It’s not easy to get your song added to the Spotify playlist, but it’s worth it, and it can be compared to being broadcast on the radio! Every second, a few songs are published on this most famous music streaming platform. However, some of them will remain unknown to a larger audience. One of the ways to stand out is to be added to a popular playlist, thanks to which people who don't know your music will discover it. We collected some tips on how to appear in the editorial, algorithmic, and user-created playlists. But first off, let’s start with a short explanation of the types of playlists you see in Spotify.
Types of playlists
Spotify's playlists are created in three different ways.
1) Editorial playlists
These are the playlists curated by editors – people who work at Spotify. Spotify has a lot of editorial playlists and they have many followers! These playlists get updated frequently so people return to listen to them (look at out tips on How to Create a Viral Playlist for some ideas on how to make a popular playlist).
Some of the examples of Spotify editorial playlists include “RapCaviar” and “No Cap”
2) User-created playlists
As a Spotify user, you can also create a playlist and share it with the whole world. Anyone with a Spotify account can create a playlist: regular people, artists, record labels or a content creators (influencer).
3) Algorithmic playlists
There are also playlists created by algorithms, such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar. These are playlists that are created automatically for each Spotify user depending on their listening behaviour.
How to get playlisted? We explain!
How to get on Spotify editorial playlists: Spotify playlist submission guide
Today, every artist knows that having one of their songs on a Spotify playlist is one of the best ways to be discovered by as many people as possible and by music professionals. Of course, Apple Music playlist submission is also a popular topic.
However, unless you have good contacts within the editorial team or have a label, the chances of appearing in these playlists are rather low. However, Spotify has made the process simpler and more straightforward to get you into those editorial playlists.
Since 2018, Spotify allows artists to submit their songs to playlist editors. The pitching tool is available on Spotify For Artists, so make sure you get verified there. This new tool aims to make the process of selecting playlists fairer and gives independent artists a chance to appear in Spotify playlists. It’s also a way for the platform to offer its users musical diversity. Your next outing is just a click away.
Things to know about Spotify editorial playlists
First, it’s worth knowing these things before pitching a song to Spotify:
- This process is FREE
- Songs already released can’t be sent to playlist editors
- It’s not possible to suggest more than one song at a time. If you release an EP, think carefully about the title you want to send to the Spotify editorial team.
- You must submit your song to the editorial team at least one week in advance, but we suggest to give Spotify editors more time for consideration.
- Submitting a song for consideration will guarantee your song will appear in your followers’ algorithmic Release Radar playlist and will ensure you a greater number of streams.
How to get on Spotify editorial playlists
1. Log in to your Spotify for Artists account, click on the “Catalog” tab then “Upcoming” to see your next releases.
2. Then select “Submit a song” right next to the song you want to submit.
3. If your release is an album, EP, or double single, you must select only one track – choose well!
4. Include key information in your pitch - this step is essential because it’ll allow curators to find your song depending on the information you provide.
Be prepared to fill in a genre, two sub-genres, mood, and styles of the song.
All of these are very important in determining what type of playlist the team can potentially put your track into (read how Spotify editors decide if a song is a good fit). Moods say a lot about your title! You’ll also need to indicate the language of the lyrics and the instruments used.
You’ll also have the opportunity to describe your song. Give it all! Add what's interesting about your track, what might appeal to the editorial team, what inspired you to write it, when you want to release it, etc. highlight the story behind your musical project, as you would do on your networks.
Certain words should be included in your description to attract the teams' attention. Think of a few strong adjectives to describe the pieces, especially when it comes to moods. For example, it may be intriguing to explain the inspiration behind a title and in what context it can be listened to (chill moment, sports session, etc.). You can also shortly mention the support received, whether in the press, on the networks, or directly on streaming platforms (in other playlists for example), without making it the center of your description either. Often the music speaks for itself.
Less is more
Last but not the least advice is - as you can imagine, the Spotify editorial team receives a lot of songs, so don’t write a 500-word paragraph! Go straight to the point by keeping the song at the center of your story because it’s the song that can potentially be added to an editorial playlist.
Once that's done, and you've taken the time to check that your Spotify playlist push is perfect, click on 'Submit'. You'll get notified by e-mail if editorial team picks your song to one of their playlists.
Here’s an interview with a Spotify editor where you can read more about their submission process and how they decide if a song is a good fit to the playlist.
How to get on user-created playlists: Spotify playlist submission guide
As an indie artist, it’ll be very difficult for you to appear in editorial or algorithmic playlists that have hundred thousands of subscribers. These are often generated by Spotify itself, or by very large media.
First, you should target playlists that are fairly easy to get in and these are user-generated playlists. User-generated playlist can bring you thousands of streams so don’t overlook them! Besides, being featured in independently curated playlists is crucial for increasing your chances of landing on algorithmic playlists such as Discover Weekly.
Think of it as planting a seed. You start with one small playlist, then another and another. More people discover your music and you grow your streams and followers. Playlists start small and build up. It’s unlikely that you’ll just appear all of a sudden on a big playlist with thousand of followers. Work your way up.
Target your genre
Target playlists that suit your genre, sound and style. You can find these playlist by typing a genre or the right keywords in the Spotify search bar.
Notice the pattern of the songs in the playlist and their key elements (instrumentation, tempo, mood). Avoid playlists that mix many styles, there is a good chance that listeners will skip your track quickly when they find that it doesn’t correspond to their taste.
Look at the number of likes the playlist has and if it is regularly updated (dates of songs added).
Find the playlists you want to put your music in
If you already know, which playlists match your music, now you have to contact their creators. The first difficulty can be the fact that many playlists are created by individual users, who may be difficult to find. Other independently curated playlists may belong to media outlets, big radio stations, music bloggers or other industry folks.
Do your research: Figure out who the curators are and whether they are open to a pitch from you (their submission process). Include a short info why your new single would fit so well on their playlist.
How to hunt down curators?
A bit of Google and social media searching can throw up the contact details you need to start submitting to the playlists you've chosen as targets. It'll usually be an email address or maybe a submission form on their website.
If you have a little budget, you can also try some third-party pitching services like PlaylistPush, which’ll put you in touch with playlist curators.
What to do, if you’re added to a playlist?
Just like with a press relay, it’s important to share the fact that you are added to a playlist, whatever its size. This has several advantages:
Show your audience that you are active
Show your fans that you are recognized
Feed your social networks
Promote the playlist that features your title
If all the artists present in the playlists share the fact that they appear there, it’ll increase its popularity, and it will be more interesting for you to appear there! Seeing that you have shared his compilation, playlist curator will be more inclined to add your next new song!
Make your own playlists
Start creating your own public playlists, filled with great music recommendations and include your own songs too!
As a Spotify user, you can create your own playlist and you should take advantage of that. If you’re a verified Spotify artist, you can also feature it on your profile page as 'Artist's Pick'. Make a list of the music that inspires you, or make a selection of the fellow songwriters you would like to recommend to others. This way you have something cool to offer to your fans, and you support fellow artists. Or simply make a playlist in a specific theme, mood or genre. Don't forget to put in one or two of your own songs (but not more, because Spotify's algorithm downgrades the playlist if it contains several songs by the same artist)! Collaborate with other artists, so you can both promote this playlist and reach an even bigger audience!
Even major labels own playlists. In this way, they get their artists to a greater audience and by getting enough traction and streams, they increase the songs’ chances of becoming featured on Spotify algorithmic playlists. Sony owns Filtr, Warner owns Topsify, and Universal owns Dister.
Remember, the Discover Weekly algorithm takes EVERY playlist placement into account. You can gain a lot in creating a playlist featuring your own music.
How to get on Spotify algorithmic playlists: Spotify playlist submission guide
How to make your song visible to Spotify’s algorithm? Well, you must ensure you’re an active artist on Spotify.
Put up your profile
First, make sure your artist profile looks neat, with a complete, informative biography and a nice photo. Update the photo with each new release and make sure it matches the artwork of your new single or EP. Put new music on Spotify regularly, this doesn’t have to be an album every time, but can also be one song.
Via Spotify for Artists, you can ensure that your upcoming performances are mentioned on your profile. You can also refer to your Instagram and Facebook page so that fans can find you there. Nowadays, you can even add an image gallery to make your profile page even more crispy.
Remember to submit an unreleased song for Spotify editorial team, which will guarantee that your followers on Spotify will find your track in the algorithmic Release Radar playlist.
Get some traction
Once you start populating smaller playlists, getting streams and followers, and you fan base will start rising, Spotify may put you in an algorithmic playlist such as Radio, Discover Weekly or Daily Mix. You can boost your chances by being added to user-created playlist and marketing your playlists on social media. The algorithm takes into consideration the number of times you are linked to, the number of followers you have, how often you upload new music or how often you are placed in playlists. The more active you are on Spotify as an artist and the more often your songs are added to playlists, the faster you stand out to both curators and Spotify's algorithm. So work on the number of followers first.
Drive traffic to Spotify
Do you want to make your playlist more popular and increase your chances of being displayed in Spotify’s algorithmic playlists? Bring listeners to Spotify from off platform! Put out content and stories on social media and remind people about your latest track. You need to boost the algorithm organically. Engage your audience: they need to be saving, sharing and liking you tracks. Ask them check your music in your bio and lead them to your Smart Link landing page where they can find your music singles, albums and playlists. Placing your Smart Link in your Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or Facebook bios should be no brainer, as bio section is one of the most important section on an artist’s profile/page. It also makes marketing or promotion a lot easier.
You should be sharing your Smart Link everywhere: social media, websites, newsletter and any other channels you use. This will work in your favour as Spotify's algorithms will see that you’re bringing in listeners from across the Internet.
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