How to Get Your Song on a Spotify Playlist

IIn the era of music streaming, getting your song on a Spotify playlist is a crucial step in increasing your streams and reaching new listeners. Spotify, like most other streaming platforms, offers various types of playlists. This includes editorial playlists curated by Spotify’s team, algorithmic playlists tailored to individual listeners, and user-generated playlists created by fans and independent curators.

Here we’ll explore each type of playlist and provide valuable tips to help you increase your chances of getting your song featured.

The Spotify playlist ecosystem

The Spotify playlist ecosystem

Understanding the Playlist Ecosystem

Let’s start by breaking down the different types of playlists that are available on Spotify:

1. Editorial Playlists

Spotify’s editorial playlists are curated by a team of experts who handpick songs based on their quality, relevance, and potential. These playlists range from broad genre-based collections to more specific cultural or lifestyle-related selections. Getting on a Spotify Editorial playlist might seem like winning a lottery for indie artists, as it would easily translate into an uptick in streams, however, the main thing to keep in mind for these playlists is that the vast majority of the tracks on these playlists (around 70% – 87%) are of artists on major record labels

2. Algorithmic Playlists

Spotify’s algorithmic playlists, such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar, are personalized for each listener. These playlists recommend songs based on the listener’s individual music preferences, listening habits, similar artists, and artists these follow. Each one of an artist’s followers will translate into a placement to a Release Radar playlist. In other words, if your Spotify profile has 500 followers, then your new track will automatically be placed on 500 Release Radar playlists. Spotify claims that the Release Radar generates a higher number of streams compared to any curated playlist on their platform. If a listener hasn’t played a song yet, it can remain in the Release Radar for up to four weeks. So make sure you get people to follow you on Spotify!

3. User-Generated Playlists

User-generated playlists are created by Spotify users and can cover a wide range of themes, genres, and moods. These playlists are often more niche and can be a great way to connect with specific fan communities. You can sometimes track down curators of these playlists and ask them to add your song, though beware as many tout a high number of followers only to be filled with bots, or could otherwise ask you for an illegal fee known as payola.

Submitting Your Song for Editorial Placement

To pitch your song for consideration on Spotify’s editorial playlists, it’s essential to complete digital distribution and set a release date at least one week in advance, though ideally four weeks or more would be best. Utilize Spotify’s pitching tool within your Spotify for Artists account to submit your song. 

When submitting your pitch, provide accurate information about your song, including its genre, influences, and instrumentation. Craft a compelling description and pitch that showcases your unique sound, mentioning inspirations and suggesting suitable playlists where your song could be a good fit. You should research specific editorial playlist names and plug them into your pitch.

What’s important to bear in mind, however, is that most placements happen through established relationships between parties such as a label, a distributor, a management company and Spotify editors, and less frequently through the submission form. Moreso, artists in smaller markets, meaning outside of markets such as the US or the UK, may have higher chances of landing on local or national playlists as competition is less intense in such places.

Reaching out to Independent Curators

Platforms such as Playlist Supply and Chartmetric can help you find playlists and their curators to submit your music to. You can make a list of relevant playlists and find their contact info, aiming to pitch to them as soon as your song is released.

Personalization is key when reaching out to playlist curators. Avoid sending generic emails and take the time to tailor your message to each playlist curator’s preferences. Research their playlists, mention specific songs or artists you think they might enjoy, and highlight how your song aligns with their curation style. Create a captivating description and pitch, highlighting the story behind your song and its meaning.

Track your outreach efforts by creating a spreadsheet to monitor your submissions and responses from playlist curators. This will help you stay organized and follow up effectively.

If you do get featured on a playlist, make sure to thank the playlist owner by sharing the playlist and tagging the curator (whether it’s Spotify or an independent curator) on your social media channels. This will encourage curators to feature more of your tracks in the future.

Other Useful Tips

Run a pre-save campaign to generate excitement and encourage fans to save, share, and stream your song once it’s released. This early engagement can positively impact your song’s performance and catch the attention of playlist curators, including algorithmic ones.

Consider adding a Spotify Canvas video to enhance your song’s release. Spotify Canvas is a feature that allows artists to create looping visual content to accompany their music, making your song more engaging and shareable. According to Spotify, the presence of a Canvas significantly increases listener engagement across various metrics: streaming retention (+5% on average compared to the control group), track sharing (+145%), playlist additions (+20%), track saving (+1.4%), and profile page visits (+9%).

Be Persistent and Consistent

While getting featured on playlists can significantly boost your music’s visibility and reach, it’s important to remember that playlist placements may be temporary. Continuously seek new playlist opportunities, engage with your fans, and promote your music through other channels to build a strong and sustainable music ecosystem. Afterall, competition is fierce, with over 120,000 new songs being released every single day

Getting your song on a Spotify playlist is a valuable opportunity to increase your streams and connect with new listeners. By understanding the different types of playlists, submitting your song strategically, and implementing effective tips to increase your chances, you can enhance your visibility and take important steps towards building a successful music career. Remember to focus on creating high-quality music, engaging with your fans, and exploring other promotional avenues to maximize your growth as an artist.

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