Brian Hazard of Color Theory revisits Playlist Push, a service designed to help independent artists with playlist placement and monetizing their music. Here he recounts his second experience using the platform and what sort of results he saw.
Guest post by Brian Hazard of Passive Promotion
Playlist Push promises to help independent artists get their music on Spotify playlists, and gives playlist curators a way to monetize their music discovery. As of this writing, they have 242 curators across 60 genres with a total of 8 million followers.
Campaigns start at $185 and run for two weeks. The price increases with genre popularity, or by adding multiple genres, providing more placement opportunities. Pop, hip hop, and indie rock are their main genres, which doesn’t bode well for a retro synth nerd like yours truly, but more on that later.
When I first reviewed the service in November, they were experiencing a massive influx of curators, and weren’t able to screen them all properly. As a result, my five playlist adds were of negligible to questionable value, and I didn’t see my Spotify numbers budge.
Since then they’ve gotten their act together. They monitor all accounts for suspicious activity, fake or inactive followers, multiple accounts, and other violations. I saw plenty of improvements on the curator end, until I decided that screening songs at $0.75 a pop wasn’t worth my time, especially since so few were a good fit for my retro synth playlist.
That’s not a standard payout, mind you. It’s determined by your reputation score as a curator, which hinges on a variety of factors, like leaving helpful reviews, how long you’ve been on the platform, and how active your playlists are. My playlist barely met the minimum requirement of 400 followers and I was a total newb, so my payout was relatively low.
Last time I mentioned that CEO George Goodrich offered me a redo, which we did in March with my song “In Motion”.
I sent an mp3 and they took care of the rest, so I can’t walk you through the campaign creation process like I normally would. I found out afterward that the campaign would have cost $230, and the genre my song was placed in was… disco.
Apparently it’s still a thing. I don’t know if that decision was a fatal flaw or a stroke of genius, but there were plenty of curators ready and willing to screen my track.
My Playlist Push Campaign Results
After two weeks, I received 41 written reviews and 4 playlist adds. Unapproved or less than two-star reviews aren’t shown, so I don’t know how many curators actually listened to the song.
The quality of the written reviews was excellent, with many curators promising to follow me, check out my other tracks, or even add the track to their playlist at a later date. For example, here’s way more than $0.75 worth of feedback from someone who didn’t even add the track:
And a refreshingly musically-literate comment from someone who did:
Of course, there are also the usual backhanded compliments I’m used to from SubmitHub:
As much as I’d love to be able to tell you my streams went through the roof, that wasn’t the case. So you may be wondering what the song popularity +55% figure above means.
Spotify assigns a popularity score to every song and artist, which you can see on Chartmetric. So Playlist Push approximates that the playlist adds will result in a 55% increase in that score. Of course, that’s just a guess, because it has no way of knowing how many streams it will actually get.
Currently my song has a popularity score of 16 out of 100, so if their algorithm were accurate, that would mean the campaign took the song from a 10 to a 16. In other words, from totally unpopular to very unpopular.
When I wrote my first review, Spotify for Artists only showed playlists that generated 25 streams of a song. Now it shows the top 30 playlists for the artist, and the top 15 playlists for any individual song.
Out of the top 15 playlists for “In Motion”, currently two are from Playlist Push (#4 and #6). It hasn’t been 28 days yet, so I expect those numbers to go up.
The four playlists that added my track are:
They’re all legit as far as I can tell, but if you discover otherwise, let me know!
Your mileage WILL vary
It would be easy to conclude that Playlist Push doesn’t work, but I don’t think that’s fair. Ultimately you’re only paying to use their software. The way I see it, the moral of the story is: don’t submit retro 80s synthwave to mainstream playlists and expect good results.
George gave me a PDF with two case studies showing fantastic results, as you’d expect. Just last week I was talking with a friend/mastering client/patron who landed some big placements with Playlist Push. It all comes down to the music.
If you’re working in a niche genre like I am, maybe Playlist Push isn’t the best choice. Otherwise, it’s basically SubmitHub Lite™.
If you’ve got more time than money, start with SubmitHub. They don’t have anywhere near as many Spotify curators, but you can research them individually and choose only the most promising.
If you can afford it, Playlist Push will get your music to the ears of a wide swath of curators in one fell swoop, zero effort required.
If you can afford both, even better, assuming the song justifies the investment! I always get a Crowd Review first.
I get the same sorts of feedback on both SubmitHub and Playlist Push…
“Love the song, but it’s not a good fit.”
“Amazing vocals but I don’t like the production.”
“Amazing production but I don’t like the vocals.”
Should you decide to give it a try, please support the site by using my affiliate link. Don’t forget to share your results in the comments!
If you’d like to hear more of my promotional escapades, be sure to subscribe to my How I’m Promoting My Music This Month email newsletter.