As a musician and also as a fan of music I’ve always asked myself, “Self, how can I enjoy live and recorded music from my favorite less popular and local artists as much as possible while still not being an asshole and pirating music from them? If I keep buying five dollar cds I’ll have the dopest music collection at the homeless shelter!”
Well self, that’s an oddly specific question given the video title, but as it so happens I have a YouTube algorithm approved list of Five ways you can support your favorite artists and help them get paid when you’re too broke to buy stuff or go to shows. I’ve been in that same situation where I was pirating music left and right because frankly I didn’t have the money myself to buy CDs or downloads at the same rate. There’s also the “I know where the money from this purchase is really going to” argument, but that’s gonna be a different video. So let’s get your “We are the ninety-nine percent” ass started!
Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Youtube, Bandcamp, if you’re broke, you don’t have much money to buy your favorite artist’s music, shirts, or even go to their shows. Good news! Your favorite local band is probably broke too. But you can make them a little less broke (but still pretty broke though) by streaming their stuff on Spotify or other streaming services. Each time you stream a song, that artist gets a tiny bit of income on that play. Now 1 play on Spotify is like a fraction of penny, but the more streams an artist gets, the more it adds up for them, both monetarily and mentally. Knowing that people are listening to our music both humbles us and drives us to make even better music because we know there are people out there that wanna hear it.
This could possibly be considered 1a, but specifically with Spotify, playlists, whether public or private, is a fantastic way to support your favorite artist and music. Put your favorite band’s music on your own playlist, suggest putting that music on your friend’s playlists, sneak onto your friend’s computers and add your favorite music for them if they refuse, find collaborative playlists on Spotify that you love and contribute your favorite band to that. The more playlists an artist is found on, the better chance followers of certain playlists will put that track on the OWN playlist, and also the more likely they’ll get suggested to be put on even bigger playlists, and sometimes even playlists that the good people at Spotify curate themselves!
This Should go without saying, but if you dig a band or artist, ESPECIALLY if it’s a local or small region artist, follow their socials! Like em on facebook, follow on the instas and twitters, give em that social currency because artists that do care about having some sort of career in music have all of that stuff and play the game with it to some degree, and although artists mostly care about making great music and art first (I know that’s priority number one for us), having that social capital helps them leverage with promoters and booking types for gigs and promotion and whatnot. Most bands won’t spam up your timeline like I do on our band’s twitter where I retweet stupid shit like a picture of an ostrich, so don’t worry about going on a follow spree.
4. Lend a hand
If you don’t have a ticket to your favorite band’s show because you spent all of your money on steam sales and hentai, you can always offer to buy your way in using good ol’ fashioned manual labor. If you see your favorite small or local artist playing in your area, reach out to them and ask if you can help out with load in, help with merch, or be that 1 person street team for that show posting up flyers around and whatnot in exchange for a show ticket. Merch people always get in free, and you can always just casually hang out and not leave once you put a piece of gear in the venue.
All of the four previous things mentioned something related to this one: Share the artist with others! Share your love for the music and the group. If you’re on Spotify, other people you’re friends with on there can see what you’re listening to, and can check it out if they’re so inclined. Make that playlist with your favorite band on it and share it with your friends. Follow your favorite band’s socials and engage with them. Share their posts, retweet their stuff, like their pictures on insta, like their videos on the Youtube channel and subscribe to it if they have one (HINT. HINT.) Get the word out about that gig they have coming up whether it’s posting flyers or inviting people to that gig’s event page. If a fan of ours invites a hundred people to a Better Homes gig, and two out of those hundred people show up when they weren’t going to previously, that’s a success to us.
Welp, there you have it: Five actionable and Youtube algorithm approved ways you can support favorite bands of yours that are mostly do it yourself operations and are at the smaller local and regional levels. Many fans that don’t play or work with bands much are unaware of just how much their engaged support means to us. Bands are ALWAYS looking for an extra hand they don’t have to put on a payroll. It’s not because they want to exploit people for free labor, but because they physically can’t afford to, and most bands especially at the local level are investing their own time and money into pursuing their art and building a modest career around that art. If you do these five things, you can make your favorite band’s struggle for their definition of success a little bit easier.
Hope you enjoyed, like and subscribe/follow and all that, and I’ll see ya soon.
P.S. Because I practice what I preach, here’s a link to all of my band, Better Homes’s social media stuff and Spotify link so y’all have a place to start with these 5 things (hint. hint..)