I get emails pretty much daily asking me if I offer playlist pitching services for independent (and major label for that matter) artists. I decline them all as it’s not something I do but I thought I’d give some advice here as to what artists can do themselves to make sure they build up fans and therefore streams and therefore playlists adds on Spotify.
There really is only one step, it’s easy….
GET YOUR FANS TO FOLLOW YOUR PROFILE ON SPOTIFY
That’s it. This is the key to success on Spotify. No need to pay that “streaming consultant” £500 a day from now on. You’re welcome, buy me a coffee sometime.
Good question. if you get fans to follow you on Spotify, a few things will happen which in turn will lead to playlist adds by the Spotify editorial team…and their algorithms.
- Every Spotify user has a personalised “Release Radar” playlist in their library. It’s created by Spotify and it can’t be deleted. If your fans follow you on Spotify your new releases will automatically appear in this users playlist when it’s updated each Friday. Imagine you have 100,000 fans following you, that’s 100,000 playlists you will appear in on release day. Automatic distribution right there.
- Your fans also get an email from Spotify telling them that you have new music. If an add to a Release Radar playlist wasn’t enough, Spotify also emails users (if they opt in) each week with new music from artists they follow. More free marketing to your fans.
- If you build up a significant number of fans over time and you get to the stage where tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands are following you and streaming your new releases then this will really move the needle in terms of the number of streams your song receives. And if that happens, this happens….
- Radio – If Spotify sees your song performing it will add it to it’s algorithm based radio channels. I work with an independent artist and Spotify radio is generating around 10k streams a week for a track that’s nearly a year old.
- Algorithmic playlists – I work with another independent artist and at the back end of last year when Spotify created “ones that got away” playlists for users it drove over 200k streams for one of their songs. There’s also the Discover Weekly playlist that Spotify creates for users that can drive massive number of streams if your song is placed in these.
- Data – Spotify also looks at how many times songs are saved to users libraries, played in full or skipped, added to playlists and much more. The more fans you have the more chance that these data points will be picked up by Spotify’s algorithms and your song will be noticed.
- Editorial playlists – yes if your music is breaking the Spotify editors will notice it and put it on their editorial playlists which will in turn drive streams and new fans.
OK but how? What works?
The short answer is to be engaged with your fans, whether it’s via social media, email lists, YouTube videos, whatever works for you. The key is to keep talking to them, build their support and then drive them to your Spotify profile. Here’s some examples….
The above Twitter feed is from another of my artists, Lucy Neville. We’re currently sending out her new single to bloggers and radio and Lucy is being proactive by engaging with the people who have responded and downloaded her forthcoming single. Establishing one to one relationships like this is super useful.
This is Samantha Harvey, a YouTuber who is also releasing a single tomorrow on Virgin. She’s has a large loyal fan base from YouTube so she’s directing them via Instagram stories, Snapchat and more to pre-order the single from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play and will pick someone to visit in person who pre-orders from all 3 services. If you’re a well established artist with long term fans then asking them to part with money for downloads can work but you can use the same method to drive fans to follow you on Spotify.
The above is just a taster of the kind of thing you can do to build your profile and fan base on Spotify, there are countless other ways. Key is to just keep engaging with your fans.
If anyone doubts the impact that the Release Radar playlist can have then take a look at the graph below. That huge spike in streams is what happens when an artists song is added to Release Radar. Notice how they continue on an upward trend after the initial drop after Friday’s peak when the playlist updates too.