Things YOU Can Do to Help Your Favorite Independent Artist (Without Spending Any Money)

Things YOU Can Do to Help Your Favorite Independent Artist (Without Spending Any Money)

It goes without saying, if you have the cash to spare you should always buy a CD, Vinyl and.or cassette (as well as other merch like T-Shirts ,Buttons and/or Koozies) from your favorite local/indie talent. Merch sales can really help a band or musician in the financial department, especially while touring. You should always assume that a band is being paid little to no money for a show, so if you really dig the band and want to help them out drink 1 less beer or two and buy something cool from them.

That being said, there are other ways you can help out your favorite artist, without spending ANY money. Whether or not you can afford the merch, everyone should take the following steps in supporting their favorite bands.

1. Follow Them on Spotify – or Your Favorite Music Streaming Site

Whether you buy the album or not, you should always try to listen to the artists via streaming sites. It might not be much, but artists do actually get paid every time you listen to one of their songs on a streaming site. If you are playing an MP3 or listening to the disc or tape you bought, the artist doesn’t make anything except the $5-$10 you shelled out for your initial purchase. When you listen via a streaming site, they get paid for each time you listen. The first step, is to simply follow them. This not only helps them by showing off the number of followers they have, it also will keep you notified of any new releases the band has and if the artists keeps their calendar up to date via tourbox by songkick sites like Spotify will also notify you when they are performing in your area. It’s an easy thing you can do to help them out substantially. If you want to be a super-supporter make an account with all of these services and follow them on each one! Most of them have some sort of “free” version you can take advantage of. My go-to site is SPOTIFY because they have a decent FREE version that anyone can use and they have amazing algorithms that feed automatically generated playlists that help put indie artists on a level playing field with mainstream artists.

2. Add Their Songs to Your Favorite Playlist

Following them is the first step, but if you really want to help you should actively be listening. The best way to do this is to add a few songs to one of your favorite playlists. You don’t have to go nuts and add their entire library, just a couple songs sprinkled in will help substantially. Spotify pays an artist roughly .005-.007 cents for each stream, if you add 3 songs to a playlist that you listen to daily, and each song gets played twice per day that is roughly 186 plays per month, and  2,190 plays per year.

This alone would net a band only .75 – 1.30 per month and $9.00 – $15.62 per year. BUT if 100 fans do this the band would net $75 – $130 per month and $900 – $1,560 per year.

1000 fans? thats $750 -$1300 per month and $9,000 – $15,620 annually.

At these numbers it starts to reach the annual salary for your average part time job and can help an artist SUBSTANTIALLY. Keep in mind this is only 3 songs twice daily, and if an artists can reach the 10,000 – 100,000 thousand range an artist can actually make a decent living, without even being on a label,in fact if an artist hits these numbers they are BETTER off without a label.

3. Build and Promote Your Own Playlists

One of my favorite things about streaming sites is building playlists. You can build your own playlists based on any criteria you want, add your own description as well as an original photo and promote these playlists to your friends. You can mix your favorite mainstream artists and sprinkle in your favorite indie artists and show off your musical taste to your friends. Your friends can follow your playlist and you can change it up from time to time, kind of like having your own little radio station or building the compilation album of your dreams. This helps indie artists in more ways than one. Everyday people that might only listen to mainstream music can follow and listen to these playlists and you can help expose them to new music they might never listen to. In addition to this, as the indie artist gets more and more plays the Spotify algorithm will pick them up and start adding them to auto-generated playlists based on the music you stream alongside them. This can expose an artist to a MASSIVE audience because spotify does A LOT to promote these automatically generated playlists. These playlists don’t care about what label an artist is on or who their promoter is or what connections they have. They go by the numbers and can help an indie artists compete in the mainstream.

4. Encourage Others to Follow Artists and Add Their Songs to Playlists

Simply sharing your favorite artist and encouraging others to help does a lot as well, and when you tag the artist it makes them feel good !

(Sharing this article won’t hurt either)


(and you can tag us on most social sites @okayrecordings)


Ill wrap this up with some like buttons for some of my favorite artists – please FOLLOW – SHARE and add a song or 10 to your favorite playlist!!