Pre Save Spotify Campaigns – What Are They And How To Do Them

Todd McCartyMusic3 Comments

pre save spotify heat on the street music marketing

Pre Save Spotify Campaigns – What Are They And How To Do Them

Pre Save Spotify campaigns are a strategy used by artists and record labels to notify fans of an artist’s new music as it is released on Spotify. At first, you might think “pre save” is something that Spotify is directly offering. In fact, Spotify doesn’t even pay attention to pre-saves. This is not an official Spotify feature – It’s a creative use of Spotify’s algorithm by digital marketers.

Apple Music also has “pre-add” which functions the same as Spotify “pre save”. Actually I recommend musicians focus on Apple Pre-Adds because Apple Music curators do pay attention to which artists are getting the most pre-adds.

You may have arrived here to learn about setting up Spotify Pre-Save, but actually you should prioritize Apple Pre-Add.  

How Pre Save Spotify Campaigns Work

  1. Before releasing new music, direct your fans to pre save your track so that they are notified on release day when it is available in their Spotify library. You can utilize a Pre-save widget to accomplish this (more on this below).  We should start calling them Pre-Add widgets since we will prioritize Apple pre-add. A good call to action would be “Pre-Add our new track on Apple Music, and be reminded on release date”. 
  2. When your new music becomes available your pre-save widget will cause Spotify to automatically put the new release into “Your Library”. 
  3. Options for creating these campaigns range from a social media call to action to a sophisticated campaign on a website. 
  4. Pre save Spotify campaigns work best when implemented many weeks before a new release.

The term “pre save” on Spotify gained popularity in 2017. Release Radar is a feature that serves users new music from artists a user follows. And this feature was there long before “pre save” and serves a similar function. Release Radar is an algorithm generated playlist. Every user on Spotify has their own unique Release Radar, Discover Weekly, and Your Daily Mix playlists. Based on what users listen to, save, add, share, heart or follow, it’s believed that Spotify automatically delivers these automated playlists.

wolf band music spotify follow

pre save spotify release radar heat on the street music marketing

Automated Pre Save Spotify Campaigns

Savvy third party companies and record labels have put pre save campaigns into heavy use. It’s a proven way to ensure an artist’s Spotify followers show up on release week. Pre saving is the new pre-order. Here’s an example of how a 3rd party pre-save promotion works.  Notice they use a widget link in the Tweet “fanlink.to/better-man”

against the voices twitter pre save on spotify

After you click the smart link URL it takes you to this landing page (widget)

against the voices band pre save widget

The Best Call to Action for Spotify is NOT Pre Save…

Automated campaigns have been used since around 2017 and have become a standard practice. But the practice needs some updating for 2021. In fact, we should be calling these Spotify Follow Campaigns instead.

It’s still good to encourage fans to “pre-order” you music in advance. It builds awareness and sets a reminder for them to listen on release date. (that reminder does not always reach them).  But prioritizing Apple Pre-Add as the call to action is the smart move for 2021. Apple cares about “pre-adds”. They can see it in their system when they review your distributor’s music submissions. But for Spotify, Follow is a better action for you to push on your fans.

Spotify can not see pre-saves in their system, and they don’t place any value on it.  There is also a risk that the fan will not see your music in Release Radar the day it releases on Spotify. That decreases the chance that your best fans will actually remember to play it on release date. Future performance on Spotify depends on that first day performance and how it performs in Release Radar. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot. 

The best call to action for Spotify is NOT “pre-save on Spotify”… It’s Follow on Spotify. This follow will cause the fan to follow your entire career, not just one song on one day. A follow ensures that your music is shown to the fan on every new release and it will also frequently show up in suggested songs throughout the year.

Spotify Pre-Save Widgets 

FeatureFM offers pre save campaigns with their SmartLink widget as well of a suite of fanbuilding tools. Metablocks and ToneDen are other nice options for pre-save widgets.

Most of these tools offer a landing page you can use with links, popularized by LinkTree. You can use these as your Instagram bio link and direct traffic to your priority destinations.  They also can mine email addresses from fans using gate forms.

“Gates” are landing pages, like the one above, that quickly and efficiently collect your data. Gates and widgets tap into Spotify’s API and deliver content into a user’s library as long as the user gives consent. Getting permission is the key to a “pre save” campaign. Some gates have the ability to deliver incentive downloads to fans. Finally, these custom campaigns also provide artists and labels with analytics and a way to keep in touch with email collection.

Like what you’re learning so far? I teach my full Spotify marketing strategy inside Band Builder Academy. You’ll never have to pay for playlists again. CLICK HERE to Learn More.

Where to place your Pre-Save Widget

Pre-Order widgets are a great choice for those just getting started with Spotify “pre save” campaigns. Place pre save widgets in various high traffic areas on your social media profiles, website, or link from just about anywhere on the web. Here are some examples using Feature FM’s SmartLink widget builderCustomize your widget with easy-to-use options and backend analytics. Furthermore, a widget is cheaper than a customized campaign because it doesn’t require graphic design and building a custom website.

Countdowns Work Great!

Furthermore, use a countdown strategy in the week leading up to the single or album release. This can be on your widget, like the example at the top of the page – Against The Voices.  Or you can use the Countdown Clock sticker on Instagram Stories (Facebook stories too).  The other option is a post with the call to action “3 days until the release of (Song Title). Follow on Spotify to pre save our upcoming album”. Send a clear message to your fans by repeating this call to action daily in the 3 days leading up to release.

More Information

View my 20 Tips For Spotify Playlist Promotion – here.

Check out my post on How To Get Followers On Spotify My Way   

If you have trouble downloading any of these PDFs, please email me at todd@heatonthestreet.com

CONCLUSION

We really should get rid of this term “Pre-Save” on Spotify. If anything we should emphasize “Follow On Spotify” campaigns, and “Apple Pre-Add” Spotify pre save campaigns became the new “pre-order”, when we didn’t actually need that. Every artist who has an album or a single coming out soon needs to push Pre-Add on Apple and Follow on Spotify. I’m looking forward to your comments below.

Like what you’ve learned here?  I teach my full Spotify marketing strategy inside Band Builder Academy. Never pay for playlists again. CLICK HERE to Learn More.
Todd McCarty

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