Updated 4 September 2017
Have you ever wondered why one artist has thousands of plays and you only get a dozen or so a month? When you want to be more successful on Spotify, getting your music featured on Spotify playlists is really important. But how do you find all those playlists? How do you contact playlist curators? How do you know which playlists end up adding you? These are all important questions that we’ll answer in this article. Including a massive list of 25 Spotify playlists and curators that you can submit your music to right away.
Save this article to your favourites to check for future updates, as this is a dynamic article. Tell us what you think in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you.
In this article
1. The basics
1.1 Get verified
If you haven’t already, join Spotify for Artists. You used to have 250 or more followers in order to get verified but Spotify has made it easier. When you’re verified, you are in control of your profile on Spotify and you’re able to add and update your image, feature tracks and playlists you’re into right now.
1.2 Set up profile
After you received the good news of being verified, add a profile image. Start networking and gain more followers. Why more followers? Because, for example, every Friday Spotify releases a new Release Radar with up to two hours of new releases from artists they follow and listen to. As more people start listening to your music, you’re also more likely to appear in Discover Weekly. When listeners like your music, they will add it to their personal favourites and saves and Spotify uses this information to learn more about listening habits and provide other listeners with music they think they will like.
1.3 Create playlists yourself
Now you’re verified and have set up the basics of your profile, it’s time to take it to the next level. Firstly, create a playlist containing all of your releases. For example BAND NAME // RELEASES // GENRE. Secondly, create a playlist with your biggest influences and tracks by emerging artists and include a track or two from yourself as well. Set this playlist as ‘Artist Pick’ via Spotify for Artists’ control panel. Promote this playlist on social media as well and tag the artists on it. Last but not least create a collaborative playlist to collaborate and team up with fans and other bands. Collaborative playlists are a great way of driving more traffic to your profile and tracks. Of course, use your network and social media accounts to promote your playlists. When people add tracks to your collaborative playlist(s), do actually listen to these tracks. If you like other people’s tracks, let them know!
2. How to find and approach Spotify Curators
2.1 Gather contacts
There are over 2 billion playlists on Spotify. With that, as we mentioned before, it’s important to get your music on as many of them as you can find. You might think that it’s imperative to get your latest release on big Spotify curated playlists. But there are so many more large playlists that are easier to contact. Besides big industry curated playlists by Topsify (Warner), Filt (Sony) and Digster (Warner), there are many playlists to find curated by blogs and people like you and me, just because they like music. But how do you find these playlists?
2.1.1 Spotify and Facebook
Many curators have connected their Spotify account to Facebook. That way it’s easy to contact these curators. First, think of all the playlist (titles) that would want your music. For example, if you have just released a new track search for ‘New Music’ or ‘New Songs’. Click ‘Playlists’ and find the ones you like. Listen to (or skip through) a couple of tracks to see if your music matches the curator’s taste. If you have found a playlist you think would add you, try to find contact information. Sometimes a curator adds contact information in the description, but more often than not you have to try a bit harder. Click on the curator’s name and check the profile picture. Now go to Facebook and type in the exact same name. Most of the time their Facebook profile shows the same picture as the curator’s on Spotify and you know you have the correct one. We will go into more detail on the next step – Pitch your music – later.
2.1.2 Use Chartmetric to find important playlists and data
If you haven’t heard of Chartmetric before, sign up and use promo code FORTHELOVEOFBANDS for 21 days full access. Chartmetric is an incredible and awesome tool to see all playlists that are supporting your music. You can check artists, playlists, curators, playlist ranking and curator ranking. See some screenshots here.
I'm really glad Spotify reintroduced the 'Discovered on ...' function again. You can check similar artists' profile and check which playlists (top 5) they're on. I also strongly suggest using Chartmetric. Besides checking which playlists include your music, it’s a great tool to discover new playlists. To do so, think of an artist that is similar to you. After you have found the artist you are were looking for, scroll down to see the ‘Spotify Current Playlists’. See an example found on the tour below.
There may be hundreds of playlists featuring the artist, or a dozen, depending on the artist. Click ‘Show entries’ and select 100, so you have a nice list to work through. Right-click the Spotify icon next to the playlist’s name, or use the one next to the curator. Select copy and paste in your Spotify desktop app. Try to locate the curator, see if he or she takes submissions and proceed according to what we’ve discussed in 2.1.
Of course, Chartmetric has many other features which we will discuss in a feature Industry Tips.
2.2 Pitch your music
After you have located the curator’s contact details, proceed with caution. Prior to making contact, follow the playlist, play a few tracks and start your conversation with the curator by telling what you think of the playlist. Start with a friendly relationship and tell about your project in a few lines and suggest it for their playlist. Why does the curator want you on the playlist? Be patient and make sure you aren’t too pushy. Begging or demanding won’t get you anywhere.
2.3 Keep track of your submissions
Keep track of the playlists you’ve found and curator’s you’ve contacted. It’s best to use an Excel sheet. We’ve created on for you to use. Click the image to download.
Start entering all the playlists you’ve found, along with contact information. If you have been able to make contact with a curator, enter how you made contact and if you had any luck and was added to the playlist.
Ps. If you're contacting blogs for reviews or features, use the same sheet and alter it a bit to your liking.
2.4 Calculate streaming royalty
Your music was added to a lot of playlists and your streams have increased? Great! Estimate your earnings with this ‘Streaming Royalty Calculator’.
3. Spotify playlist curators who accept submissions right now
Below you'll find a massive list of Spotify playlists, including ways to contact them. We'll update this Spotify playlist directory regularly. Click the links, submit, use the Excel sheet to know how and when you submitted and us Spotify for Artists or Chartmetric to see whether you've been added! Were you added to a playlist? Be nice to the curator, other artists and yourself and share the playlist on social media!
New Music // For The Love Of Bands
Our most popular playlist showcasing new independent and emerging talent from all over the world.
New Songs 2017
Playlist curated by Elmer Bermal with more than 18.000 followers!
A variety of playlists reaching a total of 11.000 followers. Submit via Twitter.
An eclectic alternative to #NewMusicFriday: Celebrating the best new releases from Independent Record Labels, every Monday. By [PIAS] Playlists
The creative enterprise of Aaron McMillan and the Indie Underground Contributors. The link below gets you to their profile on Spotify.
Sound Of Us
They use Spotify as a great resource to discover new music and share it with the world.
A special shout-out to Soundplate! A record label and music platform where you can submit your tracks to various playlists. Their own playlists grow rapidly and on the website your can submit tracks to theirs as well as other curator's playlists. Take a look at their website here.
Indiemono has many playlists with 70.000 or more followers. Browse through their website and see for yourself.
A new music playlist updated every Friday with the top 50 songs from the week prior. Contact the curator via the Spotify community by clicking the submit link below.
Daily Playlists (Universal Music)
Work Hard Playlist Hard
Playlists featuring the best of independent and established artists. Available on Spotify, Deezer and YouTube.
Global community of music lovers who curate and market branded playlists.
"A couple of guys from Utrecht (The Netherlands), always digging for new music, new videos and related news. Their harvest is for you to enjoy in an excellent Spotify playlist (daily updates)."
#MONSTERTHREAD - The Big One
The #MonsterThread-playlist was a result of an experiment by Jon Magnusson on Twitter which led to a lot of great connections between great artists of different genres and other people in the independent music scene.
4. Collaborative playlists you can add your music to
Collaborative playlists are a great way to connect with other musicians and are very easy to create. It's also an easy way of getting your music out there for anyone to enjoy, since you do the curating collaboratively. Remember you created one earlier at 3.3?
Simply follow the playlists you see below and add your track(s). Remember to check how many songs are appropriate, if the playlist has the theme or only one genre. This differs per playlist.
Music by Friends and Followers
CD Baby Mixtape
AtomCollectorRecords.com Unsigned Artists Spotlight – the best music you’ve never heard (all genres)
Collaborative Spotify Playlist
SHARE YOUR SONG WITH ME Collaborative playlist
The Indie Discovery List
Lets make a party
Hidden & Forgotten Gems
Musical Artizan – indie songs
Share your own originals and your greatest inspirations
Great Music Mix
Add Your Song Of The Week! Spotify Collaborative Playlist #1
Sources / FURTHER READING
By Roel Wensink