“What matters more, your morals or your fortunes?” Jackson Whalan’s “True Story,” is a call to action with a hip-hop backbone — the sort of soul-driven music the world always needs. 

“Music is the way that I make a difference in the world and address the injustices that exist in our society,” Whalan tells ToneDen. “I am a lyricist and producer creating eclectic hip-hop to invoke positive societal change.”

And Whalan is being that positive societal change. After more than a decade, his catalogue consists of singles, EPs, albums, features, collaborations, and licensing opportunities (most recently a Reebok ad placement). Every artist needs to be his own best advocate, and for Whalan that means promoting his art as “a business with various revenue streams.” ToneDen supports that aim.

“I am currently working on the goal of reaching 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify,” Whalan says, “while also building my fan base on all social and streaming platforms. ToneDen has been the most valuable platform in making my goals a reality.”

An Artist’s Tool

Whalan discovered ToneDen organically: “Other artists in my circle were using it.” For several years now, he’s taken advantage of its many creator-friendly features, including Fanlinks and Social Unlock campaigns. 

“ToneDen optimizes the experience for both artists and fans,” Whalan says. “There’s no other marketing service quite like this.”

“ToneDen optimizes the experience for both artists and fans. There’s no other marketing service quite like this.”

For Whalan, ToneDen’s nonstop attention to music marketing strategy has been a creative boon. Before using the platform, he floundered on Facebook Ads manager, adrift and disinterested. “I have never had a passion for becoming an expert at marketing,” he admits. “I am an artist.”

Still, every artist knows that business matters, regardless of their passion for it. “Artists should be investing in marketing and have a plan,” says Whalan. “Often artists … get wrapped up so much in learning how to market themselves that the music ends up being neglected. Artists should be focusing on their music and let ToneDen be the experts.”

“New Fans Will Find You”

ToneDen’s expertise helps artists like Jackson Whalan influence one of today’s most important metrics: Spotify followers, streams, and listeners. 

For Whalan, amping up his Spotify presence has been a top priority. The problem is, it’s not easy. 

“I have experimented with many different strategies to grow streams and followers on Spotify outside of ToneDen,” he says. “I have used Spotify Ad Studio, Facebook Ads Manager, and grassroots sharing on social media. I have also made some common mistakes, like paying for Fiverr services with the expectation that growth would be organic and it wasn’t. I have tried other Spotify Growth services and playlisting services that seemed legit and they weren’t.”

As Whalan believes, artists should be focusing on their music — not getting bogged down in marketing hacks. And now, with ToneDen’s Spotify Growth Playbook, that’s what he’ll be doing.

The power of the Playbook was apparent when Whalan saw the Before and After graphs from his first campaign in January for his release "BIG FVTS":

More recently, Whalan used the new Playbook again to advertise his single “True Story.” With a budget of just $15/day, he ran an Instagram Stories campaign, targeting fans of artists he considers “in the same lane” as himself. A 15-second video and a spot-on CTA (“Listen Now”) took fans to Whalan’s Spotify page with a single swipe.

In a two-week campaign with $246 ad spend, Whalan added 242 Spotify followers. Off-campaign, Whalan was averaging around 2 followers a day organically. On campaign, this jumped up to 15 followers a day—a 650% increase.

“Before I used the Spotify Growth Playbook, I had less than a thousand followers,” Whalan says. “In less than a month, I had 1,500 real followers from my first campaign. My daily listeners, streams, and saves, grew accordingly.”

“In less than a month, I had 1,500 real followers from my first campaign. My daily listeners, streams, and saves, grew accordingly.”

In tandem, Whalan saw growth on YouTube and other platforms. “While the ad campaign runs exclusively driving people to Spotify, I saw growth on Youtube and other platforms. New fans will find you on all of your platforms.”

“Artists Have More Control Over the Results” 

Whalan sees ToneDen as a necessary complement to the work artists do building a natural following. “While going viral in an organic way is ‘free,’ and great, you can’t depend on that happening every time you drop a new song and video.”

What is dependable, though, is ToneDen, which is why he’d recommend the platform to other artists. “Setting up the Spotify Growth Campaign is very straightforward,” Whalan says. “With ToneDen, the growth has been quicker and realer. Artists have more control over the results here.”

The Spotify Growth Playbook is an Add-On feature. Add to any Basic, Pro, or Elite plan for an additional $50/month. Want to give it a few spins first? No worries, we offer a 7-day free trial!

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