Our Top 13 Tips for Artists to Perform Better on Spotify
Spotify is the most used streaming platform for music. Some artists don’t like it due to their payout structure; but we’re not here to debate that. Spotify has—by far—the most monthly active users (MAUs), and has the best growth out of all the streaming platforms. Whether you're self-releasing your music or signing records to labels, your tracks will end up on Spotify. But more importantly, Spotify is also the platform that labels and talent buyers will look at to check you out. It’s exactly what I used to do as a talent buyer myself. Before booking you at my show, I’d check your Spotify numbers, see if you’re on any playlists, and see if people are engaging with you.
In our Cosmic Academy Bootcamp, we teach a multi-hour lesson just on this topic. We believe in the importance of your performance on Spotify, and so do our students. Just in 2021 alone, we had multiple students hit over 1 million streams for the year total, as well as 1 million streams on on individual songs. Students like Nostalgix, BEXXIE, Caslow, Maui Sam, MANSHN, Taylor Torrence, and more all hit over 1 million streams in 2021, using these methods.
So, without further ado, let's get into the tips to help step up your Spotify game!
1. Release Consistently
The days of “release one big song a year” are over. And that has nothing to do with record labels, artists, or you and I. It has everything to do with the audience and their attention span. They constantly want the next new thing. Because of this, the algorithm follows the audience user data, and will favor artists who release consistently. (P.S., the more music you put out, the more chances you have of putting out a hit!). We tell our students to aim for 5-10 signed songs per year.
2. Verify your Spotify Artist account (Go to their website, it’s easy!)
This is a no-brainer. Getting a blue check on Spotify is actually quite easy. Follow this link, watch the short video, and follow the steps (but not before you finish this article :D). https://artists.spotify.com/en/blog/how-to-get-verified
3. Weeks prior to release date, use Artist Tools to submit your track
Once you have a Spotify for Artists account, you (or your label) will get a notification a few weeks prior to release. Make sure to use whatever “submission” offers Spotify give to present your track to the editorial playlist staff. There’s no guarantee your track will get listened to, but it costs nothing, and you might as well…
4. Don’t just rely on Spotify Playlists, pitch User Playlists!
Getting on major Spotify Editorial Playlists is the best way to get an enormous amount of weekly plays. But those playlists are controlled by algorithms and internal Spotify systems. In order to “hack” your way into the algorithm, pitch “User Playlists” run but regular individuals. Those playlists help too!
5. Search by Genre to find User Playlists that match your sound
The easiest way to do this is by typing your Genre into the search bar, going to “playlists” and starting to search through the playlists for songs that match your sound.
6. Reach out to User Playlists via Social Media
Once you find the right playlists for your music, make sure to find these people on social media so you can make an appropriate pitch. Connect with them first and try to make a friendship before pitching!
7. No Buying Plays (you’ll get caught and lose your account!)
Spotify is NOT like Soundcloud. The days of Soundcloud reposts and play-buying are over. You can’t really fake-it-till-you-make-it on Spotify. If you’re caught buying plays, you can lose your account and receive a permanent ban. It’s not worth it.
8. You need a 30 second play for “1 stream”
The reason why it’s so hard to fake it on Spotify—you need someone to actually listen to your song for at least 30 seconds for it to be considered a play. This is also important when thinking about your actual songs. Save your extended song versions for Beatport, and your shorter versions (with less intro) for Spotify.
9. Don’t try to use Bots to Trick the system!
Like fake plays, there are also bots that sometimes are employed to trick the algorithm. However, Spotify is very aware of this. If you’re caught using anything illicit, you will suffer potentially career-ruining consequences. It’s best to just do things by the book.
10. Curate your own playlist to update weekly
Spotify encourages everyone to make playlists. And you should! This is the easiest way to “shed love” and give back to other artists on Spotify. The platform gives its own suggestions: 20-60 songs, updated every week, and don’t add more than 1 song per 1 artist. (That means you too!)
11. Playlist other artists, not just your own music!
We’d recommend focusing on adding smaller artists. They’ll appreciate it more! And don’t forget to let them know on social media. Maybe they’ll return the favor!
12. Leverage Beatport/Social Charts to pitch Playlists
One of the biggest game-changers for our students in Cosmic Academy is that they leverage the Beatport charts and any promotional clout when pitching playlists. For example, if they get on a Top-10 Beatport chart, their pitch to a Spotify playlist curator will be, “Hey, my track just hit #6 on the House charts, I think you’ll love it.” Same goes with getting artist support, or a lot of views on the initial video or post. Anything you can do to give validation to the record is going to help you!
13. Follow @Cosmic Academy for more tips on Marketing!
This is obvious. But if you don’t already follow us on social media for more tips like these, make sure you do!