Music playlists have become an essential part of the listening experience for fans on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. They offer a curated selection of favorite songs, new music, and a tailored listening experience.
Songs are the most important asset for an artist, songwriter, label or publisher, and playlists in the modern music industry are one of the best ways of marketing those assets. Combining a strategy for sync licensing and playlists will get your music the most exposure and the best chance of success.
The streaming platforms are constantly improving their algorithms, and I’ll be covering tactics that work best with music playlists today.
This guide will explore the best Spotify strategies for artists, independent musicians, songwriters, composers, record labels and publishers to help you make the most of playlists and grow your audience.
Music Playlists: Understanding the Different Types of Playlists
Curated playlists are created by streaming platforms like Spotify Music and Apple Music, featuring a mix of new releases, popular songs, and hidden gems.
These playlists are updated regularly and can significantly increase an artist’s exposure. When a new artist ends up on one of the best spotify playlists it can be a defining step in their career.
Curated playlists often provide the best experience for the listeners and they have become very popular among music fans.
The Role of Playlist Curators
Curated playlists are handpicked selections of songs, often organized around a specific theme or genre. Playlist curators, such as streaming platform editors or influential tastemakers, carefully put together their music selection and pick tracks based on their expertise and knowledge of the target audience.
Examples of Popular Curated Playlists
Spotify’s New Music Friday and Apple Music’s Today’s Hits are curated playlists showcasing the latest and most popular songs across various genres. Landing a spot on these playlists can significantly increase an independent musician’s visibility and listenership.
User-generated playlists are created by users on music streaming services and can range from personal favorites to themed collections. By targeting these playlists, you can reach niche audiences and dedicated fans.
Importance of user-generated playlists for independent musicians
User-generated playlists are created by everyday listeners and can range from personal collections to theme-based compilations shared with friends or followers.
These playlists offer another avenue for independent musicians to reach new fans through grassroots promotion and word-of-mouth marketing.
Examples of user-generated playlists and their potential reach
User-generated playlists can vary widely in theme, size, and reach. Some may have only a few followers, while others may garner thousands or even millions of listeners. Collaborating with influential users or promoting your music within niche communities can help you gain traction in these playlists.
Algorithmic playlists like Spotify’s Discover Weekly and YouTube Music’s My Mix use listener data to generate personalized playlists, including new songs and favorite artists. Appearing on these playlists can help you reach highly engaged listeners.
How they work
Algorithmic playlists are generated by streaming platforms using data and algorithms to predict listeners’ preferences based on their listening history and habits. These playlists are personalized for each user, offering a unique opportunity for independent musicians to reach highly targeted listeners.
Examples of algorithmic playlists
Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Release Radar are popular examples of algorithmic playlists. These playlists feature new songs and artists tailored to individual users’ music tastes, giving emerging musicians a chance to be discovered by a receptive audience.
Best Practices for Playlist Submission
Crafting a compelling pitch
When submitting your music to curated playlists, focus on crafting a compelling pitch highlighting your unique sound, new releases, and career achievements. Include live performances, radio shows, and collaborations with established artists to demonstrate your credibility.
Be concise, genuine, and professional in your communication.
Researching and Targeting the right playlists
Research and target playlists that align with your music genre, style, and target audience. Look for playlists with a fair number of followers and engagement levels. Don’t just focus on the most popular playlists; smaller, niche playlists can also help you reach a dedicated audience.
This could include an essentials playlist, good vibes, or playlists featuring specific themes like video game soundtracks or, for example, songs inspired by Daft Punk.
Following submission guidelines
Each streaming platform and playlist curator may have specific submission guidelines, so review and follow them closely. This may cover submission formats, deadlines, or detailed information to include in your pitch. Following the guidelines will improve your chances of being considered for playlist inclusion.
Building Relationships with Playlist Curators
Identifying relevant curators
Start by researching playlist curators who specialize in your music genre or have a history of promoting new artists. You can find them through websites like Chartmetric or Playlist Push and on the music app’s curator profiles.
Networking and engaging with curators on social media
Engage with playlist curators on social media by following their accounts, liking and commenting on their posts, and sharing their playlists. This will help you establish a connection and keep you on their radar for future playlist considerations.
Building long-term relationships and collaborations
Focus on building genuine, long-term relationships with playlist curators. This may involve attending industry events, offering value by sharing their content or collaborating on projects. Establishing solid connections increases the likelihood of securing playlist placements and other promotional opportunities.
Creating and Promoting Your Own Playlists
Develop a theme or concept for your playlist
Create your playlists by developing a unique theme or idea that aligns with your music and target audience. This could be based on a genre, mood, or narrative. Including your music alongside other artists’ tracks can help attract listeners and expose your music to a broader audience.
Curating a diverse and engaging tracklist
When curating your playlist, include an eclectic mix of tracks that flow well together and keep listeners engaged. This may involve striking a balance between well-known artists and emerging talent or varying the tempo and energy levels throughout the playlist.
Promoting your playlist on social media and through your network
Share your playlist on social media platforms and encourage your followers to listen, like, and share. Additionally, reach out to your network of fellow musicians, friends, and family members to help spread the word about your playlist.
By actively promoting your playlist, you can increase its visibility and attract new listeners to your music and the playlist itself.
Monitoring Your Progress and Adapting Your Strategy
Analyzing playlist performance
Use analytics tools available on streaming platforms to monitor the performance of your music on playlists. Track metrics such as streams, save, and playlist adds to gauge the effectiveness of your playlist strategy.
Learning from your successes and challenges
Reflect on your playlist successes and challenges to identify what works well and needs improvement. This may involve refining your pitch, targeting new playlists, or adjusting your promotional efforts.
Staying up-to-date with industry trends
Keep an eye on industry trends, such as changes to playlist algorithms, new music app features, and evolving listener preferences. Stay informed by following music industry news, attending industry events, and engaging with fellow musicians and professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I submit my music to Spotify playlists?
You can submit your music to Spotify playlists using the Spotify for Artists platform. This lets you directly pitch your music to editorial playlists or through third-party playlist promotion services.
Are there other platforms besides Spotify for playlist promotion?
Yes, you can also focus on playlist promotion on platforms like Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. Each forum has its own unique features, audience, and playlist ecosystem.
How long does it take to see results from playlist promotion?
Results from playlist promotion can vary depending on factors like the playlist’s size, the curator’s popularity, and the competition level. Significant stream increases and audience engagement may take several weeks or even months.
How vital is right playlist placement for independent musicians?
Perfect playlist placement is crucial for independent musicians, as it can cause significant increase in visibility, attract new listeners, and boost streams. It’s an effective way to get your music heard by a wider audience without relying solely on traditional promotional methods. Career paths can be defined by one of these placements.
Can I target playlists on multiple streaming platforms simultaneously?
You can target playlists on multiple streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. This approach helps maximize your exposure and reach a broader audience. However, ensure you tailor your pitch and promotional efforts to each platform’s unique features and audience preferences.
What role does the song’s quality play in getting on playlists?
The quality of your song is a critical factor in securing playlist placements. High-quality tracks with solid production values, engaging melodies, and compelling lyrics are more likely to catch the attention of playlist curators and resonate with listeners.
How can I find playlist curators’ contact information?
You can find playlist curators’ contact information through various sources, including social media profiles, streaming platform profiles, and industry directories. Some curators also have personal websites or blogs with contact information.
Is it worthwhile to invest in playlist promotion services?
Playlist promotion services can help increase your chances of getting on playlists by streamlining the submission process and connecting you with relevant curators. However, it’s essential to research and choose reputable services with proven track records to ensure you get the best results.
Can I collaborate with other artists to boost my chances of playlist inclusion?
Collaborating with other artists can improve your chances of inclusion in the playlist. Collaborations can help you tap into new audiences, expand your network, and create unique tracks that catch the attention of playlist curators.
Can I export or save a Spotify playlist?
Yes, you can export a playlist to a text file by selecting a playlist, then choosing File –> Library –> Export Playlist. Make sure “Text files” is selected as the type pop-up menu.
Can others share my Spotify playlists?
I’m an artist. Can I make good income from streaming?
While income per stream is low, if you own your publishing then you can make significant income if your songs become popular.
Playlists have become an integral part of the music landscape. Understanding the best Spotify strategies can significantly increase your chances of success as an independent musician.
By targeting the right playlists, building relationships with curators, and continuously refining your approach, you can leverage the power of playlists to grow your audience and propel your career forward.
So, embrace the potential of music playlists and start implementing these strategies today for a more prosperous and fulfilling music career.