Four Points that Playlist Curators look for

When pitching your music to a playlist, what are the curators looking for to confirm placement? Let’s dive into it.

Landing the right music discovery opportunities can provide independent artists the momentum they need to jump start a sustainable career and add value to a developing fan-base.

Spotify and Apple Music Playlists have become the main driving force behind music discovery and consumption for developing and established artists. Marketing and promotional efforts have now shifted to focus on playlist pitching as getting a track onto the right Spotify and Apple Music playlist can generate millions of plays and an abundance of new fans.

From his experience with AWAL for pitching tracks to Playlist Editors, has discovered 4 key factors that can help close a playlist pitch in an artist’s favor:

  1. Social Followers and Activity

Developing artists may not have a massive budget for radio, a PR campaign, or the traditional marketing tools, so developing your social media presence is extremely important. Along with press highlights, more people following your social media profiles indicates to streaming services that your music is solid and deserves attention. Here are some additional factors that can help convince Spotify or Apple to include your track on one of their key playlists:

Get fans and media outlets to talk about your music, and to believe in your vision.

Ask fans to follow you on social media as well as your artist profile on Spotify and Apple Music Connect. Follower counts are important to streaming services, as they see it as a potential to connect new listeners to the service.

Make sure your website and socials point back to your content on Spotify and Apple Music. Showing your support to these business partners is an important way of showing that you are doing your part in marketing your own music.

2. Optimize Your Own Account: Verification & Playlists

Once you’ve started making progress with your social media fan base, make sure you are verified on both Spotify and Apple Music Connect to start engaging with your fans. Once verified, you are able to create your own playlists on your profile to help create a bond with your fan base to give some personality to your presence on the platform. Not only does this give you a direct way of communicating to your fans, but it also shows the streaming services you are invested and that you want to connect with listeners. Fans love to hear what inspires their favorite new artist, what they’re listening to on tour, or singing in the shower. Choose a theme or two and start putting some effort into creating well curated playlists. Once you’ve got a nice playlist made (featuring some of your own songs of course), start posting and tweeting on social media. One cool, well thought-out playlist will not only get fans to engage with the playlist, but will show Spotify and Apple that you are potentially bringing new subscribers into their service too.

3. Website Links

Another element that streaming services look at when considering your tracks to add on their key curated playlists is making sure you are including their links on your website. Many artists forget to include a Spotify play button or playlist widget on their website. Streaming services need to feel like they are a priority along with your social media profiles and download buy links. Please be sure to include Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services links on your website (and socials too, potentially).

4. Help Algorithmic Playlists Find You

In addition to the above, there’s another area of playlisting that is becoming big for discovery on Spotify in particular, algorithmic playlists! These are auto-generated playlists that are based on music sharing and blog activity. Believe it or not, you can do things to try and affect your chances of landing in algorithmic playlists (such as Discover Weekly and Fresh Finds).

Some things you can do to help your chances of getting picked up on these algorithmically based playlists are more simple than you might think, and don’t require a tremendous PR budget. Ask all of your fans to follow you on Spotify and Apple Music and make concentrated efforts to grow your follower numbers.

Be sure to send your relevant pitching materials or one-sheet to you or your publicist’s music blog contacts. Positive attention from the blogs could result in being added to Fresh Finds.

Once you’ve established a base, reach out directly to a tastemaker by first following them on Spotify and then sharing yourtrack to them with a note asking if they will include your track on their influential playlist. The bigger your social presence you have when you contact a tastemaker, the better chance that they will add your music to their playlist when you offer to share the playlist to your growing fan base. Obviously you’ll want to focus on tastemakers with similar musical tastes as your music with a large number of followers for the best chances of inclusion.

Spend time curating a good playlist on YOUR profile. The better the playlist is, the more likely a fan will follow and share it. Share your playlist as wide as you can and focus on getting it to people that you think it will resonate with. Ask your fans to share your tracks or playlists to try and create as much buzz as possible.

By focusing on getting fans to share your music and getting included on tastemaker playlists, you will increase your chances of getting picked up on Spotify’s algorithmic playlists.

Are you excited about the Playlist Revolution? Chime in 👇🏽

This Post is brought to you by: Couttsy — Drive feat. JessPhill.

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Stephen Cirino

Stephen Cirino

CEO - futuremgmt / Professor @UArts and @DESU / Curator of relevant music business news /