How Important is Spotify Wrapped?
Seeing everyone’s Spotify Wrapped stats this year has been amazing. It’s a real eye opener, showing that all of the hard work independent artists have put into their craft has really been paying off. However, whether you’re over the moon with this year's stats or not, remember that streaming numbers are not the be all and end all of your music journey. They’re only the tip of the iceberg and there are tons of other metrics you should be paying closer attention to.
So what should you be looking at? You need to consider your goals as an artist when you’re analysing the year’s metrics. Often, streaming numbers aren’t actually the one that you need to consider the most. Are you wanting to make a living from your music? Perhaps sync deals, gigs played, amount of memberships and merch sold should be what you’re paying more attention to. Are you trying to get signed and demonstrate that you already have a good following? Monthly listeners, social media engagement rates and gig attendance would be better things to track, not to mention how much networking you’ve done throughout the year. Or perhaps you just want your music to truly connect with people? In that case, pay closer attention to the feedback you receive and the praise you get. If your song has helped one person through a tough time, or made someone dad dance around the kitchen, that’s amazing. Forget about the numbers!
Ultimately, whatever your goal is, the thing you need to be concerned about is what happens after somebody streams your song. What action do you want them to take? What’s next on their journey from listener to super fan? If your single comes up in their favourite playlist, they listen to it once and forget about it afterwards, you’ve gained nothing. You could have a million streams, but if nobody’s taking any further action, you’re not going to move forwards. On the other hand, you could have just 1000 streams, but if 25% of those listeners have become fans who follow your every move, buy your merch and come to your gigs, you’re winning!
I’d encourage all of you to do your own “Wrapped” this year based on what matters to you and what moves you closer to your goals. Create your own scoreboard. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Once you have these numbers, reflect. See how far you’ve come as an artist since last year. Figure out what worked for you, and what didn’t work in 2021 and use this to set new goals, new habits and put in place your plan for 2022.