If you’re a Spotify listener like I am, I’m sure you’ve heard about the potential you have as an artist to leverage Spotify and get your songs onto their curated editorial playlists, possibly generating tens of millions of plays on your songs if you’re lucky. This has become one of the hottest topics among independent artists in the past couple of years, and while I don’t know everything, I thought I’d try to answer some of the questions I get most often about getting playlist placement and how it all works.
The Old Way
Up until recently, there was no real way of guaranteeing that your songs would make it onto Spotify’s playlists at all. In my case, it was a completely natural, organic process. The only reason Gardiner Sisters songs are now spread across so many acoustic playlists on Spotify is because years ago, before anyone was trying to do it on purpose, someone at Spotify discovered our covers and added them to a few playlists. Suddenly we started getting tons of plays and at first had no idea where they were coming from. We still how they came across our music, but after our cover of “Home/Dirty Paws” essentially went “viral” on Spotify, almost every cover we released after that was magically placed onto one of Spotify’s acoustic playlists. We kept up with the momentum, cranking out acoustic covers and medleys, but never knowing when one would get picked up.
How Did You Do It?
A couple years later, when our songs were getting millions of plays every month, other artists and industry professionals caught on, and realized there were great revenue opportunities available on Spotify. We started getting asked questions about how we’d done it. How did we become “Spotify” artists, you may ask? Well, we didn’t do it. All we did was create music from our hearts that we were proud of, and God took care of the rest. Years later, several of our songs are still getting millions of plays every month. I’ll forever be grateful to whoever the Spotify curator was who believed in us from the start!
The New Way
I got an email from Spotify a few months ago when they rolled out a beta system for artists to submit their unreleased tracks, and was so stoked to try it out myself and share it with other artists! They’ve since rolled out the full feature, and though I don’t have any unreleased music (yet) to submit, you better believe I’m going to be testing it out when I do! As sweet as it is to have so many covers featured on Spotify, my goal is to get my original music onto a playlist.
First, I’d recommend checking out this awesome blog post and videos by Spotify, as well as this really helpful FAQ page on promotion on their website to get started.
A Few Helpful Tips
Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful as I’ve read up on this new process:
- Fill out all of the information requested on the submission page. Don’t leave anything blank, and be as specific as possible about your sound, genre, and mood to improve chances of placement
- You can only submit unreleased songs with a FUTURE release date well in advance to be considered. Take into consideration the processing time your distribution usually takes, and if you’re submitting a cover, add a week or two for licensing clearance. In an email I got from Soundrop, my distributor, they suggested setting up a release date 6 weeks in advance just to be safe!
- You can only have one song under consideration at a time, so pick your favorite! If you’re releasing covers or weekly songs, be sure to choose a track that you really love and are proud of. I believe that good music connects people and is easy to share.
Make it Happen
I want you to know that the world needs your voice and the world needs your music! There is room for all of us and our creative energy in the online space, so hopefully you found this post helpful.
If you have any further questions about the submission process and can’t find answers in the links I provided, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help you out! I hope to update this post when I go through the submission process myself and see how well it goes. If you’ve had a positive experience with getting playlisted, I’d love to hear all about it! Send me a message or leave me a comment.
Good luck, my fellow Spotify artists!