For any artist, landing a Spotify placement can be a real game-changer. I don’t need to tell you that. Odds are if you’re an artist in the industry today, and you’re reading this article, you know how sought after playlist spots are.
But how do you land one?
Like everything in this industry, there’s a lot that goes into it that goes beyond the talent, fit, and potential of the song. We’ll break down some of the ways you can start to get your song noticed and in rotation on your favorite Spotify playlists.
Step 1: Cover the basics
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, remember to cover some of the basics when it comes to your Spotify. Fill out your bio, try to get verified, and start promoting Spotify to your existing fans and audience by sharing your tracks, and perhaps even creating your own weekly playlists. As a bonus, this gives you both new content to share with your audience (that isn’t just about you) and it allows for tons of networking opportunities with other emerging artists that you include.
Step 2: Be realistic
I’m a big fan of dreaming big and shooting for the stars. I believe we all have the potential to take our lives, and careers, as far as we want. That being said, there are some crucial steps that need to happen before you get from A to Z and all too often I find artists try to skip them. Which, I get, because who wants to grind away for five years when you can skip all that and go straight to the thing you want? But unfortunately, that’s rarely (if ever) the way it works.
All this to say, try to be realistic in your goals. You may not be ready a for a Spotify Official playlist right away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build up your Spotify image in the meantime with spots on unofficial playlists. Which brings us to the next step.
Step 3: Placement on unofficial playlists
There are tons of unofficial playlists run by blogs and influencers, and if you can get yourself on one of those, Spotify’s algorithm will start paying attention to how the track is performing and if it starts getting enough listens and buzz, they’ll notice. Personally, I think this is one of the best ways to get yourself on something like’s Spotify Discover Weekly or Daily Mix. Not to mention, you’re building your exposure through a variety of new audiences.
Step 4: Finding the perfect fit
When you’re searching for playlists to pitch, you’ll want to search Spotify’s expansive lists by things like Mood/Activity (how does your song make people feel? Is it great background study music? Is it a road trip tune?), Genre, and even see what other playlists artists you take influence from are on.
As a tip, don’t just look for what playlists the major label artists are on. Try to find an artist who is just a smidge ahead of you in their career and see where they’ve been placed. That way, you know the playlist is open to emerging artists.
Step 5: Pitching the playlist
This can go a couple ways. If the playlist you’re pitching is from a blog, check out their website and submit via whatever method they prefer. A lot of blogs these days are using SubmitHub for Spotify playlists as well, so if you’re feeling stuck, that’s a great place to start.
Interestingly, a lot of the most listened to and influential playlists are actually created by your average person. While I strongly advocate against stalking and contacting people on their personal social media accounts (no one likes that) I would recommend connecting via Twitter first (Facebook just seems a little too personal), and remember to build the relationship a little.
No one likes being cold pitched to, especially when they aren’t expecting it. Take some time to personalize your message (perhaps telling them what song first got you hooked on their playlist) and then broach the subject of your own track.
Be sure to let them know you’d love to share the playlist with your followers if they decide to feature. This is where a healthy social media/newsletter following and fan engagement come in handy. This is a much better sell when you actually have an audience.
Step 6: Keeping the momentum going
Once you’ve landed a few placements, it’s time to make the most of them. Firstly, you should be proud, and you should be excited, and you should definitely share (and tag a few other artists who are also on the playlist) but you don’t want to be annoying and spam your fans by just sharing the playlist nonstop. There are ways to share it and celebrate with your fans, rather than at them.
That said, you do want to share on social media, tag the playlist owner whenever possible, and generally show your gratitude.
Lastly, don’t forget to direct fans to stream your track within the playlist itself, rather than just linking to your track directly. Be gracious, be smart, and celebrate your success!