How to Boost Streams with a Waterfall Strategy

08 Dec 2021

What if you could get more streams on your music with absolutely minimal effort? 

Now that streaming services sit at the heart of our music consumption, refining your release game plan can be as crucial as the marketing for the songs themselves. A simple yet super effective trick that artists worldwide have been taking advantage of is a release tactic called the ‘Waterfall Strategy’.



Perfect for anticipating an EP or album release, a Waterfall Strategy involves a series of singles that are sequentially stacked on top of each other, gradually forming a short collection of tracks. If we take the example of a 3 single release leading into an album, we get an upload format that builds on each previous track instead of 3 separate new releases:


Release 1

1. Single #1


Release 2

1. Single #2 

2. Single #1


Release 3

1. Single #3 

2. Single #2 

3. Single #1


When fans tune into a new single, the ‘Waterfall’ layout ensures an automatic trickle onto the previous single or singles, boosting song play counts across the board. By implementing this quick fix, artists are then able to reap the benefits of:

  • Increased streams for their overall catalogue = more $$ in royalties

  • Spotify listeners staying immersed in an artist’s music for longer vs being bumped to other tracks after the song plays

  • Introducing fans piece by piece to the story of a new album

While this plan of attack is relatively straightforward, there are a few hacks to improve your chances of success. So to get the most out of this approach, we’ve gathered a couple tips below for you to seamlessly execute a Waterfall Strategy.


Maintain the same ISRC for each single across each new release

Because each release is a standalone product, you will need to carry over the same ISRC for each previous single when making a new release. Once the latest release is up and running, you can take down the prior releases since they will be included in the new tracklist.


Make sure the release corresponds to the latest single

For consistency, check that each release title matches the name of the new single being uploaded. Visual harmony ís also important to keep in mind. While the eventual EP/album artwork can be used, it's often most effective to ?employ a series of complementary artworks that align with each new single. Keep things fresh with variety but make sure the images reflect a theme - this will let fans know to keep an eye out for more to come.

Keen to see a Waterfall Strategy in the flesh? Head on over to LEISURE’s Spotify page and check out the leadup to their EP Side A, or click over to the DMA’s to find their release program prior to their album The Glow.


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