3 Steps To Get Placed On Spotify Playlists
With the musical revolution of digital streaming services becoming the new norm in which the majority of the population consumes music, there has been a massive shift in how music is distributed. With numerous platforms to choose from, millions of listeners are only clicks away from finding their next favorite song. Spotify Playlists are one of the most important channels to any successful music distribution strategy.
What Is A Playlist?
A playlist is a list of song files, to be played one after another or in a random order, and that’s it. Since the introduction of digital media, individual songs were mostly discovered in the context of an album or a single being played on a radio.
With digital media and streaming, users could add their favorite songs one at a time to a list or “playlist”. With the evolution of streaming and users building their own private and public playlists on services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Listeners, artists, labels and distributors relied on playlists as a useful tool to see what’s trending and up and coming.
Playlists are essential to the modern music industry of today. Although user, celebrity, and brand created playlists are common; the most popular playlists are often curated by the platform themselves. Platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music have created thousands of playlists that cover every genre, mood and theme you could imagine.
These playlists often have hundreds of thousands if not millions of active monthly listeners which is securing a place on one of these playlists can have career changing effects on an artists popularity, building their brand and exposing themselves to new audiences around the globe.
How To Upload To Spotify
Before your music can be put into one of the three types of Spotify playlists, you need to sign up with a DSP or Digital service provider. Most in the industry refer to these as distributors. A distributor is a service provider that focuses on distributing media to all major streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. For independent producers these companies are fantastic, however, there is a catch and that catch is usually either a monthly or yearly fee.
You will receive royalties from your streams once your songs are active on streaming services. If you’re not familiar with royalties and how they work, They’re the amount of money you will receive based on the number of plays your song gets. In most cases it can take hundreds if not thousands of streams to generate one US dollar in revenue. The image below depicts how many streams are needed in order to generate one dollar.
When you take into consideration earning royalties on your streams, the small yearly fee of a distributor such as Distrokid can possibly pay for itself with a single release.
The Three Types Of Spotify Playlists
Playlist on Spotify can be divided into three main categories:
User Made Playlists
1. Personalized Playlists – Algorithmic
Personalized playlists are put together by the streaming site using algorithms for the individual user based on their current listening preferences. Some popular playlists that fall under this category are, Discover Weekly, which helps the listener discover new artists and music they otherwise may not be exposed to, Release Radar Playlist, which compiles new releases from the listeners favorite artist. There is also On Repeat which compiles the users favorite current music and Repeat Rewind which pools a listeners favorite music from their past.
2. Listener Playlists – User Made
Listener playlists may be simple but they can grow extremely popular. People often make them for themselves, small groups or friends. Being placed on a listeners playlist is valuable since this shows growth in the artist and broadening to new markets.
3. Editorial Playlists – Spotify Curated Playlist
Editorial Playlists are the most important spots on Spotify. These playlists are curated by Spotify music and listened to by millions of people. The only way to be added to these playlists is by submitting your music directly for consideration.
Submit Your Music In 3 Steps
Submitting to Spotify is simple but you will need to take all the following steps from a desktop computer.
1. Login to Spotify for Artists
To do this you will need to create a Spotify for artists account. If you do not have one, this is the first thing you need to do. You cannot submit music without one! You can find the Spotify for artist page here.
2. How To Submit
There are two ways you can submit unreleased music to Spotify.
1. Navigate to the “Home” tab and choose “Submit from next release”
2. Navigate to the “Music”tab and click “Upcoming” and then “Submit a song”
3. Metadata, Metadata, Metadata
As an artist you can only submit one song from your profile at a time. It’s extremely important that you fill in ALL the songs recommended metadata as completely as possible. If you are missing information, your chances of being accepted drastically decrease.
Things You Don’t Want To Forget.
1. How To Submit
You can only submit your music to Spotify playlists through the desktop application. The submission process will not work through the mobile version of Spotify for Artists.
2. Leave Your Self Seven Days.
You have to submit at least seven days in advance of your release date to be considered for an Editorial playlist placement. The more lead time you give Spotify’s editorial team the higher your chances are to be featured.
It also can take an extra day to process your upcoming release once they receive it from your digital distributor so make sure to always plan a head. For best results submit fourteen days in advance. This should give ample time for your release to go through the proper channels.
3. It’s Free To Submit.
The process of submitting to Spotify playlists is completely free and no forms of payment are taken to increase your chances of placement.
For a new independent musician, this can seem daunting however it can absolutely be done. By now you should know how to get your music on streaming services like Spotify and submit for playlisting. It’s Important to know what you want and set small goals along the way. Pick a distributor that supports what you want and make sure you leave plenty of time in advance to submit for playlisting.
If you are interested in learning more about the music business and how to get your music heard, Dark Horse Institute’s Music Business Program is a great way to take things to the next level when you are ready.