I Spent $500 Promoting My Song on Deezer

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

$500 is a lot of money. As much as I love testing out promotion ideas and sharing the results with you, that’s more than I’m typically willing to spend.

In this case though, I didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. The referral link I included in my earlier article on (which will still get you a $10 credit) generated enough affiliate earnings to cover the campaign. Thank you!

Last time I wrote about my campaigns on 8tracks. Since then, partnered with subscription streamer Deezer to offer sponsored song campaigns. I promoted my single Glory Days, which as you may remember, scored surprisingly high on Crowd Review!

Deezer targeting

The way it works is, your song gets thrown into their non-interactive radio tier with a “sponsored” banner slapped across the artwork. You select who hears it by specifying their location, age, gender, preferred genres, and similar artists, like so:You can also choose a call to action. I chose “View Artist Profile” in the hope that listeners would check out my other material and add me to their favorite artists.

So what did $500 get me?

Deezer Results 1

My campaign took five days, netting 24K plays at two cents a pop, with nearly 800 engagements, which break down like so:

Deezer engagements

The 223 artist and album page views are nice, but the 574 playlist adds are likely more valuable, as they promise more plays in the future. 379 were added to users’ favorites playlists, which account for about 20% of streams on Deezer. A favorites add is similar to a Pandora thumbs up in that it tells the algorithm to play the song more often, both to the listener who favorited it, and to others.

Dan at emailed me links to every single one of the other 195 playlists, and about two-thirds of them still contain my song. The majority of them are titled “Loved Tracks” — essentially a secondary favorites playlist.

Deezer Age & Gender

Most of the plays went to 18-34 year olds, whereas my biggest fans tend to be males 35-54. One of these days I’ll need to try narrowing my targeting to see if I get better results.

Deezer Countries

Nearly half of my plays were in France, which makes sense as Deezer is headquartered in Paris. I only got 155 plays in the US, but the engagement rate was the same so I’m not sure it matters for my purposes. Curiously, I got triple the rate of engagement (over 9%) in Russia and Guatemala, with 222 and 194 plays respectively.

Bonus points

There are two other important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. You only pay for plays over 30 seconds. If someone skips your track before that, it’s free.
  2. Every play is monetized, so the cost of the campaign is somewhat offset by royalties.

Theoretically, those royalties should be paid through SoundExchange since they are non-interactive streams. That said, I scoured through a dozen SoundExchange statements and didn’t see a single mention of Deezer. I’ve collected about $67 from Deezer through CD Baby since 2012, with roughly 10K “sales” categorized as “stream.”

I guess those are all interactive streams?

Is spending $500 on Deezer promotion right for you?

I’d say it depends on what you’d otherwise spend that money on. Food or rent? Probably not. A new iPhone that lets you send messages as an animated unicorn? Maybe!

And of course you don’t have to spend $500. Even if you’re willing and able to, you might be better off launching a smaller campaign first to hone your targeting. Be sure to claim your $10 credit through my referral link if you haven’t already! Maybe I’ll rack up enough to try a stunt like this again.

It would be easier for me to weigh the results of my campaign against the cost if Deezer were better about updating their profile pages. I waited a month before writing this article, in the hope that my profile page would showcase some impressive results.

At the very least, I expected Glory Days to become my top track! I doubt any of my other tracks have gotten 24K plays since Deezer launched.

Unfortunately, the only thing that budged was the number of fans, up from 1320 to 1329. That strikes me as a purely organic increase, not as the result of my campaign.

Hopefully we’ll see that number jump up when my profile eventually updates. Maybe it takes more than a month, or maybe I’m too much of a small fry to deserve the server resources.

Color Theory on Deezer

As always, conspiracy theorists will argue that it’s all a scam — that it’s somehow easier to fake the whole enterprise, including links to 195 playlists, than it is to actually deliver on what it promises. I’ve been debunking those sorts of arguments against Radio Airplay for years.

Over the coming months I hope to see an increase in Deezer plays, royalties on my SoundExchange statements, and maybe a few new Patreon supporters who discovered me there. It’s too soon to say what the results of the campaign will be outside of Deezer.

My results inside Deezer are mighty impressive though! If your goal is for people to hear your song, this is the most cost-effective method I know of. Where else can you get 24K plays and almost 600 playlist adds for $500? continues to innovate with new features, including a multi-song campaign that should roll out to all users in the next 30 days. It will allow you to promote an entire album or playlist, and will learn which songs perform better and adjust on the fly. I look forward to testing it out!

Have you tried

Share your thoughts, results, and of course, conspiracy theories, in the comments!

UPDATE 2/23/18

I just received payment from Deezer through CD Baby from July, when “Glory Days” was released, through October. That includes the two campaigns through $50 for 2.5K plays in August, and the subject of this post, $500 for 24K plays in September.

Deezer reported 12.2K streams, but these aren’t the streams I paid for. These are “on demand” streams that happened as a result of the campaigns, plus the (likely negligible) streams I would’ve gotten on my own.

So… not bad? While the track clearly hasn’t caught fire, it gained a lot of momentum. I look forward to seeing how long it keeps up. For comparison’s sake, the track has 1.7K streams on Spotify to date.

Care to wager how much Deezer pays for 12.2K streams? Far, far less than I would’ve ever guessed. $2.13. That’s less than 2 cents per 100 streams. Feel free to check out my sales report and let me know if I’m missing anything. I emailed CD Baby to confirm and they said, yep, it’s correct.

I should be seeing a payment for the paid “non-interactive” streams through SoundExchange soon, and I’ll update the post when I do. Dan at informs me that, as of January 1, Deezer no longer pays recording royalties on the sponsored songs as they are considered purely advertising now. Lucky for me, I managed to squeak in under the deadline!

UPDATE 1/31/20

My results overall remain nebulous, but clearly I haven’t taken off on the platform. Here are my all-time streaming numbers through LANDR, who I’ve only distributed with for a couple years:

Until Deezer rolls out comprehensive artist analytics, I wouldn’t recommend spending much on a campaign unless you really want to target France.


  1. Using FeatureFm starting this week and committed to it after reading your beginning articles on the subject. I’ve talked via email with them there too and response is helpful and friendly. I’m curious to hear more from the SoundExchange front with your experiment where it seems you should be seeing that show up as well somewhere. As I use FeatureFm more, I’m going to want to see the result in royalties or other as well. Thanks for the article. I’ve done the initial $10 deal and also experimenting (in the lower dollar amounts) to see what I get–but ultimately like you said, more people hear my music…and that’s the goal of any aspiring songwriter I would think.

    1. Fantastic! Keep us posted! I’m hoping someone will jump in and explain why I haven’t seen any Deezer payments from SoundExchange. If I don’t see anything over the next quarter or two, I’ll talk to SE directly. They’re actually really helpful and accessible on the phone.

  2. Thanks for posting your findings.

    I ran a $50 campaign on a whim a few weeks ago to test the waters. I was pretty blown away, honestly.

    $50 got me 2,482 plays, 228 playlist ads (favorites and otherwise) and an overall engagement rate of 10.84%. I think that engagement rate is pretty huge.

    With that said, I don’t know what has come from it since my brief 2-day campaign. I saw someone Tweeted out a Deezer link to my song, but I haven’t seen the campaign translate to anything outside of the Deezer ecosystem, which does make sense.


    1. Whoa! That’s super impressive!

      Of course my brain is struggling to explain your 3x engagement rate as something other than the most likely reason — better music!

      Did you target specific countries or demographics?

      1. I didn’t target any specific countries or other demographics. I left it all wide open. The only targets I used were artists. I will say that I targeted a quite a few more similar artists than you, but I really struggle to place my music into a genre, so finding similar artists has always been difficult. Maybe it was just beginners luck, but I was really happy with the numbers.

        Thanks for the encouragement, Brian.

  3. Hey! I, personally, have found a vast different between my promotion on Deezer v. 8track (which looks to me to be essentially France v. Canada, respectively). 8track is rolling at a low 0.5% engagement, and on Deezer 4% (not that either is impressive). To what does that speak? Totally unsure. More general openness in Western Europe? My music is pretty melancholy, haunting (not very poppy, if you will) and maybe they enjoy that more? Just happier so they are more apt to just ‘like’ a song? Who knows!! I also added (on Deezer) Brazil, Argentina, South Africa after having randomly discovered those countries really garnered Facebook fans on Reverbnation PromoteIt. Oh well. At least some people, in some places, find my music worthy enough to take action on it. That actually means a lot to me. Thanks again for all you do! – Brian

    1. This is incredibly helpful Brian — thanks!

      I think 4% engagement on Deezer is pretty impressive, but those numbers aren’t necessarily important considering that both services are “lean back” and listeners are probably not staring at their screens.

      I have a lot of South American fans as well! I find it… curious. 😉

  4. Since promoting your track on Deezer how much have the plays dropped off in later months? I expect a big drop off but I’m curious if it went from 24k to less than 100.

  5. Hey there again! Have you ever used Radiodirectx? I would like to read something about it. By the way, great blog!

    1. Thanks! No, I haven’t tried Radiodirectx. It looks similar to MusicSUBMIT which I have reviewed, but with a sole focus on radio. I can’t imagine shotgun mailings to music directors could possibly work, but maybe I’m missing the secret sauce.

  6. hey Brian , I found your review very informative but im still a little bit skeptic about using because you said you haven’t any sales yet from deezer , and I just wanted to know have you seen any sales yet from deezer since the campaign.

    1. Glad you asked! I just received payment for the period through my CD Baby dashboard. The payout is… let’s just say, less than stellar. I’ll update the post with the info soon, but I emailed CD Baby and first to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

  7. Thanks for the great article! Very helpful. Like someone else mentioned some time ago, how are your plays now? Did you from 24k to a decent number still? Thanks!

    1. The plays I’m seeing through my aggregator aren’t very impressive, but it’s so hard to get good data from Deezer. Daniel at was going to investigate. Still waiting to hear back!

  8. Brian, have you done any additional Deezer promotion through since this initial campaign? I wrote about the results of my first campaign in the comments here last year. I was really pleased with those results and thought I’d give it another go this week. My $50 campaign ran for 4 days and just ended today. Here’s are my results.

    2,453 Sponsored Plays
    150 Engagements
    6.11% Engagement Rate

    That breaks down to:

    68 Added to Favorites
    2 Artist Page Views
    44 Album Page Views (that was my CTA)
    48 Playlist Additions

    It wasn’t nearly as successful as my first campaign, but I was still pretty happy with the results.

    I’m just curious if you’ve found this service beneficial enough to keep doing regularly. I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll run a third campaign. With being a $50 minimum, it’s not something I would be willing to do each month. If I could run a campaign for $20-25 per month, I’d probably be all over it.

    Anyway, of all the services you’d tested, Feature.FM and RadioAirplay seem to be the most effective.

    1. Sounds like a successful campaign to me Mark! I’d be interested to hear if it leads to more organic plays.

      I haven’t done any campaigns on Deezer since this one (I did some smaller ones before this). Dan at was going to do a little research into my numbers, which I’m still waiting on.

      I’d be game to routinely spend $50 per single if Deezer had an artists analytics panel where I could better visualize my campaign results. As it stands, I may still give it another go when I’ve got an album to promote in the next month or two.

  9. Hello!
    We just tried to do a music video on Youtube (its called website promo) through Feature fm. I put 99 $ but just paused it at 60$ spent – because I am not sure how is the campaign doing. Here is my results – what do you guys think? Anyone has a comment? Totally appreciated.
    So for 60$ we got
    69,606 placements
    30,819 viewed impressions
    52 Clicks
    By clicks – top country – US, them UK, France , Poland, Spain
    Top traffic sources by click –,,,
    Our video currently has 106000+ views just over one week on youtube – but we also doing a youtube promotion so its hard to say how many views came from this campaign (I guess 52:).
    Our call of action was “Subscribe on Youtube channel” – Currently we have 1506 subscriber – it went up but just a bit.

    1. Sorry for the delay! Your comment got held for review, probably because of all the links.

      That sounds about like my experience with banner ads. I’ve never found them worthwhile.

      Have you tried Google Ads?

  10. Very good blog post on Dezeer. I am greatly informed through this. My issue is ROI. If I spend $500 on an ad campaign, which is a significant drop, then the least you would expect is to break even. But, normal expectations would be to double or triple your returns, and that is not being afforded musicians who come up with the music for these streaming platforms. I saw that Dezeer pays artists per stream .0056 cents, which would mean that 260,000 plays would yield the artist $1260. If the artist could do that every month then he or she would be right about at minimum wage in the US. So, the obvious question has become what are these streaming services getting paid in comparison to the artist per stream? The other question is if artists are not getting paid does the quality of art diminish? Kind of like if a company does not have sufficient revenues then they can not do R&D to improve product quality or expand product selection.

    1. Good stuff Patrick!

      Keep in mind that the payout per stream depends on a variety of factors, first and foremost whether the listener is on a free or paid account. In the case of these Deezer campaigns, your tracks are played to free listeners, so I suspect the payout would be lower than the average for the platform.

      As for the quality of art diminishing, I don’t know! Seems like we musicians always find a way.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your earnings, i have always wondered what the income was for deezer type sites. i have used deezer for a long time and i love the feeling that every time i play a track someone is getting paid. I now realise i won’t be getting you a mansion any time soon BUT i will listen to your album at home tonight and hopefully net you a cent or two!

    I just hope your music is good 😀

    1. I haven’t seen any long-term boost in listenership. I get way, way more streams on Spotify. Dan at was planning to do some research into my campaign, but at this point, I’m not sure it’s even relevant. I’ve been waiting/hoping for Deezer to open up some sort of artist portal before trying again.

  12. HI! Today i have checked Tunecore benefits raport. And there was streaming from Deezer for september – 493 streams and 7,92 eur. I am just wondering how it possible that cd baby paid you only 2 bucks for 12k streams… I have no idea how i reached almost 500 plays on Deezer becouse i didn’t make any promotion. I have only 25 followers there.

    1. Sorry I’m just seeing your comment! It got flagged as spam.

      Congrats on getting $0.02 per stream on Deezer! Especially considering my Spotify payouts have been more like $0.004.

      I really don’t understand the math either. Maybe that includes plays that didn’t reach the 30-second threshold? But I don’t know why they’d bother even reporting that.

  13. I have just almost finished my 1st campaign. Looking at skipping/ engagement vs play time I find it suspicious that skipping peeks at 31 sec. In my case there are 6 skips at 30 sec and 75 at 31 sec. I wonder is feature.FM uses bots to create plays 31 sec long to charge users for that.

    1. Having said that, may be this is because free subscription users cannot skip a track within first 30 sec? I am not using the service, so I am not absolutely sure how it works. So Feature.FM could have nothing to do with this.

      1. I feel confident that bots aren’t to blame. I just did a little research, and free users are limited to 30 second previews except on mobile.

        What I’ve seen on a lot of services like Pandora is that free users are granted a certain number of skips (six, if memory serves) per hour. So they can certainly blow all their skips out in the first minute if they want. There’s no 30 second requirement.

        I don’t know what percentage of total plays those 81 skips account for, but if it’s a majority, there must be an explanation beyond chance.

        Why not create a free account and mess around with it yourself? It’s been so long since I did my campaign that I’m sure things have changed.

        1. I am afraid I am too ancient to play with streaming services – do not even have a smart phone. I did actually two campaigns on the same day for the same track targeting different music fans to research who would like it more. On both campaigns there is a 10 times jump in skips at 31 sec, which falls back within several seconds. This is a bit nasty. If I find their support email, I will try asking them for an explanation.

        2. This was Daniel’s response.To my view the “You do not pay unless your song is heard for at least 30 sec” statement is effectively a lie.

          ” So you know, your sponsored songs are not skippable for the first 30 seconds. So in most cases (unless someone exists the app), they are only able to skip at the 30 second mark. This is why most skips you will see happen at that 30 second mark. We used to allow skips right from the start, and similarly, the spike of skips happened right in the first 2 seconds of the song.”

        3. Thanks for passing that on! I agree with you about the statement. It was valid when tracks were skippable, but now it’s deceptive. Previously we paid only if people wanted to hear the track, and now we pay either way. I suppose there’s some value in forcing people to give the track a little more of a chance, but the wording needs to be clarified.

        4. After my another email, Daniel said he will pass on to their staff to remove any reference to the 30 sec free time.

  14. Curiously, I got triple the rate of engagement (over 9%) in Russia

    Nothing curious about this. Your music, Brian, is the 80s style, which is still quite popular in Russia. During Each New Year celebration there are so called “*80s Disco” where all those artists perform, who are forgotten in the rest of the world: Alphaville, Savage, Bad Boys Blue, CC Catch (European, so probably not known much in the self-focussed US anyway) . This is just one of those ( The Russians are quite faithful to their idols. My explanation is that people form their musical taste when they are teenagers, and those who were teenagers in the 80s, now hold executive positions and push forward the music they grew up with. So, wanna get rich? Go gigging in Russia 🙂

    1. I don’t perform, but you’re absolutely right! My music has been most widely pirated in Russia, it’s my #2 country on Apple Music, and that’s where the majority of my Shazams come from. I haven’t forgotten about Alphaville fwiw!

  15. Hi Brian, thanks for sharing your experience with music promotion in such a great way!

    I’ve tried to use, I did the 2.5k plays and got 2,6% engagement rate, with 46 Album views and 20 Added to Favorites/playlists.
    I didn’t put an end-date, so all the plays happened in a few hours during the night, so I guess it could have had better results with a longer duration.

    For the kind of work my band plays (instrumental jazz-rock) I liked the results, and was planning to use it again with other songs of our album, but then I got the access to Deezer’s Backstage platform, where I can see the stats of my album, and for my surprise I could not see a single play of the song I used on

    I guess it could be that they consider it as “Advertising” so it’s not shown as “Stream”, but even so, there is no mention that my song was saved to playlist as well (other songs on the album show the number of saves).

    Now I wonder if it really works. Do you have access to your deezer stats? Were you able to see the results of your campaign on it?

    1. Thanks for sharing your results Rodrigo!

      First off, I didn’t even know about the Deezer Backstage platform! I just requested access. Maybe it’ll have some data on my old campaign.

      Yes, you are correct that streams are considered advertising, and you don’t make money from them. I remember being disappointed when Dan told me about it.

      As for the playlist adds, maybe there is a minimum number of followers and/or your adds are all on personal playlists. Just theorizing here, but I’m sure isn’t pulling the number of playlists out of thin air.

      I’ll report back if I get access to my data!

  16. Glad to know that I was able to provide you with useful information, after getting so much out of your posts.

    I suspected that you didn’t know about Deezer Backstage. I spent some time trying to find a way to change my profile picture on deezer, but all results I was getting was that Deezer didn’t have a “Deezer for Artists” so it was not possible and you had somehow to send an email to them…

    I was already giving up and preparing an email, but then I found somewhere a comment saying the words deezer backstage, went there and I was surprised that there was indeed a kind of deezer for artists, and I would be able also to see stats! Anyhow, after one working-day, they provide me the access.

    I guess deezer is not promoting it, otherwise they will get millions of requests at the same time, probably they are letting the word spread organically.

    Looking forward to see your data!

    1. Me too! I’m actually surprised Deezer isn’t more forthcoming about their analytics platform. I’d think they’d want to earn more goodwill in the music community! Or maybe like you alluded to, they’re not ready to scale yet.

  17. While I was originally focussing on Spotify promotion via playlist pitchers, this article made me try Deezer sponsored songs even though Deezer felt somewhat second tier in comparison. While it was done via Feature.FM I liked that the money probably mostly go to Deezer itself (and presumable only a fraction to feature.FM) rather than to some play list pitcher placing to irrelevant playlists (Mine playlist pitcher for Spotify bragged in a promotion email that they made more than $1mln in 2019 on such poor and desperate folks like myself with the only skill being sending a song link to all their curators. This seems to have made a lot of customers angry, based on their pseudo-apologetic email quickly following the first one). Anyway my experience with Deezer sponsored song was a bit mixed.
    1. As I described in my earlier posts here, Feature.FM’s claim that one pays only if a track is listened to for more than 30 secs proved to be wrong. I made some fuss about this, and they removed this claim. The listeners can skip the song only after 30 secs, so normally the graph shows a spike in skips just after 30 secs.
    2. I found it is hard to predict the statistics based on previous results.
    (a) It seems that usually the engagement rate drops with time. May be they add the sponsored song to the same listeners? I do not know.
    (b) 6.2k of plays (£100) is not enough to see what region was performing the best, Next 6.2k plays could see statistics changing noticeably.
    (c) My best track performed relatively well (7% engagement) even though it is an instrumental as well as others I am comparing to ( But other instrumental tracks I promoted, which where not significantly worse in my view, performed noticeably worse getting 5.5%, 4.5% and then eventually 3.5% even though they were promoted several months apart targeting the same audience. This was the most frustrating thing.
    (d) France weighs heavily on the statistics, and you cannot just remove it easily: If you do not want some countries, you need to add manually all countries apart from those few you do not want. And you cannot copy the countries from a previous promotion. But if you remove France it might take a while for the promotion to finish,
    (e) Looks like selecting the target audience is crucial, but as noted earlier does not guarantee the same result.
    (f) If your action is “Hear our album” some listeners do go and check out the album (up to a half). This is in contrast with Spotify playlist placing: Even if some listeners save the track, they will not go and listen to the whole album, which is another frustrating thing of the new era of relying on information coming to you rather than looking for it yourself,

    Just got a pop up that Feature.FM does now sponsored songs with Audiomack. I have not heard about the latter, but an internet search did not inspire yet.

    Applied for Deezer Backstage access – three weeks on. No response.

    1. This is great intel! Thanks for sharing it.

      I wonder why your engagement dropped to half. If they made changes to the platform, I’d expect it to be more gradual.

      I suppose the only promising aspect is that you can get people to check out your album!

      No response from Deezer Backstage Access for me either.

  18. I’m pretty much doing the same thing testing different marketing websites looking for real exposure i usually post about them on my facebook for the artists trying to figure it out on their own ..right now i’m trying this Spotify Jedi playlist placement I went with the Diamond Package with the worldwide option $188.00 but I got the marketing down pretty much down on Soundcloud.. it’s expensive all on your own trying to figure it all out, deciphering who is real and who is bots so I’m hoping to collaborate with you and figure out how we can make more money from royalties then we spend on promoting a song. If we can just perfect that part we can really make things happen for the artists we want to help.. i’m down to at least share my experiences with you and of course you can write about them.. i’ve got songs to promote and money to test out marketing ideas so hit me up sometime… All the Best, JD

    1. I’d never heard of Spotify Jedi. Jeesh, $159 a month for 1000 playlist placements, with each playlist having a minimum of 10K followers? In other words, a combined follower count of over 10M?

      “We personally speak with our network of over 7,500 playlist owners and get your song placed.” So they’re contacting at least 1K people for $1.59 each? Yeah, right.

      I don’t believe it, but keep us posted! I’m worried Spotify will ban your account for bots.

      I appreciate your willingness to be a fellow guinea pig! I really don’t think it’s possible to make more in royalties than you spend on promotion, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

  19. So were you saying you can get paid from deezer promotion streams with soundexchange
    Or you cant anymore

    If you cant deezer promotion to is loosing money withought gaining

    1. Most of my SoundExchange money has come from Pandora, but lately the payout has been negligible, like $20-30 combined for artist and rights owner. I don’t remember ever seeing anything from Deezer on there, but for all I know I could be contradicting the article, which is over three years old!

  20. You said “I should be seeing a payment for the paid “non-interactive” streams through SoundExchange soon, and I’ll update the post when I do. Dan at informs me that, as of January 1, Deezer no longer pays recording royalties on the sponsored songs as they are considered purely advertising now.”

    Does this mean you cant get royalties off of sponsered streams even through soundexchange?

    1. Ah, thanks for refreshing my memory. I don’t have the energy to scan my SoundExchange statements, but I’m confident I never saw any significant bump from Deezer.

      I think the safest bet is to not count on any royalties to offset the expense, other than from organic plays from new fans you win over.

  21. Brian, just came across your site – what great info! Question: in addition to Deezer, are there any other promo / ad buys that have performed well for you? I’ll be checking out the rest of the site momentarily, but would love to hear your thoughts…

    1. Glad you’re finding the articles useful Craig!

      The short answer is yes :). I’d just work through the articles in order from the homepage. There are plenty of sites and services I’ve used that produce positive results. As a general rule, I don’t like to write bad reviews, so if something is meh I tend to not write about it in the first place, or only mention it in my monthly email.

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