Getting Your Music Featured on Spotify Playlists

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Uncategorized

Looking to get your music featured on Spotify playlists?

Well, you’re not alone…

24,000 songs are added to streaming music services every day. And you’ve got to assume a good portion of the artists releasing music are just as interested as you are in getting their music featured, streamed, and playlisted.

Well, I’ve covered this topic in detail before, and I still stand by everything I said in that guide.

But it’s always worth circling back to the question and covering the latest tactics and mental models.

So, let’s see how we can get your music on Spotify playlists.

✅ Get Your House in Order to Get on More Spotify Playlists

This is something I touch on any time I talk about Spotify.

And while it might seem superficial, I would be inclined to think it’s 200% crucial to your success.

Understand that your brand and presence in general isn’t just about what you say about yourself. It’s also about how you’re being perceived by others.

Your brand isn't just about what you say about yourself. It's about how you're being perceived by others. Share on X

So, consider carefully…

If an artist came to you wanting to be featured in some capacity, and they had 90 likes on their Facebook page (with no engagement on their posts), two Instagram followers, and 10 monthly listeners on Spotify, what would you do?

I’m not saying artists in this position don’t get featured.

But come on, you’ve got to think about things from the curator’s perspective too, don’t you think?

How to Change Their Perception

What can we do to rectify this?

Well, here’s a short list:

  • Claim your Spotify for Artists profile.
  • Make your own playlists and have fun with them.
  • Encourage your friends, family, and fans to make their own playlists.
  • Work your way up the chain. Everyone wants in on official playlists. Start small and build your tower one brick at a time.
  • Promote every playlist you’re featured on (mention them on your website, in your emails, and on social media).
  • Release music frequently. The more active you are on Spotify, the better. Worry less about followers and worry more about monthly listeners.
  • Build your website. I recommend building a self-hosted WordPress site on SiteGround (affiliate link). You can find more tips and resources here.
  • Collect, organize, and present testimonials on your website. Have these ready at your fingertips in perpetuity.
  • Establish your social networks. Most musicians bite off more than they can chew. It’s worth registering all your accounts, but as much as possible focus on building one at a time.
  • Grow your email list. For the foreseeable future, email is still going to be a huge part of your life. Ditto for your fans. Embrace it. Grow your list. It gives you more leverage as an artist in every regard.
  • Encourage your fans to connect and interact with you on their favorite platform. Set the tone early and encourage ongoing engagement.

✅ Leverage the Power of Publicity to Get Featured on Spotify Playlists

In July, we ran a publicity campaign for a compilation I was a part of called Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1.

Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1

As result, our music got featured on CCM Magazine and all three artists involved were interviewed on The Antidote (syndicated to nearly 60 FM radio stations).

Henceforth, I shall be known as an artist that’s been featured on CCM Magazine and The Antidote (both of which are kind of a big deal in the Christian music space).

Do you see how this works?

Before any of that happened, I was just David Andrew Wiebe. Now I’ve got some street cred!

Do you think that might give me a credibility boost? Would it give me a little bit of momentum I can carry into the future? Do you think it would help with my playlisting efforts?

I would suspect so. And, as author and marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, this is the type of credibility I can leverage for years and decades to come.

By the way, the PR campaign also led to several placements in playlists.

I can’t reveal exactly how much we paid for this campaign, but let’s just say it was worth every cent.

And that’s the thing. Artists assume it will cost them an arm and a leg to get any kind of publicity, when the reality is it’s all about relationship, relationship, relationship (also see next point on connecting rather than pitching).

Find an angle for your release, save up for a PR campaign, and interview multiple publicists until you’ve found the right one. Then, when you feel you’ve found the right one, negotiate on price.

That’s worth summarizing.

David Andrew Wiebe’s Simple PR Success Method:

  • Find an angle for your release
  • Save up for a PR campaign
  • Interview multiple publicists until you’ve found the right one (you’re in charge!)
  • Negotiate on price (only suckers pay in full)

If you’ve got a unique product, something that stands out from the crowd, then you’ve got an angle. And that angle (and story) will be of huge help to your publicist. Trust.

✅ Stop Pitching & Start Connecting to Get on More Spotify Playlists

You’ve got to think that, at this point, everyone and their dog is pitching to playlist curators.

Because that’s what all the blogs are telling us to do. And the hysteria over Spotify is near constant.

Well, here’s a new spin on an old trick.

(👉 By the way, if you want to learn how to pitch just like everyone else is doing, you can refer to this article.)

When you’re thinking about getting a job, what’s one of the first things you do?

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would bet most of my chips on networking. After all, employee referrals are considered the most valued tool in hiring.

So, why in the world are you doing all the pitching yourself? If you’ve got a fan base that’s crazy about you and your music, why wouldn’t you tap into their over-the-top enthusiasm?

Sure, you’re still going to need to put in some legwork. Consider carefully who’s up to the task. You’ll want to find a sharp person, preferably someone who’s well-spoken and knows a little bit about making cold calls and buttering up a prospect (know any car salesmen?).

And even if you don’t know anyone, you could get to know more people, right? You could ask for referrals from your fans, couldn’t you?

Once they understand why being on a Spotify playlist matters to you, and the difference it would make for you, they’ll be far more likely to help you. We assume people know these things, but most of the time they don’t!

A third-party recommendation, if done right, is the most powerful endorsement you can get.

A third-party recommendation, if done right, is the most powerful endorsement you can get. Share on X

Spotify Playlists, Final Thoughts

Getting on Spotify playlists isn’t exactly easy. But not impossible.

What’s important to recognize is there are variables you can control. You can build your online presence. You can release more music. And you can grow your fan base.

Beyond that, stop thinking of it as an algorithmic, machine-driven game. Instead, connect with people authentically. Find out where they like to hang out. Talk with them. Make friends with them. At the appropriate time, make an ask.

It might seem scary. It might even seem like the wrong way around. But building relationship is bound to get you further faster in your music career than just making good art.

Building relationship is bound to get you further faster in your music career than just making good art. Share on X

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.