You May Not Know This About Spotify…
A lot of artists and producers don’t realize this, but when you’re young in the game, being successful on Spotify has a lot to do with playlists. I’m here to break down why playlists play such a huge role in how many plays you get, and how to help yourself, or your team, get placement on Spotify playlists. This is by no means all the info you need to use these methods so please do more research (I’ll put some useful links at the bottom). This is just to introduce you to the ideas.
Okay, So the first thing you’re going to want to do is, make sure your music is out on Spotify. If your music is on Spotify then it will likely be on most other platforms as well. For now I’m going to focus on Spotify and getting placement on those playlists. If you do not have your music on streaming services yet, don’t be discouraged, its not as hard as you might think. Once you have finished your project and you get your masters from your engineer, all you have to do is throw together some artwork and then go to Distrokid.com. Distrokid is a distribution company that makes it easy to sell your music. Its a lot like CD baby, TuneCore, etc, if you’re familiar. Basically, you go to Distrokid’s website, sign up, upload your music and artwork, and BOOM, a few days to a week later your music is out for the world to hear. Distrokid, in my experience has the most features and is the easiest to use. If you plan on using Distortkid, and want to save a little money, I’ve provided a link for a 7% DISCOUNT at the bottom. With the discount its under twenty bucks to get your music out. No more excuses, Distrokid is hooking you up!
Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS.
Look, its not easy being an artist, getting friends, even family to support you can be difficult. So you want the people that are supporting you to help in the most effective way right? Exactly, and one way is …. you guessed it, using Spotify. Obviously you want all your fans, supporters, family, friends to follow you on Spotify, but here’s something you can do to take it a little further. Assuming your friends and family have a brain, and haven’t been cryogenically frozen for the past decade, then they should understand Spotify, how to use it as a consumer, and they have probably even made a few playlists. Maybe for the gym???? But more likely for the pregame on Friday night. Anyways, the first thing to do is establish that. Say hey do you have a playlist? If they don’t, encourage them to make one. If they do, ask them to put your music on that playlist. (Even if its just one song, though if it is one song try to make that THE song that everyone you contact is putting on their playlist) Just focus on one song at first, then once that has some success move on to others, or whole projects.
Another thing people don’t realize is that when people add your music to their library on Spotify, its a nice way to help get your music noticed by Spotify’s algorithm. So what am I gonna tell you? Your supporters need to add your music to their library!! Distrokid has a link they provide called HyperFollow that, when clicked, automatically follows your profile and adds all your songs to their library. SMART. You personally can make your own playlists on Spotify and add your music to it as well. For example make a playlist called “Best Hip-Hop”, or something click-baity to grab listeners attention, then shuffle in a few of your own songs. Its the least annoying thing you can do for curating the playlist “THE HOTTEST BANGERS 2018” for them.) Now, being on all these playlists is great and you’re truly the most famous person in your friends group at this point, but what really matters is being on playlists with clout. By that I mean they have a lot of followers, and hopefully some FRIGGIN BANGERS BRO. Playlists with a lot of followers come in a couple forms, I’m gonna call one form “user” playlists. This is some person like you or I who has, in some miraculous way, obtained a few thousand followers on their “calming drive home” playlist. Probably due to their “lifestyle” social media account that has 25k followers and is just pictures of them riding elephants, going to Greece, and is supported by a trust fund. The other type of playlist that always has a huge following is “editorial” Playlists.
These are playlist made by Spotify and the songs on these playlists usually have something in common (New Music Friday, Release Radar, Pop Rising, Rap Caviar, and so forth). If You get on one of these playlists you will rack up some big numbers fairly quickly. Quick Tip: ALWAYS release your music on Friday just to have a chance to get on the new music Friday playlist, even though you likely won’t until you start getting some bigger numbers. You have to start small though. Finding playlist that are plausible for you to get on, will eventually help you get on more popular playlists. Maybe start with a playlist that only has 1000 followers or so. To find out what playlist you need to be on, you need to do some work. Take what you think is your best song, who does it sound like? What genre is it? Is it acoustic? Is it hip hop? For this example, we’ll say its a hip hop song, and it has the same vibe as Lil Pump’s Butterfly Doors. Taking that in consideration you’re going to find playlists that have that song on it. To find them you’ll have to go to chartmetric.com and make a profile (its free for the lite version which is all you’ll need). Go in there and do some digging; find people that share that taste of music and ask them politely to be on their playlist. Unfortunately its not quite that easy so I’ll drop a link for a video to help you figure out how to do this. Getting on these user playlists will alert the algorithm that your song is gaining notoriety. There are ways to pay to get on playlists so look into that as well but, be careful (probably want to avoid Fiverr for this as they are usually b.s). The harder it is to get on a playlist the more likely that it will actually help, thats a good way to look at it. Its best to have all this pre-planned before dropping a project, but if your project is already out, this can still help tremendously.
All and all guys and gals, it takes a lot of work to be successful in this industry. Theres millions of other people trying to do the same thing as you and, unfortunately, good music doesn’t sell itself. Having good music is not even nearly enough, on its own, to make a living in this business. You have to put in the extra work. You have to treat this as if it were an actual job before it will ever become one. With that being said, as an artist, realize how important it is for people to support you. Even in small ways like, liking a photo, or sharing a link, or making a playlist, and do the same for the artists that you know. Go out to clubs, dive bars, raid some weddings, and make friends that are trying to do the same thing as you. When you all come together, support and bring each other up, you can all succeed. None of these things are going to be a “do it once and if it doesn’t work immediately give up” kind of thing. It will take consistent work and time to get all your songs out on playlists and, to gain a following for a playlist of your own but, its well worth the work if you make it happen. The beautiful thing is, its something you can do yourself and it doesn’t cost anything but time (we all have PLENTY of that right?). I dropped some useful links below, as well as links for my socials! If you like this article, give me a follow for more music related content. Good luck friends!
Ask your supporters to add your music to their playlist
Make your own playlists, shuffle your music in and have supporters follow that playlist
Do your research and find playlists that your music would fit into
Ask the makers of those playlists to add your music
Pray like hell that this actually works