The Importance of Modern Streaming Platforms For Emerging R&B Artists

The Importance of Modern Streaming Platforms For Emerging R&B Artists

TikTok and Spotify have become game-changers for emerging artists of all genres. In today’s digital age, these platforms have taken the music industry by storm, offering a plethora of opportunities for talented musicians to make their mark. But with the R&B music scene remaining as competitive as ever with its ever-evolving sound and trends, it’s important to know how to leverage these platforms to your advantage so that you don’t fall behind.

We look at the importance of utilizing modern streaming services for emerging R&B artists.

How Has Music Distribution Modernized Over The Years?

In short, a guide to music distribution refers to the process of making music available to the public through various channels and platforms. It involves getting recorded music from artists and labels to listeners and fans.

In the past, primarily, music distribution involved physical formats such as vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, and later digital formats like MP3 files. However, with the rise of digital technology and the internet, music distribution has shifted towards online platforms.

TuneCore is a modern music distribution service designed to help new artists release and distribute their music to various online platforms. It provides independent artists who are just beginning to dip their toes in the water with the resources they need to get their music onto big platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.

AWAL (Artists Without A Label) is another digital distribution and artist services company that aims to support independent musicians in navigating the music industry and achieving success without signing with a traditional record label. It provides a range of services and resources to help artists manage their music releases, grow their fanbase, and maximize their revenue.

Let’s take a look at two of the most popular streaming platforms behind a lot of successful R&B artists today:


Of course, we have to start with Spotify. Spotify plays a significant role in the music industry and offers several advantages for emerging R&B artists looking to get their music on the scene. First, Spotify has a vast user base with millions of active listeners worldwide. By getting their music on Spotify, emerging R&B artists can reach a global audience that they might not have been able to access with old-fashioned music distribution methods.

Second, the sophisticated algorithmic recommendation methods that Spotify employs on its platform allow for emerging R&B artists to be discovered by users who haven’t previously heard of them. For example, if you’re an Usher fan and choose to spice things up by selecting the Usher radio option instead of his album, Spotify uses its algorithmic recommending processes to showcase other artists of a similar vibe and music genre. This can lead to increased exposure and new followers for R&B artists trying to get their sweet music heard.


And next, we have the mighty TikTok. TikTok has played a significant role in helping emerging R&B artists break onto the music scene in recent years.

When a user creates a video using a particular song, it can gain popularity and spread rapidly throughout the platform. This has led to numerous songs going viral and gaining immense exposure. For example, the soulful R&B singer Giveon’s breakout single ‘Heartbreak Anniversary’ gained traction on TikTok, with users creating videos using the song’s emotional lyrics. The viral trend helped propel Giveon to the undeniably highly regarded R&B artist he is today.

Other emerging R&B artists should also leverage this trend-driven nature by creating catchy, easily replicable tracks such as Giveon’s that resonate with TikTok users.

Arguments From Artists

American singer Taylor Swift has made a stand against such modern means of music distribution services due to the low royalties offered to artists. Swift expressed concerns about the devaluation of music and how streaming services compensated artists. However, she did later return to streaming platforms in 2017 after negotiating better terms for her music.

Of course, on the one hand, many up-and-coming R&B artists would praise Swift for taking a stance and acting as an advocate for all artists to have better pay conditions whilst on the platform. On the other hand, someone as established as Swift can easily pull their music from a streaming platform and still be a success due to the significant dent she’s already made for herself within the music industry. Unfortunately, emerging artists on the R&B scene would simply be unable to do the same.

An Integrational Approach

Both Spotify and TikTok have proven to be powerful platforms for music discovery and promotion, levelling the playing field for emerging R&B artists and enabling them to break onto the music scene quicker than ever before.

However, both modern streaming services need to be seen as part of a comprehensive music marketing strategy, and R&B artists should consider integrating it with other promotional efforts to maximize their impact, increase their royalties, and long-term success in this lucratively competitive branch of music.

Photo Source: Unsplash

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