We live in the digital age that has changed the usual order of things, including the way music is distributed and consumed. Thanks to streaming, it has become much easier to find and listen to new songs and musicians. Artists don't have to solely rely on labels, PR and ties in the music industry to be heard by the general public.

Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, is now the number one tool used for music discovery, as well as for promotion and success measurement, all at the same time. Streams and positions on Spotify playlists have the power to break artists. And this power is not wielded unilaterally - the playlists are curated by Spotify editorial teams, invited tastemakers, algorithms, as well as regular users.

Everyone has a chance to get on the playlists, given they know how to go about it. This article will guide you through all the necessary steps required to land your music on Spotify playlists.

STEP 1: Optimize Your Profiles

Before applying for a playlist entry, you need to polish your artist profiles on Spotify and social media. Editorial teams and independent curators pay attention not only to your activity on Spotify but also to the off-platform presence. It’s important to show that playlist placements are not your only plan to make it and that you’re serious about your career in the industry. Here is what you need to do:

1) Get verified. Back in the day, you had to have at least 250 followers to get verified in Spotify. Fortunately, now it’s way easier: all you need is to create an account on Spotify for Artists and confirm it.

2) Complete the Spotify profile. Add a bio, high-quality photos, social media links, tour dates, etc. The more detailed the profile, the better. Playlist curators are more likely to take seriously an artist that has all relevant information in place and that cared to take the time to fill it out.  

3) Update information on social media. Make sure to keep all your accounts on Instagram, Twitter and other social networks up to date with your latest release dates, live dates and other important news. Regular activity and engagement with fans go a long way for you as a musician -  Spotify playlist features are just a part of what you can accomplish.

4) Grow following on Spotify. Steaming audience is as important as your social media following, if not more. All your new releases are going straight to your Spotify followers through the Release Radar. They are the ones who listen to your music regardless of your getting on any playlists.

Ask your fans, family, and friends to follow you on Spotify, share the links to your profile and releases on all platforms to drive traffic to Spotify. The algorithm favors Spotify artists that bring new listeners and streams. Playlist curators also take note of the artists’ followers. Your audience doesn’t have to be big but you need to attract as many fans as you can at the moment.

5) Create your own Spotify playlists for different occasions and include your tracks, as well as make playlists of your favorite songs, inspirations, and sample sources. This way you will showcase your musical tastes and influences, plus, present yourself as an active user invested in crafting content on Spotify.

STEP 2: Find Playlists

1) Categorize your music. In order to find suitable playlists you first need to come up with keywords that describe your music. This information will also come in handy when you submit songs to curators.

Create a list of your songs in Excel or Google Sheets and add tags to each track that convey genre, mood and other characteristics. Use this genre map if you have a hard time coming up with keywords. Your location and identity come into play, too - there are dedicated playlists for specific countries, cultures, genders, etc.

2) Search for playlists. Enter keywords into the Spotify search bar and look through suggestions. Pick the most relevant ones, follow them on the platform and add links to these playlists into a spreadsheet or document. It’s also a good idea to search compilations of Spotify playlists in Google and add the most promising and suitable options to your own list. The bigger your list, the more opportunities to pitch your music.

3) Organize playlists and curators. Add columns for playlist names, URLs, number of followers, and placement status into your playlist spreadsheet. What’s also crucial to add to the sheet is the contact information of playlist curators. In general, it’s pretty easy to find ways to get in touch with curators - Spotify playlists display the full name or username of their creators. All you need to do is search the name (or playlist name/link) on Google and get their email and/or social media handles.

STEP 3: Select Songs

Pick songs that fit. As much as you want to submit all your tracks to every possible playlist, you have to focus on songs with the highest potential. Select several playlists you want to apply at the time and find songs that match the particular theme and mood of each list.

Pick one song per playlist. For playlists based on artists’ background, region and the like, select the most catchiest song you have.

Even though it’s time-consuming, it’s important to actually listen to all playlists you want to get in at the moment. Make sure your music aligns well with the rest of songs there. If it doesn’t, you might never get picked.

STEP 4: Write a Pitch

Create a comprehensive pitch. Whether you pitch only to Spotify or to independent curators as well, you always want to be polite and thorough - a simple “Hi, consider my new track for your playlist” won’t cut it. Add all relevant information about the song: its genre, subgenre, vibe, the idea behind the song, etc.

Every detail matters and increases your chances of getting on hot playlists. Spotify’s instruction on how to pitch states “The more info we get, the better chance it has.

Ideally, every pitch should include accurate descriptions of the song’s sound, how it fits into the playlist and tell a larger story that you’re building around your music releases.

STEP 5: Submit Your Music

Mind the timing. Many other artists pitch for a position on playlists, so it takes time for editors and curators to sift through all application and craft a list of suitable songs. You should apply at least a week before you release the music. The more time in advance, the better.

How to Submit Music for Playlists on Spotify

  1. Sign in to Spotify for Artists on desktop.
  2. Open the Music section.
  3. Click the Upcoming tab. This is where all your unreleased music appears.
  4. Select ONE unreleased song you want to submit.
  5. Complete the playlist submission form. Add as much info as possible.

How to Submit Music for Playlists to Independent Curators

  1. Open the spreadsheet with the playlists and curators contact info.
  2. Open email, social media DMs or other preferred contact method of a curator.
  3. Address the curator by name and add your pitch.
  4. Pin the file or add link to the file you want to submit.
  5. Click the Send button.
  6. Repeat! Contact other curators from your list.

You may also want to use blogs and other channels to submit your music for playlists. DailyPlaylists and SubmitHub are the go-to services for this matter.

Check out AudioHype’s article on how to submit your music to Spotify playlists to get additional tips on securing your playlist positions and increase the chances to get featured.

Good luck with your submissions!

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