Getting your music on a popular Spotify playlist can be a huge breakthrough for an independent musician. However, with the majority of dominant Spotify playlists owned by major record labels: Filtr (Sony), Topsify (Warner), and Digster (Universal), getting featured on a popular Spotify playlist can be tricky. To get your music on Spotify playlists, you are going to need a game plan!
A practical guide to getting your music on Spotify playlists
Join Spotify for Artists
Request access to Spotify for Artists and get verified. You’ll have to wait for a few days for a blue tick to appear next to your name, but you will gain more control over your profile, as well as higher ranking in the algorithm.
Build a professional profile
Make your profile as attractive as possible by crafting a compelling artist biography. Your profile has to reflect your branding (who you are as an artist and your musical style) and be consistent with other channels (website, social media, newsletter, posters, etc.)
Use a Spotify distributor
Create your own playlist
Build a playlist of your own and include your own music. Show off your musical taste and inspirations, support other budding musicians and don’t be afraid to mix some classics in. To make the list appear in searches, make sure it’s got an easily searchable name.
Reach out through social media
Ask your social media followers to follow you and your playlists on Spotify. If your playlists are good, they will be more than happy to do so! Also use your email newsletter to help get the word out. The more Spotify followers you have, the better your chances at appealing to a curator of a popular playlist.
Contact Spotify playlist curators
Pitch your music to independent curators, blogs and branded playlists. Some lists, such as Indiemono, have their own, free submission platforms. Independent list owners tend to connect their Spotify accounts with Facebook, so it shouldn’t be hard to find them.
Tips for contacting Spotify playlist curators:
Approach only the curators that are likely to be interested in your style/genre.
Avoid template-style messages and aim to build a rapport.
Send links to your unreleased music to get their attention and build trust.
Share their playlist on social media
When someone adds your track to their playlist, share and promote it on social media to show that you’re willing to reciprocate. This will help you to build a lasting and potentially fruitful relationship.
Other things you should know before promoting your music on Spotify
Spotify playlist types:
A Spotify’s personal playlists
Spotify’s personalised lists, such as Discover Weekly, are based on machine learning algorithms — computer programmes built with the aim of learning what a particular listener wants to listen to.
B Editorial playlists
Editorial playlists are crafted by Spotify’s own “music experts” who are tied with obligations to Spotify’s “programming philosophy” (which practically means they will push the songs that the company tells them to). You can submit one song from any scheduled release for the curators’ consideration using Spotify for Artists.
C Listener generated playlists
The third type of playlists are all the lists generated by listeners. Many of the listeners have become influential curators themselves and contacting them will be your top priority.
Some curators have started charging money for reviewing music, but most still welcome artists who want to submit their tracks. Here are some compiled lists of curators you can tap up today:
Beware of shortcuts to getting featured on Spotify playlists
There are some businesses which offer to connect artists with Spotify curators for a fee.
Bear in mind that these businesses are often associated with some shady practices and it’s not the recommended route. Earlier this year SpotLister got shut down for trading playlist spots and many artists lost their credibility.
The truth is that nobody who plays fair makes it on Spotify or Apple Music overnight. Once your hard work pays off, and you’ve got your music on a few popular Spotify playlists, you need to be ready to convert streaming stats into real fans.
Build a solid marketing plan
Focusing only on playlists isn’t enough, as the momentum generated from streaming won’t last forever.
To connect with your newly acquired streaming audience, invest time and effort in a variety of communication channels:
Have you used Spotify to promote your music? Has your music been featured on any major Spotify playlists? We would love to hear your story in the comments below.