Experiences with Streaming Promotion Services
There are an increasing number of Streaming Promotion Services available on the market offering different targets and campaign lengths. These promotion service providers are highly specialized on the respective major streaming platforms (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music).
I worked with three of them, Sparking Music (United Kingdom, specialized on Spotify), PromotionSoundGroup (Estonia, specialized on Apple Music) as well as, more recently, Playlist-Promotion (Germany, specialized on Spotify).
The graph shows the punctual effect of streaming promotion campaigns on the number of streams and fans (listeners) on Spotify, as an example. The streaming provider for these promotion campaigns was Sparking Music in the UK. The "spikes" are aligned to the respective promotion campaigns.
The next graph shows the cumulated effect of streaming promotion campaigns on the number of streams and fans (listeners) on Spotify, as an example.
In total, the campaigns on Spotify (status: end of Aug 2020) cumulated in 16.266 monthly listeners, 1.438 followers and a total number of cumulated streams of more than 127.000 after 18 month post 1st release of Bottom Mercy (1st Mar, 2019).
During these 18 month, the revenue on the Spotify platform constantly decreased. In 2019, the revenue per stream on Spotify was 0.00437 $/stream or 0.0037 €/stream (https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/12/25/streaming-music-services-pay-2019/). In 2020, however, the most recent evaluation revealed average revenues per stream as low as 0.00274 €/stream (https://www.igroovemusic.com/blog/wie-viel-erhalte-ich-pro-stream-auf-spotify.html). This corresponds to a drop of approximately 25% during this time period.
The cumulated revenue within 16 month (accounting period: March 2019 to June 2020) on Spotify was as low as 0.0012 €/stream, on Apple Music and Amazon Music interestingly 0.0046 €/stream and 0.0036 €/stream, respectively. The average of these three streaming platforms is 0.0031 €/stream, corresponding to 3100 € per 1 mio. streams - at least at the moment.
However, the sum of all promotion investments on Spotify & Apple Music platforms accounts for 600.-€ and 40 .-€, respectively, within the accounting period (Mar 2019-June 2020). Therefore, the total sum of promotion cost exceeded the revenue from streaming platforms by far (121.- € for Spotify and 15.- € for Apple Music), leaving the musician's wallet quite unsatisfied. Calculating back, only 20% and 38% of the promotion costs for Spotify and Apple Music, respectively, were re-financeable by streaming revenues. This result is quite disappointing for a DIY musician having limited promotion ressources available.
In conclusion, streaming promotion services are doing their job quite well delivering the number of streams you pay for. However, the refinancing rate by streaming revenues of the platforms is quite low (20-38% only) and even seems to decrease over time. Therefore, the MIY musician should be careful investing into these "flash in the pan" promotions. This type of promotion does not seem to be sustainable, nor is it suitable for successively building a growing number of real fans.