#180: How to get your music on Spotify playlists, Pt 1

Getting your music onto a popular Spotify playlist is the modern-day equivalent of having a hit song in a local radio market. It’s an important step in reaching a larger following, and it can drive significant revenue. But you don’t just GET a song placed in a curated Spotify playlist. You need to work your way towards that goal. In this episode, digital promotion expert Charles Alexander lays out a clear strategy with achievable steps that will help you get the attention of prominent playlist curators.

Part 2 of How to get your music on Spotfy playlists is found HERE.

  • Super informative as usual! 🙂 Thanks Kevin!

  • kbreuner

    You’re welcome!

  • briancrain

    How do we find the CDBaby “piano” playlist that you referred to at the opening?

  • kbreuner
  • StevenCravisMusic

    Thank you, Kevin B and Charles A!

  • StevenCravisMusic

    By the way, when Deezer became available in US, I tried an account, but quickly noticed that (in USA at least) for some reason a majority of my own songs were grayed out, not playable. Seemed to be some licensing error or limitation at this point in time.

  • StevenCravisMusic

    Kevin, I’m confused when you called the individual created playlists ‘private’. Aren’t those publicly available unless we mark them private in Spotify? Thank you.

  • kbreuner

    I think what I was referencing is that they are privately owned by individual users. Meaning, there are Spotify owned playlists and major label playlist brands that get different treatment on the platform. Also, your playlists are private unless you select to make them publicly available.

  • StevenCravisMusic

    correction: Spotify calls it ‘Make Secret’ not Make Private I think…

  • briancrain

    Thanks. What! no Brian Crain on there 🙂

  • Great podcast with lots of fantastic information. Very informative and helpful. Thanks for including my music in your Chill Piano playlist. I’ll share it like crazy!

  • kbreuner

    Thanks Michele! We have big plans for that piano playlists. Please do share!

  • Nathan Sinitus Tempo Peters

    been featured on 4 of them. fresh finds, fire emoji, jazz vibes and lush vibes….hoping for a 5th one. =)

  • kbreuner

    If you don’t mind sharing, I have a few questions:

    1. How long did they keep your songs on the playlist?
    2. How many plays did it get you?
    3. How did they find you?

  • Nathan Sinitus Tempo Peters

    Fresh finds and fire emoji were at the same time they last a week. I got about 100,000 plays. Lush vibes at the time was a new playlist so I was on it for about a month getting me 150,000 on that song and jazz vibes is the cousin playlist which was made about a week later I got about 104,000 from that. Also keep in mind the position of the track makes a big difference ace cosgrove – platinum golddigger is on genre bender playlist I produced that track but since it’s so low on the list it only gains about 3,000 plays a day.

  • Christine Brown

    That’s awesome Michele! Wish I could join you there! Great music!

  • Time Marches OnBand

    Nice conversation learn some things thanks a looooot<3

  • Great info Nathan, thanks for sharing your awesome!

  • Nathan Sinitus Tempo Peters

    No problem, glad I could help

  • Thanks for sharing this was very helpful info.
    i’m on Spotify great single Cellphone Feat. Sandy Star by Ghost Black
    Great for commercial, it’s starting to take off. Many Blessings. Thanks Kbreuner

  • Gaba Island

    Great info. Check out Gaba Island on Spotify!

  • Napoleon

    Basically, this company is just like a record company. They’re not going to take on anyone who doesn’t have a huge following, working the circuit and is prolific. The information he gave about building that up was helpful though.

  • Hi Kevin, very sweet podcast. I’ve been listening to the series for ages, lots of great advice. I was just wondering, as I don’t think it was mentioned in the show, is it advisable to have many different playlists curated by the artist/user. I have my artist account on Spotify and have been enjoying making some nice playlists in the ambient and folk noir genre but I’m wondering should I have just one main playlist and rotate the songs on this playlist or just carry on compiling various different playlists? I guess bearing in mind that similarly to other social networks, you want to build your followers gradually. Does having many different playlist work against this as the followers will be scattered? Thanks, Pearse

  • Jae wickid

    Im an artist from a city where there are no sources so trying to trend my single is pretty rough wen no one cares to follow u to listen cuz too many here only listen to the radio there is no kind of local support so my question as far as playlists? How do we contact the playlist maker to see if theyll put my song on their playlist???

  • Jay Matthews

    I started doing this for myself at the beginning of September. I went from 62..yes.. 62 monthly listeners and now I am up to 26k monthly listeners and climbing ever day. This is all without a single Spotify playlist feature. Don’t count out the little guys they build up. Its takes a lot of time but you can do it

  • Charles Alexander

    Hey everyone, thank you for being so kind and enthusiastic about this podcast. Kevin was a generous host and made it really fun and enjoyable. Please let me know if I can answer any questions.

  • Charles Alexander

    Hey Pearse, what we’ve found is that it isn’t the number of playlists as much as the engagement. So if you have 2-3 active (ie. updated regularly) playlists that’s better than 25-30 dormant playlists. And definitely – if you have a verified Spotify profile, being engaged on the platform via playlists following/sharing/promoting on affiliated social platforms such as FB, Twitter and Instagram is definitely helpful.

  • Charles Alexander

    I believe the correct term is user generated playlists. I should have been more specific on the podcast. Apologies for the confusion. The default setting for Public or Make Secret is determined by your user profile settings. But by default I think everything is public. Or at least it was in my case.

  • Thanks for the reply Charles, really enjoyed the podcast and hearing your thoughts and perspective on things. Much obliged. I’ll definitely do what you’re saying – makes sense to keep Playlists alive and 2 to 3 sounds fun. Best wishes, Pearse

  • kbreuner

    It’s probably best to limit the number of playlists so you can build a good following on them. We talk about this in Pt 2 that will be posting in a couple days.

  • Dean

    where did the podcast go? i was listening to it.

  • kbreuner

    Dean – The podcast site was hacked. Should be back now, but we’re trying to make sure that the issues has been 100% solved.

  • Dean

    sorry to hear that. wordpress based site?

  • kbreuner

    Yes. It’s been driving me crazy all day. I just updated WordPress again, so hopefully that will fix it.

  • Kevin Rees

    Just a question about the playlist owners, as I’m new to Spotify – why would a playlist creator care how many followers they have? I mean, what’s in it for them?

  • kbreuner

    If you’re just making the playlist for your own personal benefit, then you wouldn’t. If you’re trying to build an audience for the playlist, that’s when you would care about the follow numbers.

  • Kevin Rees

    Well that’s what I meant – for what benefit does a playlist creator try to build an audience? I can see how a playlist being popular would benefit the creator if it contains his/her own songs.

  • kbreuner

    If someone sees themselves as a “tastemaker” they would definitely want to build an audience. A lot of people see play listing as an art form and want to build an audience around what they are doing. There is no direct monetary compensation for it.

  • Kevin Rees

    I see, thanks!

  • Matt

    Congrats for you dude, how’d you do it?

  • kbreuner

    Jay – Any tips you want to share on how you did it?

  • Jay Matthews

    Hey guys I honestly just got a hold of any playlist that had similar music to Mine or a common theme or vibe of a song. I head to social media platforms track them down and just ask and make small talk. Now I have some good friends with sweet playlists

  • StevenCravisMusic

    If I create my own playlists, it seems that few or no one follows them.
    Jay Matthews, are you willing to elaborate a bit on what you did?
    Best Regards.

  • I’ve been looking into this Playlist concept and created one of my own. However, there’s a major problem. The artist link on all of my songs in my Playlist direct people to a different Dave King. Not me. I have contacted Spotify about this, but I question if I will hear back from them about it. Is there anything CD Baby can do for me in this situation? This is a pitfall of having a relatively common name I suppose. Thanks.

    Here’s my Playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/user/davekingmusic/playlist/6TUSl3TdN1joilZNyiefOo

  • Mark Swanson

    Can you provide a link to the piano playlist? Any way CDBaby artists can submit their music to it for consideration? That would be amazing.

  • kbreuner

    Here is a link to the playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/cdbaby/playlist/479SFuUGV4GZ4HkzKQIoYe

    We are working on a form for people to submit their music for consideration.

  • Liz Cleveland

    Hey guys, this podcast was super helpful. Does anyone have any experience with Charles’ company Streaming Promotions? Has anyone worked with them in the past? Also do you guys know any other similar companies, would love to compare before my label decides who to hire

  • kbreuner

    Charles is the first person I’ve ever heard about doing this. I’ll see if I can dig up any more.

  • Liz Cleveland

    Thanks so much Kevin, that would be great!

  • john schmidt

    As a manager of 3 unsigned bands, I can say we’ve definitely helped find that following and working the circuit through these playlists. We didn’t necessarily have that before, just great music.

  • Kidd Ambition

    I am a local indie artist. Anybody have any tips to finding the owners or music influencers. Such at Topsify playlists. I can find playlist with less of a following But I’m looking for bigger followings.

  • kbreuner

    Don’t overlook the smaller playlists. The Topsify playlists are owned by one of the major labels. They’ll mostly just feature their own content.