Spotify’s magic algorithmic playlists help artists gain thousands of streams, but how does it work?
Many artists believe that getting your music into New Music Friday or one of the other top curated playlists is the be all and end all of Spotify promotion. It’s not.
In fact, we have seen that the playlists like Discover Weekly that Spotify cleverly creates using it’s algorithm, drive more plays and engagement than pretty much any other playlist on the platform.
In this article we will explain a little bit about how those playlists work and how to increase your chances of being included.
What is Discover Weekly?
Every Monday morning all 65million paying Spotify users receive their Discover Weekly playlist. It‘s one of the first things you will see when you log in to Spotify and is one of the most popular features on the platform. The total number of streams Discover Weekly has driven to music is not in the millions, it’s in the billions.
This playlist was not put together by the Spotify editorial team, it was created automatically by Spotify’s algorithm with your tastes and listening habits in mind.
The technology is incredible it’s almost scary how well Spotify knows your taste in music!
How Does it Work?
Spotify’s system takes several factors into account when it’s generating your personalised playlists. The first, and most important is of course, your taste in music.
Over time, Spotify is recording data about the type of music you love, the songs you listen to most, the songs you skip past when they come on and building a ‘taste-profile’.
Another factor is user-generated playlists. Every time a user adds a track to a playlist, Spotify’s algorithm knows about it. If that track keeps on appearing in the same lists as music you love, there is a very good chance it could end up on your next discover weekly playlist.
The Secret Sauce! How to get your track included in Discover Weekly Playlists.
For this part of the article, I’m going to assume that your track is great. If it’s not, none of this will matter.
Bad music won’t get picked up by Spotify’s algorithm, the skip rate will be high, listener retention and engagement will be low and ultimately no one wants to hear shit music on a Monday morning..
Back to the point, as mentioned above, Spotify’s algorithm considers how many, and more importantly which playlists your track has been added to. It’s not just the playlists with thousands of followers, it’s all of them, from “Rap Caviar” (8 million followers) to “Matts Sunday Jams” (1 follower, thanks mum!).
If you want to get your music to appear in Discover Weekly try to get your music into as many RELEVANT playlists as possible.
Relevance is more important than the number of followers the playlist has. If your HipHop track is featured in a huge playlist of meditation music, the chances are it will perform badly in that playlist and do your track more harm than good. However, if it appears in several HipHop playlists (big or small) then your chances of being featured in a HipHop fans Discover Weekly is going up all the time.
So, How do you get into Spotify playlists?
- You can submit music to Spotify playlists for free on Soundplate.com:
There are hundreds of Spotify playlists listed on Soundplate.com, you can submit music directly to the playlist curators, for free.
Remember: Only submit music that fits the theme/style/genre of the playlist, getting your music on to irrelevant playlists will not help and just wastes the curators time!
- Contact Curators on social media.
- Use a tool like Chartmetric to track which playlists you have been added to in the past. Try to reach the curator and let them know about your new music or find other similar playlists and submit your music to them.
- Ask your fans!
Don’t be afraid of asking your fans to add your music to their playlists. If all of your fans all add your songs to their personal playlists the chances of being picked up for one of Spotify’s playlists will shoot up!
Wait! There’s more to it than that…
Getting your music featured in Discover Weekly can take time, don’t be disheartened if it does not work out for you right away.
We typically find that our songs don’t hit Discover Weekly until they break 20,000 or so plays, we have also found that some tracks take a lot longer than others to be picked up.
Don’t rely on playlists (algorithmic or otherwise) to promote your music for you. They can offer a big boost, but it’s not enough to get your music into some playlists. Use all the tools at your disposal to drive streams, Email newsletters, run social media ads, push for radio play — it all helps.
5 Quick Tips for Getting featured in Discover Weekly:
- Make great music — because bad music will not get picked up.
- Submit music to Spotify playlists — remember relevance is more important than size.
- Ask your fans to add your tracks to their playlists.
- Work hard on promoting your music across all platforms & be patient.