In this guide we’re going to look at how to claim your Artist profile, tailor the different aspects of your Spotify artist account, start accessing lots of juicy in-depth Spotify data about your listeners (age, location, gender, and more), and, critically, understand what you can do with it to help your music career. We’ll also look at some of the other cool things you can do, like adding Spotify Canvas videos to your tracks, and sharing these across social media channels to build your followers and generate more streams.
It should all be quite straightforward, but don’t worry if some of it feels a little overwhelming, that’s normal with anything new. If there are any terms or questions you have, we’re pretty sure the answers are in our In More Depth / FAQs section or some of the many linked articles and tutorials throughout. So it’s a good idea to just read through once now, get an overview, then you can go through again if you’re looking for that extra depth.
Why is Spotify for Artists so important?
… you might wonder. Well, Spotify is the undisputed heavyweight champion of streaming platforms, so hundreds of millions of listeners are likely to be introduced to – or look for – your music on Spotify first. Whether somebody has seen you live, heard you on the radio, or discovered you via Spotify playlists, there’s a good chance their next move will be to check your Artist Profile. People listen more to artists that interest them, this is your first chance to impress, and you want to get it right. Spotify for Artists is your Artist Profile editing portal, so if you ignore it, you simply won’t build your followers.
Of course, you need people to actually visit your profile first, and Spotify for Artists has got your back there too. Spotify playlists are now widely recognised as the primary way in which people discover new songs and artists (68% of Spotify users aged 16-40 discover new music via Spotify’s algorithmic or Editorial playlists). So since Spotify for Artists is also the tool used for submitting tracks to official playlists (and monitoring the key statistics that drive the algorithmic playlists), that’s already reason enough to use it. (For more detail on these things, check our How To Get on Spotify Playlists guide).
How can Spotify for Artists attract new fans and build my music career?
In today’s music industry, information is power. And with everything from your Spotify monthly listeners and most popular tracks to the cities in the world you are most popular, Spotify for Artists is your gateway to a deep pool of crucial stats. And it’s all presented in an incredibly friendly interface that requires absolutely no previous experience.This is unbelievably useful for everything from marketing merchandise to booking tours. We explain more about the specifics of the data (and how to access it) on the next page, but first we should already look at why it is so useful for every aspect of your career.
First of all, you can find out who’s been listening, and precisely where. Let’s say a DJ has played your song at a festival in Cartagena, Colombia, or perhaps a radio station in Melbourne, Australia, has had one of your tracks on rotation.They’ve become really popular and people have then gone and found your music and been listening on Spotify. So it’s entirely possible you’ve quickly developed a following on opposite sides of the world. But you’re based in Scranton, New Jersey. How would you know? In the past, you might never have known. But now Spotify for Artists tells you. Not only that, but you know how old these people are, and their gender, and more.
Armed with this knowledge, the music promotion possibilities are limitless. For example, let’s say you can see from your stats that your latest single is most popular with women aged 18-27 in the New York area (and you can get exactly this level of detailed data from SfA) you could now use this to create highly targeted online ads for your next single, aimed at precisely this age, gender, and location. Or perhaps if you want to build up the streaming numbers for the current release in specific areas (London, LA, Berlin) you can target women aged 18-27 in those locations.
But it’s not just the ‘who’ and ‘where’ that are important. All of this streaming data is presented on a daily timeline, of course. This lets you directly measure the effectiveness of your promotions, as you can compare, say, the day your ad went live, or the day you got a review in a magazine, or the day you got a radio play, with your streaming data. Or perhaps you see a big jump on a specific day. Why did that happen? It’s a safe bet you got some coverage or exposure you weren’t aware of, and now you search google, Twitter, and other online sources for your track, your artists name, and that date, and there’s a good chance you will find the source of the boost. Whether it was a DJ play or a share by an Instagram Influencer, once you know who they are, you can now reach out and hopefully repeat that bump for your next release.
Streaming data can even help choose your next single. In the past this was mostly about intuition and guesswork, but if the stats show your Spotify top song is one that was only ever meant to be an album track but seems to have taken on a life of its own, maybe it’s time to film a video, get some remixes, and give it a real push?
When it comes to touring there are huge possibilities too. For a start, you or your booking agent can use it to approach promoters in different areas, by proving you already have a following in their city. And when you have bookings, it gives you invaluable age and gender data that can help you plan promotion for your gigs – whether online, in print, or posters. It can also help you approach TV and press, with concrete proof that you are popular in their town or city (or country!).
Data from Spotify for Artists might even influence the direction of your music. If you can see that you have a huge following in Brazil, you might consider using some Portuguese vocals on your next dancefloor smash! Or maybe reach out to a local music artist you like for a collaboration?
Spotify for Artists also offers invaluable data for maximizing your Spotify Playlist exposure. This really matters, as around two thirds of all time spent listening to Spotify is spent listening to playlists. With SfA you can find out where people have discovered your music, and from where most plays are being generated, which will very often be playlists. You can then use that to build up a relationship with the playlist curators who already play your music, and contact them with new releases. It also helps you workout what kinds of playlists are featuring your music, which can be useful when contacting other playlist curators. And you can make a stronger case when pitching to a playlist if you can prove that you are already popular in their region. And let’s not forget official Spotify Editorial Playlists, which account for around for a huge one third of all Spotify listening time. You can include SfA data in your pitches to Spotify curators. The possibilities are limitless. (For in depth Playlist strategies, read our Guide to Spotify Playlists).
Spotify for Artists, then, is much more than just a way to design a shiny shopfront, it’s a way to analyze your brand, plan your marketing, and measure your success, daily. And you can even assign access to the data and features to other members of your team, including bandmates, your label, social media manager, PR teams – whoever you like. You decide how much access they get. This allows you all to work together to maximize the information you get from Spotify for artists and, ultimately, get more streams and more success.
Convinced yet? Good, let’s get started!
How to claim and verify your Spotify Artist Profile
To claim your artist page, Spotify needs two things: at least one release (or upcoming release) on Spotify and a Spotify User profile. Even if you have a personal Spotify account, to avoid potential problems, you should create a new one for managing your Spotify artist account using your artist name. (Don’t panic if you’ve already used your personal one, though, there’s a solution).
Find your release on Spotify, click your artist name, and you’ll see there’s an Artist Profile Spotify has automatically created for you. Click the three dots to the right of Follow / Following and select Share "Copy Artist Link"
First confirm that you are claiming as the correct user profile. You will then be asked whether you are the Artist/Manager or a Label Team Member. Select Artist/Manager.
Type in your artist name (or the URl for the automatically generated profile) and then you should see your profile appear. Be careful to select the correct profile as there might be others with the same name. (If it is your first release and it’s not yet available on Spotify but has been uploaded to Spotify, contact your distributor for your unique Spotify Artist URl).
Next you will receive a six-digit code to your user profile email address. Fill that in, and on a new page you will be asked your name and your role (Artist). Confirm those now.
Now you need to prove that you are you. The quickest way is log-in to either your Instagram or Twitter account by clicking on the icons. If you don’t have either of these set-up, you really should – especially Instagram. You can also paste in a link to your website, if you have one.
Note: You can claim multiple artist profiles (if you have different production aliases, for example), but you can only claim one at a time, so wait until each is accepted before claiming another.
Once you have completed these steps it can take up to three days for Spotify to confirm your account. They will email you when this has happened, at which point you can start using Spotify for Artists. In some cases they might request extra information (if it’s your first release, for example, they might ask for your track’s ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) which you can get from your distributor.
How to personalize your Artist Profile.
After claiming your profile and securing that coveted Blue Tick to prove you’re verified on Spotify, it’s important to add your details. Your Spotify artists page is your chance to turn casual listeners into fans – don’t waste it.
To attract and retain fans, your profile should represent you and your music while staying consistent across all your different channels, such as Instagram or TikTok. Simple things like using the same colors, fonts, and artwork cements you in people’s minds, newsfeeds, and playlists. More interest means more shares and more streams.
Before you add anything, we’d recommend checking out some of Spotify’s own videos and articles on building your profile and visual identity.
Let’s look at what you can customize.
Avatar / Header
First impressions matter. You don’t need to spend a fortune on pro shots or logos, but don’t use blurry selfies from a night out, either (unless that’s the look you cultivate… ). Just keep it clean, make sure you have permission, and ensure they adhere to Spotify’s simple specifications (e.g. no hate speech or symbols).
- The avatar: This is the small image paired with your music when navigating the platform or shown at the top left corner of your artist profile. Avatar images must be at least 750px x 750px.
- The header image or banner: This is the cover image that appears at the top of your artist profile (note that it is only displayed in the desktop app and web player). Header images must be at least 2660px x 1140px, but preferably 6000px x 4000px.
- All images must be in the following file formats: JPEG, PNG, or GIF. Images must not exceed 20 MB. It’s also advised that the images show your face in the center.
Your artist bio is a chance to tell people about yourself. You can’t tell your whole life story in 1,500 characters, so don’t try. Simply say something about yourself and your music. If stuck, try this: Where are you from? When did you begin making music? Why? Who are your influences? Think about something about you that might be interesting. If you can’t think of anything, ask a friend (then ignore their jokes, and tell them it’s a serious question!).
The image gallery can be even more valuable than your artist bio. People love pictures, and this is another chance to share something about yourself and your music. Some artists treat it much like their Instagram story, while others use it purely for music-related images such as images from gigs or studio sessions. You can have up to 125 images, upload any time, and as often as you like. These images too must be JPEG, PNG, or GIF, and be 20 MB or less.
This hosts the artist link for each of your social media accounts – giving instant access to your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, website, wikipedia, and SoundBetter profiles. It’s hard to overstate the importance of these social media links for building your audience, so if you don’t don’t have Instagram and Facebook artist pages, set them up.
Once set up, the Upcoming Gigs fields will automatically display gigs you have listed on Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Songkick and AXS. This feature is invaluable for keeping your fans in the loop and making sure they know when and where to see you. (Note: To use this feature, you’ll first need to setup a Tourbox account).
Selling merchandise is fantastic for connecting with fans and generating income, and this field is automatically filled with a selection of your t-shirts, posters, used gym socks (or anything else your fans want!), if you register your merchandise with Merchbar.
Curated Playlists are such a vital music career-builder that we’ve dedicated a whole guide to them, and Artist playlists are important too. They’re a great way to engage with your fans and keep them returning to – and sharing – your profile. Try curated selections of your own tracks, a playlist that inspired your album, other people’s playlists… anything.
The perfect place to showcase what’s going on in your world – a new release, another musical project, upcoming shows, a playlist, or something from your back catalog. And you can add background images to make them really stand out. If you’re releasing a new album, for example, you could create a playlist of songs that inspired it and share it here.
Artist Fundraising Pick
Introduced to support artists during the Covid 19 pandemic, this lets you invite fans to donate to one of a number of charities supporting people in the music industry.
How to build your profile
Everything happens via the Spotify for Artists page or via the mobile app. We’re using the desktop version for these screenshots, but both offer the same features. Assuming you’re logged in, you’ll see four tabs at the top: Home, Music, Audience, and Profile.
Home is where you are. It offers links to lots of useful articles and videos (which are always worth watching) and up-to-date stat headlines.
Music gives you track-by-track, and release-by-release stats (more on these below).
Audience is another essential data resource, offering deep insights into your listeners.
Profile is where all the customization happens, and it’s about that time, so click it now.
Introducing Spotify statistics
One of the advantages to digital distribution is real-time info and deep analytic data. Accordingly, Spotify for Artists offers instant access to an invaluable pool of real-time statistics, useful for everything from planning your promotion to approaching labels and booking tours. This data is listed under two categories: Music and Audience.
Click the Music and you see four more tabs: Songs, Releases, Playlists, and Upcoming (ignore Upcoming for now).
Songs and Releases cover Streams, Listeners, Views (those who clicked through to your profile), Saves, and Release Date. These statistics can be viewed over a specified time period: 24 hours, 7 days, 28 days, since 2015, All time (NOTE: Figures for daily unique listeners, daily streams, and followers were only recorded from January 2015, hence that option).
Playlists details the number of streams and listeners for all types of playlists you’re featured in. Spotify offer a great playlist guide and we cover it in our own Guide to Spotify Playlists, but in brief they are Algorithmic playlists, Editorial playlists (from Spotify’s editorial team), and Listener Playlists (including your own and those by influencers).
For each playlist you can see the author (Spotify, you, Harry & Megan, etc.), number of streams, number of listeners, and Date Added. If a playlist has more than one of your songs, you can check the per-song stream breakdown.
Tracking your releases and streams brings home quite how many of your streams are generated by playlists (often most of them), and why we keep talking about them.
Audience figures are where things start getting detailed. You can track the number of unique listeners you have had, how they are discovering your tracks (direct from your profile, user’s libraries, different playlists, or other routes), their gender and age breakdown, their location (country and city), and also which other artists are popular with your listeners (which can be quite interesting to discover). All of these things are invaluable tools for planning tours and promotions, and measuring their success.
How to get shareable Spotify URL links for your artist page, albums, and tracks
Your artist page, releases, and tracks can all have a short, shareable Spotify URL, so that when a potential listener clicks it in, say, an Instagram post, they will open automatically for instant access in the app. The easier people can access your music the better, and it doesn’t get much easier than one click.
- Head over to your Spotify artist page.
- Click the three dots next to the “Play” and “Follow” buttons.
- Click on “Share” and then “Copy Spotify URl”. Now you can paste this where you like.
- It’s the same for albums and tracks – find them in Spotify and click those three dots.
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