Streaming: Tools for Musicians to Succeed

Streaming: Tools for Musicians to Succeed

Mike Warner

Author / Founder - Work Hard Playlist Hard

Mike Warner is an independent artist, educator, author, speaker, music executive, curator and the go-to person when it comes to playlist strategies on music streaming services. He also works at Believe, USA. All of his experiences in the music ecosystem informed the writing of his acclaimed book, Work Hard Playlist Hard – The DIY playlist guide for Artists and Curators. Mike is also the Head.


Show Contributors

Marc Brown
Jamie Ford
Mike Warner
Jen Pomphrey
Colin MacKenzie
Fin Productions
Oliver Lyu

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Episode Notes

“When I first hear a song, it doesn’t matter if it was released today, one year ago or 10 years ago. It’s new to me, the moment I first hear it, and that’s the same for your fans.”

Our guest on today’s episode is Mike Warner, founder of Work Hard Playlist Hard – The DIY playlist guide for Artists and Curators. Mike is also the Head of Editorial Marketing Partnerships for North America at Believe, the global music distributor. As the go-to authority at the forefront of the digital music world, for all things streaming, we get into it with Mike. Find out how he got started as a DJ in Australia and then eventually made his way to California. How unemployment can lead to some great ideas, opportunities and even a book. Let’s find out about the path that led to Mike eventually ending up at Believe USA for his day job, yes he loves a day job.  Throughout this episode, Marc brings a bucket of questions to the table. Mike gets more specific about some excellent strategies, timelines and how to approach building a team. He also explains a few unique ways artists can get noticed by the many Digital Service Providers (DSP) out there. 

The biggest lessons offered up: 

  • Don’t give up and don’t ignore any of the streaming services. 
  • Artists should always be talking about their work no matter when the music was released. 
  • A song is “new” the moment people hear it, even if it is 1 or 10 years old. 

Mike spoke to us from California, USA.

Show Notes:

#HowWeListen Live: In Conversation


Work Hard Playlist Hard – The DIY playlist guide for Artists and Curators


00:10 – Byta.com

02:20 – I grew up in Australia

03:39 – All I wanted to be was a DJ

06:10 – I moved to the USA and could not work so researched streaming services

08:40 -Pay a fee & get on a streaming platform: DistroKidt, CD Baby, TuneCore

09:00 – Other platforms provide services on top of that- The Orchard Ingrooves and Believe

11:55 – The band Date Night

13:00 – Writing the book: Work Hard Playlist Hard

20:18 – Fill in the forms and pitch your music to the DSPs

27:52 – What is an editorial playlist

29:07 – Spotify only allow you to pitch one track at a time

30:18 – Amazon Music: Pitch your music everywhere

32:00 – Pandora, only in the US, but a lot of listeners and great artist support

36:15 – Tidal for artists, “Rising Artists

40:23 – Make a plan, talk up your music

43:31 – 8 Weeks before release, stick to a schedule

47:05 – Don’t be disheartened, people take longer to discover new music today

49:30 – Its new the first time you hear it

51:56 – Finding your team- ask lots of questions.

56:00 – How I got on the Starbucks playlist

59:00 – Reach out on LinkedIn

59:30 – Creating your own playlists and exchanging music with other curators

1:03:20 – Working with labels and distributors

1:04:00 – The New Spotify user interface, Spotify canvas

1:10:00 – What are publishers looking for?

1:12:00 – Byta.com

Music by Fin Productions and Oliver Lyu

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