Show.co, the CD Baby owned marketing platform, now enables campaigns that offer “pre-saves” on Spotify. With the new feature, fans can save an upcoming release to their Spotify library, with it automatically becoming available on release day. For artists and labels, this means more direct engagement with fans, plus a boost when fans start listening after the release.
"Pre-saves" are the streaming equivalent of "pre-sales," which have long been the goal of every pre-release campaign. But boosting first week activity on new releases has never been more important or challenging than it is now. Not only does early activity on Spotify help determine chart position, it also drives how often a track or artist is added to important playlists ranging from algorithm-driven Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists to Spotify's own data-influenced "official" playlists.
On release day, Show.co "pre-save" campaigns automatically morph into "save" campaigns. Kobalt, Metablock and a few others offer custom Spotify pre-save campaigns, but each requires launching a second campaign post-release.
“The automatic switch from pre-save to save is a proprietary feature,” explains Rebecca Bateman, Senior Marketing Manager at CD Baby, who has an extensive background in programming and development. “Pre-saves are not built into Spotify. We figured out how to both create a pre-save campaign and then turn it into a regular save campaign automatically once the release goes live, so the campaign stays relevant.”
Another Show.co advantage is cost. "Pre-save" campaigns are free to all CD Baby artists. Non-CD Baby artists also get free access to Show.co's basic music marketing toolbox, with a more robust offering costing as little as $9 per month. It's unclear which tier the new "pre-save" campaigns will land in; but even at $9 a month, it's a less expensive offering than we've seen elsewhere.
Show.co's Social Unlock campaigns trade fan emails for free tracks, early access or special assets created just for the campaign. “There’s a layer of distance between fans on social media and music or video platforms, and artists,” explains Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby. “Show.co helps musicians bridge that gap, connecting directly with fans via email, which is still one of the best means to reach and keep an audience.” In return, fans get more exciting experiences, an early chance to hear a long-awaited new album, a discount to a show, or other perks.
The company is also promising more tools for artists and labels in the near future. “Show.co is streamlining its plans, and we are focused on providing cutting-edge features,” Bateman states. “As digital service providers build out more capability in their APIs, we are always looking for ways to incorporate those changes and upgrades into Show.co's tools. Our goal is for this to be a best-in-class service for audience-building campaigns, turning them into real revenue generating opportunities for musicians.”