The New Smooth Jazz Listening Landscape

The evidence continues to pile up regarding traditional radio (AM/FM) losing popularity among the masses. There are many factors contributing to the situation, including the limited audio quality of terrestrial radio, which is notably inferior to streaming. 

Then there’s the complaint about a lack of creativity and freshness in programming and listeners not having control on what they listen to.

Radio giants such as iHeartMedia and SiriusXM have adopted podcasts and digital output as part of their business models to pivot as streaming encroaches on their space.

Regardless of why, the fact remains that streaming is gaining ground and consumers are listening to and discovering new music on DSPs (digital streaming platforms), causing a sea change in the music industry and once again leveling the playing field for independent artists.

Music Listening Pie Chart



Streaming Platforms


Streaming Platforms - Where Today's Listeners Listen

One of the most exciting things about today's listening environment, is that the streaming platforms are not linear, there is continuum, allowing the listener to be as structured or as organic as they desire by choosing their own music or following playlists that are curated.

SPOTIFY is the world's most popular audio streaming subscription service with more than 600 million users, including 236 million subscribers in more than 180 markets. In 2023, independent artists generated nearly $4.5B on Spotify, this represents a 4x increase since 2017.

APPLE MUSIC has over 112 million subscribers in 167 countries, offering a vast collection of over 100 million songs. The platform provides extensive resources for artists looking to expand their audience, with over 30,000 expert-curated playlists. 

YOUTUBE MUSIC, developed by the American video platform YouTube, is a subsidiary of Google offering a streamlined way to access YouTube's music content, with automatic playlists based on preferences with an extensive catalog of over 100 million tracks. 

SOUNDCLOUD is a music streaming service with over 250 million tracks from 30 million artists from 193 countries. It is an excellent platform for unsigned artists, as it offers tools and resources to share music and connect with fans organically. 

TIDAL is owned by Block, Inc. and provides fans and aspiring artists access to an extensive music catalog of over 100 million tracks and 650,000 music videos. 

DEEZER is available in 185 countries and offers users access to over 120 million tracks, exclusive features such as song recognition through Shazam, and specialized editorial content to enhance artist and fan engagement on free and premium subscription plans.

SMOOTH GLOBAL™ is the original digital streaming platform for Smooth Jazz & Chillout Music (streaming digitally since 2000 - Before YouTube, Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music). and radio streams have the largest global radio audience on the planet for contemporary smooth jazz and chill with over 20 million users in 240 countries. 

Digital Streaming Royalty Payouts - Earn $1k every time you hit these numbers

77k Streams - Tidal 
100k Streams - Apple
125k Streams - YouTube Music 
200k Streams - Spotify  
250k Streams - Amazon 
769k Streams - Pandora
(Owned by SiriusXM)

So Does Streaming Pay or Not?

The short answer is yes.  But we hear criticism about Streaming payouts from larger, labeled artists, however they often have to share their royalties with their labels and distributors, keeping them in the red for years. In the Streaming age, owning your copyrights is key, as Spotify paid out $9 billion in music royalties in 2023, with $4.5 billion going to independent artists


Do Curated Playlists matter more than Radio Stations? 

Many of the smaller terrestrial radio stations don't have access to measuring their listenership and while digital broadcasters are able to show their listening hours, they rarely if ever have the amount of unique listeners as Spotify has playlist followers.

Smooth Jazz is a popular genre on the digital streaming platforms and Spotify hosts hundreds of curators who can have hundreds of thousands to over a million listeners!

The real question is, does streaming return more revenue to artists than radio does, and the answer is a resounding yes, when artists grow their listenership and follow protocols to pitch platform opportunities. 



Why is the Music Industry so spotify-Centric?

The reason that the music industry is so obsessed with Spotify specifically is that it's the only transparent music streaming platform. It displays important data that industry professionals can use to evaluate artist careers, such as Listeners, Followers and Streams!  

Talent buyers, festival producers, promoters, and booking agents determine how many tickets you might sell based on the number of Followers and Listeners you have.  Even DJs and radio programmers use the platform to see what songs the general public are listening to and to see if you have a listener base worthy of their shows and stations.

In addition to benefiting financially from royalties by growing your streams on Spotify, you'll also benefit from gaining industry respect and consideration.


What is the best day to Release my music?

In 2015, the music industry shifted from releasing new music on Tuesdays in the United States and Mondays in the United Kingdom to a new global release day on Fridays. While you can release your music on any day of the week, it's in your best interests to shoot for Fridays to take advantage of Release Radars and the public's awareness of New Music Fridays.


Singles or Albums?

Everyone's got an opinion about how to release new music... But truly there are no rules, only theories and strategies.

In the recent past pop stars and indie artists alike have been focused on single releases in order to build up their listenership on Streaming platforms and to take full advantage of platform tools offered per release.

This strategy supports larger listening numbers and increased revenue opportunity by feeding the platforms more releases more often, rather than dumping a full album that will be received as ONE collective release.  

Some feel that if you release a full album, you are missing out on multiple opportunities to receive editorial playlist pitching support since it's only offered to one song per release. Putting out individual singles is a great way to build your streaming listenership and your brand health, and you can still release the full collection after the singles are out.

If you're committed to the album concept, then take a page from the notebooks of Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Billie Elish... These gals have a story to tell within their collections of songs, so they have all chosen to release full, lengthy albums in 2024. 

Strategizing your releases is smart and regardless of singles, EPs or albums, you can pretty much have it all as an independent artist, working within the system to get your songs out, taking advantage of streaming platform opportunities and ultimately putting out a full album.


How To Get More Streams & increase revenue

Don't risk your good standing with Spotify and your distributor by buying fake streams or bots through 3rd party botting services. This method can actually cost you your Spotify account as it may be deleted or banned.

There are organic, authentic ways to build your listenership!  

1. Claim your Artists Name & Deck Out your Profile
Be sure to access and claim your Artist name and profile on each digital streaming platform. Claiming your artist name and managing your artist profiles is something you do in addition to releasing your new music with your on-line distributor. Most streaming platforms provide complimentary artist profile access to allow you to provide bio info, photos and promote your brand.

Here are direct links to connecting to streaming platforms and taking possession of our artist name and profile: 
Official Artist YouTube Channel (A suite of artist tools including analytics) 

2. Spotify Pre-Save campaigns
If your song hasn't been released yet, we recommend that you build momentum ahead of your release date by generating a Pre-save smart link to the digital streaming platforms. This will create an early buzz and help you reach more listeners! There are many resources to generate Pre-save links, the industry favorites include,  and

3. Editorial Playlist Pitching
Pitching platforms is currently available on two of the Streaming platforms, Spotify and Amazon

-Spotify : Use Spotify for Artists to pitch your upcoming, unreleased song to playlist editors who have the autonomy to add you to their genre specific Playlists. Pitched songs will also be pushed to your followers' Release Radar playlists. 
-Deliver your music to Spotify at least 10 days before release date so editors have time to listen.
-You can only pitch one song at a time. Once your pitched song goes live, you can pitch another.
-Once a song has gone live, it’s no longer eligible for pitching.

-Amazon Music : Take advantage of this New Release Pitch Tool by logging into Amazon for Artists and select "New Releases." Choose a track, you can only pitch one per new release and make your pitch up to 14 days after your release date. When putting together your pitch, you’ll need to compel Amazon Music to include your track in a playlist. They’ll ask you to share why you think listeners will enjoy your song. You can also include other information to spruce up your pitch such as fan base, charting positions, special guests, etc. Include much information as possible and displaying your love for the music you create in your submission can pay off.

4. Pandora : If you have content that is being distributed to Pandora but is not yet live, you will need to create or sign into your Pandora account and complete the simple three-step form at While your content may be delivered  by your distributor, Pandora is still a curated collection.

5. Create your own Spotify Playlists and Feature your Music
Become a Playlist curator and create your own cool playlist of your favorite music. Find a theme or vibe and start selecting songs to make up playlist that your own music will fit on. Be sure to add this to your Artist Pick on your Spotify Profile to help grow your playlist.

6. Market Your Music with a Trusted Industry Leader & Influencer Global has an audience of streamers and social media users, developing your brand with us will literally connect you with millions of Smooth Jazz fans around the world. Starting at just $656/mo, will open doors with streamers/consumers, playlist curators and music professionals all over the world. 

7. Link to Spotify in all Marking & Social Media
Make sure that every on-line resource, including your website and social media links to your Spotify profile!

8. Release Consistently
Releasing new singles, EPs and albums regularly will work the streaming algorithms like a muscle. Be consistent with your releases, and remember that every time you release music regardless if it's a single or album, Spotify will give you opportunities to pitch one time per release... The more you release, the more pitching opportunities you will have to be added to large, editorial playlists. 


Social Media and Streaming

We're seeing a direct connection between Social Media and Streaming. Leveraging your social media accounts to invite your Followers to discover and listen to your music on the various streaming platforms is a great way to build your streams, monthly listeners and followers. 

There's a variety of ways to create inspiring content including personal videos, animated reels with Canva type apps and stories featuring your latest release in the post.

We're big fans of grabbing artist accounts on as may social media platforms as you can, even if you don't use the platform often, it reinforces your brand to have a presence.

TikTok? Why not? At the very least grab your artist/band name and lock in your account. TikTok pays you when your music is featured on videos... While it may not be a lot, it's something and free marketing to boot!



How Often Should I Post?

Even two posts a week offers connection and consistency! Share cool facts about your music like what inspired you to write and/or record a song. Share your weekly charting if you have access. Show videos and images of you recording and in a studio. Share live videos and photos of yourself performing live. Feel free to post about things that matter to you like your family and pets. 

If you hire someone to manage your social media, just know that you accounts will no l longer be intimate and may in fact not feel personal to your followers, especially if your hired hand posts about in 3rd person. We like to see artists manage their own social media, and keep it as authentic as possible... showcasing the real you! 


Artist brand health Check : Easy as 1 2 3

To ensure that your music brand has consistency for fans and industry professionals alike, follow this check-list to create the most fluid and connected public-facing image for you and your music.


• Website : Do I have one? Is it easy to find and easy to navigate? Have I updated my bio? Are my social media and streaming links at the top and bottom of the site? Did I provide contact info or form?

• Social Media : Have I created my social accounts with the same name (handle)? Have I filled out my About and Contact Sections? Did I add an artist description? 

• Have I claimed all of my streaming platforms Artist names to access my profiles? Have I added my bio information and decked out my Streaming accounts with images and info? 


Make sure you have a basic website that is simple, well-designed and easy to find with your name. If your name isn't available try for something music or instrument oriented or We recommend that your website is easy to access and offers the fastest connection to your social media and streaming profiles. It's also helpful have a short but informative artist bio and a live performance schedule. We highly recommend that you include contact information as well, so that you're available for interviews, gigs and other important engagements that you may be of interest for. Should you feel that you're too high profile to include your personal email, you can direct all inquiries through an on-line inquiry form. 

It's very important that you are consistent with all of your social media platforms. If your handle is @ArtistName on Facebook, it is encouraged to keep it @ArtistName on Instagram, X, Threads and TikTok. If your name is not available, try adding music, jazz or your instrument to your name like @ArtistNameJazz. It will be worth the time and energy for you to find a handle that is consistent across the board!

We often hear how artists have limited marketing budgets, yet the free opportunities that exist on social media are rarely taken advantage of... Like the About Section and the Description Field. Often the Contact Section gets neglected too. If industry professionals have tracked you down on social media and can't connect with you or learn more about you, don't be surprised if the opportunities are few and far between.

All Streaming platforms offer complimentary profile enhancing opportunities. By claiming your artist name (as instructed above) and accessing your profile on the streaming platforms you'll be given access to deck out your profile with bio info and photos. Failing to do this is failing to connect with fans on an intimate level and failing to share your accomplishments and accolades with industry professionals researching your profile for possible opportunities such as live performances, collaborations, interviews, etc. 

Since most Streaming platforms don't offer contact info areas, having a website that's easily searched and discovered will help interested parties make a short line between your music and your contact info.

For a complete Artist Branding Tune-up, including Social Media brand name consistency, Facebook & X timeline cover design, professionally written Bio/About/Description sections and Streaming bio, photos and imaging contact Sandy Shore for pricing.




Smooth Jazz Charts : How they work?

Most of the Smooth Jazz Charts collect spins from monitored weekly Airplay data provided by a panel of participating radio stations and radio shows.

Music Charts have always been an integral way to measure the commercial success of music with the data utilized by Artists and Record Labels, Music Broadcasters and Radio Programmers.

There are several Music Charts in the genre of Smooth Jazz, each using different methods of collecting and distributing the data.  Here we define the differences for your education and discernment.

Smooth Jazz Charts

Smooth Jazz Industry Charts Guide

SMOOTHJAZZ.COM GLOBAL has been the hub for Smooth Jazz for 25 years. We were commissioned in 2005 by The Gavin Report.

In 2020 developed a proprietary, 3rd party Monitoring technology to utilize Audio Fingerprinting to track and tabulate spins from our Global Reporting Radio Station panel. In 2024, launched the first (and only) Smooth Jazz Streaming Chart with a separate 3rd party affiliate to monitor Spotify.

The Chart Suite includes the following Weekly Charts, published Mondays exclusively on and on the Smooth Global app. Top 100 Album Chart

VIEW REPORTING PANEL : 75+ Audio-Monitored Stations & Shows (Vetted Weekly for Format Integrity and Spin Relevancy)'s Top 100 Album is the only Weekly Smooth Jazz Album Chart in the industry, offering the most comprehensive Airplay Chart in Smooth Jazz with a diverse panel of International Radio Programmers. Radar Chart

The Smooth Jazz Radio Radar Chart is exclusive to Artists, allowing for early detection at Radio. Published weekly along with the Top 100 Smooth Jazz Album Chart. Top 50 Listener Countdown

The Top 50 Listener Favorites is a Singles Countdown in our Chart suite. It is not based on Radio Airplay, rather on's Global audience week preferences voting for their favorite songs during Airplay. Published weekly along with the Top 100 Smooth Jazz Album Chart and Smooth Jazz Radio Radar Chart.

Mediabase Billboard header

REPORTING PANEL : 16 Active U.S. based FM Radio Stations & Shows 

Billboard has more than 200 different weekly charts in its menu, encompassing numerous genres and formats. The most illustrious name in the music industry offers the narrowest perspective of current Smooth Jazz Airplay with 15 terrestrial U.S. Radio Stations (AM/FM/HD) plus one Satellite Radio channel. 

Radiowave Groove Jazz header

AUDIO & META DATA MONITORED PANEL : 48 Active Global Stations & Shows

Created by Andrew Reich, Radio Wave is a media data collecting platform offering eight individual format including the 'Groove Jazz 100.'


Smooth Jazz Network Top 20 Countdown


Former Broadcast Architect Allen Kepler produces a weekly Top 20 Smooth Jazz Countdown show and companion chart as well as an in-house compiled Top 100 Smooth Jazz List


Monitoring Radio Station Playlists + Metadata & Audio Fingerprinting 

Today's Charts monitor radio airplay by employing two technology protocols as defined below.

META-DATA MONITORING Radio Stations digitally publish a Playlist featuring songs with embedded codes known as ISRCs (International Standard Recording Code).

ISRCs are dedicated tracking codes linked to artist name, song title and album title if applicable. These codes are logged into a database and allow Chart monitoring systems to track songs by this method over a defined period of one week, tabulating total overall spins from a monitored Radio Panel. 

AUDIO FINGERPRINTING offers additional Airplay accuracy by mapping songs to a global music database where it identifies he tune's ISRC prior to tabulating song spins. Global employs Audio Monitoring with Audio Fingerprinting to make sure that we catch ALL Airplay, even when Radio Station's (or Radio Promoters) mistakenly label tracks and to confirm that a song actually plays, as well as monitoring all usage of songs including promos, commercials and jingles.

Audio Monitoring vs Meta-Data Monitoring


An Artist's Guide to Accuracy & Charting Success : Assure Your Spins Count

We want you to have the best opportunity and experience possible in regards to Airplay and Charting on all of our industry's published Smooth Jazz Charts. 

We hope this information provides you with solutions and ideas as well as answers to your Chart questions and prove to be an invaluable tool for your career so that you may accomplish great success with your new release!

1) CORRECT METADATA: Here's where Metadata really counts, if you don't properly manage your music metadata, your spins may get attributed to featured or guest artists on your project rather than being credited to you. It's very simple to check and correct the metadata on your audio files by right-clicking on the mp3 file and selecting "Get Info" (Mac) or "Properties" (PC).

After any Metadata updates, open your audio file in iTunes to make sure it plays.

NOTE : The ISRC does NOT need to be embedded in Audio file Metadata.

[VIEW VIDEO] Charts - Meta Data Sample

2) DOUBLE CHECK YOUR TRACK LIST : Accuracy and spelling counts! After an album or single is recorded it often floats around in digital form without the correct numerical order and even misspelled titles or abbreviated titles. Double checking your work prior to releasing early digital versions of your mastered music to distributors and marketing professionals will prevent confusion at critical junctures with your release. Inaccurate tracking and spelling can cost you airplay, revenue and support.

3) GET UNIQUE ISRCs : Digital distribution platforms use ISRCs (International Standard Recording Codes) for Music Sales, and Music Charts use ISRCs to match your songs to a current music database. So if there is no ISRC, your spins will not be counted! does its best to research and locate your ISRC, however we cannot always find it, so please make sure to use a service like CD Baby or Tune Core, to obtain a unique code for each of your tracks, or visit to learn how to do it yourself. It's affordable and easy to do, but can take a few weeks to get registered, so it's best to start early. Make sure to assign only ONE ISRC per Track and make sure to tick correct box or it’s like assigning 2 addresses to the same house. It can work but it’s confusing and not optimal. Charts - ISRC Sample

4) SUBMIT TRACKS for AUDIO FINGERPRINTING : Don't be a ghost! An Audio Fingerprint is a condensed digital summary of an audio signal, generated by extracting relevant acoustic characteristics of a piece of audio content. Along with matching algorithms, this digital signature permits us to identify different versions of a single recording with the same title.

Keep in mind, songs that have been submitted for digital distribution with accurate ISRCs, may not always be found on Gracenote or in the Global Music Database. Audio Fingerprinting is a must in order to be detected by and BDS' airplay monitoring methodology, as well as by Soundscan and music discovery apps such as Shazam

Talk to your mastering engineer or digital distribution service about submitting your audio files to the Global Music Database for Audio Fingerprinting, or contact to receive this important service for your current single, we provide Audio Fingerprinting in all of our Global Music Marketing campaigns.

We also offer Audio Fingerprinting outside of our marketing for $50/song an can turn it around in one business day, while other submission methods have shown to take 2 - 6 weeks for the song to register with the Global Music database!

It is worth noting, that Billboard Audio Fingerprinting ensures your Track is tracked by the Billboard Chart, this is why we Audio Fingerprint ALL of our Client's Tracks separately from Billboard, to ensure that the ISRC/Fingerprint is picked up in the Global Database as well as our Charts.

NOTE : If you Go For Adds (GFA) at Radio before having your music Audio Fingerprinted, your spins will not be counted on Charts and my impact other Airplay Charting and Music Industry Services as well.

Audio Fingerprinting



As long as there's Radio, there will be radio Promotion

Before, Inc was founded in 2000, Recording Labels used to hire Radio Promoters to service Radio Stations with New Releases, and use their relationships with Program Directors to influence them to add new music to their playlists, often blocking Independent Artists from Radio.

Radio Promoters did not typically work with Indie Artists, and there was no way to reach Radio or Promoters directly. In our efforts to level the playing field for independent recording artists, we broke the rules and opened the doors to our fellow Radio Programmers to deliver New Music from format favorites as well as rising stars. 

$400/week or Do It Yourself?

1. DIY (Do It Yourself) with the support of’s Radio Station Contact List (grown and vetted for 25 years), you can connect directly with radio programmers, DJs and show producers. This is ideal for Artists who have time and are comfortable with communication as it requires email writing and a little phone calling. Today's programmers are far more receptive to artists reaching out and we see good success with this model.


Dedicated Radio Promotion usually requires booking months in advance, with fees starting at $400/week with a 6-8 week commitment. Promoters typically provide weekly progress reports from multiple Industry Charts, however you may have to ask for specific details as some don't send the entire weekly breakdown. Also, make sure that your promoter won't make you spend additional funds on mailing CDs to radio stations, as the majority of today's radio stations don't play off CDs anymore.

VET PROMOTER STATION LIST - Radio Promoters' Radio Station list can quickly become out of date with stations signing off the air or flipping formats. Sometimes stations are listed multiple times erroneously, or they may be Multicasts of other streams, or could possibly be Syndicated Radio Shows appearing as 24/7 Radio Stations. SMOOTH JAZZ RADIO LIST RESOURCE 

PROMOTION IS NOT MARKETING - While Radio Airplay and Chart positions make for nice Social Media Shoutouts, they do not replace the connection that only saturated Marketing with regular frequency can make to the listening/streaming audience. Radio Promotion will not help you build your fan base on Social Media, or build your audience on Streaming platforms, which is how Booking Agents and Talent Buyers determine your value.


How to keep the Charts in Perspective

Live by the Charts, die by the Charts...

As a Artist Client you can count on the widest distribution of your music via’s Digital GreenStream Delivery Blast, as we ensure that every reporting Smooth Jazz Radio Station, as well as Smooth Jazz DJs and Influencers around the world receive your new music. We're even hitting Streamers and Playlist curators on your behalf!

We cannot guarantee that you will be played on all of these Radio Stations, however chances are very good that if you're working with us, you will be given serious Airplay consideration by our Affiliate Stations.

Please keep in mind that Radio Airplay Charts are simply a form of metrics that tell you how much Airplay you’re receiving around the world each week and are not the end all, be all.  

There are other metrics to consider, such as Streaming as well as Social Media Followers not to mention Live Performance Bookings

Many Artists who chart high on Billboard's Smooth Jazz chart often stream low and are not considered for Jazz Festivals. We also see the opposite… Low radio charting artists often have high Streams and are booked regularly for live performances.

Some are lucky enough to have it all, however, we ask that you keep your Chart position in perspective. It's just one slice of the pie in regards to your career success and honestly, your Global Music Marketing will reach a much larger (global) audience and make a more lasting connection than any Chart position will!

Get Social

It’s ok to blow your own horn when you have a good week at Radio and we’ve made it easy for you to showcase your chart positions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by offering a print version of all four of our Charts for you to take a screenshot of and post as well as fun graphic stickers that you may access on our LOGOS + ADS page. 

While Chart positions are not necessarily important to consumers, Social Media chart posts help you reach Festival Talent Buyers and Smooth Jazz Radio Programmers.

Regardless of how many stations add you, you will be prominently featured on Global Radio and with your Global Music Marketing Campaign you are already reaching the largest Smooth Jazz audience in the world! Top 100 Album Chart Sample

When to contact us about your radio airplay

• When you don't receive your weekly Airplay Tracking via email

• When you have a question about approaching Radio Stations & Programmers

• When you would like to learn more about reading the Charts (Trends, Adds, etc)

• When you would like to strategize increasing your Radio Airplay and/or hiring a Radio Promoter




• has one of the most inclusive and diverse reporting radio panels that include terrestrial (AM/FM/DB), Internet, Satellite radio stations. 

• thinks Global, by inviting Radio Stations and Radio Programmers from around the world to participate in our weekly Airplay Charts, not limiting our Chart to U.S. Reporting Stations.

• In addition to our Reporting Radio Panel, sends out new music digitally each week to 250+ contacts inclusive of Radio Programmers, DJs, Playlisters and Influencers around the world!

• Every dollar generates goes directly into sustaining and developing our technology to support the Smooth Jazz genre.

• broke the rules over 20 years ago, advocating for Independent Artists and New Releases from core format Artists by sending New Music directly to Radio Programmers, DJs and Playlisters via our GreenStream Music Delivery Blastinviting our fellow Industry Smooth Jazzers to be part a part of this community. 

Our GreenStreams are eco-friendly, digital one-sheets with embedded mp3 files and videos, which have allowed us to bypass the old industry gatekeepers, opening up Radio Playlists to a wide variety of artists (new and established) from all demographics, regions and backgrounds, infusing new life and ideas into the Smooth Jazz format! 

GreenStream Sample