How Do I Get My Song On A Spotify Playlist?
If you follow music industry news, then you’ve seen recently that Spotify became the first streaming platform to reach over 100 million paid users. One of Spotify’s biggest features is the ability to create playlists, which can then be shared with and followed by other users. Additionally, Spotify (as a company) curates tons of playlists as well. This has opened a whole new market for independent artists, as many of these playlists of 10s or 100s of thousands of followers/listeners. The “gatekeepers” are no longer record labels, A&Rs, or traditional media...they are social media influencers, Twitch/YouTube personalities, and playlists curators.
Getting on a playlist not only increases the amount of streams you will get, it also introduces you to new audiences. If people like what they hear, they may save your song, they may go follow your artist page, they may listen to your recent album, and they may even add you to their OWN playlists. There’s a lot of benefit to being on ANY playlist. So when it comes to Spotify Playlists, how do you get on them? Well, there are a few things to understand.
Spotify Editorial Playlists
There are Spotify Editorial playlists and there are just general public playlists. Spotify Editorial playlists are Spotify-branded playlists that can have up to millions of followers, and they are curated by editors on the Spotify team. The only way to get on one of these playlists is to submit the song to your distributor with a release date at least 2 weeks away, then once it’s sent to Spotify, accessing your Artist Profile online, go to your release, and there should be an obvious option to submit to Spotify Editorial playlists. There’s a series of questions to answer about your song so that they can have any idea of where to place it. Getting a spot on these playlists is extremely difficult, but could be a career changer if you land there!
Paid Placement Playlists
Many online curators have turned their Spotify playlist into a business and stream of revenue. They are providing a resource (an audience) at a cost that they determine themselves. If you are going to pay for playlist placement, there are several things to consider:
Are these real listeners or bots? - Do your research to make sure that this is an authentic playlist with real listeners. Look for statistics websites online. Reach out to artists on the playlist to get info. Do what you can to ensure this is legitimate and not a scam to get your money.
Size vs Cost - How many followers/listeners does this playlist have and what is the cost-per-listener? Do the math using their prices and their numbers to estimate how much each listener is costing you. You can use this information to compare which playlist has the best “bang for your buck”
How many songs on this playlist? - If a playlist has 300 songs, your music is less likely to be heard than a playlist with 30 songs on it. Of course, there’s always shuffle so it’s not like it’ll be completely skipped over...but, it’s something to consider when gathering potential playlists. Often times, curators will provide Top 10 or Top 20 placement for an additional fee.
How long will your song be on the playlist? - Most curators will have time limits for their paid placements, and have tiered pricing (pay more to keep your song on there longer). This is also something to keep in mind when comparing your playlist options and deciding how/where you should spend your Promotions budget.
Outside of paid playlist opportunities, there are also TONS of submission-based playlists. Basically you submit your music, and someone decides if they want to put it on their playlist or not. On almost all occasions, these situations require that you follow those playlists in order to get access to submit your music. A couple of great places to start looking are TheFreshTen and SoundPlate.
Also, there are an incredible amount of playlist curators you can find on social media (especially Facebook). As an artist, I’m sure you have tons of friends and connections with people that are constantly sharing playlists, requesting that you drop links, or even just people that know people. Additionally, there are thousands of Facebook Groups built completely around Spotify playlists building and sharing.
How To Find Playlists
Here’s probably the BIGGEST tip that I can give you guys. It’s A LOT of work, but also very worth it. One of the most important things about being placed on a playlist is that you have to FIT that playlist. Many playlists are categorized by mood/vibe, or genre, or subject matter, or something that ties them together. In order to be placed on a playlist, you need to fit that sound. In order for that playlist’s audience to like your song, you’re gonna want to fit that sound.
One quick place to look for playlists are record labels, recording studios, independent labels, artist managers, music review shows, local venues, other artists, and producers. These days pretty much EVERYONE runs a Spotify playlist. Reach out to anyone and everyone, local and global, if you see them promote a playlist. (THIS INCLUDES US! CONTACT US IF YOU’D LIKE TO PLACED ON ONE OF OUR PLAYLISTS!)
Here’s a very interesting and useful way to find playlists that suit you well. First, go find an artist on Spotify that you feel you have a similar sound to (you must do this on a desktop version, not the mobile version) - also, this artist must be relatively low-key (choosing someone like Juice Wrld or Kendrick Lamar is not going to work). Then go to the “About” tab; on the right, you’ll see “Discovered On”. This is a list of playlist that people are listening to this artist. Go to each one of the playlists and in the description look for contact info (email, IG, etc). If there’s anyway to contact the curator, write down the playlist name, the contact info, the amount of songs, and the number of followers. Now go back to the artist, click “Fans Also Like”, find another similar artist, and repeat the steps. After a few hours, you should have a list of potential playlist curators that you can contact for submissions and/or pricing, and you’ll have all the data you need to compare what is the best playlist for you to attempt to land on!
Although I feel like I could go on and on, and there’s a lot more to say about Spotify playlists...I think this is a good start. You can start finding playlists and submitting your music. Hopefully you can reach more people!