As playlists popularity continues to grow, being able to successfully pitch music to playlists becomes more important, as well. Here, a sought-after rock playlist curator explains the number one mistake artists make when pitching their music.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
One of the most sought-after rock playlist curators on Spotify reveals the error many musicians make when pitching them music.
We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Playlists are the new mixtapes. Playlists are also the new radio. More people are discovering and developing a deep appreciation for emerging talent through playlists than any other music platform, and that trend shows no signs of stopping or slowing anytime soon. If you want to make it, you need playlists.
Recently, we shared a list of must-have contacts for rock playlist and pop playlist curators. The response has been great, but we’ve been hearing from playlist makers that not all pitches are the same. Several artists have been shut out of playlist opportunities altogether because they make a single mistake, and when the competition is fierce, that mistake can make all the difference.
Jesea Lee, playlist curator and High Road Publicity team member, has been inundated with requests for placement on his many playlists in recent weeks. The one thing that turns him away from an artist’s music above all else is specificity.
“If you’re sending your music to a playlist curator, always send a link to the song you’re pushing, NOT a link to the entire album or Spotify profile. If you do send a link to the entire album, make sure to mention which track is the priority.”
Curators like Jesea receive hundreds of submissions a week (some get that in a day), and you cannot expect them to listen to an entire album to find a track they like enough to add to their playlist. If you want them to give your music a chance, make it as easy as possible for them. If they do like the track, then they can easily find the rest of your music from that first song link.
To be clear, simplicity and focus should be the goal of every pitch. Know what you’re promoting and why it would be a good fit for the playlist you’re pitching. Give the person you’re pitching everything they need to understand why your song is deserving of placement. That won’t guarantee inclusion, but it will make success more likely.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.