Spotify & SoundCloud: How To & What is Trading?

Trading

What is it? How does it work? How do you start? What are the benefits? It doesn’t matter if you know about Trading and how to do it or not, it is important to read the following.

*Trading can be done with any type of social outlet, post, release, or other various content. It’s simple; Trading advertising. You are going to find others to trade comments, likes, shares, reposts, and other social actions across all social outlets. For this article we are focusing on the two major trading avenues: Spotify & SoundCloud.*

What is “Trading”?

Trading in the music industry is when you and someone else “trade”, or in other words, share each others song(s) to your network/following. You are essentially trading advertising. 

Majority of these trades are done with other networks or individuals who have the same “reach”. Your reach is the total number of listeners you can reach out too. This way it keeps it fair for both parties. You will also want to trade a song that will suit the networks/individuals brand and listeners. This is the same for the track you are given in return. It makes no sense to jeopardize your brand by sharing a dubstep track if you only release and share Tropical House. Your listeners may get upset if you continue to throw random tracks at them that they aren’t used to. This doesn’t help anyone.

How does it work?

A little redundant from above but it’s simple. You have a song and someone else has a song. You both want to get it out to as many people as you can. You have 40k reach and so does the other person. You give each other the link to your tracks. You share their song with your listeners and they share your song with their listeners. Done! Together, you will have your song reach 80k people. Pretty cool huh?

You are more than likely going to want to show proof of it actually being done. This way it avoids any drama and shows others you are trustworthy. All you have to do is let the person know it’s been shared by taking a screenshot of the track being shared.

That’s all there is to it!

How do I start?

Trading is simple & there are many ways to get involved. We have outlined a few of the most efficient ways to get trading.

Social Groups

The easiest thing you can do right away is too join Facebook Trade groups.

Want to trade Spotify tracks to playlists? There’s a group for that. 

Want to trade SoundCloud tracks via reposts? There’s a group for that.

You are going to find a lot of very active groups and some not so much. You will also find that the majority of groups will have different rules than others. You just have to find the ones that work for you. Don’t be afraid to join as many as you can at first. It never hurts to be in groups! There are endless groups that are full of other traders. It is a great way to gain contacts and promote your song with hundreds of networks and artists.

There are honestly too many groups to list in this article and we do not have any favorites over others. You will have to start searching on Facebook for keywords like “SoundCloud Trades” or “Trading Spotify” etc. They are very easy to find.

Reach Out

This one may seem a little vague but it works. Chances are you have already made some contacts and various producer friends/network owners on some form of social media. You will want to reach out to them and simply ask if they would like to trade a song or two. Even if you are brand new and don’t know a single soul, start researching for networks around online. They are everywhere. Remember to be polite and start with an introduction instead of just saying “Trade?”. Stay away from being abrupt, especially if you are reaching out for the first time. 

Use Trading platforms

There are multiple trading platforms out there for you to use to help you organize your trading. You can use schedulers for future trades, meet other traders, and keep everything organized. Trust us, once you get into trading, you will become addicted. You are going to be juggling multiple trades at once with multiple networks. Why not make it easy on yourself and keep it organized?

Trading platforms are not mandatory but can be a huge help. It is up to you whether you think you need to use one to help manage your time and trades better.

There are a few platforms that we have used but we are not recommending any over the other. We have stopped trading with platforms as we have our own tools we use and most of these platforms charge a monthly fee. We honestly find paying to use a platform to keep track of trades is ridiculous. That’s just us though. You may find it is worth to pay for one or stay with a free one. They all do the same thing. Just do your due diligence and make sure you know what you’re jumping into.

If you utilize these above methods, you will have no problem getting started with trades.

What are the benefits of trading?

Trading has many benefits. We are going to go over them in list format below to keep it simple for everyone and straight to the point.

  • It’s free.
  • Save costs on promotion.
  • Reach mass audiences quickly.
  • Give your songs better traction.
  • Meet & gain new contacts.
  • Self - efficient. Do it yourself without paying someone else.
  • Simple.
  • You’re in control.

What are the downsides to trading?

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons. Trading is no exception. Although the pros outweigh the cons, we thought it is important to know what “not so great” things arise while trading.

You will find them below:

Toxic people - It’s sad to say but it’s true. You will run into a lot of toxic individuals and networks that you will want to stay away from.

Drama - Everywhere you look there is some sort of drama happening. People calling people out, bashing one another, and what not. It’s awful. Stay away from this.

Time-consuming - Trading can become very time consuming depending on the volume of trades. Even with a platform to help organize, it will be a ton of messaging, emailing, reaching out, gaining new contacts, and setting everything up. We would have to say though, that this is still better than spending money on overpriced PR services.

People bailing on trades - Be ready for trading someone's track only to find out they left you hanging. Free promotion for them but nothing for you. Irritating to say the least.

Fake networks - You will come across some networks that have a “massive” following but later find it is all bots and no one heard your song. You end up giving away free advertising.

Roadblocks

Yes, unfortunately, there will be roadblocks when getting into trading. The biggest one being: You don’t have the numbers to trade with.

This is the kicker in the trading world. Numbers. If you don’t have the numbers then not many people will want to trade with you. Why would someone trade your song to their million listeners if all you have in return is forty thousand? 

We aren’t saying you cannot find users to trade with if you have a low number but it makes it difficult to reach those massive numbers and gain some real traction fast.

So how do we fix this? 

If you are looking to trade but have no numbers you are going to want to grow them as fast as you can. There is no better way to do this than with our “Grow With Us” platform. You can find out everything you need to know about this platform here and here. Don’t sit around for months and months to grow followers and put a halt on your trading. Be ready in days.

This will be the fastest way for you to grow a real audience to give you some trading power on both Spotify and SoundCloud. Once you have the numbers, you will be able to trade with bigger and better networks.

The Lingo

Believe it or not, there is a bunch of lingo in the trading world. You may be scratching your head not knowing what some things mean and feel overwhelmed at times. Don’t worry, we have you covered. You will come to find just about nobody writes in sentences when trading. Below you will find the most common phrases and words associated with trading and what they mean.

  • Trade bro? - The annoying way someone asks to trade. 
  • What’s your reach? - How many followers do you have?
  • How many k? - How many followers do you have?
  • What can you do? - How many followers do you have?
  • Screenshot, please? - Send a screenshot of the trade
  • Repost chain - A chain of networks joined together to create a super network.
  • Trades? - Do you have any available trades or would you like to trade with them?
  • Pre-trade - Trade before a release is out. 
  • X for X - Example: 20k for 20k? This means you will trade 20k reach for 20k reach.
  • Can do X - The person can reach up to X amount of listeners.
  • SC trade - SoundCloud trade.
  • What do you own? - They are asking what channels you own.

We are sure you will come across more as you dive deeper into the trading world but for now, you will have a good foot to start on.

Repost Chains

We wanted to quickly explain in further detail about Repost chains. A repost chain is when multiple different owners come together and create a chain of networks to form a super network. This can be done manually or automatically through a trading platform.

For example: Let’s say you have 10k listeners but want to further increase your trading power instantly. You can join forces with a few other 10k channels to boost your numbers. You end up finding three other networks with 10k channels that are willing to join forces. Together you create a chain and now are a super network of 40k. (10 x 4) That’s a lot of trading power at your fingertips.

I’m still confused…how do I use other networks to trade?

When you create a chain of networks you are allowing everyone in that chain to use your own network to trade with. You all work together. Every time you have a track to trade, you will send it to all the networks in your chain. So the other three networks you joined with will share the track to their networks. This is the same as when they have a trade. They will send you the song to share on your network.

Instead of only trading with 10k, you now have 40k. This will give you the opportunity to reach out to bigger networks and thus drive more traffic to your song.

Things to keep in mind

The more networks in your chain the more you have to repost on others behalf. Things can get really messy and annoying.

Be prepared for others to leave you hanging.

If you use a trading platform and created a chain, you have given access to others to control reposts on your account without further permission. You could potentially wake up one morning to find someone shared a lot of tracks on your profile. So be careful who you trust.

Networks you joined with may be a part of other chains and therefore other individuals will be trading with the same networks. This results in duplicated audience sharing and lacks value.

Repost chains can do wonders for you but only if they are done right. Don’t jump into this right away. Make sure you are 100% comfortable with doing a repost chain. Remember to never let anyone force or bully you into becoming a part of a repost chain.

The Don’ts

This is your go-to list when trading. We have listed all the Don’ts when it comes to trading. Good luck!

The Don’ts

Do not (under any circumstance):

  • Sandwich reposts.
  • Repost more than a few times a day on one account.
  • Share low quality or wrong genre tracks.
  • Start drama.
  • Be rude or inconsiderate.
  • Back out of a trade for no valid reason.
  • Spam links to groups or through messages.
  • Lie about networks and reach that you own.
  • Refuse to show proof of trade.

Just use common sense when trading and go with your gut. You will do great!

Good luck trading!

Cheers,

The Drunken Coconut

Ryan ThompsonSpotify, SoundCloud