Do you want to get your music featured on Spotify playlists but not sure how?
No problem – we’ve got you covered.
Spotify is a leader amongst music streaming services. In fact, it’s the most popular one. Which is why it’s such an effective way to reach new music listeners.
In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about getting your music on Spotify playlists.
This will help you reach new listeners and make more money from your music.
Let’s get started:
Types of Spotify playlists
Before you learn how to get on a Spotify playlist, you must first understand what type of playlists are available on the platform.
User-generated Spotify playlists
These are playlists that Spotify users create for themselves or for sharing with others. Some radio stations and music bloggers also put out their own playlists.
Most user-generated playlists don’t have the same follower counts as you’d find on other types of Spotify playlists. But that’s not always the case.
Those that manage to tap into or discover a music genre or category with a strong or growing following can end up gaining thousands of followers. That is so long as they are able to curate a solid song list.
Label-generated Spotify playlists
These are playlists that are managed by record labels and publishers. They create their own playlists to promote their artists in the hopes that people not only listen to them but also start adding their songs to other playlists.
It’s for these reasons that a Spotify playlist created by a recording label would mostly (if not exclusively) feature recording artists that they have deals with. So getting a spot in label-generated playlists might not be possible for artists that aren’t signed to any of them.
You can find indie labels that will have no issues with adding an indie artist to their playlists.
These refer to playlists that are curated and maintained by Spotify’s editorial team. Anyone with a long-time Spotify account should already be familiar with these as they are heavily featured on the platform.
It’s even possible that the first Spotify playlist you followed was an editorial playlist.
Spotify creates playlists for just about any occasion. Whether you’re looking for songs from a specific era, want to listen to a genre, or need songs that fit your current mood — Spotify has you covered.
Of all the types of playlists available on the platform, Spotify-generated playlists are the most coveted.
There are also playlists that feature new artists, new releases, and similar playlists that are referred to as algorithmic playlists.
Technically, these are also playlists that Spotify is in control of. But rather than using an editorial team to curate, it relies on an algorithm to decide what songs get included.
Prepare to be featured: getting into Spotify playlists
There are different ways for artists to get their music on Spotify playlists. How you get there will depend on what type of Spotify playlist you’re aiming for.
But regardless of what playlist you’re targeting, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. You’ll need to make the necessary preparations to boost your chances of getting noticed by Spotify’s editorial team.
Here are the things you need to do before reaching out to Spotify playlist curators and asking them to add your music.
Get verified through Spotify for Artists
You’ll need a verified Spotify account if you want to pitch music to playlists. Only users with a Spotify for Artists account can get verified. For the unfamiliar, Spotify for Artists is a profile management feature that lets artists customize their profiles and access their analytics.
Signing up for a Spotify for Artists account is easy. Just go to the Spotify for Artists homepage and click Get Access. You’ll find the button somewhere in the upper-right corner.
Just follow the on-screen instructions and provide all the information that Spotify needs from you.
And once you’ve secured a Spotify for Artists account, you can claim your Spotify for Artists page. Claiming the page will verify your account. You’ll know that an account is verified when it has a blue checkmark above the artist’s name.
Getting verified has other perks other than being able to request songs to be added to a playlist. You’ll be able to do a lot of things including adding photos, updating your concert information, and editing your bio
Edit your bio
Having a strong Spotify artist bio is important because other users will decide whether to add your songs to playlists or not based on the information you provide.
If they like what they see, there’s a good chance your songs could end up on other people’s Spotify playlists.
So what should you add to your bio?
You need to tell people who you are. If you’re in a band, use this space to name all the members, tell what instruments they play, and share interesting tidbits about yourselves to show some personality.
To edit your bio, all you have to do is go to your profile page and hit Artist Bio. This should give you the option to add information about your music.
You should also upload photos of yourself or your band. If you have artwork related to your music, you can upload those too. Just make sure that any visuals that you’re adding to your bio correspond to the feel that you’re going for.
And don’t forget to add your social media links.
Be active on Spotify
You’ll need to make your way to smaller listener playlists before you get on the bigger ones. And to do that, you’ll have to be more active on Spotify.
Spotify has an algorithm that checks which artists are doing well on the platform. It will take it as a good sign if people start following your account, adding your music to their playlists, and sharing your music with their friends.
Spotify playlist curators pay close attention to the algorithm. So if it sees that your account is gaining traction, it just might start adding your songs to relevant playlists.
So keep adding songs as soon as you’re able. You don’t have to drop an entire album right away. Even dropping singles will do wonders.
Get your music on Spotify playlists
Once you’ve done your preparations, you can now proceed with adding your songs to different playlists. As mentioned earlier, there are different types of playlists on Spotify. And how you get added to each type will be different.
Start your own playlist
The easiest method to get your music on a playlist is to start your very own. Yes, you can create Spotify playlists to promote your music.
But why start your own playlist when others already have thousands of followers? Doesn’t it make more sense to pursue bigger playlists?
Yes, you want to be on those playlists. But to do that, you have to start somewhere. And being on a playlist you control is a good start.
For one thing, you get to control what’s on your playlist. So not only can you add your new music but you can also feature songs from artists you want to be associated with. Think of it as self-branding.
And if you manage to add music that other users are already looking for, they might follow your playlist. That means they will—at some point—end up listening to your stuff.
It’s a great way to promote your work.
Get on your friends’ playlists
Adding a song on Spotify playlists is free. So you’re not really asking for much by asking friends and family to add your music to their playlists.
How can this help you?
If enough people do it, Spotify’s algorithm will know that there’s a demand for your new music. So much so that it might add your music to one of its algorithmic playlists. There’s no guarantee that this will happen, of course. But it certainly helps. You’re not going to lose anything by trying anyway so you might as well ask people to do you a favor.
Get on your followers’ playlists
Do you have a fan mailing list outside of Spotify? Why not send members an email asking them to add you to their Spotify playlists?
If you’re playing gigs or doing online shows, you could plug your Spotify profile and ask people to follow you there. Basically, you want your fans to add your music to their playlists.
You want to do it for the same reasons as getting on your friends’ playlists. You want as much exposure as you can.
And if your followers have a following of their own, your music will be introduced to a whole new set of people who might end up liking your songs. From there, your music can grow organically.
There’s no need to get on a whole bunch of curated playlists straight away. Having one or two users add you per week will be enough to start. And as Spotify’s algorithm catches on, you could find yourself appearing on editorial playlists.
Get on influencers’ playlists
Getting on playlists from here on out will get a bit tougher but so much more rewarding.
There are private playlists on Spotify that are curated by influencers in the industry. These independently curated playlists are harder to get into than your average Spotify playlist.
That’s because the people who manage these playlists take a lot of pride in their work. They care about playlist placement. They rarely cater to the general public. What they offer is a selection of songs that fit a specific category, mood, or genre of music.
Influencers are followed and respected by people. They likely have a massive following outside of Spotify too. Some influencers are involved in the music industry in some way like Todd in the Shadows who is a music critic on YouTube.
With all of that said, how do you get on an influencer’s playlist? You build a relationship with them.
First, you have to find the right influencers to work with. Not just anyone would work. You’ll need to look at all their playlists and see if there’s one or two where your own tracks would fit in.
Once you have a list of influencers you’d like to work with, you’ll need to get in touch with them to build a working relationship. If you’ve ever heard of blogger outreach, it shares a similar concept.
How you build a relationship with influencers will be up to you. Some people prefer to be more subtle in their approach. They’ll find an excuse to message the influencers by complimenting the selection of music in their playlists. And when the time feels right, that’s when they’ll ask for the favor.
Others are more direct in their approach. They’ll immediately tell what they want and let the influencer know why their music would make a great addition to the playlist.
Get on label-generated playlists
Getting on an influencer’s playlist is tough. But getting your music on curated playlists by music labels is even tougher.
Not only are they prioritizing the artists that are signed to them, but they also have different ways of selecting what music goes on their playlists. Their playlists are built on relationships that these labels have formed with people in the industry. It’s not something anyone could easily break into.
The key to getting the attention of labels is to have a growing presence on smaller playlists. Labels pay attention to these sorts of things. And if they see that your music is gaining traction, they’re more inclined to listen to you should you reach out.
After gaining some following, you can start reaching out to labels about possibly adding you to their playlists. You can use the same approach as you did with influencers.
Just remember to give these labels a good reason why you should be included in their playlists.
Get on Spotify’s editorial playlists
The process for getting on Spotify’s editorial playlists is easier compared to other types of playlists. This is surprising considering editorial playlists are the ones everyone wants to be on because of their massive reach.
So how do you do it?
You simply send Spotify a request through Spotify for Artists. There are a couple of conditions that you have to meet. For example, you can only pitch unreleased music to playlist editors.
Spotify has released some guidelines for artists when submitting songs for review.
- You want to submit an entry as early as possible since reviewers need time to listen. Spotify suggests that you submit an entry at least 7 days before its release.
- You can’t pitch music compilations. You should only submit one entry.
- You can’t send an entry if you’re a featured artist on the song.
Spotify will give you an opportunity to add song details during the submission process. Provide as much information about the song as possible to improve your chances of getting approved.
Do note that a Spotify editor can end up choosing a different song from your release to add to a playlist.
If your song gets selected, you will receive an email confirmation. You can also check the progress on your Spotify for Artists account.
Keep in mind:
Just because you submit a song for review does not mean it’ll get accepted. You’ll want to set your expectations.
It’s worth noting that getting on top Spotify playlists will help get you on algorithmic playlists like Discovery Weekly, Spotify Radio, Your Top Songs, Daily Mix, and On Repeat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spotify released answers to questions they usually receive from artists. Here’s a compilation of the more interesting entries.
Does an artist need a lot of followers to get featured on Spotify playlists?
No. Spotify will listen to a song and try to find the right playlist to put it in.
How long does a song stay active on a playlist?
It will depend on the playlist and the intended audience. Some playlists update every week to replace all songs with new ones.
Can you request a song to be added to an editorial playlist after its release?
No. However, if a song builds enough momentum after its release, Spotify might consider doing it anyway.
Are there playlists for new artists?
Yes. Some playlists are dedicated to new artists on the platform. Some playlists are even categorized by country.
Do you need to have a label to be added to an editorial playlist?
No. You can be added to a Spotify editorial playlist even if you’re not part of a music label. There are playlists for unsigned artists.
Can you pay someone to be included in a Spotify playlist?
No. This is something Spotify goes against. If someone in the music industry offers placement in exchange for money, this is streaming manipulation — something the platform does not tolerate.
Spotify is the most popular music streaming platform. And it’s no wonder why – it’s a great platform for music lovers.
It makes it so easy for users to find music that they might like and rediscover old favorites they may have forgotten over time. And it’s also a great platform for other types of audio content like podcasts.
One of Spotify’s best features is its playlist system. A Spotify playlist is a curation of songs that typically fall under a theme like genre or decade it was released. Some playlists are created based on mood.
This is why it’s so important for artists to get listed on as many Spotify playlists as possible. It helps to get your music discovered and it helps with music sales.
But don’t forget about other music streaming services like Apple Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Deezer. They don’t have the same reach but they’re worth considering.
Finally, be sure to check out our post on music marketing strategies if you need more help promoting your music.