How To Promote Your Music Through Spotify Playlists

How To Promote Your Music Through Spotify Playlists

Want to know how to promote your music on Spotify? The first thing you need to know is how to promote your music through Spotify playlists.

For years I have been receiving applications from musicians who want to improve their online presence. One of the most frequent questions I get is:

How can I promote my music on Spotify?

To answer this question, I have some great tips that you can follow in this article. This is not a definitive guide by any means, and I’m always happy to receive feedback to improve this and future pieces.

How to Promote Music on Spotify

In Stockholm during 2006, Spotify was born.

Today with more than 280 million active users, it’s a place where you have to be present for:

  • Finding new fans
  • Promoting your music online.

Anyone who signs up for Spotify is a music fan.

You’ll have to adapt to the platform; on YouTube, for example, your music has to find a place between a variety of videos and endless channels (ranging from movies, TV shows, training videos, and viral kitten videos). However, those who use Spotify only do so to listen and find new and great music.

Spotify and Independent Musicians

Spotify offers independent musicians a platform where they can be known by an audience that is often willing to pay the subscription: there are over 83 million paid subscribers on Spotify.

In addition to finding music lovers on Spotify, you’ll find an audience willing to pay to listen.

The same audience that values music and wants to reward musicians.

Based on Spotify’s success, you should always take into account its audience: A passionate and engaged demographic that wants to discover new music.

How can I Promote My Music on Spotify?

I recently received several emails from musicians asking me:

How can I promote my music on Spotify?

The first thing you need to know to develop your own music promotion strategy on Spotify is that most of the members of the platform listen to music through playlists.

The playlist is a list of songs, pictures or videos, used on personal computers and portable media players for faster management of the songs being played and their sequence.

On Spotify, the playlists are collections, edited selections of songs. You can create them yourself, share them, and listen to those created by other users, musicians and fans.

In addition to the playlists of platform members, Spotify creates, through its algorithms, numerous playlists that reflect your tastes.

Spotify associates your listening habits with those of similar users and churns out playlists designed for you.

(…) Discover Weekly and Release Radar, are based on your listening habits (what you like, share, save and even jump) and those of people with similar tastes.

You can find them in Browse, under Discover. They’re also often found in the foreground on the Spotify app homepage for mobile devices and on the web reader.

From One Musician to Another

Before Spotify, and more generally music streaming services, we listened to an artist’s album from start to finish.

Now our way of listening to music has changed: we’re in a disco and a DJ decides for us what to listen to. The norm is to go from one song to another, one musician to another, one singer to another.

The playlists have changed our listening habits and with a “push” they make us discover new musicians and singers.

Before, there were the physical shops selling CDs, vinyl, cassettes, and VHS, where a salesman advised us which music was the best. Now, we have the composers, musicians, singers, and DJs “in the flesh” who offer us their playlists with their favorite music.

Music lovers choose a musician not only for his productions but also for his knowledge in a musical genre because he is recognized as an expert in that genre.

Our favorite musician or content creator simplifies our choice between a music scene that grows exponentially every day.

While album reviews in music magazines or newspapers played a key role in promoting and album, the promotion has a new angle with playlists.

So, how do I promote your music through Spotify playlists?

Select Your Favorite Music

The most attentive musicians, in addition to producing music, select the music of others and make it available to their fans: curators offer a platform to bands they consider worthy of fans’ attention.

Just as a librarian helps you select the best books in the library for research, a musician selects what he or she deems noteworthy, the music you should listen to.

The music selection that was originally in the hands of record companies and then journalists is now in the hands of musicians themselves.

Publishing playlists give you the chance to learn and find new ideas for the production of your music.

Listening, selecting, and then publishing improves your level of attention. It’s a useful exercise to cultivate your musical knowledge and skills. Consider that listening habits on Spotify, based on playlists, have increased the possibility of meeting new musicians.

Those who use Spotify listen to more musicians, more music and will have the chance to meet more bands.

If you want to receive updates on new Music Marketing articles and guides, subscribe to my newsletter. It would mean a lot 🙂

Thank you!

How do Playlists Work on Spotify?

Users search and listen to new musicians through playlists.

If you want to use Spotify to make your music known around the world, you’ll have to promote your music through playlists.

Playlists customize Spotify users’ experience and meet their needs. There are those who follow and listen to a playlist to get pumped up at the gym, others who want to keep the party going on New Year’s Eve, some who just need a little relaxing music at work, and so on. There are many examples, but understanding this mechanism will give you the possibility to create your own playlists with a solid base.

The more you can dig into the need of an audience, the more your playlist will stand out among the multitude of others vying for your audience’s attention.

Playlist Curators

The quickest thing you can do to promote your music on Spotify is to search and find playlist creators who will appreciate your music. Get in touch with them! Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they willing to listen to your music?
  • Can they add your music to their playlists?

The more the playlist fits your band’s genre, the easier it will be for the curator to be interested in your music.

Once you have selected the appropriate playlists, find a way to contact the creators of the playlists.

Playlists are also featured in music magazines, so one goal you can set for yourself is to contact music magazines to be included in their playlists. If the music magazine doesn’t have a playlist on Spotify yet, you can propose to create and edit one yourself.

The easiest way is to search for the names of playlist editors on social media platforms like:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Most of the time, curators use the same photo they have on Spotify. Once you find their social networking profiles, write to them.

Keep in mind the power of direct messages!

Messages to playlist editors, as well as to anyone who receives a message from a stranger, are particularly valuable when the person you write to understands that you are following them and really appreciate their selection.

Don’t be a corporate drone with wooden prompts; be someone to which a curator can relate. Be genuine, and find something you like about their style or previous work.

Contact the people you’re already following after you’ve paid attention to them for a while.

Create Your Playlists

When you gain experience in understanding successful playlists and curators, you can create your own playlists too!

Nowadays, musicians themselves are asked to create playlists based on what they listen to.

One example from which you can draw inspiration is a famous composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, a customer of a Japanese vegan restaurant in Manhattan:

…he told the cook at the diner the annoyance of having to listen to bad background music during the meal. The problem wasn’t so much the loud volume as the selection he felt was unwise. The artist therefore proposed to take care of it himself, for free, in order to feel comfortable. He accepted the request and created a playlist for the restaurant, and from that moment on it became the soundtrack.

This is a great example of how, once you’ve created your own playlist, you can promote your music around the clubs in your city.

Propose yourself as Curator

Offer yourself as a playlist editor at a club and put your best songs in it.

Usually club owners choose playlists at random on YouTube or Spotify; offering these things free of charge gives you the opportunity to let the owner and those who attend the club find your music.

Speaking of the spread of music:

When a store, restaurant, or public place broadcasts music, you must comply with copyright rules other than those governing the personal use of platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. (…) only 17% of these stores would be in order, while the remaining 83% continue to use music illegally — and, most importantly, most entrepreneurs believe they can use their private account to broadcast background music in stores.

Using a playlist allows you to develop a promotion strategy that can broaden your horizons.

For example: You can make a playlist that collects the best songs of musicians who have played in a certain club. Likewise, you can create a playlist with the best music of emerging bands from your city, province, or region.

Another example: You can also produce tracks to enter specific playlists. If I do alternative rock, for example, I could create tracks without lyrics to enter playlists dealing with instrumental music (think about Arcade Fire who composed the soundtrack for the movie Lei). There are many bands that are contacted to compose soundtracks; start thinking this way too.

Collaborative Playlists

Let your fans participate in the creation of a playlist.

Every day, new connections between people are made. It’s these connections and relationships that make the difference if you want to create a fan following.

One of your commitments, to promote your music online, should go precisely in the direction of creating collaborations. The collaborative playlist is one of the many tools you can use to go in this direction.

Invite your fans who are loyal to your values and musical tastes to collaborate on your playlists.

Set your playlist to collaborative and your fans can add, delete, and reorder songs. They can introduce you to new songs, bands, and musicians related to your music.

You can understand with whom your fans associate, and which musicians they perceive to be similar to your style.

How to Activate the Collaborative Playlist

On Desktop

  • On the left panel, click with the right mouse button on a playlist.
  • Select “Collaborative Playlist”.

The icon indicates that the playlist is now collaborative.

On Smartphone

  • Tap your Library on the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Playlist and choose one.
  • Select Options in the top right corner.
  • Select “Make Collaborative”.

It is not possible to make a collaborative playlist on Spotify Web, though the desktop application works.

For example, you can involve your fans by creating a playlist that you’ll listen to as you move between gigs by asking them to add songs they think you should listen to.

You can also create a playlist that you will start before your concerts by asking your fans to collaborate in the creation of the playlist.

If you want. you could also create a poll on the tracks that fans shouldn’t miss out, with tools like:

  • Instagram story polls
  • Twitter polls
  • Snapchat stories

Websites That put Your Music in a Playlist

I was in doubt whether to include this section in the guide.

As a matter of fact, many musicians ask me if there are services to put their music in playlists so here you are.

Keep in mind though: my advice is to avoid paying for a song of yours to be included in a playlist.

If you really want, be informed about what you will get from this specific service before you pay.

How can I Have Control of My Spotify Profile?

You have to sign up for Spotify for Artists.

With Spotify for Artists, you can take control of your profile by editing your biography, adding images, and collecting statistics about who listens to your music.

After signing up for Spotify for Artists, ask for verification. (Did you notice that blue checkmark next to the name of many bands?)

Here, you will find questions and answers to be verified:

Spotify Artist Verification

Once verified, you can create an INFORMATION page where you can add your biography with the possibility to insert links to other musicians or to your record label (the white writing you see in the image below are links, links can only lead to pages within the Spotify platform).

On INFORMATION you can also insert your links to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and your Wikipedia page (they will appear on the right column). On the same page you can also upload a gallery of your favorite images.

Spotify will notify the people following your page when you add events (such as concerts) to this page.

Here you will find a series of videos to get the most out of Spotify:

Crush It On Spotify

Do More With Spotify: Sell Your Merchandise!

On Spotify, you can sell your merchandise through MerchBar, a service that allows you to link your Spotify profile and sell your physical merchandise. You can sell t-shirts, CDs, and everything you want from your Spotify profile.

Use Spotify Library to Help Your Band

  • You can use Spotify to do research if you’re thinking about doing a cover, for example. Who already played that piece and how? Is there something you can change to make your version unique?
  • You can also create playlists to use during downtime, or even as you’re hyping the crowd before your set.

If you want to receive updates on new Music Marketing articles and guides, subscribe to my newsletter. It would mean a lot 🙂

Thank you!

Related

It doesn’t matter whether they write it for an upcoming album campaign or for a project that’s just an idea. In many advertising companies, writing a press release acts as the starting point for every campaign they manage. Even large companies like Amazon kick-off new projects with the writing of a press release. The main purpose of a press release is to determine how you’re going to sell your product. It helps you find the story to tell. It also helps you define the criteria of your project and how you want people to talk about it when it’s finished. A press release has a standard format of a persuasive header and three paragraphs. Limit every paragraph to three sentences. First paragraph: The actual news. Second paragraph: The story of your project. Third paragraph: Your pitch bio. Start with the second paragraph and take the same approach as you’ve done on day 01 regarding your pitch bio. What is the story of your project? What do you want people to talk about when they discuss your new project? A project can be an album, single, remix, live show, merch drop, charity campaign, etc. Then, move on to the first paragraph. Start with the actual news, which most probably is the announcement of your new project. Then share in one sentence a ‘tl;dr’ or summary of the second paragraph. Conclude with a short statement about your distribution: when and where will your project be available? The third paragraph is easy: Copy-paste your pitch bio from day 01. Finally, write a persuasive header for your press release. Your final press release should have 3 paragraphs, each with 3 sentences. The second paragraph can have 1 or 2 additional sentences. Keep it short: Up to four paragraphs of up to three sentences. Keep it simple: Journalists should be able to explain your story to their readers. When writing, keep in mind how you want fans to talk about you and your project. Start to write a press release as early in your project as possible. It’s good to have a document to fall back on. Do you need a music marketing tool? Check our curated list of Music Marketing Tools.

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