Millions of music fans use Spotify to discover new artists. So as an up-and-coming musician, it’s vital to get your music on Spotify playlists and in front of legions of potential fans. But how do new artists get featured?
The only way to land on the biggest Spotify playlists is by putting your music in front of curators and making an impact. It’s hard to understate the boost a great playlist placement can give your music, so we’ve laid out this essential advice to help you grab those major playlist features in 2020.
How to get playlisted on Spotify in 2021
Pitch directly to Spotify via Spotify for Artists
Ok, this is a big one. If you’ve got music on Spotify, you NEED to be using Spotify for Artists.
If you haven’t already, go sign up and link your Spotify artist profile to Spotify for Artists right now!
Spotify for Artists has loads of great tools to help you understand and adapt your approach to promoting music on Spotify, but perhaps the most powerful part of the service is direct playlist pitching.
Just head to the Music tab of your Spotify for Artists dashboard and choose ‘Upcoming’. From here you can select the release you’d like to submit for playlisting.
It’s best to upload to Ditto with plenty of time to spare and pitch early. The very latest you should be pitching is 7 days before your release date, but ideally you want to be uploading & submitting your tracks to playlists weeks in advance of your release date.
Spotify’s curators have to go through thousands and thousands of playlist submissions every day, so the earlier you pitch, the better your chance of getting heard.
Also, you can only submit one track per release. So if you’re releasing an album or EP, have a good think about which track is most likely to get picked up by playlists.
We’ve only covered the basics here, but we’ve got a whole other article on submitting music for playlists to Spotify directly here. So go check that out.
Pitch music to independent curators
When it comes to pitching your music to independently curated playlists (that’s any playlist on Spotify that isn’t built by Spotify themselves) you’ll need to start hunting down curators.
There are thousands of popular independent Spotify playlists out there created by all sorts of curators – from blogs, media outlets and industry folk to just your average Spotify users.
Spend a few hours searching through Spotify to find playlists that would suit your sound, make a note of who owns the playlist and head to Google.
A bit of Google 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.
You could keep things organized by making a spreadsheet of all your potential playlist contacts.
Once you’ve found the right contacts, it’s time to reach out.
Make sure to keep your email short, polite and informative with prominent links to your music on Spotify. Make it as easy as possible for them to quickly find out who you are and listen to your music.
Our playlists cover loads of different genres including indie, electronic, hip-hop, rock and more. SEND US YOUR MUSIC HERE.
Get on Discover Weekly & Release Radar
Spotify’s Discover Weekly & Release Radar playlists are unique to every user on the platform. Rather than being curated by Spotify’s staff, they’re created by the platform’s algorithms.
Getting onto a listener’s Release Radar playlist is simple. Just get them to follow you on Spotify.
Whenever you release new music, it’ll appear the Release Radar playlist of everyone who follows you.
Spotify UK’s director of artists and management has previously stated that Release Radar alone generates more streams than any of Spotify’s self-curated playlists. So it’s kind of a big deal.
Discover Weekly’s algorithm however, is a little more complicated.
Every Spotify user gets their own individual Discover Weekly playlist every Monday morning.
The playlist is based entirely on that specific user’s music tastes. It uses an algorithm that analyses unique listening habits and spits out similar songs that a certain user may not have heard before.
Here’s an interesting quote from a Spotify executive explaining how it works:
We look at what you’ve been listening to. And what are the songs playing around these songs that you’ve been jamming on, but that we know you haven’t heard yet on Spotify.”
“Let’s say you’ve been playing a song by The Killers and a song by Bruce Springsteen a lot. Algorithms look for how those songs are played and ordered in other Spotify users’ playlists. If it turns out that, when people play those songs together in their playlists, there’s another song sandwiched between them that someone has never heard before, that song will show up in your Discover Weekly.”
There are a few ways to boost your chances of landing on Discover Weekly, including getting added to other playlists and increasing your engagement with listeners. You can read more about getting music into Discover Weekly here
So now you know how to pitch your music to Spotify playlists.
But that’s only half the battle! Simply submitting your music for playlists often isn’t enough. You need to give yourself the best chance of getting picked up. Here’s how:
Drive traffic to Spotify from off-platform
Ultimately, the most important thing from Spotify’s point-of-view is getting more people to listen to music on their platform.
They love it when artists bring listeners to Spotify from off platform, so share your Spotify links everywhere! Post them across your socials, your website and any other channels.
This will work in your favors as Spotify’s algorithms will recognize that you’re bringing in listeners from across the web and driving users to the platform.
Grow your following on Spotify
Put simply, the more followers you have, the more likely it is that playlist curators will take you seriously.
Make sure all of your friends, family and fans are following you on Spotify, share your tracks across social media and promote your Spotify account wherever and whenever possible to build up your followers.
And remember, any new music you release will go directly to your followers via their Release Radar playlist.
Share any playlists you’re featured on
If your music ends up being included on any Spotify playlist, no matter how small, share it as much as possible to start racking up more and more streams.
It’s always a good idea to tag the playlist curator in your posts too, to show them you’re invested in their playlist and build your relationship with them.
Complete your Spotify profile
A complete and detailed Spotify profile gives you a more legitimate face on the platform and in turn makes it more likely for playlist curators to take you seriously and consider you for features.
You can complete your profile info in Spotify for Artists. Add a bio, social media links, upcoming tour dates and more.
Build your own playlists
This is an easy way to give your music a boost on Spotify. Start creating your own public playlists, filled with great music and include your own tracks too.
With a bit (ok, a lot) of work, you could build your playlist to have thousands or even millions of followers over time.
But even if your playlist only has a few followers, it’ll still help your chance of landing on other, bigger playlists.
Remember, the Discover Weekly algorithm takes EVERY playlist placement into account, no matter how small. So you have nothing to lose in creating a playlist featuring your own music.