Getting playlisted is a great reward
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
It’s always surprising to discover a talented artist that appears to be doing everything right in artist development and promotion, except their low streaming activity on Spotify doesn’t align with their image and brand. It is common for artists to think that once they release a song on Spotify, the song will take off, and will receive immediate traction. That isn’t a realistic mindset, and is one that doesn’t produce results. Once a song is released, the real work begins. Let’s break it down so you can maximize your song’s success on Spotify and enjoy the excitement of seeing your streaming numbers grow. Do you want to see ”<1000 “ next to each track forever and ever?
Understanding why and how to get playlisted, is really the difference between propelling your song to gain streams and monthly listeners, and your song getting lost in the shuffle to the other millions of songs on the platform. There is no luck and there is no magic. It’s about getting your song heard by as many people as possible. There’s a formula for success, which requires that you be hyper-focused on the process every day to gain streams, followers and listeners. Once your momentum kicks in, so too will the streams.
What do you need to do to get on playlists?
Determine the best genre(s) your song fits into.
Research playlists similar to your genre and the vibe of your single.
Listen to a handful of songs on said playlist, then determine if your song would work well with that playlist.
If it matches up well, include it on your Spotify worksheet. If it doesn’t, move on. Curators are very specific on what they look for in a song, so it matches their listeners taste. For example, a folk song wouldn’t do well in a top pop playlist, so it is a waste of time and effort to submit to the wrong playlists.
Pay attention to the curator’s request for submissions because some of them ask for email, some for website submissions, and some for social media submissions on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.
Whatever you do, do NOT submit your single more than once. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot. Curators get thousands of submissions a day, and it’s not a good look.
Artists on the Move has a plethora of playlists in each genre on their master playlist database they have developed, and can help you get started to choose the right playlists if you’re stuck trying to figure out which playlist would work for your single.
So why are playlists so important and what does it mean for the success of your song/single?
Spotify is all about the algorithm. Once you start getting on playlists, momentum starts building. Also, other playlists will begin to notice you and pick your song for their playlists, and Spotify users will share your music. This is why it’s so important to get on as many playlists as possible, and to ask your social media followers to follow your Spotify, like your song, add your song to their personal playlists, and share your song to their followers.
Do not fear rejection. Getting rejected by a playlist curator is something all artists will experience. It simply means your song wasn’t the right match for their audience. The feedback you will receive is valuable. Some may be specific about the track and its vocal, instrumental and production quality, but that is all subjective. Use that feedback to guide you when you are releasing your next song. Don’t be discouraged as it’s a numbers game. Continue on submitting your song to other playlists that are a better fit.
Relationship building with curators is important. Be sure that once you get playlisted, you thank the curator on your social media with a shout out, and share the playlist with your followers. This is a great relationship building tool because you’re giving exposure to them, while they’re giving exposure to you. You are introducing your followers to them, and they will greatly appreciate it. Thanking a curator is overlooked a lot, and never should be. Don’t be a taker, share the love.
You have to make sure you thank them and help grow their playlist too. Sharing playlists that
you've been placed on is also a great way to create content for your social media, and get people excited about your single, so don’t be afraid to share on your social media accounts and on your story.
The best way to share your new single on social media is to use the URI code that Spotify
provides. Spotify will generate a code for each individual single you release. It’s specific to each single, and is a great tool to build up your following on Spotify. People don’t typically
click “follow” on individual artist pages so you have to ask your circle of friends to do this). It’s hard to ask someone to share your music, but by doing so you’ll attract attention to the Spotify algorithm. Spotify watches everything going on with each single released and the attention each artist is getting. Don’t be shy… It’s part of the process. Like the old saying goes ,“The squeaky wheel gets the turn”. Every motion or move you make is recognized.
Let’s tie this all together now. First you need to claim yourself as an artist on Spotify which you can do after you release your first single. You will then be sent a link for Spotify For Artists which allows you to track all the metrics your single generates. Metrics are your friend, and if you don’t understand how to use the information then please reach out for help from Artists On The Move. Second, you should be pitching to playlist curators consistently, be keeping a spreadsheet on what playlists you’ve pitched your single to, the information or feedback each curator provided, and whether or not your song was placed or not. Thirdly, follow up is extremely important. Send an email or DM to the curator if you have not gotten a response, but be sure to give it at least a week. Curators receive thousands of submissions and most of them are working other jobs and have family obligations. Never resubmit your song unless the curator requests it. This can have the opposite desired outcome. Fourth, share the Spotify URI (QR-like code) for your single on your social media accounts consistently, and don’t be afraid to ask your followers to follow you on Spotify and to like your song. Once you generate enough traction by doing these simple yet very
effective steps, Spotify's algorithm will notice and will start including your single in their playlists as well.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being your own best advocate when it
comes to your music. There is no magic - you are the magic.
Be sure to give a shout out to the playlist curator on your social media once your song is
approved for a playlist. The curator will usually provide a Spotify link to their playlist and all you have to do is hit the share button, post a thank you, and tag the playlist curator. It’s simple and goes a long way in gaining followers and is good etiquette.
There are thousands of Spotify playlists that will fit the genre and vibe of your single. It just takes research and determination. You wrote and recorded your single because you believed in the message of the lyrics, so go after what you want and don’t get discouraged by rejection. Rejection is not a bad thing as it can help you with future releases and with building rapport with a curator. Music is subjective, as one curator may love your song and another curator may not. Just move on to the next curator and keep submitting. Above all else, be very proud and inspired that you’ve released your new song whether it’s your first single or the tenth, it’s a huge accomplishment. Become a detective and dig deep for clues and insight into other artists success and add their playlists to your own worksheet.
At Artists on the Move, we believe every artist and band can have success with
releasing music on Spotify’s platform. We host clinics and one on one sessions to help you
grow, and learning to master Spotify is just one of the ways we can help you get the recognition for the music you work so hard to create.
A follow up blog to our Spotify blog series will be on how to search for playlists.
Written by Lisa Teeter, Artists on the Move