With 100,000 new tracks being uploaded to streaming platforms every single day, artists at all levels need the right resources to get their music heard.
Dedicated music promotion has always been crucial to creating hits - getting new releases to the tastemakers who can then share it with an audience. Once that meant radio stations and press, but campaigns have now expanded to streaming playlists, blogs, social influencers, DJs and even other artists.
Listn, a new service powered with AI-based technology, is now available for music creators and their teams to navigate an increasingly complex network of music industry gatekeepers around the world. Music PR agency Comtazic has launched Listn to ensure that self-releasing and independent artists can get their music into the right hands.
The platform breaks down music promotion for creators - like their own PR agent - and enables them to apply the most efficient campaign for their releases, on a budget. Listn is open to artists at every level as well as record companies, music publishers, management firms, publicists and pluggers.
“Listn and its unique AI-driven technology supports music creators by creating personalised and efficient 360 promotion campaigns, helping them cut through the noise,” explains Robin Hammouti, VP, head of marketing & partnerships at Listn.
The powerful promotions tool builds on industry developments in the last decade that have given autonomy to artists, including the music intelligence platform Echo Nest, the rise of TikTok and the role of Spotify For Artists, which, notes Listn’s Robin Hammouti, was key in “opening playlisting opportunities in a relation based industry”.
But the sheer scale of repertoire now available means artists need new solutions, which is where Listn and its machine learning comes in. The platform connects the dots between creators and blogs, playlist curators, YouTube channels, social media influencers and radio stations.
Our AI technology constantly learns from both curators and creators on the platform
“Listn is built to find the best possible advocates - blogs, radio station, media, playlists, influencers - for creators, filtered by genre affinity, territory and engagement,” explains Hammouti. “Our AI technology constantly learns from both curators and creators on the platform, pushing creators to curators who are the most likely to support their music.
“Following our promotion campaign recommendation, creators keep control over how many of them they want to pitch according to their campaign budget and promotion goals.”
“We aim to service up-and-coming artists as much as more established acts and industry professionals,” he continues.
Signing up to Listn’s unique algorithm-based promotion campaigns for creators is free. Pricing begins from the moment artists wish to submit a campaign via Listn. Buying credits at €1 each opens up promotions opportunities, with each feature opportunity priced from €2.
“We make sure creators get as much bang for their buck,” says Hammouti. “Our algorithm is trained to work with any budget in that respect. Curator partners are priced according to metrics such as streaming indicators for playlists or daily listeners for radio - the higher the spend, the bigger the push on the creator’s music and career.”
Hammouti underlines the bespoke nature of Listn’s promotions capabilities and its ability to understand each user’s promotion goals with their own targets, which are established during the recommendation process before credits are used for pitching to curators across the radio, streaming and social media ecosystem.
“The vision is, we want creators to stop gambling their promotion, and work out the cost-effective way to reach new fans and build brand image for them,” he says. “Each artist and song is unique in their own way, and so the
advice and service that’s offered to them should be unique too.”
Robin Hammouti, VP, head of marketing at Listn and Nicolas Rabaud, CEO at Listn
Listn’s AI-powered solutions for artists are grounded in solid experience. Hammouti has worked in the music industry for a decade alongside Nicolas Rabaud, business partner and CEO of Listn. Their background in independent recording and publishing developed into playlist promotion and PR, for their own repertoire and artists as well as clients with Comtazic.
“In this journey, we’re lucky to have surrounded ourselves with an amazing team of International professionals, making Listn a solution built by independent creators for independent creators,” adds Hammouti.
The development of Comtazic as a platform to support artists means that Listn has pre-existing partnerships, including 300-plus curators available for pitches, and 1,500 users.
Recent success stories at Comtazic include Melbourne-based Tentendo, who reached No.7 on the Shazam Discovery Chart in Australia with his EP Player One. Additionally, it received global radio support, crossing over to KCRW and Sirius XM Chill in the US, as well as gaining traction with Magnetic Magazine and Clubbing TV, along with a wave of editorial playlisting from Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music.
“When the right song hits the right editors, results happen,” says Hammouti.
US-based duo MAZAA & Yami’s song Twister scored multiple playlist supports and an EDM.com review, building up their monthly listeners alongside their growing reputation in dance music.
Despite the plethora of outlets in the digital landscape, and the rise of TikTok viral hits, radio remains central to Listn’s promotion’s capabilities.
Listn has the potential to become a landmark for Independent music
“A complete promotion campaign should include radio at some point to convince editors and listeners that your song is above the rest,” explains Hammouti. “Also with more than 40 million people tuning into digital radio weekly in the UK alone, radio remains a good reflection of records that have ‘made it’ from the audience’s perspective.”
“I’m also very pleased to announce a global partnership with world-class radio syndication company Syndicast, enabling Listn Creators to personalise and scale their radio plugging campaigns Internationally,” he continues. “We’re ingesting 800-plus Radio stations, FM and online, in the world available individually for all Listn creators to pitch to, giving them the unprecedented ability to grow their airplay at once for a fraction of the cost of traditional radio plugging.
“Again, keeping in mind our motto is Creators in Control, Listn assists creators by indicating what radio stations are most likely to play their music in their selected territory.”
Of course, there’s always been a history of industry relationships behind the promotions process. Hammouti believes that Listn’s tech can work alongside the more personal approach to plugging.
“I think they’re complementary,” he says. “Technology has reshaped music discovery, including for radios. “What we are trying to change is the radio plugging mechanism, in essence making it more fair to creators and more diverse for radio at the same time.”
With the roll-out of Listn, the company is already working on new partnerships related to social media to ensure artists can reach the right people behind rapidly growing platforms.
“Listn has the potential to become a landmark for Independent music and operate as a safe place for creators to connect, create and navigate through the Industry,” concludes Hammouti.
* Listn’s promotion campaigns for creators is free to sign up at Listn.Live. Users can then pitch their track by purchasing credits based on Listn’s bespoke recommendations for the artist campaign.