Spotify marketing tips & tricks
You have a team at Artists On The Move who work hard on your behalf to ensure all things run smoothly for your upcoming song release(s), but there are a few tips and tricks you can be implementing daily or weekly to help your new single catch the eye of Spotify editors, Spotify tastemakers, and independent playlist curators. The Spotify editors manage over 3,000 Spotify playlists directly and decide what songs to include across all the lists. Then there are 7+ million lists that independent curators create and manage. Our business tracks the success of tracks and playlists that generate big streaming numbers. We consult with Playlist owners and have a UK consultant we work with that provides us excellent tips and tricks which can favorably impact the streaming results. Here are just a few, and while some may be obvious, they tend to be the exact steps that are usually overlooked when the release day arrives.
Pre-release: Prior to release day, you should always prepare your release with the idea that you will upload your new final mastered single onto your preferred distribution platform (Distrokid, CD Baby, Tunecore, Ditto, etc.) 4-6 weeks before the actual release date. This one step allows you to get your music pitched to official curators that create the top lists on Spotify (they are off limits, and you can not submit directly to them). If you’ve ever wanted to get onto Fresh Finds, Daily Mix, or Release Radar, please don’t overlook this crucial first step. Spotify says 7 days out from release date is good, but honestly if you think about it, Spotify releases an average of 40,000 tracks per day, and the chances that your song will be listened to improves by pitching it 4-6 weeks prior to release date. This summer given the higher volumes on releases, we recommend 6 weeks on the timing from upload to release date. It may not be listened to by the curators on the day pitched, but it will be in the queue for them to listen to within enough time prior to your release. If you wait, you could miss the boat on getting on playlists with 50,000 to 1 million+ followers.
Be a playlister: Create your own playlists based on mood/vibe and genre. Place your song up early on the list, and add other songs that have the same vibe as yours. Share your playlist on Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
Update your Spotify For Artists bio: This tip is key to getting eyes on your Spotify Artists Page. On your Spotify For Artist’s page, you should update your Bio to tag popular artists that are similar to your sound by mentioning them as your inspiration or influence. This will trigger the Spotify algorithm to pick up your song, recommending it when Spotify users search and listen to the popular artists that you have tagged (see examples below of successful independent artists utilizing this step successfully).
Like, share & follow: One of the easiest actions you can do as an emerging artist is to ask all your friends, family and followers on social media to also become a follower of your Spotify Artist page, and be specific and “like, share and follow”.
Ask to be added: Ask everyone to add the song to their own personal playlists. This is super important! Spotify looks for the number of followers you have, and also the number of times a person other than you has saved your song to their playlist. This is organic growth and helps greatly in triggering the algorithm.
Wake up to your song: (Android users only): Did you know you can set your Spotify playlist as your alarm clock on Android. To do that, connect the native Google clock to your Spotify account. Now, if you are using a phone from OEM like Huawei, Xiaomi, etc, chances are that they have their own clock app. These custom clock apps don’t support Spotify integration, so you will have to download the native Google clock app.
If you don’t see Spotify, make sure you are logged into Spotify, and it is installed on the same device.
Repeat 24/7: Stream your song every day as well. This is something you can do to increase streams passively throughout the day. Don't expect others to stream if you aren’t willing to do the same. Make sure your song is on repeat on your laptop or desktop, and keep the sound level down.
Collaborative playlists: If you and a friend have similar taste in music, collaborative playlists just might be the way to go. This is an easy way to have a minimum of two playlists on release day. Spotify allows you to create playlists which you can share with your friends where they can edit the same by adding or removing songs from the playlist. Collaborative playlists are easily identifiable by the hollow circle next to their name.
To create a collaborative playlist, you’ll first need to create a simple playlist and then tap the ‘three dots’ icon and choose the ‘Collaborative Playlist’ option from the menu in your Spotify desktop or mobile app.
Keep the momentum strong: Spotify’s algorithm is taking note every time people save your music to their queue, library, or their own playlist, and also takes into consideration the number of followers you have. All these factors can help you land a spot on one of these playlists. These playlists are a great way to gain more exposure and get your tracks heard by fans, other artists, major record labels, blogs, and more. This increased exposure only boosts your chances of getting the publicity you’ve been looking for to propel you to the top of the game, and the more playlists you can get on, the better.
Know the mighty 3 Algorithm generated playlists: There are 3 main playlists the algorithm can help you get featured on: Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix. These are all algorithm sourced playlists that update frequently, and are one of the ways unknown artists have gained overnight success. Keep in mind that these are not editorial playlists, where actual people are choosing the next great hits in each genre. Algorithmic playlists are solely generated through data driven markers. You can’t influence editorial playlists, but you sure can do minor tweaks to help drive the success of your single or album to be picked up by the algorithm. Learn how to identify the algorithm lists by knowing their titles...Particle Detector, Sounds of Spotify, The Needle, The Edge and more.
Be vocal...always: To keep your music on everyone’s radar, your followers need to be saving, sharing, or liking your tracks. Take it to other social media platforms and share your songs via Spotify Codes. These codes let anyone scan your song’s unique code and make sharing and promoting your music easier than ever. It may be uncomfortable, but asking your friends, family, and social media followers to save, share and like your tracks will help you immensely. It will greatly increase the chance of you catching the attention of Spotify’s Algorithm, and it will grow your fan base. It’s more about the quality of listeners than the quantity of listeners. You want the right audience hearing your music right? When more people are following your page, that’s more listeners being updated every time you release a new project. The more people listening to your new track, the better shot you have at more people liking, saving and sharing your tracks on their own sites.
Pre-save magic and early traction: Market the heck out of your single on your social media accounts. This is definitely not the time to be shy. Create posts that share your pre-save link on social media. The more people that pre-save your single, the more streams you will receive on the day of your release. So, if 1000 people pre-save your new single - that's a guaranteed 1000 streams on DAY 1. Now what if those same 1000 people actually add your song to their playlist? Now over the course of a day, you could potentially have 2000 streams on day 1 (that is assuming only 1 other person following them listens to your single so your first day streams could actually be between 2500-5000. At that level of streams within a short amount of time you will see editorial and algorithmic playlists adding you to their playlists, and many can follow the first placement.
Make sure you are the artist pick: Your artists pick should highlight your new release within the first 24 hours of the song release. You will need to upload your cover artwork for your song, and choose that as well as write a little blurb about your song (eg. “My new single “(name of single)” is out now! Be sure to like, share, and follow.) You only have a limited amount of characters to say what you want to so be precise, succinct and deliberate in your call to action.
Focus on shout outs : Always do a shoutout to the curator & the playlists you are playlisted on. This seems obvious, but many artists overlook this step. It’s a courtesy and just the right thing to do. It’s very simple and takes about 2 mins to do but the impact is long lasting to the curators. They remember who appreciated them and will be more open to placing your future songs on their playlists. If people are sharing your music on social media - be sure to recognize them with a shout out in your stories and tag them. This creates momentum and gets others talking. Relationship building is crucial in the music industry, and will serve you well if you recognize those who helped you gain followers, streams, and new exposure.
Don’t sit back...Be proactive. You should always be in control of your music, who listens to it, who gets introduced to it, and what types of playlists you get picked up on. You are part of a team with us and your efforts are crucial to the success of your single’s release. Artists on The Move develops a pre and post release plan for each artist releasing new music. Understand the plan, and make sure you know what you are expected to do as well. You should be familiar with the playlists and the curators we have formed relationships with to market your music. Get familiar with other artists you are playlisted with if they appear on more than a few playlists you are on. These artists are who each curator has determined your sound best fits with on their playlists. Everything done in Spotify is deliberate and well thought out. Understanding the types of playlists and the artists on those playlists your songs are placed on is very informative for you as an artist because it gives you insight to what type of consumers are listening to your music.
These are just some of the ways for you, the artist, to impact the success of your new single and any songs you have released prior, but for the purpose of this blog the focus on what you can do right here and right now to impact the overall success of your new release. Can you imagine how you will feel when you can impact the actual numbers of streams and followers you receive? Implementing these basic steps, along with the work that our team performs, will propel your songs to new levels. Our newly developed database will provide you new playlists to add to your marketing plan. Our artists are seeing a strong impact from utilizing these tips and tricks, so start today and see some fast and real results.
Written by Lisa Teeter, Marketing & Booking Manager