Landing a track on one of Spotify’s key first-party playlists has never been straightforward.
Over 20,000 songs are uploaded to the platform each day – and space on the likes of RapCaviar, Viva Latino and Hot Country is notoriously limited.
Until now, the old paradigm of the radio industry has certainly played a role: ie. if music biz insiders can build relationships with the right Spotify insiders, they’ll probably have a better shot of influencing which songs are placed where.
Such privileged access to decision-makers feeds a structure which the largest labels in the world understand and, in many cases, enjoy.
But it may all be about to change.
Spotify is today (July 19) rolling out a new feature in beta which is designed to democratize the process of getting playlisted by its 100-strong team of global editors.
This new tool allows anyone – whether artist, label or manager – to directly submit their unreleased track for consideration on a Spotify playlist. (Labels submit via the Spotify Analytics platform; artists/managers submit via their Spotify For Artists account.)
The uploading process requires each party to contribute detailed information about their track, including genre, mood, instruments used and whether it’s a cover or an original composition.
After that, the track effectively waits to be discovered; Spotify editors will search through this new database to locate music which matches what they require for their playlist selections.
“The number one question we get from labels, artists and their teams is: who do I speak to to get on Rap Caviar, Hot Country, Viva Latino, Ultimate Indie or other Spotify playlists?”
Nick Holmsten, Spotify
Getting playlisted, of course, is seen as an essential component of many labels’ release strategies, and it’s easy to see why.
According to a note in Spotify’s recent financial documents, curated playlists account for approximately 15% of the platform’s monthly content hours.
Today’s Top Hits, meanwhile, has 20.8m followers – and a bigger active audience than any US radio station.
“The number one question we get from labels, artists and their teams is: who do I speak to to get on Rap Caviar, Hot Country, Viva Latino, Ultimate Indie or other Spotify playlists?,” said Nick Holmsten, Vice President of Content & Global Head of Shows & Editorial, Spotify.
“We’ve listened to feedback from the creative community, and developed a new feature that enables them to easily submit unreleased music for playlist consideration to our entire worldwide team of playlist editors.”
Spotify says there are other benefits to the new upload process – regardless of whether an act gets chosen for a playlist.
The information submitted will contribute to personalized recommendations. And as long as you tag and submit your track seven days in advance, the song you select will automatically appear in every one of your followers’ Release Radar playlists.
In a blog post, Spotify reiterated that it never accepts commercial benefits in exchange for playlist inclusion.
It added: “With more than 75,000 artists featured on editorial playlists each week, and another 150,000 on Discover Weekly, we know how important it is to get this right.
“We’ll continue evolving this feature based on your feedback, so artists, labels, managers and partners can all help us create better playlists for Spotify listeners.”Music Business Worldwide