ICYMI: TuneCore artists can now create video loops for their Spotify releases with Spotify Canvas!
[Editor’s Note: this article was written by Angela Mastrogiacomo.]
Spotify is kind of the holy grail for indie artists, isn’t it?
In fact, I probably don’t need to tell you how much a well placed Spotify song can mean—odds are if you’re reading this you know, and you’ve been obsessing over it for a while. Asking yourself things like “how do i get on a Spotify official playlist?” “Once I’m on that playlist, how do I actually get people to become fans?” and “How can I use that to really boost my career?”
While some people see Spotify as the be all and end all of their music industry career, it only really works for you if you’re willing to be consistent and strategic about it. Otherwise, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall—and you know that doesn’t work.
So, what do you need to know and do in order to boost those Spotify streams and start to see real results from your music?
Make sure you’ve set the foundation
First things first here, you’ve gotta make sure you’ve put some of the more boring but, essential pieces in place before you go trying to get on all the playlists. For instance, is your artist profile fully filled out? I can not tell you how many artists I come across that have no information at all in there, and I couldn’t follow them elsewhere or buy their merch if i wanted to. Make sure that’s filled out.
Second, do some ground work to start. Build a bit of a following through existing fans, family, and friends. Follow number is important when it comes to playlist selection so you want to do everything you can to start strong with this.
Most of us have at least a few hundred people, if not a few thousand people between our Facebook profiles and IG profiles. If you have to, message all of them with something personal to ask them, if they like the music, would they mind following/ Tell them what a big help it’ll be, and again, make this personal. Do not just copy and paste the same stock message to 500 people—it’s obvious and disingenuous and it won’t work. You’re asking them to take the time to support you, so the least you can do is treat them like a human being and not just a number.
By the end of this, even if not everyone follows you, it should build your follower count to at least a few hundred if not thousand, which is a great start.
Create your own playlist & collaborations
One of the best ways to quickly boost streams and guarantee playlist placement is to simply make your own. My suggestion is to niche it down as much as possible to help with searchability and relatability. For instance:
-Music from a specific region
-Artists that sound like (popular but niche artist)
Look at some of the existing playlists on Spotify for inspiration. The more share-able a playlist is, the better—you want to get people excited to listen and share with their friends and community. There are probably a million work out playlists out there, so if you’re doing something like that, be sure that you’re making it as niche as you can. For instance “songs to work out to when you really don’t feel like working out” or “80s hair metal to shake your butt to.” Just something quippy and different that will catch someone’s attention.
Be sure to include a mix of emerging bands and well known bands to help with visibility and promotion. Especially emerging artists that have a highly engaged social media following (note—I said highly engaged, not necessarily high follower count) will help spread the word even faster.
Another collaboration idea? Reach out to blogs and industry influencers who have their own playlist, and submit your song. The more unofficial playlists you can get on, the more streams you’ll rack up, and the better shot you’ll have at a Spotify Official playlist.
DIY a press campaign
Whether you’re hitting a publicist, a Spotify placement expert, or doing your own campaign, there’s no doubt that press will help you boost those numbers. The entire purpose of press is to help bring attention to your new music and your brand, and there’s a reason it’s often more successful than simply getting on a playlist—because it digs deep into the person behind the song, and not just the song itself, and as we know, it’s that story, that brand, that relatability that turns someone from passive listener into super fan.
If fans (new and future) can get a sense of who you are through interviews, articles, and guest blogs, they’ll be more likely to want to stream and share your song.
And voila! You start to see your Spotify count go up, while making real and genuine connections with your fans.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more as well as the THRIVE mentorship community—an online community that provides indie artists with affordable year-round mentoring from music industry experts, and much more. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.