Back in the day, blogging was an entire ecosystem that artists could leverage to garner the growth and discovery of their music, however, playlists displaced that. At the beginning, playlists used to be fueled by blogs (i.e. you could get on then-popular blog HillyDilly, and a Spotify playlist editor might discover your track and share it on New Music Friday or other large playlist outlets). However, as playlists became more relevant, blogs seem to have lost effectiveness.
This leaves us with important questions to ask, that many artist may be wondering:
Are blogs still relevant in my music marketing strategy?
How much time should I spend garnering blogs and press looks for my music?
Can they still provide valuable exposure?
Let’s go back in time: In 2013, music blogs had a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior, with a study published on Hypebot revealing that 25% of music consumers were more likely to buy music based on blog recommendations.
Despite the fact that the industry has significantly changed since then – starting with the fact that people no longer buy music – the idea remains that blogs can provide a unique opportunity for artists to tell their story and connect with fans on a deeper level. Blogs often have a more intimate and personal tone than playlists, which can help fans feel more connected to an artist's music and brand. Additionally, blogs can provide valuable backlinks to an artist's website, which can improve their SEO rankings and drive more traffic to their music.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and look at the data: To determine the relevance and importance of blogs for music marketing in 2023, we analyzed the number of notable blog shares for the top 50 viral songs on Spotify this week.
For further context, here’s how Spotify creates their viral chart: Chart placements are based on a few factors.
- Recent rate of increase in plays
- Frequency at which people share the song
- Number of people who have recently discovered the song
Viral Charts are entirely data-driven.
STUDY: Looking at the Viral 50 Global songs: Did Blogs play a part?
We dove into Spotify’s Viral 50 - Global chart (week of May 8 2023), and researched all 50 songs included, to count how many blog posts each song had written up about them (on the first
4 pages of Google). Here’s our analysis
As you can see from the chart above, the genre that currently has the highest blogging rate is Rock — which indicates that the blogosphere still is a relevant driver of consumption in this genre.
From our analysis we can see that genres like Pop, Electronic, Rap, and Latin, which show up very often on the viral playlist, enjoy significant blog coverage. Based on the ranking of these blog posts when searching for the tracks in Google, it is evident that these genres benefit from the exposure provided by blogs. For these genres, blogs still serve as valuable channels for generating buzz. Music creators in these genres can find great value in engaging with blogs to promote their work, with one caveat: a large majority of the blogs these genres had written up about them seemed to be “post-discovery” – or before going viral. It seems that in 2023, artists/marketers in these genres are using blogs to pour fuel on an already-burning fire, rather than starting the fire with the blogs.
Other genres such as Reggaeton and R&B, despite showing up less in the viral playlists, still garner substantial blog attention. This suggests that music creators in these genres can tap into the power of blogs as a means to connect with their target audience and gain recognition, even if they might not be as “Viral” as other genres - proving to be a very interesting untapped opportunity for them.
On the other hand, certain genres, including Folk, Indie, Lofi, Techno, and World, show up way less in the viral playlist and have little to no blog presence. While these genres may have dedicated fan bases and niche communities, they may find it more challenging to access the benefits of blog coverage. In such cases, music creators in these genres should explore alternative avenues for promotion, like playlisting or digital ads.
If your music falls into the genres that can use blogs to accelerate their releases, there are a few ways you can get on blogs:
If you’re going the manual route, it is essential to research the right blogs that align with your music genre and style. Once you've identified potential blogs, consider reaching out to them via email or social media to pitch your music.
At SongTools we realize that getting featured on blogs requires a ton of persistence that may be more lucrative if used in networking with other music gatekeepers. So we’ve taken the power out of the hands of the blogging gatekeepers and allow you to ship your own, high quality, SEO-optimized music blog for yourself and allow you to control your narrative. SongBlog is an amazing tool; at the click of a button you can create a website for your song that will captivate new fans for your music:
In conclusion, the role of blogs in music marketing strategies in 2023 may have evolved, but they still hold relevance and value for certain artists. The key takeaway from our dive-in was:
- If you are deciding to invest time and energy into blogging for your music, make sure it falls into the genres above that can benefit.
- For all genres: take the path of least resistance and invest the least amount of time possible into garnering blogs, so you can spend more time on higher-impact networking and marketing.