It can be pretty devastating to spend money and time working on a new song, just to release it and find that you only got 50 streams. I've certainly been there a few times.
Fortunately there are a few ways beyond just releasing it into the eternal abyss of the internet to get streams, and I'll cover them in this article.
First off, I think it's important to state that the better the music is, the better the chances of it doing well on streaming services are. You can promote traffic to your pop song as much as you like, but if people just click on the track and listen for 5 seconds before quitting off, then your chances at algorithmic love on Spotify are quite low - and you kind of need algorithms to be on your side to actually do well on Spotify. So yes... work as hard as you can to make sure your music is good.
Organic VS Paid
Okay so there are a few different ways to actually promote your music and get more streams. The two main categories of these being paid and organic. I think both are equally important and viable, and often work best when used together.
In terms of organic traffic and growth for your songs, I think the best opportunity currently is the various short form video content platforms - namely TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts. All of these offer excellent exposure if you make even moderately decent videos, and can help you get a tonne of exposure to your tracks. The best part about it is you can make content for 1 of the platforms and then post it to the others to effectively 3x your reach.
If you do repost, it's best to make and edit the videos in a different video editing app (aka don't make it in TikTok and then download it and repost it - you'll get impacted negatively on IG and YouTube for having a watermark). Also the video quality will be higher.
You can also painstakingly dm people to listen to your track... but I think that strategy annoys more people than it inspires, so tread carefully.
So the two main paid opportunities are running ads, and using playlisting services like playlist push. I think both can be quite effective if the targeting is right, and the targeting is really the most important aspect of it.
Ads can be super effective if you spend the time getting your audience right and then hit them with a meaningful / entertaining videos of you as the artist (not just a graphic of your song). People want to connect with artists, so this is an easy way to get in front of them.
Playlist services like Playlist Push, Daily Playlists, Playlister Club (etc etc etc) can be great to get bulk streams if you make sure that you're hitting up the right playlists (i.e don't hit up a rock playlist curator if you have a trap song). These can be expensive, particularly Playlist Push, but can definitely result in huge streams.
Make sure that you prioritise higher quality streams over higher quantity, especially in the short term. This is because if you get a huge number of streams, but from people that:
Don't like your style of music
Don't listen for long
Then you'll be feeding the algorithms terrible data that'll either result in NO algorithmic push, or it'll give you a slight boost in streams but from people who aren't the right target and then you'll get no more streams after that. So yes, make sure the target audience is right. Good luck with your marketing efforts!
I hope this was helpful! If you're a pop or indie pop artist looking for production and/or mixing, I can help! Find out more here.