Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Talent? You Can Still Make Money On Spotify

Spotify outside the box image
For those who think that streaming services like Spotify can't be gamed, think again. A guy cranking out off-the-cuff improvised songs without a hint of production made $23,000 last year by thinking outside the box and providing titles just interesting enough to have lots of people click to listen.

In fact, Matt Farley has recorded more than 14,000 songs that have made their way onto Spotify and iTunes under a variety of names that range from The Toilet Bowl Singers to The Detroit Sports Band. The songs range from birthday songs (with different names in the title to get you to click on your birthday) to topical commentary about celebrities, musicians, politicians and anything else in the news. His Spotify playlist is 11 hours long!

Basically what Farley is doing is flooding the market with songs that trigger thousands of keywords. Do a search for a song using a keyword, and it's likely that one of his songs will pop up as well, and even more likely that you'll take a listen out of curiosity.

Farley records on some dated and inexpensive digital equipment, then snail mails a CD to CD Baby for digital distribution. He's done this approximately 500 times, which must be some kind of record for an individual artist. Obviously, production is not an issue here.

He's also discovered some rather obscure rules that most musicians and aggregators aren't aware of because they don't deal in the volume that Farley does. For instance, iTunes limits the number of songs on an album to 100, and most distributors will not take an album from a band that blatently posts its contact information on the cover.

This is so creative in its own way that you have to give the guy props. Sometimes ingenuity transcends talent. Read more about Matt Farley in this excellent article by Ryan Walsh.
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1 comment:

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