According to the RIAA- streaming music platforms accounted 75% of the total U.S. music industry revenues in 2018. Spotify, with over 200 million users is currently leading the pack. From a musician’s perspective Spotify is appealing as there is a clear upside to getting on playlists. Playlists on Spotify seem central to the user experience and can get your music more exposure, which in turn generates more royalties.
It goes without saying that the first step is to successfully get your music onto the Spotify. Without having a relationship with one of the major distribution companies, your best bet as an independent artist is to use an aggregator like TuneCore or CDbaby. Once you do get your music on the Spotify platform your work isn’t done – you need to get people to stream it. This is far from an automatic process. Here is some advice that will help you do just that:
Optimize Your Profile
Success with streaming on Spotify begins with your artist page. Taking the time to optimize it properly will maximize the benefit of being on the platform. You should take the time to claim and verify your profile, which will enable you to utilize all the built-in tools that Spotify has for musicians and bands. By claiming your profile, you will have the chance to control how people view you and your music, be able to easily promote and market your playlists and new releases, and also view analytics that will help you gain insights into your audience. These insights will enable you to shape your marketing plan so that you can get your music in front of all the right people.
There are several types of playlists that exist on Spotify – those that its users (including you) create, those that artists get added to that are based on an algorithm, and those that are officially curated by Spotify. Regardless of type, playlists have the opportunity to expand the reach of your music, as they have become a major form of music discovery.
So, how can you get your music on playlists? The easiest method is to curate your own playlists. Playlists containing your music mixed in with that of other artists is a great way to get people on your social media profiles engaged without saturating them with posts that sound “sales-y”.
Another method is to ask your friends, family and followers not only to stream your music, but also to save it. Algorithmically generated playlists like Release Radar and Discovery Weekly seem to be triggered more often when artists have a significant percentage of listeners save your track in addition to streaming it. A strong stream to save ratio can be very helpful in getting on these playlists.
Lastly, it is a good idea to try to make it on user playlists that may have a lot of followers and also those playlists that have been maintained by the Spotify editorial staff. To do this, you will need to get in touch with either the user who created the playlist or the Spotify editorial team. Getting onto official Spotify playlists has, in many cases, become as difficult as getting on traditional radio. You can help increase your chances by doing some homework so you can find out the names of the Spotify staffers and how to get in touch with them. From there, you can figure out ways of meeting them at conferences or through mutual connections using Linkedin. User generated playlists can be a bit more difficult to find but once found they tend to be a bit easier to crack.
Promote Your Profile Outside of Spotify
Sure, you can use the internal resources Spotify has in order to promote your music, but you can also promote your music off the platform, as well. In a previous article, we talked about how to grow your visitors in social media. If you’ve been following this advice, chances are pretty good that you have audiences built up on all the major platforms. Sharing your songs, Spotify profile, and playlists on social media can help bring in a larger audience and maximize your streams. You can also share your Spotify music on your website or blog, in you newsletter, and even by word of mouth when you perform.