Getting playlisted on Spotify – the biggest major music platform right now – can do amazing things to boost your early music career.
There are plenty of ways to sell music online, but the massive exposure, new monthly followers, and the potential to bring in a highly diverse audience are just some of the benefits of making it onto Spotify playlist big leagues!
But once you know you know how to get music on Spotify through a distributor like Ditto Music, what’s the secret formula for getting playlisted? Truth is – there isn’t one. Playlist placements are tricky to navigate. However – there are definitely a few things you can do to get a leg up on other artists trying to do the exact same thing.
So here’s 8 things you can do to help secure one of the most coveted playlist spots in the streaming world.
8 tips for getting a Spotify playlist placement
1. Pitch your tracks via Spotify for Artists
Once your music has been sent to Spotify, you can sign up for a Spotify for Artists account to begin pitching your tracks to Spotify’s editorial team. Not only is this essential for pitching your tracks via the Spotify playlist submission portal, being an official Spotify for Artists user gives you access to a whole new array of exclusive features, specially reserved for artists using the platform. And while you’re at it, submit a verification request form to become an officially verified Spotify artist. This in partnership with having a Spotify for Artists account will communicate to the platform’s in-house playlist team that you’re a legit artist that’s worth their ears!
2. The 1 week rule
Make sure you pitch your music for playlisting at least 7 days before the track’s official release date. To increase the chances of getting YOUR submission seriously considered, it’s recommended your pitch early.
Well as you can imagine, Spotify’s curator team receives thousands upon thousands of playlist submissions on the daily. So waiting until the last minute is a recipe for disaster.
And when you pitch a track for playlisting, whether or not you land that playlist hotspot or not, Spotify will include the pitched song in your followers’ Release Radar. So it’s a win-win either way for getting your newest tracks heard!
3. Only pitch your BEST track
This one’s quite self explanatory – but it’s still worth a mention. When you’re pitching a track for playlist consideration, Spotify only lets you pitch ONE unreleased track at a time. So make it count by pitching the track that you predict will be your next fan favourite.
Maybe it’s got a great hook, a really catchy chorus, or a danceable beat? The point is – choose the track that you know will be earcandy for a Spotify in-house curator.
You’ll probably already know which track this is by your own sense of judgment and what your fans tend to respond to most. But if not, hit up your in-app analytics on the platform and see which of your previous tracks have seen the most engagement amongst listeners & followers. This eliminates all the guesswork of pitching a track that might not resonate with your audience (and Spotify’s editorial team) as much as you’d hoped.
4. Fill out the pitch form completely & accurately
When you’re pitching your track via Spotify’s playlist submission portal, you’ll be asked to provide some details about what makes YOUR track worth a place on one of their playlists.
Do not (I repeat) DO NOT skip out any of the fields! Spotify wants to know as much as possible about the context of your song and what they should know before they listen to it. In fact, Spotify states: “The more information we have about the song that you’ve worked so hard on, the better.” So make sure to tell them all the who, what, whens and whys of your track, plus any links to or details about a music video, release schedule, or promotions of your work.
5. Consider metadata
If you don’t already know, your music’s metadata is basically made up of all the most important info about your track. What makes this info really important in terms of pitching your track for playlisting, is that you must provide it to make sure you get properly credited and actually earn money from your placement. So ensure you include all of the following important information on your track submission form:
- Track name
- Producer name
- Copyright year
- ISRC code
6. Build your music off-Spotify
Spotify’s editorial team doesn’t just want to know how well you’re doing on their platform. They also want to know what you’re up to on other platforms as well Boosting your online presence across your social media channels, website, and any other digital press or marketing exposure (such as blogs or editorial content) will really put you high on Spotify’s radar and paint you & your music in a more holistic light. Spotify also loves anyone who sends more traffic and listeners directly to their platform. So post links back to your Spotify page across all your other active profiles on the web. Psst, Spotify’s clever algorithm means they’ll be able to tell exactly who is bringing in the traffic and from where! Bonus points for landing yourself a spot on one of their playlists but you didn’t hear it from us…
7. Pitch to independent curators
We’ve all heard of the phrase “start small and work your way up”. The same is true when it comes to landing a massive playlist spot on the most popular music platform out there. Pitching to smaller, independent curators on Spotify can be a really great stepping stone into the big leagues. There’s already a tonne of independent playlists up there that your music would be a great fit for – whether they’re based on mood, genre, vibe, or even a specific activity. Scout out playlists that you think your music would work well on and contact the curator via an email or direct message on one of their socials. Building genuine relationships with independent curators is also a great way to establish human connections within the platform and boost your overall no. of streams!
8. Create your own playlists
When you’re trying to get playlisted on Spotify’s algorithmic playlist Discover Weekly, the thing to remember is: every other playlist placement counts. So who’s to say you can’t make some great playlists of your own and feature one or two of your own tracks on there as well?! Not only will this get you playlist placement points for the algorithm, curating your own playlists is a great way to align your music with specific artists, musical genres, or certain sounds that you want your tracks to be associated with.
The best practice for this is to create a playlist with other artists that you’re really digging, plus 1 or 2 of your own tracks subtly slotted in. Or you could even collaborate with some other musicians and artists to expose your playlist to both your fans AND theirs. Top points for increasing your reach and streaming stats!
Getting playlisted on Spotify takes hard work and perseverance. But if you can master it, it’s pretty much unmatched exposure and promo for you and your music. So it’s definitely worth putting in the time and effort. And although there’s no guarantee or fast track to success with this kind of thing, very simple acts like the ones we’ve outlined in this list are the ones that’ll really make a difference & set you apart during Spotify’s playlist selection process.
Happy playlist pitching!
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.