have conversations with fans on a kind of an automated way, but also like actually talking with them. And I set up a MiniChat flow, I think they call it. Where it’ll, when they message me from the ad, it has a conversation with them. Obviously,  I’m assuming 90% of people know it’s a robot conversation. But it’s like kind of talking to them and kind of guiding their journey a bit.– Andrew

[29:34] You can run Facebook ads to grow those things, which is cool. But, it’s also cool to just have it be something that only your most diehard people go to.– Andrew

[32:07] I think a lot of people should just kind of pick whatever their hobby is and make that, or whatever their hobbies are, and make those channels. Like for you, it’s essentially playing Minecraft. Okay, cool. There’s a gaming one you like, you like making music, and so there’s a music production one.– Andrew

Resources Mentioned:

  • Alex’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 Young L3X on how to make a living off Spotify and Apple Music streams.