Spotify has exponentially grown over the last decade, becoming the number one place for people to enjoy their favorite songs. Claiming to serve over 100 million users, Spotify is a streaming giant.
While a few celebrity musicians have chosen to either withdraw or not place their music on the Swedish famous streaming platform, the vast majority of artists around the world don’t have enough of a fan-base to do this. Spotify can be a useful tool to build your audience and enlarge your fanbase, despite its drawbacks of lower payouts to musicians.
The possibility of using it for free or for a small monthly amount has pulled music lovers away from illegal downloads and pushed them towards a cheap but legit way to consume music.
The popularity of the giant Swedish platform has drawn the attention of most independent artists all over the world.
If you are an independent artist whose goal is to grow on Spotify, you can find plenty of blog posts, video tutorials, and even clear indications on the platform’s official website.
What are the Different Types of Spotify Playlists?
It is not a secret that the most effective way to increase the number of streams of your songs is to get them on playlists.
Playlists are often what people hear when they go running, when they sit in a cafe, or even when they shop at their local supermarket.
Spotify has its own editorial playlists, often considered the most authoritative ones. A team of human editors puts together these playlists making sure that every song included fits the overall mood, genre, or theme.
The platform also creates algorithmic playlists, produced not by humans but by algorithms. These playlists are highly considered by users, especially because they are tailor-made for them.
However, Spotify users can build their playlists too (user playlists). Even you, as an artist, could create a playlist from scratch, maybe including your favorite songs or cross-promoting another musician you like.
If you manage to place one or more of your songs on a playlist featuring artists, styles, and genres similar to your own, you might get to potential new fans for free.
This is the theoretical premise, which works extremely well.
To go from theory to practice, however, is a bit more difficult than it seems.
First of all, the competition is crazy.
You are competing with countless other artists, from every corner of the world, to place your song on the right playlist.
Another problem is that you have absolutely no control over the algorithm Spotify uses for its personalized playlists, you can only try to influence some of the factors that can help you get recognized.
However, there are a few ways you can employ to increase your chances of getting your music on the right playlist.
In this article, you will find a couple of practical ideas.
1. Spotify for Artists – Submission for Playlists
Spotify for Artists is the app/platform musicians use to manage their presence on the Swedish music store. Verifying your profile on this platform is the first (and possibly the most important) step you can take to get your music on playlists.
Through this app, you can update your profile picture, write an effective biography, include any upcoming tour dates, and so on.
You can also check your stats and get in touch with the editorial team.
Whenever you plan to release a new song on Spotify, log into your Spotify for Artists profile and submit it. You can find detailed instructions on how to do that on the platform’s official website.
You can only submit songs for consideration that are not yet released. Therefore, make sure to set a release date in advance with your music aggregator (e.g. CDBaby, RouteNote, etc), otherwise they will just release your track as soon as possible and you will miss the opportunity!
All the data you submit also, no doubt, feeds the Spotify algorithms. This moves us on to our next point:
2. Spotify Algorithmic Playlists
Spotify has quite an incredible amount of analytics to determine what your tracks are about (bpm, happiness, live/studio, vocals, instrumental, energy level, etc). Once you upload a track, their AI can automatically tell a whole lot about your song before it’s even listened to by a single person!
Playlists can often by extremely specific to certain genres, styles, etc. Spotify automatically creates playlists via their own algorithms based on a lot of different variables.
This is likely built up using data from people’s listening habits as well as its abundance of additional analytical data about your tracks.
If you really want to play the algorithm game, you may have to make quite a few concessions in how you create your tracks. If you have a very small fan base at the moment, you will have to heavily promote your track to try to gain a bit of traction.
Please note: a lot of the points below regarding Spotify algorithmic playlists are based on educated speculations and experience. Based on the experience and findings from many people in the industry, they are all likely true.
- If most people skip your track after the first 10 seconds, this is likely a big red flag to Spotify. This could have quite an impact on how you write or produce your music, i.e. you may need to ditch long build-ups and get tracks going within the first 10 seconds.
- Understandably, Spotify gives a much bigger weight to tracks that are highly liked, shared and saved in user’s manual playlists.
- Spotify appears to give a lot of weight to trending tracks. If you have a big release with a lot of shares in a short space of time, it can make a big difference to your algorithmic playlist success.
- Spotify Algorithmic playlists are very good at grouping similar styles of tracks together. For example, there are countless amounts of sub-genres of electronic music, and a minimal techno track will very likely not be put into a playlist full of progressive house tracks.
The changing landscape of users is greatly changing how artists release their music.
That’s why an important strategy might be to release singles often, rather than one full album once a year. You should Spotify you can put out fresh music on a regular basis, continually gain traction, and the algorithm may start working in your favor.
Create Your Own Playlists
Creating and promoting your own playlists, featuring other similar artists and putting some of your songs here and there, can also drive the algorithm in your favor.
By involving other artists in the process, your playlists will be shared by more people on social media. This way, streams will increase and it may help your ‘rankings’!
3. Independent curators
If you apply the last piece of advice highlighted in the previous paragraph, you’ll become an independent playlists curator.
Guess what? There are tons more out there you can get in touch with.
A lot of independent musicians adopt this strategy to increase their own Spotify presence. Find the ones right for your niche and ask them to include your songs in their playlists. Maybe help them in return, by including their songs in the ones you create and voilà: you’ll have instantly increased the chances to build a bigger audience on Spotify.
Regular users often create Spotify playlists too. Local radio stations, blogs, music journalists, and anyone involved in the industry may also include their favorite tracks or the songs they have recently featured in specific playlists.
The key concept here is to get in touch with independent curators keeping in mind they are human beings. Don’t pest them if they don’t get back to you straight away and make sure you don’t waste their time: always check what kind of genre or style they are interested in and evaluate whether your music is a good fit before submitting.
These are just a few ideas to increase your chances of getting on Spotify playlists. Remember that growing on Spotify requires a lot of hard work. Cheating (such as paying to get more streams) is not allowed! Be prepared to put it the necessary work and you will finally be successful.
Submithub is an interesting site to pitch your music to bloggers and playlisters. There are limited free credits available, but in general, the real benefit comes from purchasing credits to submit to these influencers.
We’re written an Submithub review article, which you should definitely check out. Submithub is very convenient and useful for pitching your music, but there are quite a few disadvantages to this type of music promotion model, which you should read about.
Playlist Submission Sites
Search up ‘Spotify playlist submission’ and there will be a large number of results.
Some of these are probably useful, however, read the conditions of submission before doing so.
Some playlisters require you to follow their playlists on Spotify, or follow their social media profiles. A cynical person may conclude that the purpose of a good deal of these playlist submission services are just to increase the following of their brands or playlists, and perhaps not a lot of effort goes into reviewing the submissions at all.
It’s up to you to figure out how useful they are!
I hope that’s shed some light on the different types of Spotify playlists, and what it takes to get included.
We hope that you can use this information to get some traction for your next releases!