Spotify playlists have become a language of their own to listeners around the world, creating soundtracks to the lives of people. Recently, Spotify for Artists has given their artists the ability to create their own playlists for their fans to enjoy and highlight them on their pages. So let’s dive into how to make the perfect playlist for your fans.
Step 1: Know your listener
Who are you creating your playlist for? This needs to be the first thing you consider before creating the playlist. Is it for your fans? Or is it for potential music industry reps that come across your profile? How old are most of the listeners? What do they want and crave? Get inside the mind of your ideal listener and find ways that your world and theirs connect, this will help you plan out and select your playlist theme and tracks.
Step 2: Figure out your theme and title
Once you have a better idea of who it is that will be enjoying your playlist, you can begin to develop theme ideas. There are simply no limitations to creating a theme. The possibilities are endless and you will see this revealed as you browse through the ecosystem of playlists all over. Some are based on genres, some on artists, and some on holidays. There are also playlists centered around moods, activities, cultural references and practices. There are even playlists for seasons of the year, lifestyles, careers, and more. What makes the most sense for your listener? This should also help you discover a fun and catchy title for your playlist.
Step 3: Find your Intro
Your first song is ultimately what will determine whether or not the listener will continue listening to your playlist. This should immediately meet the expectation of the listener. So if your title is “Wanderlust Winter” your first song should encapsulate that feeling. It should bring them into a place of the Christmas spirit. This does not mean this has to be the first song you find. It may be helpful to find 20 – 25 songs that fit your theme and then from there decide which song fits best as your intro.
Step 4: Something Old and Something New
Making a successful playlist requires understanding what your listeners want. Here is a key principle: Most people want something new and exciting but also familiar. This may seem pretty contradictory at first, but it’s actually fairly simple when it comes to playlists. Make sure your playlist has a healthy balance of new songs and familiar songs for the listener. “New and exciting” sells but so does nostalgia. Having a playlist that incorporates both emotions will win your listener over.
Step 5: Tell a Story
The five elements of a story include exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. This is not only a great way to tell a story but a great framework for building a playlist. You can create a sense of rising action by increasing tempo of the song choices or intensity of lyrics. The climax song should be a song that most expresses the vision and overall message of your playlist. It should also be the song played at the middle of your playlist. With the falling action, you can decrease tempo in songs or switch over to some more instrumental vibes. And lastly, leave your listener with a memorable song that will linger in their mind hopefully bringing them back to your playlist to enjoy again.