An individual, recently furloughed, is forced to work from home. No longer at the mercy of the office radio, they scroll Spotify, exercising their new found freedom. Chill hip hop beats to study and work from home to? Don’t mind if I do. The speaker jumps into life, and their ears are blessed with the sound of an aspiring artist. An artist who’s realised playlists are the new line ups, curators are the new gig organisers, and the audiences are bigger than ever.
Having a song featured on a Spotify playlist is an amazing way to quickly rack up streams, gain huge exposure and earn some of that much elusive revenue. With official and unofficial playlist curators being reciprocal to submissions, these days independent or DIY artists can now take more control of their releases, saving time and money avoiding the ‘traditional’ route. Although you can still pay a PR expert to utilise their contacts and pitch your music to playlists on your behalf.
But be warned, not all playlists are created equal. Many PR companies or experts may offer exposure to hundreds of curators in exchange for a fee, although bear in mind many of these playlists may offer very little plays, the pitches may be lacklustre or the PR may have a poor relationship with the curators. Avoid being lured in with the quantity, a few strong pitches by a capable, well connected professional to a few high listener traffic playlists will garner the best results.
Before money changes hands or time is wasted, it’s always worth keeping budget in mind and whether the money could be better spent elsewhere on your music project. As a general rule of thumb, one thousand Spotify streams will earn the artist between two and four pounds, so keep this in mind when deciding on how much to spend on PR. A new valuable service which can help gauge if a playlist is worthwhile is ‘Is It A Good Playlist?’, Is It a Good Playlist (IIGP) uses analytics and data gathered from across streaming platforms to summarise the performance of a playlist. Does it have a lot of monthly listeners? Do songs generally perform well on it? Or is it full of payola songs, using fake listeners, with an unresponsive editor? IIGP is a great resource for researching the right playlists for you.
Spotify do their best to de-mystify the process and here, Spotify Q&A, answer various questions on the subject. It’s well worth a read for further research or to learn more on how the editors work. Below is a list of curated Spotify playlists which take submissions to get you started.
Genre: Everything judged by merit
Genre: A wide range of individually curated playlists
Genre: Multiple playlists categorised on moods rather than genres
Genre: Anything and everything
Genre: A variety, dependent on individual curators
Genre: Everything and anything
Genre: Pretty much anything you can think of
Genre: New Music
Genre: Warm, vintage, organic
Genre: Rock (although more genres are covered on the site)
Genre: Everything, even niche styles like neo-classical or K-pop
Genre: Helps independent artists, supplying free and paid for playlists of all genres
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