Ah, Spotify editorial playlists, the one thing all artists want to get on in the age of streaming and the digital age, and it is understandable ! You certainly have artists around you who have seen their Spotify stats skyrocket after being placed in one of them, and you want the same to happen to you !
If they were successful, so can you. It’s hard work, but it’s certainly rewarding, as you will gradually (or suddenly!) see your stream rates increase and your fan base grow over time.
How to do so ? And what are the mistakes not to make ?
Let’s get into it !
What we are going to cover :
- Avoid paying for third-party playlists pitching platforms at all costs.
- Spotify For Artists : a master guide
- Groover, SubmitHub, Indiemono & Dailyplaylists : good platforms to start pitching to Spotify playlists.
- Alright, let’s get to it : let’s dig Spotify and look for e-mail addresses.
Avoid paying for third-party playlists pitching platforms at all costs.
You’ve probably seen tons of ads for them on Instagram or elsewhere : those third-party services that promise you to make your stats skyrocket on Spotify because they pitch your track to streaming platforms for you. Tempting, isn’t it ? Especially for such a low price ?
Unfortunately, I’m sorry to tell you that none of these services are reliable, for the very reason that they bank on your lack of music industry knowledge. This is not the way you’re going to contact playlist curators. Your distributor takes care of it ; some aggregators like Wiseband also do so for some artists. Why only these very specific music professionals ? Because they are the only ones who are in direct contact thanks to private & dedicated platforms with the editors of official Spotify playlists !
But what about independent playlists then ? After all, these third-party pitching services do not offer to contact official Spotify playlist curators, but influential independent playlists on the platform !
This is where a good analysis of a playlist’s statistics as well as its content and curator is to be done. Services like Chartmetric can track this kind of data for you and help you do the work, but you don’t need to have a Charmetric account to be able to analyze them.
Before contacting any playlist curator, have a look at the number of followers of all of their playlists. Are they always more or less the same ? If so, the chances of these subscribers being fake accounts are unfortunately extremely high. I also recommend analyzing the names of the profiles who are subscribed to the playlists as well as the playlist you want to contact : are they profiles with a photo and a real name ? Or are they anonymous profiles with series of numbers and / or letters as a nickname ? There too, there is a great risk that these profiles are actually just bots.
It is important not to end up on these “fake” playlists for several reasons : you will run the risk of being “shadow ban” by Spotify, or even of being entirely banned from the platform as an artist. I have read many testimonials from artists who have suffered from this, and it goes without saying that Spotify does not offer them the possibility of reopening a profile on they platform again.
What’s being shadow banned though ?
Being shadow banned means that Spotify’s algorithm has understood that you are using fake playlists and therefore fake streams to amp up your statistics. Therefore, they will put you aside for a period of time that is difficult to determine, preventing you from entering the natural algorithm of the platform.
But then, how to get featured in Spotify playlists ? Come with me, I’ll give you some tips & tricks !
Spotify for Artists : a master guide.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a manager who explained to me that by putting the hard work in and by making sure her artist uses all the features of the Spotify application, her artist always ends up in at least one editorial playlist at each & every release. The dream, right ?
As she said to me, she recommends using all the features Spotify offers you to showcase your releases, as the streaming platform’s algorithm may notice when an artist uses it. So don’t just send out your release to your aggregator or your distributor thinking they will do all the work for you ! Work in harmony with them by following these few tips :
- a few days before your release, update your profile picture & banner, and your bio if an update is needed. On top of that, if you’ve had a photoshoot for your new release (something I strongly advise you to do), update your photo gallery that appears above your bio. Updating your profile makes it more attractive, and above all shows that you’re about to release something new, something big !
- I’ll keep saying it : in the digital age, your music is no longer enough to captivate your audience. You have to show what happens behind the scenes, you have to unveil your personality, the story of your song and in which universe it takes place. For that, on Spotify, there’s nothing better than to create one (or more!) playlist which gathers your music influences in general, or which gathers the tracks that inspired the creation of your new track. Pro tip : change the cover art of your newly created playlist too, and rename it correctly – abstract names will only drown the point you’re trying to get across !
- take Maya Yenn’s Spotify profile : she made a playlist for each of her single releases, and this not only allows you to discover the songs that inspired her tracks, but also to learn more about her musical tastes !
- make a Canvas to promote your release : Canvas is a new Spotify feature that lets you add a short video in a 9/16 format to your release, a video that has to last from 3 to 8 seconds. Why is it useful ? Because it helps you broaden the universe of your music, and it can be shared on social media : when you share your track on Instagram, the Canvas loops in the background of your cover art ! And, according to analysts, if your release has a Canvas, it has a 20% higher chance of being highlighted by the platform’s algorithm – the same way when you post a Reel on Instagram, the odds of it being more viewed and more liked than your simple posts are much higher because it’s a new feature.
- parmi les Canvas que j’aime beaucoup, il y a ceux de Glass Animals pour leur album Dreamland. Ils reprennent en 3D l’univers de la pochette de l’album, un univers qu’ils ont ensuite décliné et prolongé sur leur compte Instagram, expliquant le processus de création de leurs titres et plus encore.
- among the Canvas I really like, there are those of Glass Animals that they made for the songs of their album Dreamland. They push the boundaries of their 3D universe by animating the head depicted on the album cover ; a idea they then extended on their Instagram account, using visuals to illustrate the explanation of their creative process & lyrics.
- the “Artist pick” feature : it allows you to highlight some content of your choice (it can either be your latest release, your future live show date or even a playlist of your own) below your most streamed songs. It thus gives an indication to listeners that are visiting your profile on what you absolutely want them to discover ; the goal is to make sure that visitors stay on your profile for as long as possible and listen to more than one of your tracks, so choose what you want to highlight accordingly !
- then, if you are well prepared : pitch your (key) track to the Spotify editorial teams three to four weeks upon your release. Go to your Spotify for Artists account, and when you see your track appear on your profile (allow a few days for it to appear once you submitted it to your distributor), Spotify will ask you to pitch it. Remember to keep it short but effective as it should be less than 500 characters.
To put it simply : use Spotify as if it were an extension of your social media accounts, or a blog if you prefer. Use it to give information about yourself to your community and to the music diggers who come across your profile. When you spend time on Lorde or Billie Eilish’s profiles, you learn a lot about them and their art, right ? Do what’s in your power with the tools Spotify has to offer today !
Obviously, this doesn’t get you playlisted straight away on Spotify playlists, but it does help make yourself visible in the long run. Now let’s get back to playlists curators and the various ways you can reach them.
Groover, SubmitHub, Dailyplaylists, Indiemono… a good place to start when it comes to pitching to Spotify playlists.
While third party services that pitch your track for you are to be avoided, self-promotion platforms like Groover, SubmitHub, Dailyplaylists or even Indiemono to only name a few are services that can help you contact them on your own. For a few bucks for Groover and SubmitHub or a limited number of contacts for Dailyplaylists and Indiemono, you can select the influencers you want to reach and thus run a campaign from 48 hours to 7 days depending on the platform. The curators can then come back to you with feedback or a playlist share ; those who did not respond lose the credits you allocated to them and you can reuse them to contact other people on the platform.
Want to know more about how Groover & SubmitHub work ? I wrote about it on hauméa !
Let’s start with SubmitHub, one of the more favored playlists for electronic music artists (and more of course !).
- set up your account
- choose the influencers you want to contact by sorting them first by musical genre, and then, according to your budget, by number of credits needed to contact them (this goes from 1 to 3 depending on their popularity & more criteria).
- then spend time on their playlists by listening to them, and by making sure that your track could indeed fit into their selection.
- once you’ve got your list of curators you want to contact, all you have to do is get your pitch ready & hit submit !
The same process can be applied to services like Groover, Dailyplaylists or even Indiemono – each platform has its own interface, so I leave it to you to adapt your pitch to their requirements !
And as sometimes that will not be enough to find the right playlists curators for your release, it will sometimes be necessary to complete this process by digging Spotify itself. It’s a long and tedious process, but it will pay off long term !
You’ll see, it is not that complicated.
Alright, let’s get to it : let’s dig Spotify and look for e-mail addresses.
Very often, you’ll notice that some Spotify playlist editors leave their email or their Instagram account for you to contact them for a spot in their playlist. While it is not always easy to find who does so, it is still possible, and that starts with searching for playlists by keywords.
- let’s say, are you a DJ who regularly releases techno and gabber oriented tracks on your SoundCloud and your Spotify profile ? Tap in the search bar keywords like “rave vibes”, “at the rave”, “200 BPM & more”, “raving at Berghain”, “techno from berlin”, “detroit techno”, etc. That way you’ll find playlists that may fit your track’s mood !
Once you have your playlist list ready, you need to check that the curators’ email addresses or Instagram accounts are in the description of their playlists or their bio ! Pro tip : If the curator has a specific pseudonym, try searching for them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, because you might stumble upon their profile and therefore find their contact form. I recommend you to also check if it’s not already on SubmitHub, it could have flown under your radar ! Put these email addresses and Instagram profile in an Excel file or a Word sheet so that you can keep track of your process.
And there you go ! You now have all the necessary info to be able to reach playlists curators on your own !
While reading this article, you realized that you haven’t worked on your promo assets enough or that you need help to better communicate with your audience ? Are you not sure how to do it ? No worries, this is my job : I have created many assets to help you release your music independently, and I am here to support you every step of the way as well !
Contact me !