Getting your music on one of Spotify’s coveted playlists can get you some major exposure that could launch your career into a new realm of success. It’s no surprise everybody wants in. There’s no life hack or cheat code that can guarantee you a spot on one of these playlists.
You can, however, put in the work to grow your credibility on the platform and do everything in your power to optimize your chances.
With over 100 million paid subscribers and more than 200 million monthly active users, Spotify has over 2 billion playlists. These playlists are owned and operated by everyday users, brands, independent curators, official curators and millions of algorithm-based playlists that reset weekly.
Some of these featured playlists have thousands, and sometimes millions, of followers. As you can imagine, getting on playlists that popular is very competitive, but the reward can be monumental.
Sadly, you can’t just spam the creators of these playlists and hope your song is as good as you think it is. Just like many other platforms, Spotify uses an algorithm that favors those who use the platform to its full potential and put a lot of energy into doing so. Spotify’s curators pride themselves on really knowing their audience, so they make sure to feature songs that they personally think their audiences will like, but also songs with data which supports that.
Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of being featured:
1. Sign up for Spotify for Artists
Once you have a Spotify for Artists account, you’ll automatically be verified on the platform. This’ll boost your credibility and show curators you’re serious, but it also gets you lots of dope features to help you track your success and adjust your strategy as you move forward.
2. Promote your music
You want to make sure you’re spreading the love by making sure your Spotify profile is linked to your social media and all the other platforms you use. More importantly, make sure your fans are following you and engaging with your releases. Most Spotify playlists focus on things such as, followers, plays, skips, finishes and listening duration, and curators tend to feature artists that are already getting some traction on the platform. Anything you can do to promote your tracks will increase your credibility and help you out in the long run. The more active you are, the better.
3. Foster a good relationship with music bloggers
A lot of music bloggers also have their own playlists on Spotify. Reaching out to bloggers on Instagram or Twitter to introduce yourself goes a long way. Bloggers get requests from musicians wanting to be featured all the time, so if you can genuinely form a good relationship with them first, they’ll be more inclined to help you out.
Hint: Keep in mind what genre they’re into and make sure your music fits their vibe. If you’re reaching out to a blogger who focuses on indie-folk music and you’re a rapper, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
4. Pitch your tracks to independent playlist curators
Before you start sending your music to anyone and everyone, figure out which playlists fit your vibe. Do some research to find playlists that match your genre and music style and compile a list of the most relevant ones ranging from most popular to least popular. While doing this research, you also want to find out the curator's name, their contact info, and how many followers the playlist has.
Sometimes, you’ll have to go on a wild goose chase to find some usable contact info. But thankfully, most Spotify playlist curators link their Facebook to their other social platforms, which makes it easy for you. Like I mentioned in the last step, you’ll want to form a relationship with these curators before you start hounding them for favors. Let them know how much you love their playlist and once you’ve got an authentic conversation going, smoothly work in how your song could be a perfect fit.
You’ll find more success if you start small and work your way up to larger playlists. Someone with thousands of listeners will be much more open to your pitch than someone with millions. Once you’ve got a successful resume, then you can start moving up to the bigger playlists.
5. Utilize a music distributor
Some music distributors, like Symphonic Distribution, have the ability to pitch your music for playlist consideration for you.
To do this with Symphonic, you’ll have to be a client to submit your release for distribution four weeks before it goes out live since this is when these efforts are coordinated. Via our feature release form, you can let us know all your marketing drivers, such as premieres, social media reach, marketing plan, etc. We can then, in turn, present these to Spotify for you.
Places like Symphonic also love to feature their clients on their own Spotify playlists. Follow these steps to get your music on Symphonic’s Spotify playlists.
6. Submit to Spotify playlists directly
With your Spotify for Artists account, you can submit your new releases directly to Spotify.
Before you submit, however, you have a few guidelines to follow:
- The track has to be unreleased.
- The track must be submitted 7 days before the scheduled release date.
- You can only submit one track at a time.
- You need to submit some info/data about the release like the genre, mood, instrumentation, and whether it’s a cover or an original.
This info, along with the data they already have on you, will help Spotify potentially find you a place on one of their playlists.
There’s no way to cheat the system. The only way to get on Spotify Playlists is to put the work in. With these steps, you can increase your chances of being featured by a landslide. Do the work, stay consistent, and don’t lose hope. All good things take time.
For more insight, check out Symphonic’s Ultimate Spotify Guide For The Music Industry. Randi Zimmerman is a Writing Ninja & Content Specialist at Symphonic Distribution and is thoroughly addicted to all things music and coffee. Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash