Spotify isn’t just a streaming service – it can be wielded as a marketing tool, too. As an artist, you can leverage the platform’s massive user base to grow your pool of listeners, and getting your music on a Spotify playlist is one of the best ways to do so.
To do that, you first need your songs to be heard by the editors at Spotify. These editors, also known as playlist curators, listen to millions of songs and sort them into relevant playlists based on genre, mood and other themes. Users on Spotify can also create and share personalized playlists.
Spotify’s public playlists are curated by editors at Spotify, and it’s how most people discover new music on the platform. Placement on a Spotify playlist with a sizeable following is extremely coveted. One example of such a playlist is Low-key Weekend, which has over 70,000 followers. Singer-songwriter Rhyms’ song, ‘For Tonight’, was added onto the playlist in October 2018 and is now on its way to almost 2 million streams.
So how do you snag a spot on one of these highly sought-after playlists? Here are six tips to boost your chances.
Pitch your track directly using Spotify for Artists
Anyone can pitch their music to be heard by the editors at Spotify. Before you start pitching, you’ll need to sign up for an account on Spotify For Artists. You’ll then need to Claim Your Profile. Once your profile is claimed and verified, you’ll be able to start pitching unreleased music to the editors at Spotify.
After setting up your account and profile, head over to the home section and select “Pitch a song to our editors”.
You’ll then be directed to a form where you can fill in as much information as you want about your music including the title, mood, genre, objectives, audiences and additionally, any promotion or marketing plans you have. The more detailed your information is, the higher the chances of getting your music playlisted. Keep in mind that you can only pitch one song at a time.
The editors at Spotify will review every submission manually and feature chosen releases on suitable editorial playlists (more on this below). Even if your music doesn’t get picked immediately, the editors may do so in the future. So keep your eyes peeled for any playlist additions after your music is released.
Schedule your releases as early as possible
The editors at Spotify receive countless submissions daily from artists around the globe, and it takes a while for them to sieve through these submissions. By submitting your pitch early, you can ensure that the editors will get an opportunity to listen to your song prior to its release day.
How early is early? For most artists, the recommended timeline to submit your pitch is at least four weeks before the track’s actual release date.
Have a solid Spotify profile
As unrelated to playlists as it seems, having a phenomenal-looking Spotify profile does contribute to music being playlisted. Editors at Spotify wouldn’t want to playlist an artist with a haphazard-looking profile. Here are four key things you can do right now to spruce up your profile.
Upload a high-resolution photo for your profile and cover
Show your listeners who you are; people want to know the person behind the music. Profile and cover photos will also help your listeners suss out your vibe.
Keep your artist information up-to-date
Update your photos, bio, accolades, social media links, gigs and everything else regularly. This makes your artist profile look consistent with all the other platforms you might have a presence on, including BandLab, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.
Read More: How To Brand Yourself As A Music Artist
Make use of the Artist’s Pick function
Artist’s Pick is a tool that’s native to Spotify. It allows you to feature a song, album or playlist of your choice at the very top of your profile. The feature will be on your profile for two weeks, and you can update it anytime. This not only lets you highlight a particular release you want listeners to check out – it also allows you to do so with a short quote or message to your fans.
List your gigs via SongKick on Spotify
You can list your gigs and concert details down on your Spotify profile via Songkick. Your gigs will automatically be listed on Spotify every time you update it on Songkick, so set it up once and you’ll be good to go.
Have a good-sounding mix and master
The team at Spotify has stressed this over and over again: high production value is one of the key factors editors look out for when considering a song for playlisting. Many artists with amazing songs fail to get onto playlists due to a poor or mediocre mix or master.
A good mix is about balancing track levels such that every instrument plays its role, serving the music. EQ, compression, reverb, delay and other effects are merely for fine-tuning and creative expression. The key to a good mix is in setting the right levels for each track.
Apart from being able to mix your music within BandLab, you can also connect and share your session with professional producers, engineers or artists. You never know who might give you constructive feedback on your production to improve it. Go ahead and share your mix on your feed to get as much feedback from the BandLab community as possible.
Mastering is typically the final step in a music production process. The main objective here is to design an optimal playback experience by ensuring that the stereo mix sounds cohesive with its levels at commercial loudness. A well-mastered track should allow a consumer to listen to the entire track without having to alter the volume or EQ.
Mastering is a highly advanced skill that takes years of practice to become proficient. This also means that it is relatively pricey to get your music mastered by a professional mastering engineer. However, the expert engineers at BandLab have designed a free, cutting-edge mastering tool that allows you to simply drop your mix in and have a great sounding master within seconds.
Audition four Mastering Presets, designed in collaboration with multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artists and mastering engineers:
Build your Spotify following
Apart from personalized playlists created by users, there are two main types of playlists on Spotify: editorial playlists and algorithmic playlists.
Most people are familiar with editorial playlists. You can find them under Spotify’s Browse section, categorized into genres and moods. These playlists are carefully curated by the editors at Spotify. If you’ve already pitched your track via Spotify For Artists, all you have to do is cross your fingers and wait to see if your song gets onto an editorial playlist.
Algorithmic playlists are generated for Spotify users based on their consumption habits. These are playlists such as ‘Discover Weekly’ and ‘Release Radar’, commonly referred to as personalized playlists. If a user follows you on Spotify, any new music you release would be featured in your followers’ ‘Release Radar’ playlist. This means that the more followers you garner, the more playlists you’ll be on.
Here are a few ways to build up a following on Spotify:
- Encourage your listeners and collaborators on BandLab to follow you on Spotify by connecting your Spotify profile to your BandLab account under your profile settings
- Use your social media accounts to promote your tracks and encourage your followers to follow you on Spotify
- Find like-minded active users within the BandLab community using Channels and Creator Connect (under Explore on the navigation bar) and share your tracks with them.
- Curate and promote your own Spotify playlists, including your own songs in them
Read More: Six Tips On How To Get Your Music Heard
Use the analytics tool within Spotify for Artists
In order to craft a great pitch for your song, it’s important to figure out who your listeners are. You might not be able to obtain any information until after your very first release. But shortly after, you’ll be able to collect and analyze data on your Spotify audience.
Spotify provides quite robust insights, such as gender, geographical location, playlists, stream count and other data that allow you to find out who listens. By studying this data that’s readily available, you might be able to gain valuable insights on who your current listeners are, allowing you to craft music and promotion strategies to better appeal to your listeners.
For instance, if your listeners are mostly teenagers, you can start crafting social media content or targeted ads, or even write new songs that teens will find more relatable. This usually results in more of your music landing on personalized user playlists.