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Spotify launches new tool for pitching tracks to playlisters

By | Published on Friday 20 July 2018

Spotify

A frequently asked question at CMU:DIY events for new talent and self-releasing artists is “how do I get my music in front of the Spotify playlisters?” The answer to that question just changed from “you probably can’t” to “you definitely can”. Assuming Spotify’s playlist curators can cope with the flood of music that will likely come their way now that they’ve opened up a new tool for putting tracks forward for consideration.

Playlists drive a significant amount of listening on the streaming platforms, of course, which is why most of the key digital services now have teams of in-house curators putting together lists of tracks for subscribers to play. It’s also why pitching music to those curators – and the owners of any third-party playlists that still have traction – has become a key part of any music marketing campaign. And, just like with radio, successfully pitching music to streaming service playlists requires access to the people doing the playlisting.

It took Spotify some time before it got into the playlisting business itself, it initially promoting third-party playlists within its platform. But since the streaming firm decided that curation was something it should do too, Spotify’s own playlists have been pushed to the fore. As a result a placement on them has become a key target for any artist or label with new music to promote, or for that matter with some catalogue tracks they feel are ripe for rediscovery.

Both the labels and the services have been honing the playlist pitching process as streaming has continued to boom. Though, with a relatively small number of people in control of the biggest playlists and thousands of new tracks being promoted each week, generally those labels, distributors and agencies able build personal relationships with the playlisters have had an advantage to date.

In a bid to level the playing field a little, Spotify has now put into beta a new platform via which artists, managers and labels can put forward unreleased music for playlist consideration. The new tool will be accessible to artists and managers via Spotify For Artists and labels via Spotify Analytics.

Formally announcing the new service yesterday, Spotify explained: “Everyone, whether you’re an artist, label, manager or part of an artist’s team, can try out this feature. Simply log into your Spotify For Artists account or, if you work at a label, head over to Spotify Analytics. There, you’ll have the option of selecting one unreleased song for playlist consideration and submitting it to our team”.

Those pitching tracks will need to provide various bits of information about the music, including genre, mood, scenes, instruments and whether it’s a cover. At the other end of the pitching process, playlisters will also be able to see other data already in the Spotify system about the artist being pitched.

Spotify goes on: “Editors will be searching through submissions based on the information you share to find unreleased music to consider for their playlists. The song and all the info you add about it will also impact our personalised recommendations. For example, 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. This way you have control over which single you’re promoting to your fans”.

Stressing this is an editorial rather than commercial service, Spotify was also keen to add that the playlist pitching tool is currently in beta and will be evolved as it is used. The streaming firm’s statement went on: “Beta means this is the first step. 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”.

It concluded: “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”.



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