Ways You Can Support Independent and Emerging Artists!
By Maya Kubisa
The music industry has become algorithms and stats with Spotify and Apple Music being the leading music streaming services. Of course, these platforms are great in many ways: they serve as a great way for independent musicians to get their music onto a worldwide platform and for the listener, the library of music is infinite. However, the money and support artists get from these platforms is often limited. The CEO’s of these platforms are raking in billions whilst the artists, who actually create the content people are interested in, aren’t reaping any of the financial benefits. Here’s a breakdown of how you can support independent and emerging artists in a digital age of music.
Buy Their Music
This might sound obvious but let’s face it we all use Spotify and artists don’t get a whole lot from streams. They may well have thousands of plays on one track, but they definitely won’t have thousands of pounds in their bank account. Spotify pays £0.0026 per stream whilst Apple Music stretch to £0.0044 so if you play your favourite track twice every day for a month the artist roughly gets 21p from Apple! If you’ve got the spare cash to buy a coffee out and about then you probably have the spare cash to buy an album or EP – it helps immensely!
Turn on notifications and comment on posts
The social media algorithms suck and it can often mean your favourite artists get lost in your Instagram feed or Twitter timeline. If you really like them, turn on notifications so you see posts. Share and comment! Instagram loves both of those actions (more than likes!) so leave a nice comment about what they’re doing and share posts you’re loving.
Go to their shows
Go to shows and show your support for a band or singer you like. Nothing better than real life interactions and it means their audiences aren’t just numbers on a screen but real live people! Plus, most of the ticket sales will go the band, you get a great show and they earn some money: a win-win situation.
Being an artist in the music industry is hard, if you genuinely enjoyed a new track, EP or album let them know! These things cost money and take time so genuine feedback means a lot.
If you’re a promoter or booker pay the artist(s) the booking fee they asked for! Covering expenses isn’t a way to get a free show out of someone doing it independently. If you don’t have the budget to hire the performer you’d like, maybe rethink the event.
Don’t Be Too Judgemental
If someone has just released something for the first time it’s obviously not going to be their best work ever, great art takes time people! Just be kind on the internet about people’s work – it’s fine not to like something, but it doesn’t have to get personal!
Buy Their Merch
Buying merch is a great way to support and give directly to a band or artist you like. Even if you don’t like the design, wear it to bed! Giving a bit back to artists means they can continue to create music.
Support other platforms other than Spotify
Use Bandcamp to buy merch, EP’s etc. Bandcamp is an independent online platform that allows artists to sell physical albums and merch where most of the profit goes directly to the artists. This way you know that you’re supporting artists directly!
Don’t Rely on Algorithms
Fall back in love with digging for new music. Spotify doesn’t favour music that doesn’t fit into a specific genre, so you might miss out on new music coming out!
If you’re going to follow playlists on Spotify seek out human-made playlists. Follow music blogs and magazines. Not everything should be easy and immediate.
Don’t rely on their marketing
It never used to be an artist’s job to market themselves, be an active voice for what they do, do all the above! Share their stuff if you like it, tell a friend - tell your grandma!