Impact of Spotify Pre-Saves & Apple Music Pre-Adds
Spotify Pre-Saves and Apple Music Pre-adds allow fans to save your music to their libraries and playlists prior to release. The questions you may have are, why? And is it something you should really bother to do? Starting with this piece taking a look at their impact, we’ll be investigating everything about Pre-saves.
The impact of Pre-saves on Spotify are algorithmic. What largely determines the likelihood of your music being added to a Spotify playlist, either editorial or algorithmic, is your rates. Things like the percentage of people listening to your song that save it to their libraries, add it to playlists, and follow your account matter a great deal. When you run a Pre-save campaign, you’re generating saves without listens. If you got 100 Pre-saves and on your release date received 10 streams, your save rate would be 1,000% and that would look great to the algorithm.
Also, Spotify will send email notifications to all users that Pre-saved your project on its release date. Those users are also likely to have your project added to their Release Radar playlists.
When fans Pre-save your music on Spotify, it passes through user data that can be collected and stored. If you use Smarturls provided by Feature.fm you get user emails, names, age, gender, location, and subscription tier. You can export the list of data from users that Pre-saved and import it into a mailing list provider like Mailchimp. You’ll then have an audience of fans so you can promote your follow up releases for free through email.
Apple Music Pre-adds
Pre-adds on Apple Music function differently than Pre-saves on Spotify. For starters, you can only run Pre-adds for albums and not singles. There’s no algorithmic benefit I can think of from having users Pre-add on Apple Music. The platform doesn’t lean on algorithms for playlist creation, instead, it relies on its editors. There’s a possibility that if your release gets an astronomical number of Pre-adds it could attract the attention of an editor but I wouldn’t hold my breath. As an Apple Music user, I can say they pretty much exclusively focus on established and semi-established acts.
Apple Music’s Pre-adds don’t pass through user data so you don’t gain access to emails or any other information from your fans. With Apple Music, the only way a user is going to find their way back to your music is if they’re looking for it or they stumble across it in their...library.
Why Apple Music Pre-adds Matter
Having users Pre-add your release can give you some insight into the kinds of numbers you can expect on release day. They also keep fans engaged and provide a pathway to your release outside of them having to be reached through marketing. If it’s in their library, they’ll hear it when they play their library. They’ll see it when they scroll through their library. What the library saves will do is help to drive residual streams so months after your release date, you’ll still get numbers for that song. Having users save your song to their library is far more valuable than just generating streams. Dropping a release without a Pre-add would generate streams but they’re likely to be one off streams with no residual impact.
The Rule of Seven
There’s a marketing principle called the Rule of Seven which states that potential customers need to hear your messaging at least seven times before they make a purchase. Moving your fans to become paying customers requires constant communication in order to cultivate a relationship and build trust. People aren’t going to hear a song from you and run with money in hand to buy your merchandise and concert tickets. Also, there’s a lot of noise online with people being bombarded with messages from not only other artists but brands from every business sector. It’s easy for people to forget about you.
With Pre-saves you create multiple points of engagement with each release. They’ll hear your messaging when you run a Pre-save campaign and then again when the release is available.
Outside of the algorithm, Pre-saves pre-add your music to user libraries. On your release date, users that Pre-saved don’t have to find their way to your song because it’s already in their libraries. The benefit of this aspect of it depends on a few things.
The likelihood that the user will visit their library either to stream their catalog of saved music or browse for a particular song. If someone saves your track to their library but hardly ever visits it, it’s unlikely to result in streams.
How user libraries are sorted. If user libraries are sorted alphabetically or randomized, your song may not be visible to users when they navigate to their libraries unless it starts with A,B, or C. This would mean the possibility of a stream would completely rely on the likelihood of users streaming their libraries over individual songs, albums, or playlists.
It’s definitely worth it to do Pre-save campaigns because they help set your release up for success from the point of launch. You also get to identify the listeners who are your most passionate fans and gain a level of access to them that you own and control.