Reddit can be complicated to understand, but it’s an incredible resource for musicians. Of all the online platforms used to share and listen to music, Reddit is perhaps the most under-utilized platform for artists looking for a larger listener base, opportunities in the music promotion space, or a way to jumpstart their music career. That’s because it’s not just an online music aggregator or site for streaming music: it’s much larger than that.
The most effective way to go about using Reddit is to contribute, which takes time and dedication. To get something out of Reddit, one must be genuinely willing and invested in joining a community and sharing valuable, original content. This approach is different than engaging with other rapid-response social media platforms, yet can still give incredible returns in terms of promoting yourself as an independent musician. Posting your music on Reddit the right way can get you thousands of listens or more on streaming services like Spotify or YouTube Music. This can not only bring you new listeners, but also help you get on playlists, generate interest from music labels, and much more! Music to your ears, we’re sure 🙂
1. What is Reddit?
Reddit is an extensive compilation of over a million forum type communities, called subreddits. Subreddits about music can be about any topic, from broad ones like r/music or r/guitar to niche ones like r/90sdancemusic, r/vinylcollectors or r/musiciansblogs. Each sub has its own rules – or rediquette – and team of moderators. Anyone can start a subreddit.
Within these subreddits, users can either start discussing topics or share links (images, videos, streams, articles, etc.) that are relevant to the community. Posts and comments are organized through an upvote/downvote ranking system, usually classifying the comments that best contribute to the conversation at the top and the ones that don’t add a lot to the discussion at the bottom. More upvotes means better visibility, which can make a comment or post go viral.
While each sub has its own style, identity and rules, Redditors usually prize quality and informative content that genuinely adds to the discussion at hand. The site’s system and culture therefore discourage the use of the platform for simply promoting music. That’s why posts showing no effort of understanding or belonging will be quickly seen as spam. Continuous spam and marketing will result in a ban.
Reddit is an important resource and arena of exchange, with around 330 million users sharing stories, pictures, articles, and music from around the world. It also offers regular posts from experts in their fields. Harnessing its potential and sharing your own expertise can help develop your project and contribute to building others.
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2. Read and observe subreddits
To grow your presence on Reddit, it is best to get involved in small communities where you can build authentic ties with other users and grow your fanbase. If you wish to be part of a community, take time to understand its culture and areas of interest. The first step of posting in any new subreddit is undoubtedly reading the rules, crafted with care over time by the moderators.
Checking the top posts of a subreddit is a great resource to evaluate what its users particularly value, and understand how you can add value with your contribution.
3. Show, don’t tell. Your post history speaks for you.
Reddit values substance and contribution above all else, rejecting anything that looks and feels like spam. Quick promo posts will encounter skepticism and, usually, little-to-no response. Longer term valuable contributions to a community will generally be reciprocated.
The easiest way to look into a user’s intentions is by glancing at their post history. A profile that has a history of informative contributions and feedback within a community is much more likely to receive reciprocal feedback than a profile that has visibly been created to promote a project. You have a better chance to get your music heard if you do the same for other independent artists.
What are your strengths and areas of expertise? What relevant anecdotes, advice and experiences can you share to enhance the discussion or entertain readers? What similar experiences have you encountered to the ones being presented, and how did you deal with them? What recommendations can you give that other users can identify with?
These are essential questions to shape a meaningful participation on Reddit. For instance, a sound engineer can provide great feedback to musicians sharing their own music projects in the making. Someone who has organized many shows can post helpful tips to planning one’s first gig. A video producer can give tips on how to craft the most engaging music videos. And so on.
Reddit users may be accessing subreddits for a variety of reasons: to discover new music; to learn about music marketing, music business, or music distribution; to get feedback on compositions; to find tips on how to promote music; or simply find new fans who’ve listened to the same artists they have. No matter the goal, there are plenty of posts already on Reddit that reflect all of these needs. Before writing a post, it’s good to explore what’s already out there such that you’re not repeating the same questions.
Reddit users value the human before the artist, and love a good story! Sharing the context of your project, some anecdotes, challenges, and funny tidbits (for example, about your experiences in the music industry) will humanize your post. This openness encourages others to listen to your new music, and increases your likelihood of getting streamed.
Reddit’s anonymity strips down superficial impressions and perceptions, letting genuine and relatable contributions speak for themselves.
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6. Sharing your music with tact
Given that you are sharing your insights, it makes sense that you’d wish to also receive expertise from others.
When asking for feedback, choose your spaces wisely. There are a variety of subs – included below – and weekly threads where the ability to promote music is encouraged, such as on r/wearethemusicmakers, r/listentothis and r/EDMproduction. Only a small number subs allow for unfiltered self-promo, offering opportunities for others to listen and add you to a playlist without you having to request it specifically.
Sometimes, your music can fit into an existing conversation. Thus, taking the time to read posts will allow you to seize those opportunities to get your music online.
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Ready, set, post!
There are hundreds of music subs that you can explore; below is our selection of music related ones. Make sure to check out Reddit’s official list of all music-related subs, and to dig deeper into the niche communities that concern you. Reddit is an incredible part of the internet where good conversation is valued much more than an attractive image. So be natural, enjoy the discussion, help others, and share. The community will give back if your content is respected, supported and valued.
Part of the beauty of Reddit is that it caters to more niche groups, so if you make indie music or you’re getting your start in a smaller music market, it’s a great avenue to explore. Many independent music artists have found communities that have helped propel them to promotional success.
Check our detailed articles on the 3 best subreddits to promote your music as an independent artist: