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Explode Your Fan Base with Playlists: 3 Step-by-Step Strategies for Marketing Your Music

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Ready for the hottest thing in Internet Music Marketing?


That’s right, playlists, which anyone can create on Streaming Services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Learn how to use playlists effectively and you could expose your music to thousands or even millions of people just like this indie artist did:

Perrin Lamb: Independent Artists find Unexpected Rewards in Streaming – NY Times

But there are several kinds of playlist and it’s important to know the differences:

First, there are user generated playlists that you, me, your mom, your teacher, or your cousin can make.  These usually have the least amount of followers but a really good list by an average joe can still end up with hundreds of thousands of followers, or sometimes more!

Second, there are playlists created by businesses such as magazines, websites, bloggers, etc. These might be sponsored playlists by your local radio station, or even created by playlist curation companies.

Then, Third, there are Playlists created by the streaming services themselves, such as Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” Playlist, a personalized playlist that goes out to 75 million Spotify users each week. (75 million active users as of 12-21-15)

I hope it’s obvious that playlists are a HUGE opportunity for artists to gain exposure to new fans.

So, I’ve broken down, step-by-step, how to get your music onto each type of playlist and how to get the most out of playlists as a Music Marketing Strategy.

(The steps will focus on Spotify Playlists, but each strategy can be adapted for use on other streaming Platforms).

For the best results, I definitely recommend going in order, mastering Strategy 1, then 2, then 3.

Alright, Let’s get started!

Strategy #1 Create your own playlist and share it

Step 1: In Your Spotify Account Select “Your Music” then “Playlists”

Under the Playlists Tab, Select the “+” sign to create a new Playlist.


Step 2: Choose A topic for Your Playlist that Other people will be interested in AND fits with your own music’s genre.

You’ll see in the screenshot below, I Created a Playlist called “Kentucky Singer-Songwriters”, which might appeal to people in Kentucky but also to someone looking to discover new music in the singer-songwriter genre.

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Step 3: Add Music to your Playlist.

This step can actually be a lot of fun.  Depending on the topic of your playlist, this step might take you down memory lane, re-discovering old tunes that you haven’t listened to in a while.  It can also be a way for you to discover some new music for yourself.

Curating a good playlist can take minutes, hours, or even weeks. It’s up to you how much time you put into it. Some people get very detailed and put a lot of thought and planning into it. Others just slap a few songs together.

The better your playlist is, the more likely people are to follow it and share it.

At the very least, make sure everything fits the topic of your list.

Obviously, you’ll also want to add your own music…and since I live in Kentucky, and am a singer-songwriter, it would be appropriate for me to include my own music in this playlist among the many other artists that I’ve added.


Step 4: Share Your Playlist.

Where do you share it?  Everywhere you can.  The obvious answer would be on your band’s social media accounts, but share it on your personal social media accounts too.

Send it to your Email list, text it to friends, post it on relevant forums.

Just be creative and focus on getting it into the hands of people that you think would actually enjoy it.

Then encourage them to share it.

Want to submit your music for one of our official Spotify playlists. You can send your music to our playlist editor from our playlists page.

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Strategy #2 Get your music on an influencer’s playlist

(Influencers might be regular Spotify users that have created playlists that have developed a big following or they could be a business, magazine, or blogger with a big following)

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Step 1: Ask all of your fans to follow your Band on Spotify. The more social proof you have when you contact an influencer, the better chance that they will add your music to their playlist.

Step 2: Identify several Playlists, with large followings, that your music would fit in with.

For Example, let’s say you write songs that would be perfect to listen to on a long road trip; Use Spotify’s search bar to type in “Road Trip” and you’ll see all kinds of stuff pop up.  Click on playlists and you’ll find dozens of playlists that have been created for road trips.  Some will say “Spotify” underneath. These were created internally by Spotify. Others will show a username identifying the person who created it.  These are the ones that we want.

Now we want to start going through these to find a user-generated playlist that has lots of Followers.

Here (below) we have found “Relaxed Driving Music” which has over 250,000 followers.

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Step 3: Follow any playlists you have identified and Follow the users who created them.  Then wait a day or two.

Step 4: Next, use Spotify’s “Share” feature to send your music track to the user that created the Playlist and ask them if they’d consider adding it.

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Step 5: Repeat!


Strategy #3 Get your music on an official Spotify Playlist

This is obviously the hardest one, but with Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists, it’s easier than most would probably think…

Spotify’s Discover Weekly Playlists are generated by a computer algorithm that pulls data from other playlists and puts together custom playlists for every user.  This means that even an obscure indie artist has a chance of getting “found” by the algorithm and added to people’s playlists.

Discover Weekly Playlists were just introduced this past July 2015, but are already a really big hit, and a great opportunity for artists looking for exposure.


Step 1: Complete Strategy 1 and 2 until you are on several different Playlists that have a decent number of followers.

While there are no magic numbers to look for here, Spotify will give greater weight to your song in their algorithm if it is already on a popular playlist.

Step 2: Ask fans to add your newly released singles to their playlists and use Spotify’s Share feature to share them on Social Media.

Try to choose one song to promote to give that song a higher chance of being noticed by Spotify’s algorithm.

Step 3: Pray!

I really wish there was another step here, but at this point, you’ve done all you can do.  It’s a matter of making as many ripples in the water as quickly as you can so that Spotify’s algorithm will notice you.  If you use Strategy 1 and 2 effectively, then ask friends, family, fans, etc. to help you with your quest, you can actually make this happen.


Check out this article if you want more information on how Spotify’s Algorithm works: http://qz.com/571007/the-magic-that-makes-spotifys-discover-weekly-playlists-so-damn-good/


Here are a few additional Pro-Tips that will help:

  1. Verify Your Spotify Account
  2. Make sure your web presence looks professional (and that it even exists) including website, Social Media, Photos, etc. for when curators investigate you/your band.
  3. Let list curators know that you’ve shared their playlist with YOUR fans.
  4. Make sure your music is appropriate for the playlist you are targeting
  5. Don’t forget to follow-up with any curators you contact.


With these tools, steps, and knowledge you now know more than the average band when it comes getting your music onto Spotify Playlists.  Take action and put it to use and you should see some solid results


Let’s recap!

You can use any or all of the three strategies we discussed:


Strategy #1 Create your own playlist and share it

Strategy #2 Get on an influencer’s playlist

Strategy #3 Get on an official Spotify Playlist

If you are successful getting your music onto Influencer’s Playlists and Spotify’s Discover Weekly Playlists, you are not only exposing your music to new fans but increasing the chance of getting noticed by curators of other Spotify Playlists that just might notice your music and add it to a playlist followed by millions of people!

So go back up to Strategy 1, and come up with your first Playlist topic.

Want to submit your music for one of our official Spotify playlists. You can send your music to our playlist editor from our playlists page.

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