Music Business 101: What most promoters will never tell you

Music business

Music is business. And real business at that. The only way it can be profitable is when people love your sounds.

Indications that people love your music include reduced skip rate, adding your sound to their playlists, sharing to social media, etc. 

Interestingly, most Digital Streaming Platforms (DSP) pay attention to every bit of these actions but arguably pay the most attention to ‘skip rate’.

Skip rate refers to the likelihood of someone skipping a song when it appears on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and TIDAL within the first thirty seconds of the track. Any stream that lasts longer than that amount of time is considered a play and therefore generates income for the artist whether or not the consumer finishes the song.

Meanwhile, there are many reasons behind increased skip rates but the most worrisome being that consumers do not engage with your song fast enough and decide to skip. 

This is “bad business” for any artiste because sounds with higher skip rates are likely not going to be recommended to other listeners which invariably affects their streams and royalties. So, how best can artistes reduce the chances of skip rate drastically? 

First, it is important to understand that the most important part of your music is the first one minute. As a recording artiste, your intro and the first verse or chorus of your jam must be engaging to keep your listening audience for more than one minute. So, do not just drop the intro believing your listener would definitely like your verses and chorus. It is a big fail. One not good enough for business as listeners could be turned off by a whack intro regardless how ‘tight’ music is. The phrase “first impression matters” is true and true and applies to music. 

Second, where not necessary, avoid doing songs that are longer than 4 minutes. Listeners tend to be bored at the latter stages of a song and skip to the next. Also, the intro should not be long and boring. 15 seconds would be perfect timing for any good intro. 

Third, artistes who are releasing EPs or albums are advised to put their most engaging track in the number one spot. With the first engaging track surpassing 30 seconds streams, the entire album passes the skip rate test.

Have you got other tips to reduce skip rate and improve streams and royalties? Do share using the comment section below 

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About Francis Onyema

Francis Onyema is a passionate writer, blogger and digital marketer.

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