4.5 HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO SUBMIT MY MUSIC FOR OFFICIAL PLAYLISTS
The Spotify editorial team recommends that you submit your releases to them at least two weeks before the release date. Bear in mind, however, that they get thousands of submissions every week, so the earlier you submit to them, the better. Because your distributor needs time to perform quality assurance tests and send your music to Spotify, you’ll need to factor in an additional week or two into your planning.
4.6 HOW TO FIND INDEPENDENT SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS FOR YOUR MUSIC
Many independent curators have playlists with thousands of listeners — so getting your song included is vital for a track’s success. Plus, the more playlists you are in — particularly well-followed playlists — the more your clout increases within the official Spotify playlists and the algorithm.
But how do you find these playlists? Do your research. If you already have previous releases, check your Spotify for Artists profile to find out which playlists are driving your streams. If you’re already on a playlist, it’s pretty easy to convince the playlist curator that your new track is also a good fit.
If you’re not playlisted yet, then look at related artists and see where they’re playlisted. If you have friends making similar music, see if they have any playlist contacts. You can also try sites like SubmitHub or Soundplate to find playlists and independent curators that might be a good fit.
FYI: We put together a list of 10 Spotify curators where you can submit your music for free — check it out. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty more where that came from, so get hunting.
4.7 HOW TO PITCH YOUR MUSIC FOR INDEPENDENT SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS
So you’ve found several playlists your music will be perfect for. What now?
First, get organized. Make a spreadsheet with all of the playlists that fit your sound. Make a column to make notes about similar artists or tracks. Make another column for the name and contact information of the curator. Congrats! You’re starting to build your own personal database for influencer outreach.
Now that the spreadsheet is set up, time to start hunting. Many curators list their email address, social media accounts, name, or blog in the description of their playlist. Some also have their Spotify connected to their Facebook account. Search for the blog, playlist name, or the curator’s name on LinkedIn or Twitter. Do a little research and you’re sure to find some good leads.
It always helps to put a little time into finding out what kind of music each curator likes, whether it’s new music, chart-topping tracks, or niche underground bangers. There’s not much point sending your deep-house heater to an old school hip hop fanatic — as always, know your audience, even when it comes to curators.
After you’ve found the people you want to connect with, send them a friendly introduction. Before reaching out, follow their playlists, play some of the tracks, and start by telling them what you like about their selections. Once the conversation is flowing, tell them about your project and why you think it would be a good fit. Be patient and don’t be pushy, give it some time and hopefully you’ll see your hard work pay off.
Each curator is different, so it may take a few pitches before it works out. And don’t take it personally if people don’t include you. It doesn’t mean your music’s bad. It just means it doesn’t fit the sound they are curating for their playlist.
4.8 USING SOUNDPLATE TO FIND AND SUBMIT MUSIC FOR PLAYLISTS
Soundplate is an easy way to find thousands of playlists and submit your music for free. It’s a service built to help artists reach independent curators. All they ask from you in return is to follow their profile and playlist — no fee involved. Remember to only send your tracks to playlists you feel are relevant for your style. Tailor your messages to the person you’re talking to — a personal touch can go a long way. Don’t send the same email to a hundred playlists, spamming will get you nowhere.
If you’re feeling bold, you can even launch your own playlists to promote yourself and your music. This is a good way to show fans what you’re into, what you recommend, or highlight a playlist your music’s been added to. It can also help build a closer connection with your fans, or catch the interest of similar artists.
4.9 BUILDING A PLAYLIST STRATEGY
Now you know the difference between different playlists and their creators, it’s time to build a strategy that will help you grow your fan base and listeners of your own playlists. Think of your playlists as a musical connection with your fans. The more regularly you post and update your playlists, the more likely your listeners are to interact. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, having a regular time that you update your playlists helps your listeners know when to check for their dose of new music.
You can tell a lot about a person from their musical taste, and it’s no different for artists. The music you share as an artist shows your fans who you are as an individual. Give your listeners a unique insight into your style with playlists based around your influences, current artists you admire, or even career-spanning highlights from your journey so far — it’s up to you.
You can use playlists to promote an upcoming release by sharing songs or artists that inspired you; promote a tour or a festival gig by sharing music from other artists on the lineup; or go deep into a mood or a season, for example, summer vacation vibes, workout rock, or anything you feel will connect with your listeners. If you’re also a DJ, you should be sharing playlists with songs in your set list. Not only will this help build your fan base, it could also make creative connections with the artists you’ve featured.
Top tip: As you start making playlists, set them up in "private" mode so that you have at least 15-20 tracks before you share them.
Remember to update your playlists regularly (at least once a month). If you do add your own tracks to your playlists, make sure they fit with the mood, theme, or feel of the playlist. You want it to feel organic. Think about your playlists as a radio show rather than a compilation of tracks.
Ideas for playlists:
- Best new tracks / What I’m listening to
- Album of the Week
- By music genre (Jazz, Electro...)
- My inspirations (A selection of your favorite artists ever)
- By mood (Summer pool party, Chilled Sunday, etc.)
- Per year (Best of 2019)
- By event (Festivals, Tour, New Year...)
It’s also important to work on the description of your playlists. Give people a reason to subscribe to your playlists and profile. Create playlists that reflect your personality and artistic vision. They could revolve around new artists you admire, dream collaborations, or tracks you listen to on tour. This helps reveal a little more about the person behind the music.
For each playlist you create, Spotify generates a default mosaic from the covers of the first 4 tracks on your playlist. You can change this visual whenever you want.
By clicking on "Edit Details”, you can update your playlist visual, specify a name, or add a "call-to-action" to encourage people to follow your playlist or profile.