Streaming & Instagram Growth


A step-by-step guide to creating real fans online with Ari Herstand.

Featuring guest instructor & independent Hip-Hop artist: Lucidious.

 


It’s 2020.

Your fans exist online.

You need to find them.


It’s no surprise that music discovery is happening on Spotify and the other streaming services. Yes, playlists are a driving force. And when an artist’s song gets included on a popular playlist, their streams can skyrocket overnight.

I’ve heard of artists who were able to quit their day jobs because they got included on a few hot playlists which earned them millions of streams a month (thousands of dollars a month), only to get dropped from those playlists and have to go beg for their job back when their streams dropped to virtually zero.

Because that’s the thing. Getting included on hot playlists may bring in a lot of streams (from many listeners) in a short amount of time.

But these are not your fans.

They could be. But they’re not right now. They are fans of the playlist that your song got included on. And when your song gets removed, those listeners aren’t following through to your profiles to stay in touch with you.

We are living in an era where there are artists with millions of streams on Spotify who cannot draw 50 people to their local shows.

We’ve become too obsessed with playlists. Depending on playlists for revenue is incredibly unstable. You don’t just want streams. You don’t just want monthly listeners. You want fans. Who stick with you for life - no matter the platform that’s hot at the moment.

Of course we know that Instagram is one of the best engagement tools that artists have at their disposal right now. And it’s most fans’ favorite way to keep up with (and interact) with their favorite artists. It’s hot right now. Will it be just as hot in 2 year? Who knows. But right now, it’s one of the best tools artists have to grow and cultivate their fanbase.

And it has become one of the best ways to find where your fans exist and get them into your world.

 

Finding your fans online is not about getting on playlists

...and hoping that people who are passively listening like the song enough to follow you.

This rarely happens.

So how do you find real fans online?

He's on zero official Spotify playlists:


This was all done through direct marketing.

 


We have tested Lucidious’ strategies with a bunch of artists...


and it works with everyone. Will this kind of growth happen overnight? Of course not. It took Lucidious three years and lots of trial and error. But if you’re in music for the long haul, then you should implement these strategies.

Brassroots District went from 1,000 monthly listeners to 14,000 monthly listeners and from 150 followers on Spotify to 5,000 followers on Spotify in 8 weeks spending around $10/day on ads.

Similarly, Brassroots District went from 600 followers on Instagram to 4,500 in 8 weeks with an engagement rate of 7%.


Start now.

Stop waiting around for a label to come along and sign you. If you have no true fans, labels aren’t interested. Period.



You have to build your movement on your own first.

Then when you have die hard fans following everything you do, labels, managers and agents will beg to work with you. And then you can decide if you want to sign with them or continue on your own. But at that point, you have the power. You don’t need them. They need you.

This is what you’re working towards.


The labels haven’t implemented these strategies.

Yet. They will. But what Lucidious has done is so flexible and nuanced that labels aren’t able to keep up or move quick enough to capitalize on the tools available today.

Managers are starting to take notice. And the best ones are utilizing these strategies to rapidly excel their clients’ growth.


It’s time to make it happen.

 

Get started now!



Course Curriculum


  COURSE INTRO
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  CHAPTER 4: MANAGING YOUR AD PERFORMANCE
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  CHAPTER 5: ANALYZING YOUR GROWTH
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  CHAPTER 6: LONG TERM GROWTH
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  BONUS LESSON 1: FACEBOOK OBJECTIVES OVERVIEW
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  BONUS LESSON 2: GETTING ON SPOTIFY USER GENERATED PLAYLISTS
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Your Instructors



Ari Herstand

The Ari of Ari's Take


"The poster child of DIY Music" - Forbes

Los Angeles based Ari Herstand (pronounced Ar*ee Her*stand), is the author of the best-selling book How To Make It in the New Music Business. It remains at the top of the Amazon charts and has been widely adopted by music business schools worldwide.

His music business advice blog, Ari's Take, has become the go-to resource for independent musicians on how to run a successful music career in the NEW music industry. Herstand's well-researched, relatable, no BS approach is why so many musicians continue to trust him for advice. He offers encouragement without condescension and maintains a "we're all in it together" attitude not found elsewhere in the space.

Ari Herstand is an independent musician who has played over 700 shows around the country (nearly all self-booked), has opened for or toured with Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, The Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope, has performed on Ellen, and has had his music featured in countless TV shows, commercials and films. He currently leads the 1973 funk project Brassroots District.

Herstand has written for many of the top musician trade magazines and websites including Music Connection Magazine, American Songwriter, Digital Music News, Playback Magazine, CD Baby, Tunecore, Reverbnation, Roland, Discmakers, ASCAP, Hypebot and others. He has been a featured speaker at SXSW, BBC One's Amplify, ASCAP Music Expo, SF MusicTech, CD Baby's DIY Musician Conference and Berklee College of Music.



Lucidious

Independent Hip Hop Artist



Lucidious is an entrepreneur and hip-hop artist from outside the Washington, D.C. area. Currently located in Los Angeles, he has built a fanbase in the hundreds of thousands, and has totaled over 100 million streams across all available platforms. He has built his fanbase and streaming growth with zero label investment, zero playlist placement, and zero outside marketing influence.

Songs by Lucidious are streamed an average of 4-5 million times each month by listeners around the world. His music takes a strong stand on mental health awareness, personal struggles, and the pressure that many people face in our fast-paced, tech-driven society.

Lucidious’ third album, ‘Enough,’ is set to release in mid-2019. Despite his focus on running an indie label, Lucidious Music, he has spent years mastering social media marketing and entered into the world of artist development. From artists of all genres and sizes, he has seen massive growth and profitability come to each artist who is willing to learn and invest.

 

Testimonials

I always felt like if I could just get in front of people that they would connect with my artistry. Ari and Lucidious’ course confirmed this for me, and I know that it will do that for so many other artists in the near future. Taking what I learned from Ari’s Take, I have been running ads for Instagram and Spotify, and in only two weeks have increased my Spotify followers from 426 to 973 (over double what I had accumulated in one year), and my Instagram followers from 6,652 to 8,068 (consistently 100 followers per day). And the engagement rate has actually increased! This is about putting what you are already doing in front of people who wouldn’t have found it otherwise, and when you find the audience that resonates, you will see results. Period.

- Beck Pete

It's been around 2 1/2 month since I've implemented Ari and Lucidious's marketing course and I've seen a huge different with the amount of followers and streams I've gained. The course itself is easy to follow along with and quick to implement. Before starting the course I was gaining around 400 - 500 new Spotify followers a month and now i consistently receive 1200-1500 new followers each month. I've also consistently stayed about 200K monthly listeners on Spotify and increase my Apple Music monthly streams from 72K to 86K. Even if you only have a small budget I highly recommend this course.I has taught me important techniques I can use not only on my current music but for upcoming releases, merch and music videos.

- J-Wright

Between March 2017 and September 2019 Stefan Eli got 330 followers. In October 2019 he had 1,000 followers, and in November he had 2,000 followers.

The playlists along with the results from Ari’s course caused all metrics by Spotify to increase by 999% in 2019.

With Instagram it is basically the same story. In September 2019 Stefan Eli had a little over 1,000 followers. In the beginning of December 2019 he has 4,300 followers. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. His new Instagram followers from all over the world are engaging much more than before. His posts and stories are receiving way more comments and love than before and almost every post receives a comment like “I love you,” or “Your songs are amazing” and many more of that nature.

We are of course very happy with these results. We realize we have a long way to go, but one thing is for sure. Buying this course was our best business decision of 2019, and we look forward to reaping the rewards of it for many years to come.

Thank you Ari and Lucidious.

- Haukur Palmason

This course is monumental! I've always been way too intimidated to take a deep dive into setting up ads through Facebook on my own. I think I can speak for so many independent musicians on that. This course really lays it out and walks you through each step, highlighting the most important tools within the Facebook Ads Manager system. And the growth has been incredible! In 10 days I saw a 1,200 follower spike on Instagram. My engagement skyrocketed on posts and within stories. The new followers I gained have been commenting and messaging and tagging me, so I know they're going to be easy to convert into lifelong fans over time. I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to take social media marketing into their own hands. If you have a marketing budget, this course needs to be included in it!

- vōx @itsmevox

In the world of artist development there are few things more important than building a solid foundation of fans to support you along the way so that you have a viable and solid career. Ari’s and Lucidious’ Streaming & Growth program has been an integral tool in that process for my artists. In one instance we doubled our client’s Instagram following over the coveted 10K mark and tripled her Spotify Followers into the thousands in just 4 weeks. Along the way we’ve learned so much about who and where her fans are, providing crucial guidance to inform our strategy in the best way.

- Phillip Bailey (Co-Founder, Artist Advocates)

If you are a DIY kind of person this strategy is for you. The numbers don’t lie, and the marketing strategy makes sense. Lucidious opens up his formula for organic streams and most importantly follower reach. I never would have expected such great return, and actual active fans/ listeners. I highly recommend.

- Jake Knox

After years of struggling to successfully promote my music and grow my fanbase, Ari and Lucidious's course breathed new life into my career. When I signed up, I had 43 Spotify followers and didn't have a single song with over 1000 streams. Just 6 months later, I had amassed over 2,000 followers and tens of thousands of streams from listeners all over the world. New fans started messaging me daily and posting Instagram stories saying they discovered me on Spotify and that they loved my music. Don't waste any more time and money on ineffective promotional strategies; this course is the best investment you can make for growing your Spotify presence (and more).

- Corey Lewin

There is a great divide between what the young musician thinks being a rock star is and what actually working as a musician entails. Ari fills in the blanks with his light hearted yet blunt demeanor.

He's the informed older brother most of us never got in this crazy, confusing industry.

- Andy Grammer

My followers have quadrupled on Spotify, and the number of streams from real fans that love my music is surpassing the passive listeners i was getting from bogus playlist placements. Just to note, my song was only up on one 'popular' playlist for 2 1/2 months and it was useless. i wasn't receiving any new subs/follows on YouTube or IG. This course has given me 100+ subscribers on YouTube, and 600+ on IG. Thank you Ari and Lucidious, it's been life changing to see real progress.

- Zack Freitas

This course was a total game changer. It opened up doors that I never knew existed, and gave me so many tools to improve my music as a business. I put my trust (and money) in Ari Herstand when I signed up, and I'm so damn glad that I did.

- Casey Wickstrom

Ari is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to, well, basically everything music business related. Talk about someone with a passion for information, tips, tricks, data, and experience. He’s got it.

Not only is he prolific in his knowledge, he's just a great, down to earth guy who will help you out no matter what your situation. If you have a music business conundrum, he knows how to help you figure it out, or at least where to point you to find the right answers.

Overall, just having access to Ari has been helpful. 5 Stars. 2 Thumbs Up, 100% recommended.

- Bronwyn W. Higgins

Man, where do I even start?! As an independent artist who was fairly new to the music business game, I can't express how much Ari's book, blog and course have helped me. Taking his course was one of the best things I have done for my career so far. To have someone who is so experienced, knowledgable and well-connected in the industry share such detailed information and insight, answer questions (from big-picture to nitty-gritty), and be so present (showing up sometimes for hours at a time to chat online!) was truly an invaluable experience. I am still constantly referring back to notes I made throughout the course and finding helpful answers! More than that, Ari was such great teacher, always encouraging us and empowering us to embrace the new music business and all the possible ways of "making it" as an artist. Thank you Ari!

- Andria Piperni

To date I’ve only created ads for Spotify growth at the minimum $5 a day, but the results have been encouraging! In just three months my Spotify followers have quadrupled from 1,000 to 4,000, and my monthly listeners and streams are all up. I’ve seen a bump in royalties and I’ve even been added to an official Spotify playlist! Bumping to $10 a day for the fall!

I’m also super encouraged by the results I didn’t expect! Just by running these Spotify ads my Instagram following has doubled, and my YouTube subscribers have quadrupled as people seek out the videos I used for my ads! I’ve got new fans reaching out asking when I’m planning to release new music! I’m stoked!

- Matt Moore

"I can't speak highly enough to the effectiveness of this course. In less than four weeks, my Instagram following grew from 545 to 1,500, and my Spotify followers from 94 to 600. Aside from that, I have gotten over 10K streams on my record since beginning my campaign, all for $5 / day. This course is relevant, practical and I believe critical to setting up a sustainable influx of fans and income as an independent musician. After feeling like I had failed over and over to reach an audience, I now feel empowered and motivated to press ahead with my career because I see a future for my music in the hands of listeners around the world who WANT to be my fans."

- JØUR

This course has helped my band so much and I feel like we're just scratching the surface because I've only done it for 6 months. Our music has reached audiences and followers that we never would've reached at this rate! Being part of the ATA community is also extremely helpful and motivating. People have tons of ideas that can help you in a world where things are constantly evolving. Thanks Ari & Lucidious!!

- Joe Mende

This class is so empowering! It encourages you to use your own creativity to find and cultivate your audience. It’s a remarkable thing to discover how many active and engaged listeners want what you make. Even if your genre is niche (mine is ambient classical), there are people out there looking for you and this class will help you find them. The numbers don’t lie. Best money I spent all year, thank you Ari and Lucid!

- Kyle Preston

I started this program about 14 months ago, and just this week I started making about $5/day off Spotify. I've spent ~$6k on ads and probably made about $1,200 of that back on royalties.

I started being profitable only when I reduced my daily spend to $5/day only on Spotify ads. I recently was at ~$60/day as I was promoting and retargeting a new single.

I've built up an audience over the past year or so (currently 4,650 Spotify followers & 33,000 monthly listeners). I recently got on an official Spotify playlist with 50k followers, and my Spotify For Artists tells me I'm on 4,900 other playlists (I've worked pretty hard reaching out to 3rd party playlists and I've got some that are giving me around 600-1,800 streams per week).

I'm still making money and am continuing to grow. I haven't increased my ad budget of $5/day, either.

- Josh Tangeny

Hey Ari! Thank you soooo much for having me in two of your incredible courses! The Instagram & Spotify course has been huge for my original song "Fly Away"! People are absolutely loving it, and it's gaining new fans on Instagram & YouTube as well as Spotify of course. The song has reached 33,000 streams in just the time that I started your class, even though it was stuck at around 700 for over a year. Thank you for helping me give that song the attention it deserves!

- Yaniza

I am very grateful for this course. I released my first single in February 2019. I spent about $600 on Playlist Push which earned me about 10,000 streams and 23 followers on Spotify--this all in the first few weeks, after which, my growth (and exposure) came to a halt.

But then I took my 23 Spotify followers and began Ari and Lucid’s course in May 2019. With a modest investment, my growth was slow, but it has been steady--by July 2020, I broke 5K followers on Spotify, and I had over 150K streams across platforms. Most importantly, this course has helped to refute the unhappy picture brought on by my initial foray into the streaming game. As the streams came in, so did the comments and messages from people across the world telling me how much they liked my music. I am a self-doubter and a pessimist, and these messages stood as proof that many people do care about my art. This is the true gold of this course. It is not a way to trick folks into streaming your tunes--no, it is a method by which the regular-dude, indie artist can penetrate the stupefying din of internet ads and connect with real people who become real fans with a real passion for your music.

- Connie Danger

Before enrolling in the Streaming & Instagram Growth course, independent hip hop artist Nite Owl had 6,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and averaged 24,000 streams per month. Six months after taking the course and starting ads, Nite Owl has 31,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and is averaging over 200,000 streams per month. He also grew his Instagram following from 600 to 18,000 by using the strategies taught in this course.

“The hip hop music is REAL, and so are the fans,” said Nite Owl. This course is the perfect recipe for an artist like Nite Owl, who has recorded and released 20 independent albums over his career. He dominated the streets and the stages for the last 13 years in his St. Louis region, but what this course teaches has connected him to hungry fans in the world of streaming who are devouring what he is serving online--both his newer releases and his back catalog. And they are fans that he knew were out there but for years he did not know how to access them. Nite Owl and his team look forward to watching his reach continue to grow in the coming months.

- Nite Owl

I just hit the one million streams mark on Spotify, with 7K+ followers, and on Instagram the engagement has been crazy, and I am at around 11K+ on there, all thanks to this course. More than half of the stats mentioned above are purely due to the methods taught in the course, yet took only 5 months out of the 3+ years I have been releasing original music. This course has helped me achieve things I started to think would be impossible, with one-fifth of the time and the money.

- Ibby VK

Get started now!



Frequently Asked Questions


When does this course start and finish?
The course starts as soon as you enroll and finishes when (if) you want. As long as you work in music, these strategies will be effective. We will continue to update the lessons and trainings to make sure that it stays relevant, up-to-date and valuable. And you can continue to ask questions, network and collaborate in the private, members only Facebook Group. This course is completely self paced.
How long will I have access to this course?
You will have access to this course until *at least* December 2021.
Is this about getting bot followers?
NO! Paying a company to get you bot followers or streams is the worst thing you can do for your career. For one, Spotify has gotten really good at identifying fake streams, so if they detect that many of your streams are from bots, they will remove your album. And two, if you have bot followers on Instagram, your real, human followers won't see your posts (because of the algorithm) and your engagement will suffer. These strategies are about finding real, human FANS who will stick around with you for life.
How much money do I have to invest above the cost off the course to be effective with these strategies?
You must spend a minimum of $5/day on advertising costs. The more you’re able to invest, the quicker your growth will be.
How is this different from other digital marketing courses out there?
The biggest difference is the objective. While other courses may teach you the nuances of Facebook advertising, this course does not. Other courses overwhelm you with information and typically guide you to SELL to your audience. This course does not. The only two objectives this course has are: 1) Building your fans on streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, etc) and making serious revenue from the streams 2) Building your fans on Instagram That's it. If these are your objectives, this course is for you.
Will you help me get 10,000 Instagram Followers? And if so, why isn’t that the title of this thing?
Sure. Yeah, if you follow these strategies you’ll get real fans. We don’t like things that just talk about numbers because building a real, human fanbase is not about numbers. It’s about connection. When we focus too much on the numbers, we lose track of the humanity of your audience. Yes, we know there are other courses out there promising 10,000 Instagram or Facebook followers, video views, what have you. Utilizing these strategies you will reach all the number goals you want, but we don’t want you to get into this with your goals set on numbers. It should be on building a real, human fan base that will stick with you for life.
Is this just, like, setting up Facebook ads? I’ve done that before and they don’t work.
No. This is not just setting up Facebook ads. Believe us, we get it. We’ve spent thousands on Facebook ads and most of those ads didn’t work. These direct marketing strategies actually have nothing to do with running ads in the Facebook Newsfeed or anything like that. And they are structured in an extremely targeted, specialized way that are cost-efficient.
I’ve been doing this for a month and I don’t have a million fans and I’m not rich! What gives?
These are long term strategies.
I’ve been saving up to hire a publicist. Is this a good investment? I don’t have any money left for anything else!
Spending all of your money on one promotional strategy (like PR) is not a smart decision. PR and publicity can be helpful if it’s part of a multi-pronged approach for your release strategy. But just spending on PR with no money left over for anything else will not bring you the success you’re hoping for. You must set aside a big part of your promotional budget for marketing. This is marketing. We will show you how to properly invest your money for the biggest impact.
Do you have a refund policy?
There are no refunds with this course. These strategies are proven and will work if implemented properly and the quality of your content is competitive. Once you gain access to the course, you will get all of the lessons at once. It won’t take long to get through, setup and implement. If this doesn’t work for you it will simply because you did not put in the work to make this work. We are here to help you, however. Join us in the Facebook Group to ask whatever questions you have and we will help you through this and make sure this works for you.
How can I justify the price?
We know that other educational offerings often charge much more for something like this (often taught by people who are not actively working in the field or have any connections to the industry), but we wanted to make sure we kept this affordable enough for indie musicians and managers. You will be getting 10x the value for this cost. We settled on a price that is high enough to weed out the people who are not serious, but affordable enough for musicians and managers who are willing to invest in themselves. We are only interested in having professionals join us. This is an investment in your career. You will be saving years of making mistakes and learning through trial and error. This is a career accelerator.
Will this work with an older demographic?
Currently, the majority of Instagram and Spotify users are under 45. If your target demographic is over 45, these strategies will be far less effective. We do not recommend this course for artists who want to target the 45+ crowd.
Does it matter if I have only 1 song released? How about albums from years ago?
It does not matter whether you have 1 song that was released last week or 5 albums released 10 years ago. Music lovers want to find good music. They don't care how new or fresh it is, if it's amazing.
Will this work for me?
We have no idea. It may. It may not. We are teaching you strategies that have worked extremely well for many, many artists. If it doesn't work for you it will be because your content (music, videos, photos, socials) are not up to professional standards. We don't help you with that. We recommend you get some unbiased opinions on your music and videos (not from friends or family - someone who will tell it to you straight), before making this investment. Our strategies teach you how to get your music and videos in front of potential fans. Whether these people (yes they are human beings) decide to follow you and listen to your music is totally up to them and is based on whether they like your music or not. If they don't like your music, they won't follow you or listen to your music. If they do, they will. Simple as that.
What is required to do this course?
You must have an active Facebook account and must never have had your Business Manager or Ads Manager shut down by Facebook.

DISCLAIMER

By enrolling in this course you are gaining full access to this course material for as long as we keep it available (at least until December 2021). You can either pay a lump sum up front or you can do the payment plan. If you opt for the installment plan, you are committing to paying off your balance. It is NOT a monthly membership fee. There is no "cancellation."