Love to or hate it, Spotify is one of the big players in your world right now covering something like 36% of global streaming - and finally making a profit so probably not going anywhere. If you’re like me, and your social media is pretty music-centric, you’ll probably see ads for “Spotify playlist promotion”. If you paid the money, you might possibly end up on some shady playlists…maybe, but pay for play is not a win. The best way for you to do this, apart from engaging the playlist curators directly (which I may talk about another time if anyone is interested) is doing it yourself through Spotify For Artists. If you haven’t done it already, and your music is due for release on Spotify, grab your Artist Page. You’ll see a load of features, and metrics about who is listening and where for music you have already released. That’s all well and good but the feature we are interested in today - is the playlist submission tool.
Go to the upcoming tab on your profile a couple of weeks before your release date. Pick a lead track, single, whatever you want to call it, then fill in all of the data, tagging the track as appropriate. Then, submit it and wait! I’d also suggest doing another one before your album launches. In fact, do we really want to put out albums by default? You really need to think about it. More music delivered regularly might be more achievable, and more useful depending on where you are with your career. It just requires a little patience, and a little planning.
In fantasy land if you managed somehow to get on RapCaviar, that’s a playlist with 10 million followers. Now, being cynical, and given that the majors are big shareholders in Spotify I am guessing the editorial team may possibly be "a teeny bit" biased. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t OTHER not quite as epic playlists you shouldn’t be pitching for does it?
Even if you don’t get on ANY Spotify playlists which is a real possibility, all that effort tagging and categorising gets used by Spotify’s evil taste robot that drives the algorithmic playlists. Back in the day I used to love iTunes “Genius” which almost invariably made killer playlists from one song you’d select. How did it know? Well, somewhere in computer hell, the weasels had crunched a ton of data which figured out that if you like X, then you will like Y - and usually it was right. Same thing in Spotify. If you think about it, one of the problems we face these days is TOO MUCH choice, so playlists are a thing which aren’t going anywhere and important to you. There are entire websites dedicated to helping people find playlists. Artists often resist categorization, but the future will likely be subgenres and micro genres. There are over 40,000 new songs a day added, so it will one of the potential keys for discovery in the future!
If someone adds you to a playlist, share it. Pay it back, and keep building your audience. Get people to follow you so they know when you put something out. I’m not saying any of this is easy, or a recipe for success but it is one thing you need to get on top of. Labels look at all these metrics, and how “viral” you are, and it’s part of our future whether you’re after a deal or not. I have even heard the term "digital A&R" used. There are algorithms going through all of the user data, looking far beyond a simple play; did the person follow you? how many times did they re-play the song? did they pause? skip? All of this matters.
Yes, the guy who writes this is Bald, English and helps artists make stunning records at mixedbyadam.com and this is a part of a series of articles for artists. If you enjoyed this check out more Music Promotion Resources on our resource hub.