• Phil McDonald

Getting Playlisted

When it comes to our songs, we put in an enormous amount of effort writing and recording, and then we have the colossal task of trying to get the music listened to. In this day and age, it's no longer about selling CDs at a gig or trying to get help space in your local record shop, for some time now, streaming has been the thing and if you can get your music playlisted on one of the major platforms you're looking at some potentially huge returns. But how do you get playlisted?


First of all, it's important to note that this isn't an exact science. What works for one person might not work for you and patience is the key that you must bear in mind. It's really important to make sure your artist profile on whichever platforms you're on is up to d date and looks as good as it possibly can. Poor quality profile pictures don't leave a good impression and look far from professional.


The next thing you need to do is research. Look for magazines, websites, and blogs that have their own playlists and you feel would be a good fit for your music. Don't pitch to a hip hop playlist if you're a folk singer. Next, look to see who curates the playlist and find their contact details. A quick Google search is usually the tool for this. Politely approach the curator with a link to your music.


Make your own playlists on your page. Curate a list of material in and around your favoured genre and slip a couple of your own songs in there. People who follow you on Spotify for example will pick up on this and hopefully share. This is an important point. Encouraging people to follow you as an artist will really help to get onto other playlists. If people are simply just visiting your profile the algorithms used by platforms such as Spotify won't show you to other users.


Spotify uses complex algorithms for tools such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar. Ensuring you have as many followers as possible increases the chances of one of these picking you up and listing one or more of your tracks. Also by releasing new material regularly, rather than one album then nothing for 8 months means you stand a much better chance of being picked up.


Lastly, try and bring as much external traffic to Spotify or whichever platform you're using. Post links on your social pages and your own website. Streaming platforms love external traffic coming and this can really help your cause. This is the opposite of sites like Facebook disliking external links and not showing it to many people. The more traffic you can bring in the better.


To conclude, the key to this is patience and consistency. In reality, you're not going to get picked up by Spotify's New Music Friday playlist on your first attempt. But if you action the points above you stand a much better chance of making it onto some independent playlists and then onward and upward from there. Have you managed to get onto a playlist? What worked for you?


I discuss this topic in greater detail in this week's podcast which you can to listen to here or via your favoured podcast app.


Thanks for reading.


Phil




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