With over 360 million listeners around the world, Spotify leads the music streaming industry with musicians in a craze to market their music on the flourishing platform. Not only is Spotify a great tool for distributing your music, but it’s also fantastic for reaching new audiences, thanks to its most popular feature; playlists.
Playlists on Spotify are a group of songs conveniently curated together in one place for a listener based on a genre, mood, or activity.
There are millions of playlists on Spotify, whether generated by algorithms, created by users, or curated by Spotify’s professional tastemakers. Getting your songs on one of these playlists can significantly increase your reach to potential fans.
Many indie and up-and-coming artists put a lot of effort into landing playlists because it is essentially free promotion for their music. Playlists can boost your streams, and even garner the attention of Spotify’s algorithm. Done right, Spotify playlists can be the perfect strategy for building a fan base.
Types of Spotify Playlists
Editorial playlists are playlists curated by Spotify editors based on lifestyle, culture, and genres. These curators are a diverse group of tastemakers and are very selective in the songs they choose. You can recognize these playlists by the Spotify logo at the top left corner. Editorial playlists typically have thousands of followers and high engagement. Getting on an editorial playlist can be a huge benefit for your release. We’ll discuss how to pitch your music to these playlists later on.
Personalized (Algorithmic) Playlists
With over 70 million tracks, curating music for each listener on Spotify would be close to impossible without any aid. This is where the Spotify Algorithm comes into play. The Spotify Algorithm helps Spotify find the best music for each user based on their behavior in the music player.
There are certain actions a listener makes that indicate to Spotify their taste and preferences. Like what they replay, save, or skip. Spotify uses this information to determine what songs to select for each user’s personalized playlists like:
- Discover Weekly
- Release Radar
- Daily Mix
- On Repeat
- Repeat Rewind
Spotify also allows any user to create playlists as well. This has led to a brilliant ecosystem of niches, topics, and subgenres to choose from. This variety of playlists is what makes Spotify such a great listening platform for discovering new music. It is also the reason Spotify is a great platform for being discovered, no matter what kind of music you make. Even though listener or user playlists may not garner as much attention as editorial playlists, they are still important to shoot for because of the targeted ways you can reach and find audiences.
How to Get on a Playlist
Submit for Editorials
You can now submit your songs directly to editors on Spotify for consideration. The submission form will ask about the instrumentation, mood, genre, and background of your song. It’s important to note that they also want to know your plans for promoting it. Do not skimp out on this question. Make sure you provide all of your marketing plans and any interesting or noteworthy things about the track and its story.
It’s best to submit your music and the submission form several weeks before your official release date. This gives you time to not only have it reviewed before your release but also garner as many pre-saves as you can to spike the algorithm.
To pitch a song to Spotify’s editors you must create a Spotify for Artists account. Then after uploading your song to your selected distributor, your unreleased song will appear in the “upcoming” section of your Spotify for Artists account. In that section, you’ll be given the option to submit your track for consideration on an editorial playlist.
Hack Spotify Algorithm
The algorithm pays attention to how listeners engage with your song.
It picks up on actions like someone skipping before it ends, clicking on your profile, saving and liking your track, adding to playlists, or replaying again.
These kinds of actions are favorable, and increase your chances of being added to algorithmic playlists like “ DiscoverWeekly.”
Getting on these playlists is solely based on each user’s behavior. The best thing to note from this is to be aware of your target audience. Feedback from the listener helps Spotify determine where best your music fits. If you market your Spotify music links to the right people and playlists, this should lead to good feedback from the listeners. Good feedback means the algorithm is likely to add you to other personalized playlists with matching criteria, which exposes your music to new audiences.
With that being said, it’s important to not only get on many playlists and collect many pre-saves, but it’s important to get your music to the right people.
You can essentially teach the algorithm how to serve you best by knowing your audience and niche, and then encouraging your audience to save and like your music.
Another strategy is to find many user playlists in your niche and pitch your song to them. This can create engagement around your track and attract the attention of the algorithm or even a Spotify editor.
Contact User Curators
Make sure you do some research on playlists in your niche.
You can find them by browsing through Spotify, or even googling Spotify playlists.
Make sure when you’re researching that you pay attention to their stats, like the playlist’s engagement and followers. This way you don’t waste your time pursuing inactive playlists.
Once you decide on some playlists, go to their profiles and see if they have contact info listed in their bios. You can normally email or DM them on IG.
Remember, these curators typically get inquiries every day for placement. Stand out from the crowd and tell them not just about your song, but how you can and will benefit their playlist.
For example, tell them ways you will promote the playlist.
It also doesn’t hurt to develop relationships with the curators and check in from time to time to secure them for future releases.
Sites like submit hub can be useful as well, allowing you a way to conveniently submit your music to a database of Spotify playlist curators at one time.
Some final tips and advice on Spotify playlist marketing
Knowing all the possible niches of your music is a great way to optimize playlist marketing.
Make sure you are signed up for Spotify for Artists to monitor which playlists are giving you the most streams.
Do not ever pay for playlist placement. Spotify is coming down hard on any fraudulent activity, and being caught on fraudulent playlists can cause serious reprimands for your account.
Pay attention to the placement of your song in the playlist. Typically higher tracks in the playlist perform well because most listeners don’t listen to entire playlists.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to create your own playlist. This is a great way to not only show your taste as an artist but place your music where you see fit for others to enjoy.