Tag Archives: music industry

Spotify and Playlists: Changing The Music Industry

In an ever evolving music industry, the team at Quite Great music PR are always thinking of new ways that we can gain coverage for our artists. Obviously, there are the standard media platforms which we approach, for example, press, radio and online, but with the way we listen to music having changed so much in recent years,  the needs of musicians are changing and this is something we have to take into account as a music PR business.

Of course, artists are always happy to hear that their music has been played on a radio station or been given coverage in a relevant publication, but the new generation tend to read their news on their phones and listen to their music via streaming services such as Apple Music or Spotify. Radio is by no means dead, but things have moved on a bit and as a result, musicians want to as well.

More and more often, artists come to us looking for PR and when we ask what targets they have for their music, many of them reply that they want to be featured on playlists, most commonly on Spotify.

Evidently, we want to follow the wishes of our clients and so we have begun to adapt methods of getting the artist’s music onto relevant playlists. Possibly the best thing about playlists is that no matter how many songs there are on it, the majority of listeners will simply click shuffle and this means that there is as strong a chance as any other that our artist’s song will be played. Not only this, but a well-themed playlist with the right title has the ability to be popular all over the world. If you get the keywords right in the playlist name, for example, ‘Concentration and Study music’, it’s likely that you’ll get a fair amount of subscribers. However, part of this is simply being the first to identify the niche!

If you’re an avid Spotify user, then you’re sure to be aware of the comprehensive playlists created by Spotify themselves. Clearly, there is a great deal of expertise behind these playlists, featuring wide ranges of artists and some of the best tracks around – as a streaming service, you’d expect them to have the know-how! But as mentioned, if you get the naming of your playlist right, along with some quality tracks, it will probably come up just below the Spotify curated ones. These are the playlists that we aim to get our artists’ music featured on. They might not be the biggest playlists for the genre or mood, but they can still reach a lot of people.

For example, our artist Edward Abela, a neo-classical pianist and composer, was featured on a ‘Studying with Classical Music’ playlist which has around 2,400 followers. (https://open.spotify.com/user/22okckb76eiyuca3mbb4g3nli/playlist/6bIPKM2dI0Wy9XZT60erug)

Also, our dance-pop sensation from Italy, Ginny Vee, has recently released her get-up-and-groove anthem ‘Give Me Dynamite’ which has been featured on a ‘House Party/EDM 2017’ playlist with around 1,100 subscribers. (https://open.spotify.com/user/geetzlaf/playlist/6oZNSVOv0GCAstCSauaO39)

Whilst some may dismiss these as just user generated playlists, they are arguably more effective than local radio plays or online blog features. Many people listening to the radio are likely to be having the music on simply as background noise, in the car or in the kitchen for example, whereas those who seek out playlists of a specific genre are actually engaged with the music as they want to discover new material. Playlists really are the way forward.

However, this is something you can try out as an artist yourself. Start small and work bigger, obviously, but find the sort of playlists you’d like your music to be featured on and do a bit of research. Find the curators of those playlists and see if you can find an email or a facebook link. Drop them an email or a message and see what they think, but remember to make your music as accessible as possible to them by providing them with the right links. At the end of the day, they can only say no and you’ll have to find another playlist. However, if you do manage to get featured on one, make sure to share it across your social media and credit the curator just to keep them happy, you never know, they might be inclined to share more of your music in the future.

Another thing you can do to increase your hit rate is get your profile verified. Once you have 250 followers, you can apply to have artist verification and this will greatly improve your chances of getting on playlists; you’ll appear more professional to curators, even if they haven’t heard of you before.

Arguably, having one of your songs played 2000 times on Spotify is better than getting the same amount of views on Youtube. This is because the Spotify hits are more likely to be people genuinely listening and searching for music, whereas the Youtube views could well just be those aimlessly browsing and not engaging with what’s actually playing.

Spotify has truly turned the way we listen to music on its head and it has come a long way since its inception over ten years ago. Yes, vinyl is having a resurgent revolution with music aficionados returning to the shops to find their new music, but Spotify has changed this without a doubt. Their features such as Spotify Radio and the ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists that each premium user gets have altered the way we discover music and broaden our horizons. It has become so easy to come across a fairly unknown artist whose music you love via ‘related artists’, who you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered in a CD or record store. The old-skoolers will argue about the ‘process’ of physically going out and browsing through albums, but you can’t deny the practicality and ease that Spotify has brought to the game.

So, if you’re an artist and you’re not on Spotify yet, what have you been doing? Get on that right now! But if you are and you want a bit of help with it, why not contact us at Quite Great?


How to survive without being signed

The music industry has long been described as a harsh mistress, and for good reason. For any artist trying to make their way towards some recognition, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid. A good dose of stoicism and perspicacity go a long way. However, even the most seasoned professional can fall short and succumb to the pressures the music industry puts every artist under.

Many new artists on the scene are choosing to bypass the industry altogether, instead concentrating on fan interaction and the traditional gig scene, where it’s often just a matter of bartering with the venue manager for your performance fee. It’s these unique, individual ways artists make their mark that is keeping the industry fresh.

Today, we’re seeing a lot of bands and musicians look at major record labels as goliaths of unfairness, existing simply to chew up talent and then unceremoniously spit it out, leaving artists far worse off than if they’d never signed up to a label in the first place.

Furthermore, in the age of digital downloads, musicians feel that major label aren’t doing enough to protect their artists’ interests when it comes to illegal distribution of their music. In an article titled ‘The Three Biggest Ways Musicians Get Ripped Off’ (for Lateral Action) Russell Brennan wrote of ways artists can succeed without being courted by the major labels, especially reaching that much desired outcome of having fans buy your music. “It’s a big leap to go from hearing a song once to buying an entire album from a band you’ve never heard of. So instead of simply trying to get listeners to buy first time, encourage them to visit your website, get to know you and your music better, and sign up for your mailing list. Getting permission to stay in touch with your fans via email gives you a better chance of selling new releases and filling gigs than any amount of free plays on someone else’s website.”

GuitaristGetting Closer to Your Fans

Two artists who have pushed this notion even further by actively avoiding the industry are Kye and Ryan, members of the upcoming hardcore punk outfit Worthy Victims. “99.9% of labels are greasy corporate shafters, waiting to bend the artist over.” Says Kye, “As far as I’ve seen it through friends and bands that disseminate the attitude of the industry (especially “Major” labels) they are just there to make a quick buck on your art and throw you under the bus when you don’t make back what they gave you. Unfortunately the radio chart toppers have saturated and diminished the value of music as an art form into a mere commodity. Thanks, Jay-Zed!”

Kye and Ryan are in it for the music, the pleasure of creating and playing live are what keep these two fueled. After realising that monetary wealth is very hard to come by, and often a double edged sword, they understood that the greatest success comes through fan interaction and building a solid community. “Our advice to others,” Ryan says, “is to make sure you’re doing it for the love ‘cos there certainly ain’t any money in it. Arrange gig swaps with other bands to build up a network of like minds. Never do a ‘pay-to-play’ gig.”

For their gigs, Kye and Ryan found that putting an effort into creating more unusual promotional materials greatly endeared them to fans. “We gave out some free Worthy Victims bookmarks at our last gig,” explains Ryan. “They went down really well just ‘cos it was something different, and that’s what people want from their bands I think – that extra effort.”

With each passing year, the music industry is transforming, and artists mindsets are transforming along with it. For some, it’s getting harder to understand, but for many, like Kye and Ryan, the artist is becoming more free to choose his or her own path in the industry, finding greater happiness and creative fulfillment when ignoring the allure to sign to major labels.

Images by FreeImages.com/Piotr Ciuchta and Freeimages.com/motulz anto


The Quite Great Music marketing team at www.quitegreatmusicmarketinguk.com spend a great deal of time gaining insights into the world of unsigned and developing artists from across the globe , we are lucky to speak to around two or three bands and artists a day so we gain a real feel for the problems they face plus the opportunities they open for themselves through hard work and we are so pleased when they take time out and tell us in their own words about the way they develop as it is useful to all other acts in a similar position . The following information from the brilliant Japanese Fighting Fish is both eloquent and very informative and is a must read for anyone trying to manage their own music career from the bottom up.






As a self-releasing or self-managed band, the road to getting heard by a larger audience is fraught with challenges and not for the faint of heart, but with a lot of work, passion, and the right combination of band members is well worth taking on not to mention hooking up with the kind of guys at Quite Great music marketing who we are set to release our second single through. This of course assumes that the band have something truly unique to offer, however there are countless examples where the lack of originality has not prevented success, dispelling the myth that all it takes is the right song in a fleeting moment. That moment is made through perseverance and the culmination of multiple efforts at the same time, built on a foundation of a supportive lifestyle.

Firstly, the decision to even be a self-releasing band should be a conscious one, not to be taken lightly, but in an ever self-sufficient world of digital releases, the alternative is not always a viable option at entry level. It’s worth acknowledging that self-releasing comes in many different forms, and the extent to which it is executed largely depends on how well-informed the band is on the various options and how honest and realistic the members are in relation to their desired goals before setting out to achieve them.

In the early stages of a band’s development, creating a clear sense of what the band stands for will go a long way to defining how other people relate to the band going forward. Understanding each band member’s strengths and delegating duties fairly is as important at this stage as ever. Maybe one person has a good telephone manner and someone else has a flair for chatting to the local stage manager in person. Working to strengths and dividing duties evenly does wonders to nail that gig slot or land that studio time at a discount rate. Funding these efforts with a stable income is as important as time management and being organised, neither of which are attributes usually associated with aspiring musicians unfortunately. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Networking with the right studio engineers, photographers and ultimately booking agents goes a long way in bringing a relatively new band to big heights. Some bands are lucky to catch fire early owing to a combination of coolness, raw talent and luck, but it can be very damaging to expect opportunity to arrive on a silver plate. It can take a significant amount of time and research to have the right people in your circle of activity but once all the gears are moving in unison the energy of the band can be contagious to fans and influential individuals at all levels.

Decisions along the way may be tough, and it’s no secret that band members don’t decide on everything unanimously. Having the right attitude by putting the needs of the band before the preferences of the individual is important, both in writing songs and group decisions. A band agreement is highly useful in clearing up ambiguity and acts as great protection from uncertainty or misunderstanding.

Knowing where you need help and having the right tools at your disposal to seek that help out at the right cost is often half the battle. For example, using a digital distributor such as CD Baby can alleviate the pressure of deciding on the best retail strategy, allowing the band to use their limited resources elsewhere to promote their release. Again, promotion is something a band will need help with sooner or later, and knowing when and how the realm of the band meets the realm of the people working with the band will allow things to work in unison.

In an ideal world the right people will approach the band and offer great services at little or no cost and everyone is a winner. The reality is that this may happen perhaps in one or two realms to varying degrees of risk which is why access to the facts from the outset can mitigate time and money wasted.

There are now more than ever a whole host of things that bands can take on themselves with a myriad of online resources and pro tips. Entrusting the right people both inside and outside the band with the right tasks is a prerequisite for success, but ultimately getting out there and getting people excited about what you do is the best way to strike up a working partnership that can bear fruit in ways that are often hard to predict.

Matt // JFF






Quite Great with Candi Staton at The Jazz Cafe Camden for her special duet with Pixie Lott

candi pixie 2

Soul legend Candi Staton and Brit superstar Pixie Lott put on a very special, one-off, performance last night at the infamous London music venue, The Jazz Cafe, Camden.

The creative PR team at Quite Great love nothing more than (music PR, and) witnessing music legends do their thing, so the opportunity to be part of this unique occasion was a treasured treat. After having a blast with Candi at Besitval this weekend the Quite Great team can’t get enough of her. The team were on hand at The Jazz Cafe last night taking care of Candi’s PR and of course basking in the fantastic show Candi and Pixie put on.

The intimate space of The Jazz Cafe was brought to life last night as Candi and Pixie took to the stage together.

Candi showcased some of her new songs to the lucky few that managed to get tickets to the sell-out event. The new material sounded like old classics already, with everyone singing the words back immediately.

The set was utterly phenomenal, even before the closing tracks. To finish the set Candi and Pixie joined forces to perform a very special duet of ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and finally the house was brought down with Candi’s original classic  ‘You’ve got the love’.

Pixie Lott tweeted last night saying ‘’Tonight I got to sing with one of my favourite singers ever’’.

It’s sure to say that nobody was disappointed and everybody was left with a certain afterglow following the special evening.

Quite Great at Bestival with Candi Staton

The Quite Great team  were treated to an unforgettable performance by the Soul Icon Candi Staton at Bestival 2014 , whilst also arranging a great deal of fantastic pr at the festival in between Candi’s amazing live show which really thrilled the public and media alike. The album promotion at radio and press is going really well and Bestival was such a great starting point.

There have been a host of articles raving about Staton’s electric performance at Bestival, including The Daily Telegraph who said Staton, ‘’prowled the stage like a woman half her age’’. The Quite Great Team spent the weekend working hard arranging Candi Staton’s pr whilst also having time to check out a great performance by Foals

Bestival tweeted a video of Staton working the crowd, saying, ‘’The whole site was buzzing’’, and we must admit, so were we.

You can catch videos of Staton performing at Bestival here:



Here are some cheeky snaps of Staton having a ball back stage with the Quite Great girls.

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Bestival was incredible and is a truly one of the must go to events on the  British festival scene . We can’t wait to see what they put on next year…it’ll take something spectacular to top this year’s enchanting ensemble.