At Spinnup we want you to push your music as far as it can possibly go. We want you to get discovered, build a loyal fanbase and get the exposure that your awesome music deserves. One way to do that is climb above the competition and start getting your music on playlists.
Playlisting has become an important way of music being discovered and consumed, and a powerful tool in amplifying your audience, plays and hits by putting your music in front of as many ears as possible.
In this post, we’re going to cover, the importance of getting your music on playlists, particularly the smaller ones; how to find and submit to them; and how you can use a playlist on your Spotify Artist’s Pick to promote more divergently.
The importance of playlists.
DSP’s (Digital Service Provider) like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music and YouTube Music have become much more than a platform for your music, but a tool for growth. A spot on a playlist can really help boost your track and expand your audience like never before. After all, there are over 4 billion playlists on Spotify! And data shows that over a third of listening time is spent on user-generated playlists.
The different kinds of playlists.
The number of playlists is endless and they come in many forms:
– Editorial – Curated by staff who work directly for the streaming platform e.g. New Music Friday, Massive Dance Hits or any of the genre and mood based playlists you see on the homepage of streaming services.
– User curated – These can be created by anyone who is signed up to the streaming platform, including your fans and other artists
– Brand – Brand playlists maximize awareness of their brand e.g. Nike+ Run Club
– Tastemakers – A tastemaker has achieved popularity on Spotify or other DSPs for their music playlists, e.g. Majestic Casual’s YouTube Channel.
– Algorithmic – Uses information based on users’ music listening habits to produce personalised playlists e.g. Spotify’s ‘Release Radar’ or ‘Discover Weekly’
– Major label – Ran by the major labels e.g. UMG’s Digster Playlists
The power of smaller and user-generated playlists.
Of course, we all want to get on those major label and editorial playlists – and we recommend all artists go about pitching to Spotify Editorial playlists, through your Spotify for Artists page – but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. And with the sheer amount of music being released every day, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t land one of these major playlists.
Starting with smaller, independent playlists is a great way to work your way up, especially if you’re unsigned or up-and-coming. It’s a better way of building your fanbase as you are getting your music in front of the right people who could go on to be long-term fans. Starting with smaller, more niche playlists also gives you more of a chance of getting a spot on one – someone with fewer followers is more likely to listen to your pitch than someone with hundreds of thousands. Some people argue that getting on a smaller, niceh or genre based playlist is even more valuable than a mixed playlist such as New Music Friday, as the followers of these smaller playlists are dedicated fans who will engage with your type of sound.
Featuring on smaller playlists created by independent curators is one of the best ways to raise your amount of plays, and expose you to tastemakers and the big shots at Spotify or Apple Music etc. who might then take notice of you and add you to the main playlists.
Think of them the same way you would with gigs, i.e playing smaller venues, stunning the crowds, and increasing over time until you have enough of a following to hit that arena show. It grows your momentum and gives labels, managers, booking agents and radio stations a chance to see how well you perform.
Think of the algorithm
Featuring on user-curated playlists can produce lots of streams for an emerging artist as they can influence Spotify’s algorithmic playlists. So get interacting with your fans and make sure they give you a follow. If a fan follows you on Spotify, you will automatically be added to their ‘Release Radar’ playlist every time you have a new release out. And if they add your track to their own user-curated playlists, Spotify will gather data about what type of music they like and down the line, can recommend your track to other users who listen to the same type of music.
It also increases the chance of your tracks being one of the recommended songs Spotify automatically plays when an album or playlist someone is listening to finishes.
How to find smaller/independent playlists.
Scout around and start following playlists that you would like to see your music on – particularly those that showcase similar artists and music to yours. Scope out the profiles of these artists and head to their ‘About’ section to see what playlists they’ve found success through to put yourself in an optimal starting position. You’ll be able to plan more effectively when you’ve got a tangible goal that has been proven to work.
Another way to find playlists is to utilise the search bar in your DSP. Simply type in a keyword, such as a genre, mood or characteristic and check out the results. You will find playlists or names of users/curators that create them.
You can also find loads of playlist curators on SubmitHub. Just upload your release, select the playlists you want to sample and hit send.
How to contact and send your music to playlist curators.
You’ve decided which playlists you want your music to be on, so next it’s time to contact these curators directly. It’s the most reliable way to get your music onto a good source. We absolutely recommend that you get as much information about the curator as possible to reduce the risk of being put onto a bot playlist (basically make sure that they’re human).
If you Google the name of the playlist curator, you can usually find where to submit on their website. Alternatively, they’re likely to have contact info in their Spotify bio. If not, check out their other channels such as Facebook or Instagram and shoot them a DM.
Sell yourself. Show them who you are and what you have to offer. Start with your key selling points – for example, do you have lots of fans and followers you can share the playlist with? How does your music align with their playlist? Always think about what you can do for them, so follow them and start talking. Be kind and genuinely interact with them. Ask if they would be interested in hearing your track and if they would consider adding you to their playlist. If not, don’t be disheartened, after all the number of playlists is endless! Find out what they want from their featured artists so you can work toward getting featured.
We suggest you research as many independent playlist and playlist curators as you like but here’s a list below to get you started:
With Daily Playlists, you can submit to playlists of all different genres. And with over 31,000 followers on Spotify, you’ll be sure to get those streams.
Soundplate is a music platform with over 73,000 followers on Spotify. You can submit your music to independent Spotify and Deezer playlists. They also have a free track analyser to see if your song will fit the playlist you’re submitting to.
Indiemono is focused on Spotify Playlists and the discovery of new talent. You can browse a number of genres and click on any of Indiemono’s 100+ playlists to submit to.
Work Hard Playlist Hard is a small team of curators that cover a wide range of ever-growing playlists.
Songpickr is a playlist brand created by Holger Christoph (here’s 5 tips from him to get noticed from a SumbitHub Playlister). Holger curates playlists with music that he loves, all of which is 100% independent. Songpickr has over 36,000 followers on Spotify.
Here’s one in particular for you electronic and EDM producers. Successful producer Simon Field has curated one of the largest independent playlists for electronic music, hosted on his artist profile on Spotify.
Independent Music Monday is a playlist curated by Sean Adams (DrownedinSound) and [PIAS], bringing you the finest indie releases every Monday.
Submit by emailing over your Spotify links, once the tracks are live to IMMplaylist@gmail.com.
And of course, don’t forget our Spinnup Presents Playlist. It’s always being updated so if you want to get a spot on it, make sure to send your Spinnup links to firstname.lastname@example.org for playlist consideration.
Why artists should have their own playlists on their artist page.
Why not make your own playlist on Spotify and pin them at the top of your artist profile with Artist’s Pick. Artist’s Pick allows you to control the music at the top of your profile and is a great way to market yourself other than on social media.
This is a great spot for new releases or a playlist curated by you. It’s a nice idea to use a playlist as your Artist’s Pick if you haven’t had a release out in a little while. This could be highlighting a playlist your music has been added to, to show your support. It could be a playlist of your top tracks – promoting your music to new and existing fans. It could be a playlist of music that influences you, or even a mix of tracks from artists in your local area.
You could take this even further, by making the playlist a collaborative one and get your fans involved or run a competition.
Make sure you share your playlist on your social accounts and add images and text to make it look good. It’s also a good idea to update it frequently. And avoid making your playlist too long.
Promote each other’s music.
A fantastic way to utilise your Artist’s Pick is to do a bit of reciprocal marketing by simply ‘swapping’ tracks with other artists, placing each other’s songs on your own artist playlists. You could swap with one or two artists, or collaborate with a whole bunch and then get everyone to share the playlist with their own fans. This sort of collaboration will get you exposure to a bigger audience = more fans = more plays!
A few final tips to boost your chances of getting playlisted:
– Optimize both your socials and streaming profiles – Make sure that your profiles are up-to-date with your most current info about latest releases, etc, anything that might catch the attention of a curator. Showing curators that you are active on your social sites it increase your chances of being playlisted.
– Get verified – If you’re not already verified on Spotify, here’s how to.
– Get press coverage – Press coverage can help drive followers to both your social and streaming profiles and of course, good coverage will impress. Read more on pitching to the press
For more on playlisting and streaming check out our lesson on Spinnup Academy.
Good luck! Spinnup Team.