How Abel Capella Increased His Monthly Listeners from 540 to 16k in Three Months

Abel Capella used CD Baby’s Release Plan Generator to map a strategy for his single “Só Vem.” This strategy allowed Capella to get placed on a Spotify editorial playlist, gain more followers and multiply his monthly listeners by 30 times over three months.

This is his story.

While Capella is an experienced indie musician, he was still a newcomer in the world of digital distribution. He decided to jump in headfirst with CD Baby.

The digital music environment is constantly changing, and there’s certainly a learning curve entering the world of digital distribution from a strictly physical approach.

But let’s be clear: the success of any plan depends mostly on the quality, the concept and the identity of your music. It requires you to educate yourself and follow a plan that brings concrete results.

And that’s exactly what Capella did.

Music always

Coming from a family that has always been connected to music, Abel Capella is not a stranger to this world. He was part of three bands, the last one called Cão de rua, which ended in 2014. This band saw radio airplay and toured seven Brazilian states.

“I’ve always been in the music world,” says Capella. “My great grandpa Manuel was a great luthier and accordion player for the Triângulo Mineiro region in Brazil. And my dad is a gifted acoustic guitar player.”

But life happens. Capella got married and had two kids. And for a period of time, he was focused on taking care of his family and his rural property. But he never stopped composing and playing his guitar.

Back to the music scene

Finally in 2020 Capella decided to venture into the digital world, and in the beginning of 2021, he released the EP Dias de Solidão.

On this first release, Capella worked with the tools he had in hand to promote his music: his social media channels, friends and family.

It was during this period that Capella discovered CD Baby, at the suggestion of a friend (ME!).

Yes, I have known Capella for over 20 years now. It was clear that I had to introduce him to CD Baby.

My colleagues and I in CD Baby’s marketing team recently launched a tool called the Release Plan Generator. Developed to help artists like Capella who need a “push,” and, as Capella himself said, to be a “personal trainer.”

For this reason, the idea arose to create a video diary about Capella’s journey. He was excited to do the work, and I had a brand-new tool for him to try it.

The deal was that Capella would go through the entire process following the release schedule, and using the resources that the Release Plan Generator offered to him. And you can see the results below.

Note: this video is in Portuguese from the Somos Música blog. We’ve embedded it here for reference.

The first pitch you never forget

For his first digital release, Capella did not get to do the pitching for playlists. For that to be possible, it would be necessary to have a verified Spotify artist page and access to Spotify for Artists. That’s why we suggest that you release a single first, before your main album.

For the single “Só Vem,” by following the schedule, Capella got to do his first official pitch. This gave him the opportunity to eventually secure placement on an editorial playlist on Spotify and to be able to appear automatically on the Release Radar playlists of his followers.

It wasn’t this time that Capella got his music to be placed in an editorial playlist. But his song appeared in all the Release Radar playlists of his followers, including mine!

Capella was about to find out the power of his own community…

Organic marketing and why pre-saves are important

On his first digital release, Capella also couldn’t create a pre-save campaign. For the same reason he could not pitch his song to a playlist: he didn’t have his Spotify artist profile verified yet.

But for “Só Vem” Capella was very focused on raising anticipation and redirecting his followers from Instagram (which at that time was the strongest of his networks) to his Spotify profile. That requires work and investment of time, to create a true relationship with your public and transform them into real fans.

“It was a real relationship; I opened up to people,” says Capella. “I like to know who appears on this journey to follow along with me. Joining forces and exchanging good energies.

“One amazing thing that happened was the NEW AGE OF ROCK movement!” Capella continues. “Bands from all regions of Brazil, of different styles, making friends, drawing on each other’s sounds, joining forces and efforts.”

Abel Capella’s marketing consisted of making Instagram Live videos, publishing stories using a certain filter from Instagram itself (the alien filter, which aligns with “Só Vem”‘s theme). He also replied to all comments left in his feed. This tactic worked. People got involved and showed interest and curiosity about the song.

The single

“Só Vem,” is an indie-pop rock song, with a very “feel good” vibe. In Capella’s own words:

“‘Só Vem’ is an invitation for us to live a lighter, more natural, true and satisfying life. What do you enjoy doing? How do you like to live? This song talks about that. My intention was, and is, to be a source of good feelings and thoughts.”

The release

“Só Vem” was released on July 16, 2021. And the music community around Capella, which was already anticipating the release, showed up!

Many people shared the music on their social accounts, sent videos to Capella showing his music in their “Release Radar” playlist and included the single in their own playlist. And the cycle was repeating itself, feeding the Spotify algorithm and amplifying the release range even more.

Capella thanked each fan individually. This act may seem simple, but it demonstrates a real affection and relationship with the followers, who transform themselves and fans.

All this movement created a completely organic cycle. Many shares by friends, caused even more shares…

Capella’s monthly listeners started to grow, reaching more than 18,000 monthly, and hasn’t stopped since.

“It was all magic on the release day, lots of hands outstretched!” says Capella. “Like a loving kiss from the cosmos, lots of love and virtual hugs, in a moment of deep isolation.”

Playing good music while being real and vulnerable

At no point when releasing the single was Capella’s primary goal and intention to get followers ​​or monthly listeners. Rather, he wanted to convey a true message and try to create a real relationship with those who follow him.

Of course, increasing his list is important; if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be writing this article right now. But it’s very important to ask yourself: how will my music serve my audience? How can I, as an artist, create something that will touch those people?

Ask yourself these questions, follow a schedule with the help of the release generator, don’t be afraid to take chances, speak directly to your base and be real.

“Simplify things, do the most things yourself, use tools that can help you, just like the CD Baby Release Plan Generator,” says Capella. “And always remember to put the heart in command of the mind. 👽🖖🏼✨

Create your release plan with CD Baby’s Release Plan Generator for free!

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