Spotify may have some usefulness in helping people find your music and directing fans that you have already established a relationship with to your new releases, but making money from Spotify is about as fruitful as getting blood from a stone. You would have to have your songs listened to millions of times to make a very small amount of money. I think they pay something like .00013 cents per play, but I’ve heard other numbers too. In any case you need to have a huge fan base that will stream your songs on Spotify to make any half decent money. But why would you stream your songs on Spotify for those prices when you can sell a digital album or song from your own website/ webstore and receive the full asking price without having to split your purse with some big corporation?
Itunes is ok, but you’re going to be giving them a percentage of your earnings too and very few people will be interested in buying an unknown artist’s music if they have no clue who they are and what they’re all about. The best thing to do is to market your music, promote your music, make a brand and get people interested in what you’re creating…Then draw your fans to your website, to your sales page and ASK them to buy. Don’t try to give them a hard sell, just tell them you have some new music that you’re releasing and you need their support in order to fund the costs of the project and the costs of your next album/project. This is the new way of earning a little …or a lot of money without touring. It’s extremely time intensive and requires lots of hard work…It’s probably more time intensive and grueling than making the music…, and it;'s usually the most difficult thing us musicians have problems accepting and doing. This seems to be the new music business model. Of course, gigging and touring can be lucrative to if it’s done properly…But if it’s done wrong you can lose money and be wasting your energy.
I would release only one or two songs on Spotify just to put your music “out there” for the potential for people to discover. Put your best songs. If someone loves what they hear, they may seek you out via google, website, facebook, etc. That’s when you invite them into your musical world personally. Give them something free…Talk to them and always be responsive to their questions and feedback. It’s like customer service…except you want to form a bond with them. Bands and musicians used to be hard to access but the modern way, all the social media has created the desire in the fan to connect more closely with the artist. Give them your devotion like you would to a friend.