There are lots of articles out there with ‘hacks’ on how to get on a playlist.
Some artists get handpicked by Apple Music, Spotify or Deezer playlist curators. They get a lot of plays overnight. And sure, they get a spike in revenue from being heavily streamed…
However, I’d be lying if I told you there’s a guaranteed, fast and simple method to achieve that.
When you release your music, you must promote it. Otherwise, it will collect digital dust and nobody will listen—let alone playlist it. All good promotion begins organically, from great music and a real feeling.
The way we uncover and listen to music has changed. Algorithms are heavily involved. They are serving us personalized playlists. They are breaking artists who’ve information to back up their success.
However, an important thing to remember is that the human element has not totally disappeared—even from the most data-driven streaming platforms.
Tastemakers and playlist curators still make some of the greatest playlists. And your fans are still… real people!
So here’s everything you should know about getting on playlists, how to approach playlisters and how to craft your promotional technique after releasing. This will not get you on Spotify’s Fresh Finds tomorrow… however, it will put all the chances on your side to get your music heard.
Here’s the gist of the lists that how to get on a playlist!
1. Get Your Music on Streaming Platforms
“I feel songs wish to be shared. I feel it once they begin to come through—the first thread of melody woven with some words. It is as though they already know the day once you will say the words: it is a new one I have been working on.” says Joe.
The first step to getting your music featured anywhere is… to release it! It may seem obvious, however, many artists do not know where to begin. You may have your music up on Bandcamp or SoundCloud. And you are wondering “How do I get my music on Spotify and Apple Music?”
It is a good time for DIY music creation. You should not be signed to get your music distributed anymore. Independent artists could do it too.
LANDR allows you to do just that: release your music easily, right from your track library.
- Log into your LANDR account
- Click on ‘Releases’ in the top menu
- Add a lossless file
- Enter the info for your release (titles, album art, etc.)
Now you are good to go! You just want approval and some time for your tracks to hit the stores (typically 4-5 days). Once they are in the shops, you are ready to begin promoting towards those playlists.
It may seem like distributing is a long method off from your first placement, but when your music is not available to get listed, there is nothing to list!
However, the work does not end right here. Now it’s time to promote your streams!
2. Get Verified
So you have launched your music and you want to get on a playlist, good. The next step is to take control of your artist accounts and show that you are legit (though we know you’re).
Once upon a time, you needed to get 250 followers to earn the little blue verification checkmark on your profile. Fortunately, Spotify has opened verification to all artists.
Go to Spotify for Artists and click on ‘Get Access.’
It takes a little while (a few days, or a week) however once they verify who you’re, you get access to your artist profile. It allows you to edit your images, check your stats and more.
Go to iTunes Connect to link your iTunes account and claim your artist profile.
Click on the plus and add ‘Artists’. Search your name (your music must be on there already. If not go back to step 1!).
It takes up to a week or so to get the verified status.
3. Build An Audience
Your music is up on all the right platforms with blue checkmarks—now what? It’s essential to build a network of supporters both online and in person. Here’s how:
In Real Life
Get involved with people face to face. It is still key. No matter how many algorithms govern our lives, followers and journalists are human beings first. Establish a genuine relationship to offer yourself a greater shot at a sustainable and successful journey for your music.
“Sharing to friends, music writers and radio has the same feeling for me—it is about having a relationship with the songs and understanding when the time, person and place feels right” Joe Holtaway mentions.
Your first supporters are the ones who get you off the ground: your friends, family and internet pals (like that one Twitter friend who likes all of your posts).
Keep in mind: to get followers, you gotta be a fan! Exchanging music and compliments with other fellow musicians you admire is a fantastic method to build your network.
At the grassroots level, it is usually other musicians who organize shows and help co-promote each other with things like their own playlists. Cross-promote with everybody in your network and build a community and following organically.
“I keep a journal—drawings, paintings, quotes, and in there I put addresses of these I meet at gatherings and shows. Often sharing recordings begin from there with a note the next day, a shared song link” says Joe.
Getting and utilizing the right social media profiles is essential whether you want social media or not. Get a few that you could handle and keep them up to date: Fb, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud or Bandcamp.
Make a great artist website and artist bio.
Get your friends to follow your Fb fan page by clicking “Invite Friends.”
Link all of your profiles together. Put all of your social media links on Fb, SoundCloud and on your site.
These are the spaces that keep your momentum up when you maintain them. Share your story and your process, it all counts. However, do not be spammy.
The best rule-of-thumb is to treat your followers like your close friends—when you’d be excited to share it with your friends, then share it with your followers. You would not spam your friends 5 times a day with a “take a look at my Soundcloud” post. So do not do it to your fans either.