Spotify Marketing Strategy 101

spotify marketing strategy

Spotify Marketing Strategy 101

spotify marketing strategy

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There’s no denying that Spotify is one of the most popular streaming platforms today, and also the place where several artists we know and love got their big breaks and started their career. Since its launch, Spotify has developed several policies and frameworks to help musicians take advantage of their platform and build an audience. However, developing a strong Spotify marketing strategy can be a tricky process – which is why we have compiled the following tips to help you grow your Spotify presence.

To optimize your Spotify marketing strategy, you need to have clarity on the frameworks Spotify has in place to benefit its users. Let’s take a look at the three types of Spotify playlists and how you can make the best of them:
  1. User-generated playlists: These are the playlists that any Spotify user can create and own, and it’s the simplest form of Spotify promotion- create your own playlist with a mix of your own songs and those of artists that are similar to you, and share them on your social handles.
  2. Algorithm-generated playlists: These are playlists like the “Discover Weekly” or the “Release Radar”, which are individually curated for each user.
  3.  Editorial Playlists: These are curated by people who work at Spotify- they analyze all the data and handpick the songs before compiling them into a playlist.

Spotify’s algorithm is quite similar to the one used by Instagram, in that it analyses how many users are streaming your songs, skipping your tracks, saving them to their libraries, etc. Every piece of data that are generated by the users is taken into consideration for an artist’s song promotion and music marketing strategies. 

As soon as your track is released, it’s going to be opened up to a certain amount of people. It will start out by getting featured on various user-generated playlists, and once it starts gaining traction, it will be pushed into the levels of the algorithmic playlists, where it will be pushed into a pool of around a thousand people. If a high percentage of people like the track, the algorithm opens the floodgates and introduces the song to more and more people. This continues to the point where the editorial staff checks the song out and if they like it, the song is promoted initially on smaller editorial playlists, then progressively larger ones until it reaches the top tier of playlists. This is the core structure of Spotify promotion.

The following Spotify marketing strategy tips are specific to the current trends, statistics and listening habits of people in 2021. There are certain things you can do before, during and after your release to ensure your track is recognized. Before your actual release, you would want to have some traction built up so your song is raring to go from the first day. For this, you would need to get in touch with various blogs, YouTube channels and playlist editors to ensure your song is featured in as many playlists as possible at the time of its release. 

Here are a few tips for artists to keep in mind to optimize their Spotify marketing strategy:

Our Top Spotify Marketing Strategy Tips

1. Leverage the Spotify for Artists portal

spotify marketing strategy

Starting with the basics of Spotify promotion, use the Spotify for Artists portal to set up your profile and regularly keep it up to date. This would entail putting up a few current pictures that are hi-res and look good. If you have 2-3 that’s amazing, but put up more if you have them. Add a bio with something compelling that will make artists want to listen to your music and link your social media. Enter your latest single or album in the ‘Artist’s Pick’ section, and regularly update your user playlists. 

For any upcoming releases, Spotify for Artists also provides an option to push your songs to playlists where you would need to fill out a form with the genre, bpm and overall vibe of your song. This would be incredibly helpful for your Spotify marketing strategy, as it would make your profile stand out to Spotify curators who would otherwise have to sit through almost 80,000 songs that release on their platform per day.

2. Get featured on sites like Indie Mono

spotify marketing strategy

To maximize your coverage within the first week of your release, reach out to blogs like Indie Mono to feature your track on their playlists. Your Spotify marketing strategy should appeal to both YouTube and Spotify algorithms to reach as many users as possible. What this means is releasing your music often enough to optimize your potential fans’ attention span, which is no more than every 30-60 days.

If you have a few songs that are ready for release, you can put one out every six to eight weeks to really take advantage of the Spotify algorithm and how it helps with promote you. After your release, you might want to look into getting featured on even more playlists and blogs, and some more resources to hit up would be My Sphera and Soundplate as part of your Spotify marketing strategy. These are independent blogs and curators with unofficial playlists on Spotify that get a lot of streams and feature upcoming artists across various genres.

3. Have faith in the algorithm

Artists can get incredibly anxious when they don’t see steady growth in their streams. However, Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” algorithm takes up to 8 to 10 weeks to detect your track and start pushing it out. Even if you upload to Spotify and get no streams, it will still push out your track to people who like that genre- even if it’s just a handful of people, and test to see if people like your track. If they do, they won’t skip your track; they’ll go back and listen again, and the algorithm will push it out to more and more people. It is important to tailor your Spotify marketing strategy according to this algorithm. In order to boost your song promotion and music marketing, a basic understanding of Spotify’s algorithm is key.

For example, check out an artist called Marco Tamimi, who hit one lakh streams from the “Discover Weekly” algorithm alone. If you look at his “About” section, there aren’t any playlists generating those streams. It is all just the algorithm that’s pushing out his track organically. It can take months for the algorithm to pick up a particular track, decide it is good and push it out to a hundred thousand people. This is import

4. Pitch your songs to playlists on Submit Hub

Submit Hub landing page

Submit Hub is a great place to find organic, real playlists. They continuously vet their blogs and playlists to ensure they have legitimate listeners and streams. They have no incentive to pump their playlists with fake streams, especially with the Submit Hub model where they get paid a dollar for considering a track for their playlist. The Submit Hub playlists also provide personalized tips for your Spotify marketing strategy and song promotion.

If you can get featured on one of their playlists, all other tracks on their playlist will also be legitimate and genre-specific to you. So the Spotify algorithm can pick up your tracks, associate you with similar artists and push your tracks out to the right “Discover Weekly” playlists where you have a greater chance of people listening to and liking your music. This will be instrumental in enhancing your Spotify marketing strategy.

5. Pitch to official playlists on Spotify for Artists

You can submit your tracks to Spotify’s official playlists four weeks before they release. So get your distributor to upload your track to Spotify four weeks before your release, and then go to the Spotify for Artists platform and submit your track to be considered for Spotify’s official playlist.

6. Create a playlist and promote it

Create your playlist and market that instead of your music. Maybe your music is chill, or it’s great for studying. Then create your brand of playlists and push it out. Curate a playlist with artists that are similar to your vibe and promote it through Facebook or Instagram ads. You could target students in various areas during their examination and release an ad that says “Are you stressed about your exams? Listen to this chill playlist while you study.”
Keep your track at the top of the playlist so that you get the most streams. It only costs about eight cents per stream, so that’s about INR 430 per 1000 streams. You can retarget everyone who clicked through your playlist or has interacted with your new brand knowing that you can sell merchandise or gig tickets to them.

You can also use playlists as a way of trading, similar to how Soundcloud reposting works. So if you see artists who are similar to you in terms of reach and genre, you could feature each other on your respective playlists. 

7. Learn the art of persuasion

You have to be able to sell your music, so figure out how marketers sell their products or get people’s attention in a single line. This works for ads, sending DMs to people, trying to get them to listen to your music and converting your existing followers into listeners. Most people can get between 500 and 1000 followers on Instagram. That is enough to get people to Spotify and stream your track. If you have 1000 followers and you manage to convert 30% of your followers to go and listen to your track, that is 300 streams you didn’t have otherwise.

Posting on social media across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are one of the key ways of doing this, and you could even go a step further and ask people who genuinely liked your song to share it on their social handles rather than spamming people who may not be interested. You could be polite and start a conversation with them, linking the playlists you have been featured on and requesting them to share it if they enjoyed the track.

8. Reach out to influencers

Reach out to influencers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter who already have an audience to engage with their content. If you manage to get recognized on an influencer’s platform, it could majorly fast track your audience growth. There are several influencer pages that explicitly mention they offer paid promotion in their bio. Rather than directly negotiating terms with them, send across a personalized message in their DMs appreciating their content, introducing yourself and attaching a link to your track. If they like the song, cut a deal with them asking them to add it to their playlist and share it with their followers. If they use music in their content, you could also pay them to feature your track in their post which would definitely result in a lot more views.

Influencers and people with large accounts, especially YouTubers get a huge amount of streams because they’re constantly plugging links to their Spotify playlists on their online platforms. You can get a lot of your streams in this way, and potentially a shout-out on your social media as well.

9. Pitch your music to Twitch streamers

Twitch is huge right now and they have a massive, engaged audience. Twitch gamers are listening to music while they play, so there will be music in the background as they’re streaming videos. A lot of them are also plugging their Spotify playlists the entire time. They put their Spotify playlist links in the description and also play the Spotify playlist throughout the streaming. If people like the tracks they heard in the Twitch stream, they will follow the playlist. 

If your track makes it to one of the playlists, you will get a lot more streams. So pitch your track to Twitch streamers, DM them and see if they like your track. Go back to the previous tip about learning to sell, because you cannot just send them a link and hope that they’ll listen to your music. It is helpful if you add a personal note such as “I saw your stream yesterday, and I loved that bit where you…” This is a lot more effective in drawing their attention and proves your authenticity.

10. Collaborate with more established artists

Collaborate with other artists who have momentum in order to boost your Spotify marketing strategy. There are a lot of artists who collaborate and their profiles get linked on Spotify. This is a great way to build followers on Spotify. So you could find someone with one lakh real streams and followers and ask them if they’d like to collaborate on a track, and even pay them for it. 

You could say that you’re looking to grow your following, briefly talk about your experience as a songwriter or producer and end by suggesting to collaborate on a track. Artists are always struggling to write songs or find inspiration and if someone comes along to pay them or give them more resources than they have otherwise, then they are likely to accept the deal, As long as it’s a good track, they will put it on their Spotify and it won’t ruin their momentum of constantly releasing. A collaborative track with a more established artists gives you a higher chance of getting featured on the Release Radar playlist and potentially even the Spotify editorial playlist, which equates to more listeners, streams and a boost in your Spotify marketing strategy. 

It’s important to note that none of this is going to work if your music doesn’t sound good, or is easily forgettable. If a high percentage of people skip your song, the Spotify algorithm assumes it isn’t worth showing to people and bumps the song down and buries it under all the 80,000 songs that come up in a day. So work on your craft to create an amazing song that sounds catchy.

If the algorithm notices that people are liking the song and saving it to their libraries or their personal playlists, they open up the floodgates toward the “Discover Weekly” or “Release Radar” and once it starts gaining momentum in these playlists it can get pushed to a higher tier of editorial playlists. It’s also an added bonus to release new music on Fridays because you would have a greater chance of getting featured on the “New Music Fridays” playlist, which would really help with your Spotify marketing strategy.

Various record labels have connections within the industry to directly push your track into top tier playlists, so it helps if you’re associated with them. Here’s a creative strategy: Make music specifically for a type of playlist by analyzing it for the kind of songs that get featured, how long they are, what sort of vocals or instruments they use, essentially deconstructing the songs in that playlist and tailoring your creative process accordingly.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you should make music you don’t particularly like just because it’s getting tons of streams. Instead, find a top-tier playlist with the type of music you create and incorporate the features of those songs into your next track. Keep an end game in mind of getting into that playlist.

Quick Recap

1. Generate amazing music
2. Get as much traction as possible within the first week of your release
3. Engage with your audience to transform your listeners into dedicated fans
Ultimately, don’t take all this information at its face value – test it out and make your decisions based on your experiences. Try to stay on top of your strategies by measuring and tracking everything. Remember – whatever gets measured, gets managed.

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