Getting your music on Spotify playlists is an increasingly popular way of generating plays for your releases. This means DIY artists can pitch their music to both official and unofficial playlist curators without needing to go down the more ‘traditional’ route. This can save a lot of time and money and will give you more control over your releases. Alternatively, you can pay for someone to do your online PR. They will draw upon their own contacts and knowledge of the streaming world, and pitch to playlists on your behalf.
Securing those playlist slots is now a fundamental part of artist promotion. But it’s not necessarily plain sailing, there’s always the chance that it won’t work in your favour. So, remember to assess a curator’s intentions and the potential value to your career.
Like any PR you or your band go for, pitching to playlists does not necessarily equal plays. Any PR service can offer you the opportunity to have your music pitched to hundreds of playlists, so try not to get drawn in by that. What’s important is the quality of their relationships with playlist curators and their understanding of the landscape. It’s a possibility that you’ll only land a small percentage of those pitches.
Now, as a hypothetical question; ‘If you have 10,000 plays on Spotify yet you struggle to fill a small venue in your hometown, are you a successful original artist?'
This is not to say that 10,000 plays aren’t positive, however it’s good to keep in mind that Spotify playlisting is just one aspect in an artist’s overall career. Let's say £1000 buys you an online PR campaign that includes creating and distributing a press release, playlist pitching, and blog pitching. There is undoubtedly value in the service, but always consider where your career is at, and whether that money can serve you in a smarter way at that moment in time.
With the warnings and guidance out of the way, let’s move onto some practical tips for playlist success…
Make sure you have up-to-date high-resolution photos, a well-written bio and an actively updated profile. This creates an air of professionalism and if you take yourself seriously, it’s likely the playlist curators will as well.
Then, when emailing curators – send your press release along with links to your Spotify. Check out this blog on how to write your press release.
PR can start running into the thousands so if you are DIY, you need to consider the ‘cost to benefit’ ratio. If you can do a job yourself – do it, save the cash and spend it on recording, new gear or your tour support. You can do very well simply by doing your research and essentially creating your own ‘little black book’. See how other bands and artists you admire are doing it if they’re at a similar level to you. Get creative with it.
If you do decide to do your first wave of pitching to playlists – I salute you. Below are links to support you through that journey. A word to the wise however, keep it organised. A spreadsheet for your contacts will allow you to prevent repeating yourself and help you keep track of who you’ve contacted in those initial campaigns.
If you are feeling ready, here are links to curated playlists you can submit your music to - good luck!
Genre: Everything judged by merit.
Genre: A wide range of individually curated playlists.
Genre: Multiple independent playlists covering a variety of genres.
Genre: Multiple genres categorised on moods rather than genre.
Genre: Everything and anything.
Genres: A variety dependant on individual curators.
Genres: Everything and anything.
Genre: Pretty much anything you can think of!
Genre: New music.
Genre: Warm, vintage, organic.
Genre: Rock (although other genres are on the main site).