As an artist, it’s hard to get your music heard. You know you need to be on legitimate Spotify playlists, but the process seems impossible.
Even if you have a great song, it can be tough to get your music on popular Spotify playlists. You might be thinking, “Why should I even bother trying? There’s too much competition.”
But the truth is, if you want your music career to take off, you need to be on Spotify. You simply can’t ignore Spotify in your music promotion plan for 2023. But in order to get your music on the best Spotify playlists, both official Spotify playlists and playlists by Spotify curators, you need to put in the hard work and hustle.
Yes, there are so many artists competing for a spot, and the playlist curators are often inundated with submissions. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to get your music on Spotify playlists in 2023. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Getting your track on official Spotify playlists is easy and free. Basically, there are 3 main ways of getting your music on Spotify Playlist:
- Get on official Spotify Playlists by pitching your song directly from Spotify for Artists.
- Get on playlists of legitimate Spotify playlist curators.
- Land your song on Discover Weekly and Release Radar.
The first two may be familiar to you, but the third one while extremely powerful is also a little more complicated.
In the bonus tips at the end of the article, we’ll share ways you can give yourself the best chance of getting picked up.
Get on official Spotify Playlists. How to make official Spotify playlist submissions.
Spotify has a great tool for managing your music – Spotify for Artists. It is an absolute must-have in your music career and an essential part of your Spotify promotion. It is packed with valuable features with perhaps the most powerful one being Spotify playlist submissions – the ability to pitch your track to official Spotify playlist. And the best part – it’s a totally free service. It’s also convenient to use: you can access Spotify for Artists via both the Spotify for Artists app, as well as from your desktop.
So if you are not using this service already, sign up for it today. You won’t regret it! It’s available both for independent artists/bands and labels.
Once you’re registered and logged in, go to the ‘Home’ tab at the top of your Spotify for Artists dashboard and search for ‘Pitch a song to our editors’.
You can also start pitching your track by going to the ‘Music’ tab on the top of your dashboard. Select ‘Upcoming’. Then, click on ‘Pitch a song’.
Now choose the specific track you want to submit. Choose your strongest track.
Provide information about the release you want to submit, like genre, music cultures, etc. Be sure to include all the relevant details accurately so that your submission has the best chance of being accepted! This is really important.
Fill in your location
Add all details about your track.
Be specific and creative in your explanation of the music you’re trying to get onto one of these curated lists. Spotify playlist curators want insight into what makes your release unique.
Make sure all information is correct before submitting- mistakes cannot be redeemed through revising later because once submitted there is no turning back. You will receive email confirmation if your submission has been accepted to Spotify playlist.
Don’t forget: Followers get this song on their Release Radar playlist when you pitch at least a week before release.
Here are a couple of important things to remember when making Spotify playlist submission through Spotify for artists:
- You can only suggest songs that haven’t been released yet.
- You cannot pitch compilation or featured artist content – currently, this functionality doesn’t exist.
- You should be pitching your tracks to playlists weeks in advance of its release date. Make sure to factor in extra time when you’re creating your Spotify promotion schedule.
- Finally, you can only submit one track per release. Choose the strongest one that you believe will fit in Spotify Playlists the best.
Get on legitimate curators’ playlists. How to contact an independent Spotify playlist curator.
Hunting down Spotify playlist curators to pitch your music can be a daunting task. But it is also very rewarding in a long run. Remember, you are building your network – the list of Spotify playlist curators is the asset you will be using and refining over and over again.
There are many popular playlists created by all sorts of people: from blogs and media outlets to industry folks – and just your average user! They work in different genres, have different monthly listeners numbers, etc.
Spend some time searching through Spotify playlists that you believe your releases will suit. Usually, playlists are made around genres: hip hop/ rap, indie rock, pop music, deep house, etc. In other cases, tunes in playlists are grouped around a specific theme: Sunday morning, workout music, etc.
Note that the quality of the playlist will vary depending on the number of real followers they have. If you want your DIY organic promotion to work and your Spotify streams to count, make sure you weed out all bots’ playlists that are so common in the music industry today. You want your release to reach real listers.
Play a few tracks from the playlist and see if the they follow the announced genre or theme. Also, pay attention to the quality of tracks playlisted – would you like your release to be placed among them?
Note down playlist information, like genre, monthly listeners, number of tracks, etc.
Head to Google and search for selected playlists’ curators. Very quickly (Google is the very best with it!) you will find either their email address or a website with a submission form. Now contact them pitching your music.
Contact only relevant playlists. (For example, if you are making hip hop or rap don’t send your tunes to a playlist curator that features indie music, indie rock or world.)
Check that your message to the independent Spotify playlist curator follows DOs and DON’Ts below:
- ✅ Be polite. (duh)
- ✅ Go straight to the point. Provide them with information on why your music suits their playlist. Make it sound interesting to incite a playlist curator to actually play your track.
- ✅ Include an easily accessible link to your music.
- ❌ Just send a music link. That kind of message ends up in the trash straight away.
- ❌ Write a novel. Value their time, be informative but also short.
- ❌ Attach .mp3 No one likes heavy files cluttering their inbox.
There are also music promotion services that can help you with playlist pitching and finding Spotify playlisters. While all of them advertise their services as “organic promotion” to real listeners it’s no secret that not all of them actually are.
If you decide to buy Spotify promotion service from a company, spend an extra effort on verifying how legitimate their services are.
Do your research thoroughly. Don’t blindly trust anonymous reviews. Only take into consideration reviews coming from real artists. You can also contact the reviewer on their socials and ask about their experience.
Land your track on Discover Weekly and Release Radar.
Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists on Spotify are different for every user. Unlike Spotify official playlists that are being curated by the staff at Spotify, those are created through algorithms – and are actually generating more streams than any of their staff-curated ones! (Talk about A.I. outperforming humans…)
To get onto a listener’s Release Radar playlist, all you need to do is make them follow you on Spotify. Whenever your new music comes out – it appears on their Release Radar automatically.
Discover Weekly functions differently. Basically, it is an individualized playlist made just for you.
Every Monday morning, your personalized discovery playlist will be generated based on the songs you’ve listened to most recently and what’s popular among other Spotify users like yourself.
The algorithm analyzes all of your listening habits – even those not included in data sets used by artists or labels – to generate new additions.
Indicators that matter to the algorithm:
- Being added to playlists. It helps the algorithm to determine how your music actually sounds and who enjoys that kind of music. All playlists count, not only the best Spotify playlists but even the smallest ones. Nothing prevents you from becoming an independent Spotify playlist curator yourself. Why not make your own playlist of music similar to yours and slide in your songs?
- High engagement on your song. How many people save it, add it to their own playlists and share it on socials, etc. The higher engagement is – the better.
- High listen-through rate. Do people play your tracks till the end or do they just skip it? If you are running FB ads directly to your Spotify be very careful here, as the wrong FB audience targeting can literally ruin your chances of being picked up by the Spotify algorithm.
Bonus: How to give yourself better chances to get Spotify playlist placements
So far we have learned:
- how Spotify playlist placement and playlist submission work
- how to choose top Spotify playlists
- how to submit your music to Spotify curators
Now armed with this knowledge you need to make sure you give yourself the best chances of being picked up. Pay attention here, it’s kind of a big deal.
Complete your Spotify artist profile and make it shine:
Simply put, incomplete profile = no credibility.
A detailed Spotify artist page gives you a more legitimate face on the platform and in turn, makes it easier for playlist curators to take your music seriously.
The completion of an Artist Bio, Social Media Links & Upcoming Tour dates will give listeners a better understanding of who or what they’re listening to – which is crucial when considering features!
When adding images consider the vibes that they convey. Don’t just share a random selfy. Make sure your images are consistent with what you stand for as an artist.
The visuals will be the first impression you will be giving. Use them to your advantage. (Pro tip: Once uploaded make sure your images fit correctly in both in-app and on the Spotify web and are not stretched or squeezed abnormally)
And don’t forget- get verified as an official Spotify artist.
Drive traffic to your Spotify
The ultimate thing that the Spotify algorithm cares about is getting more people to listen to Spotify. So if you want to become algorithm’s best friend – bring him listeners and it will reward you for it!
Share your Spotify links on your social media, your website, YouTube channel, etc. (Just make sure you don’t spam – and I can’t stress it enough – don’t spam it in DMs to random people, as it actually hurts you more than you would imagine. But that is the story for another article)
If you have the budget – run ads campaign on Facebook/Instagram as part of your Spotify promotion plan. Meta ads are often used as part of the Spotify promotion since the service allows targeting your ideal listener with extreme precision. Another great service to consider running ads on is Tiktok.
Grow the number of people who follow you on Spotify
The more followers you have, the higher your chances of being taken seriously by playlist curators.
Invite all your friends, family, and fans to follow you on Spotify. Sometimes people just forget, so follow up gently to make sure they actually hit that Follow button. That extra step is well worth it – as all your new releases will show up in their Release Radar automatically.
Create your playlists
Start creating your own public playlist today if you’re looking for an easy way to give your music a boost. Of course, it’s not overnight that your playlist will get among the top playlists with millions of listeners. But remember, the Discover Weekly algorithm takes EVERY playlist placement into account, no matter how small, so you have nothing to lose.
Fill your playlist with great tracks, including your own, and over time you could build your playlist to have hundreds and even thousands of followers. Even if your playlist only has a few followers/ monthly listeners, it’ll still help your chance of landing on other, bigger playlists. So get started today and see the results for yourself!
Do you know independent artists who sound similar to you? Add their tracks to your playlist and contact them, proposing to create their own playlist with your songs in it.
Share any playlists your song has been added to
If you’re included in any Spotify playlist, no matter how small the occasion is for being there – share it! Use any opportunity to generate more streams and drive more listeners. Tag the playlist creator too – to show your interest and aim toward building a relationship.
All of these steps are important in order to give yourself the best chance of getting placement on a Spotify playlist.
And, even if you don’t get picked up by one of the major curators right away, don’t lose heart. Keep submitting your tracks and growing your following, because eventually, that perfect playlist will come around. In the meantime, keep creating killer playlists of your own and sharing them with your fans!
While Spotify is an important part of your music promotion plan for an independent artist, it’s far from the only one. For optimal promotion make sure you cover all marketing channels available for independent artists today: YouTube, Soundcloud, Apple Music, your social media, musical blogs, your own website, etc. Nowadays artists are blessed with a multitude of possibilities for organic promotion.
But don’t overestimate digital resources in your promotion plan. Year after year music industry numbers are clear: most people discover new music on radio stations and TV, and that is true in any country in the world. The amount of listeners traditional media can bring is unrivaled. So if you have an opportunity to get your song played on the radio or TV – don’t hesitate, go for it!
Yes, getting your music heard on the radio and TV is slightly tricky. But you can do it with the help of promotional services, like for example – a shameless plug – our service. Not only do we guarantee our promotion results, but you will actually know your promotion results beforehand.
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