In todays digital era, music consumption is dominated by streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. These services offer suggested music to listeners via playlist that have become major factors in the success of records. Spotify’s Rap Caviar, for example, has turned mixtape rappers into mega stars due to the spins they received just by the playlist placement.
Spotify’s algorithm determines what music to suggest based on how often people play a song, how much of that song they listen too and whether they add it to their own playlists. Based on that data, editors then place that music on more playlist and the cycle continues.
For independent artists, getting placed on these playlists can be a struggle unless you know someone or have developed a buzz outside of the platform. Spotify recently announced a new feature that allows independent artists to submit unreleased songs for playlist consideration. While this feature is great, it may still be difficult to make it onto a playlist.
5 WAYS TO BUILD A BUZZ ON SPOTIFY:
- Outside Sources – While Spotify playlisters do get bombarded with submissions each day, they’re also most likely searching a lot of the same outside sources for new music that you are. After all, they are music fans first and foremost or they wouldn’t have put in the hard work to get to the position they’re in. Work other angles to build a buzz around your music – whether it’s social media strategy, viral content, an active press campaign or playing live. If you create opportunities outside of the platform for Spotify playlisters to find you, it can start an organic relationship where you can later submit your music to them directly.
- Independent Playlisters – Blogs, brands and individuals who just happen to have great taste in music are all garnering large followers around their playlists every day. While you still have to get them to listen to (and like) your music, these playlist opportunities tend to be easier to dig up a contact for. Not only will these playlists help you increase your play count, but Spotify runs algorithms that track playlist adds and how many times a song has been favorited. If your music is getting added to a bunch of unofficial playlists, it may alert Spotify’s editorial team via that algorithm and lead to them giving you a few spins.
- Be Your Own Playlister – Verified artist accounts can create playlists directly from their page. You can highlight the music you’re currently listening to, stuff that inspired your new song or create themed playlists. If fans are into your taste, it could add to new followers and draw attention back to your own music. It also doesn’t hurt to add some of your own songs to these playlists as well!
- Monthly Listener & Subscriber Counts – As mentioned with the independent playlisting section, Spotify does rely on analytics in addition to personal taste. Whenever you’re creating marketing plans around new music, you should always be including initiatives that increase your monthly listener and subscriber counts. If these numbers are trending up for you, it will give you a much better chance of getting noticed and increase your chances of ending up on people’s Release Radar and Discover Weekly playlists.
- Put Your Spotify Links & Follow Buttons EVERYWHERE – Yes, this probably seems intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many band pages (social or website) I come across on a daily basis that don’t do it. If Spotify is your priority, include links everywhere you can. Is your song also on YouTube? Put a Spotify streaming link in the video description. Are your fans on Twitter or Instagram? Pin a tweet with the Spotify link to your new single to the top of your page and do an Instagram story that allows fans to listen to your new music directly in the post via Spotify. Even simpler, embed “follow” links everywhere on the internet that you can! This could be a website, in a press release or on your other social media pages. Just make sure you’re filtering people back to your Spotify page!
Bonus tip: If you’re reading this post, chances are you use TuneCore for distribution. TuneCore offers opportunities for their clients to submit new music for playlisting as well. Make sure you are taking advantage of this and all the other amazing services that TuneCore has to offer!