MMusic streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are gaining traction in today’s world. People want more instant access to their music and don’t want to bother with transferring files between devices.
As much as artists complain about low royalty payouts, these services offer a wide variety of ways for their users to discover new music – including playlists, which are today’s version of radio and are now more popular than albums.
Getting featured in a well-followed, highly shared playlist is one of the best ways to promote your music online – but how can you get your music placed in a well-followed playlist?
Here’s a step-by-step approach.
Before you get started…
When people receive cold emails, it’s normal for them to search for you online to make sure you’re legitimate. Because of this, you want to make sure it’s easy to find information about you, your music, and your online following.
Additionally, if you plan on reaching out to in-house curators working at the streaming services, you’ll want to have your profile verified with the streaming service you’re targeting, and show some history of activity on the service.
Here’s a list of things to make sure you have in place before reaching out to playlist editors:
- A website. You can get one set up quickly with services like Bandzoogle.
- A Facebook and Twitter profile.
- Well-written bio.
- High quality website and social media photos.
- A verified profile on your targeted streaming service, with some history of usage. You can get a verified Spotify profile here. For Apple Music, check out this guide about getting your Apple Music artist profile.
- As many followers as possible on your target streaming platform – the low hundreds will work.
The more of these you have in place, the better impression you’ll give playlist editors, and the more likely they are to take you seriously, which can lead to good placement.
Find some playlists
Once you have your online profiles set up so it’s easy to find you, the next step in getting your music featured in playlists is to find playlists.
Everyone creates playlists, but you want to focus your efforts to find playlists that make sense for your style of music.
Don’t neglect playlists created by small businesses and local organizations. Yes, you want to get placed in playlists created by the streaming service’s internal editors, but the momentum you get from placement in smaller playlists can bring you to the attention of the streaming services editorial teams.
One way to find playlists is to explore the catalogs of well-followed profiles. Here are some profiles types you can try searching for:
- Blogs, websites, and magazines.
- Political figures.
- Authors and Poets.
- Brands (both small and large).
- Other bands in your niche.
- Radio stations.
- Well-followed music fans.
By searching for profiles, you can check out all of the playlists they have to see if your music would be a good fit for one of them.
The other way to find playlists is to search the streaming service for moods, genres, and activities. Many users make playlists for things like working out or going to the beach, so consider what setting your music would work well in and try some searches like these:
- Beach day
- Working out
- Road trip
The above are just some ideas, but you get the point. The idea is to find playlists that are a perfect match for your music.
When you find playlists you love, subscribe to them and create a list of the ones you intend to reach out to.
Identifying the creator
After you’ve made your list of playlists, it’s time to get started figuring out who it is you need to reach out to.
Unfortunately for you, streaming services don’t include the contact info of their users, so you’ll need to do some digging online before you can get your music heard by the editors of your favorite playlists.
If one of the playlists you’re reaching out to is put together by a brand, another artist, or a blog, finding their contact information can be as simple as searching their name on Google or Facebook.
However, for other playlists that area created by users of the streaming service, this can be difficult – some streaming services utilize usernames instead of real names.
If this is the case, you can potentially find the users profile by doing an image search online. Simply take a screenshot of the users profile picture, then head over to Google images, upload the screenshot, and see what social media profiles show up.
Follow these profiles, and start engaging with their content for a few weeks to build up a relationship. When it comes to brands, blogs, magazines, or other large-scale profiles, find the person responsible for the playlist and follow them directly.
Reach out to the editor
After you’ve spent a few weeks building a relationship with the editors you plan on reaching out to, it’s time to craft the perfect outreach message.
When sending your email or social media message, you want it to be as short and direct as possible. Introduce who you are quickly without too much background information, personalize the message, and tell them what you want.
Here’s an email script you can use:
I’m [Your Name], from [band name linked to website].
I loved your [personalized message].
I found your playlist [Playlist Name] on [Music Service]. Great stuff!
[I/My Band/We] just released a new song that I think would be a great fit for your playlist’s listeners. You can check it out here: [URL to song in streaming service].
Looking forward to hearing what you think.
Either way, keep up the awesome work!
After you send the email, follow up a few days later if you don’t get a response. If you follow up twice and still have no response, they’re probably not interested – simply move on to the next editor. Getting into playlists is a numbers game, but with the potential for a huge promotional payoff.