Should You Pay For Spotify Playlist Placements?
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services in the world, with millions of users globally. It has become a crucial platform for artists to share their music, reach new audiences, and generate revenue from streams. However, with millions of tracks available on the platform, it can be challenging for independent artists to get noticed. One solution that has gained popularity in recent years is paying for Spotify playlist placements. This article will explore the pros and cons of this practice and its impact on artists and the music industry.
What are Spotify Playlist Placements?
Spotify playlists are a curated selection of songs created by Spotify or third-party curators. They are designed to help listeners discover new music and enable artists to reach a broader audience. Playlist placements refer to the inclusion of a song on a popular playlist, which can increase the track's visibility and streams. Playlist placements can be organic, meaning a song is added to a playlist based on its popularity, or paid placements, where the artist or their representative pays a fee for the song to be added to a playlist.
Pros of Paying for Spotify Playlist Placements
1. Increased Exposure
One of the most significant benefits of paying for Spotify playlist placements is increased exposure. Getting your song added to a popular playlist can significantly increase the number of streams, which can lead to more fans and revenue. For independent artists with limited resources and marketing budgets, paid playlist placements can be a viable way to get their music in front of a wider audience.
2. Access to Larger Audiences
Spotify has over 345 million monthly active users globally, and many of these users listen to playlists regularly. Getting your song added to a popular playlist can expose your music to a large and diverse audience that you may not have reached otherwise. This can help you gain new fans, increase your social media following, and boost your music career.
3. A Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy
Compared to traditional advertising methods, paying for Spotify playlist placements can be a cost-effective way to promote your music. Many playlist curators offer packages at affordable rates, making it accessible to artists with a limited marketing budget. Additionally, playlist placements are more targeted than traditional advertising, as they are tailored to specific audiences interested in a particular genre or mood.
4. A Chance to Compete with Major Labels
In the music industry, major labels have a significant advantage over independent artists due to their resources and marketing budgets. Paid playlist placements level the playing field, giving independent artists a chance to compete with major labels. If your song is added to a popular playlist, it can generate a considerable amount of streams and increase your visibility, regardless of whether you are signed to a major label or not.
Cons of Paying for Spotify Playlist Placements
1. Ethical Concerns
Paying for playlist placements raises ethical concerns, as it can be seen as a way to buy success rather than earn it. In the past, some playlist curators have been accused of accepting payments in exchange for adding songs to their playlists, regardless of the quality or popularity of the track. This can create an uneven playing field and harm artists who cannot afford to pay for placements. It can also violate Spotify's Terms and Conditions
2. Lack of Transparency
Another concern with paid playlist placements is the lack of transparency in the process. Spotify does not allow paid placements on their official playlists, but some third-party curators may accept payments in exchange for adding songs to their playlists. This can make it difficult for artists to know if their money is being spent effectively or if they are getting value for their investment.
3. Limited Impact
While paid playlist placements can increase exposure and streams, they may not necessarily translate into long-term success. For example, if a song is added to a popular playlist but is not well-received by listeners, it may not generate additional streams or fans. Additionally, paid playlist placements may not necessarily lead to increased revenue for the artist. Spotify pays out a fraction of a penny per stream, and while an increase in streams can generate more revenue, it may not be significant enough to justify the cost of the paid placement.
4. The Risk of Ruining the Artist's Reputation
If an artist's song is added to a playlist that is not relevant to their genre or style, it can harm their reputation and credibility. Additionally, if the playlist curator adds the song to the wrong playlist or adds it to a playlist with a small audience, it can harm the artist's chances of success. Therefore, it is crucial for artists to research and select the right playlists and curators to ensure that their investment pays off.
Paying for Spotify playlist placements can be a viable way for independent artists to increase their exposure and reach new audiences. It can also level the playing field and give independent artists a chance to compete with major labels. However, the practice raises ethical concerns and lacks transparency, and the impact of paid placements may be limited. Ultimately, artists must weigh the pros and cons and carefully consider the playlists and curators they work with to ensure that their investment pays off. Regardless of whether an artist decides to pay for playlist placements or not, creating high-quality music and engaging with fans remains the most critical factor in building a successful music career on Spotify.
Fred Paci - Integral JaZz
Hi, My name is Fred and I'm a trumpet player, guitarist, and music producer. A couple years ago, during the heart of the pandemic, and perpetual lockdowns, I discovered Lofi music which helped me relax. This experience made me want to create and release some music of my own, so I decided to reach out to the artists that I really enjoyed and started making music with them. Fast forward to today, with currently over half a million monthly listeners worldwide on Spotify and Apple Music, a plethora of editorial placements, more than 70 releases with over 20 amazing Lofi labels like Chill Beats Music, LofiJazz Records, Chill Select, and many more, I’m making lofi with some of the dopest, kindest, lofi and chillhop artists and beat makers on this planet, and I continue to find my voice as an artist, feeling compelled to create relaxing little musical vibes for you! Thanks for listening! Follow me for more
How To Get On Spotify Editorial Playlists
How do you get on Spotify Editorial Playlist? In this article we will be covering many important aspects of Spotify Editorial Playlists. These tips and tricks can improved your chances of successfully landing a placement on one of these amazing playlists. Hello, my name is Grizzly Beatz and I am a LoFi music producer from Los Angeles, CA. I have been producing beats for well over a decade now and excited to share with the music community some information I have learned regarding editorial playlists. Below is an overview of what we will be covering to help you get on Spotify editorial playlists.
Benefits of Editorial Playlist Placements.
It is no secret that getting on an editorial placement can be a game changer for any musician. I have been fortunate enough to get on several Spotify Editorial placements within a few of each other. My first playlist placements was with Spotify Gold Instrumental Beats in October 2022. The next month in November 2022 I landed a placement in their Late Night Beats Playlist. Then in January of 2023, I landed another Editorial Playlist "LoFi Cafe" playlist.
These playlist have contributed hundreds of thousands of streams as well as thousands of new monthly listeners and followers. I also noticed that many user generated playlist curators were finding my song on the editorial playlist and adding it to their playlist. I am gaining about 50 new Spotify followers a day and about 3-4K streams a day on average. I was able to achieve this without a record lable, and without knowing anyone over at Spotify. Just by creating quality music, perfecting my pitch and doing what I can to show Spotify to take me seriously. We will cover the steps below.
How To Prepare Your Song For The Editorial Playlists.
Its a good idea to create a song specifically for the editorial playlist that you are trying to get placed on. Listen closely to the playlist. What instruments do you hear, what is the mood, the tempo, the length of the track. Also pay attention to the titles and album cover styles. This is what you will want in the back of your mind once you finished your song. Try to make a track that fits the feel of the playlist. Also shorter songs tend to do better, try to keep under the 3 minute mark. Pay attention to how the songs in the playlist end, do they end abruptly or short fade out. I noticed that long fade outs tend to not do well, as listeners may think the song stop playing or internet went out and will skip or restart their Spotify.
When mixing and mastering your song make sure to check the loudness of the track (Lufs) using a loudness meter plug-in. You want your mastered track to be around -12dB. Spotify will lower to -14dB but it is better to have the track slightly louder than it is to be lower than -14dB and Spotify having to increase the level.
Spotify Song Title And Artwork.
When choosing a song title, it helps to choose something that fits the mood of the playlist(s) that you plan to submit to. For example the track that I got added to the LoFi Cafe editorial playlist was titled "Mocha". I believe this helped capture the attention of the curator. I also made sure to take note of the artwork styles being used by others in the playlist. In the LoFi/Chillhop genre popular styles include anime characters or colorful artistic images, so ultimately this was the type of cover I went with for this release.
Spotify Pro Tip: Release More Singles.
Since with albums you can only submit one song off the album to the editorials, you should focus on releasing tracks as singles. You can release several tracks as singles (spread out with 4 weeks in between releases) and pitch all of them. Then you can release an album with those same songs with a few new ones sprinkled in. This time with the album you can pitch one of the newly added tracks. If you provide the same ISRC numbers for the singles on the album release, the streams from the single release will carry over to the album.
Collaborate With Other Spotify Artists & Producers.
Did you know that collaborating with other artists and producers that have been featured on Spotify Editorial Playlists before can increase your chances of having the track added to one. To do this you must put the collaborator as a Primary Artists when uploading through your DSP like Distrokid. This way it will appear in both artist's Spotify for Artists app, meaning both will be able to pitch it. The track will also show up on multiple profiles meaning more exposure. When pitching the Editorial Curators can see a list of editorial playlists any of the artists submitting have been featured on in the past. This will increase the chances of them taking you seriously.
Consider Releasing Through A Label On Spotify.
Before releasing your song on your own, consider releasing it through record labels that support your genre. I make LoFi beats so I will pitch to several record labels first to see if any will be willing to do a label release. This year I will have releases with labels like Chill Moon Music, Lifted LoFi Records, Widen Island, Retune Project and more. Having a release with a known label can help increase your chances of an editorial playlist placement as well as being discovered by their audience. Note that you will most likely need to split all streaming royalties 50/50 with the label.
Complete and Claim Your Spotify Profile.
Head to the Spotify For Artist page (http://artists.spotify.com), log in with your artist account and fill out your profile information as completely as possible. You also want to make sure that you claim and verify your profile. This will get you the blue checkmark by your name on your Spotify profile.
Tips for creating a great Spotify artist profile: Your profile is an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to inclusion on playlists. Spotify takes pride in their platform as the number one music streaming service, and their playlist curators give preference to artists who offer detailed profiles that include great photos and graphics. Don’t skimp on this area — take the time to write an appealing biography, and be sure to include plenty of photos, logos, and other artwork along with links to your website and social media accounts.
Below are some videos from Spotify For Artists that covers completing your profile, verifying your profile and updating your profile image.
How To Schedule Your Spotify Release.
You want to be able to pitch to the editorial curators at least 4 weeks prior to release. Many would say that Friday's are the best day to release new music, but out of the several placements I have had only one was release of a Friday, the others were released on a Tuesday. This might be because there is less competition and better chances you will get listened to.
So in order to pitch the song needs to be in your Spotify For Artists upcoming releases section at least 4 weeks prior to release. So you need to upload your song through your DSP like Distrokid at least 5 weeks before its release to give it time to get sent over to Spotify For Artists. Distrokid is a great option for releasing your music through as you can release an unlimited amount for only $19 a year. Click here to join Distrokid and save 7%
In Spotify For Artists, click on music, then upcoming. You should see your future release track(s) there.
You will be able to pitch to the curators from here. Under the playlist pitch section you will see the option to pitch. We will cover the steps to pitching below.
How To Pitch Your Song To The Spotify Editorial Playlist Curators.
Now that your song has been uploaded, it’s time to submit the correct track information to Spotify. When you click on the PITCH A SONG button, you’ll be brought to a page that will ask you general information about your track.
Select the Main Genre of your song first, and then choose your Subgenres — categories that are more specific to your music style. Your Subgenre selection is critical, because it’s easier to get on smaller Subgenre editorial playlists than the larger main categories.
The next step in describing your song to Spotify is Music Culture, which relates to any religious or cultural influences on your music. For example, if your song contains Christian lyrics, it will have a higher chance to land on the Top Christian editorial playlist. If none of the culture options apply to your track, select the “None of these” option.
Moods, the next step in song description, lets you highlight the types of emotions you intend to convey with your track. After that is Song Styles, where you’ll indicate whether your track is a live production, an in-studio recording, an acoustic version, or something else. You’ll also choose the Language of your lyrics; whether the song is a cover, remix, or instrumental; and which instruments are featured in the track.
You can also specify your location during the submission process, in order to target local fans and playlists near you. For example, if you are from Ireland and your track is a folk song, you’ll have a good chance to get on editorial Spotify playlist Irish Folk – Ballads.
Finally, the Tell Us More section is where you’ll actually describe your song in order to pitch the track to Spotify’s curators. This section is crucial to demonstrate the quality and care that you placed into creating and recording the song, and will provide the curators with a sense of authenticity and priority during the selection process.
Now, it’s time for the real pitch. You must take care with the way you sell your music, or yourself as an artist, on Spotify. The curators are interested in how the submitted songs will impact themselves, their audience, and Spotify’s overall audience development. Be sure to include impactful details, if you have them, such as if you’ve worked with a well-known producer, collaborated with a recognized artist, or been featured on a popular show (e.g. podcast, YouTube channel, radio, or television). You should also add some keywords that describe which communities you want to influence and help narrow down your genre or style.
Below is an example of a pitch
" “Not A Care" is a chill and jazzy LoFi instrumental perfect for listening to while enjoying a cup of coffee or reading your favorite book. This track has been featured in several viral TikTok videos. It would be perfect for the "Lush LoFi" "LoFi Beats or "LoFi Cafe" playlists. It is scheduled to be featured on several industry blogs such as Word is Bond. Grizzly Beatz is the youngest son of jazz drummer and composer Alphonse Mouzon, who recorded with Steve Wonder, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, & more."
Below is a video where Spotify curators talk about what they look for in an artists and their music, what they consider a successful pitch and more.
For more information on how to pitch to Spotify's editorial curators visit: Help - Pitching music to our playlist editors – Spotify for Artists
What Should You Do Pre & Post Your Spotify Release.
First off if you are not curating your own playlist you need to start now. In these playlists you will want to include your own music but also include popular artists in your genre within them. This will help tell Spotify which artists are similar to you and will help you get your music added to their Artist Radio playlists.
Along with this curating a playlist(s) can help you not only get your name out there within your genre but also increase your Spotify followers, pre-saves, playlist likes and more. Curators can use playlist submission gates like "DailyPlaylist.com". "Soundplate.com" or on their own website using "Toneden" to grow their following in return. This is a great way to start getting pre-saves on your upcoming release to start sending positive signals to the Spotify algorithm. If you do not want to curate your own playlist you can use Toneden as a submission gate for free downloads or special coupons. To learn more about the Spotify Algorithm read my How The Spotify Algorithm Works In 2023 article.
Once the track releases you will want to send as much traffic and listeners to the track. There are several ways of doing this, but below are a few.
If you do not get added to a Spotify editorial playlist right away do not worry. I have had a track get added 3 weeks after its release, so keep promoting it for a good month after its release. If you don't land a playlist do not get discouraged and give up. It is a numbers game. The more you release and pitch the more of a chance you will land one.
I hope these tips help you get on your next Spotify Editorial Playlist Placement. If you found any of these helpful I would appreciate if you comment below and share on social media and help spread the love and help other artists. Also if there are any tips and tricks that I may have left out please let me know in the comments section. Thank you so much for your time and wish you much success in your Spotify journey.
Resources For Spotify Artists
Spotify Playlists Submissions
Daily Playlists: https://dailyplaylists.com/
Playlister Club: https://www.songtools.io/
Playlist Push: https://playlistpush.com/
Indie Mono: https://indiemono.com/music-submit/
Grizzly Beatz: https://www.grizzlybeatz.com/lofi-playlist-submissions
Spotify Growth Tools
Feature FM: https://feature.fm/
Digital Service Providers (DSP)
CD Baby: https://cdbaby.com/
LoFi Music Promotion
Grizzly Beatz is a LoFi and Chillhop music producer from Los Angeles,CA. His music has been featured on several Spotify Editorial Playlists. He has thousands of Spotify listeners and followers. This blog is dedicated to LoFi music. Submit your LoFi music to be considered for a post.