At Absolute we love to empower artists and labels with the tools and knowledge they need in order to reach wider audiences with their music.
One of the questions we’re often asked is how playlisting works and the truth is the process starts way before a pitch is even submitted.
In order to give you the best chance of landing that all important playlist placement we’ve put together a few pointers to help you out.
Register for and Optimise your Spotify for Artists Profile
Making sure that your Spotify profile is up to date has to be high on your list of priorities before requesting editorial support. Having a fully optimised artist profile can help you to build the relationship between you and your fans but also shows editors that you’re actively using their service and looking to drive your fans to Spotify to listen to your music.
In order to manage your artist profile you will need to make sure that you’re registered for Spotify for Artists. Artist’s and managers can register for the service directly; access can then be delegated to other members of your team.
On Spotify there are a number of elements to your artist profile. You should be looking to have both a profile image and a banner image uploaded to give fans both new and old a fantastic first impression when they land on your page. You can then take things further by uploading an image gallery and adding a bio. The image gallery gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself visually and your bio gives fans a more detailed introduction to you and your music.
Adding your social media links to your About page allows fans to take a deeper dive into your world by following you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. A Wikipedia link can also be added here.
Next up are your artist playlists. This is your opportunity to share your music, your influences, your girls on decks playlist or even your break up playlist with the world. There’s no right or wrong way to set up an artist playlist, this is your space to be creative.
Spotify have integrations with both Songkick and Ticketmaster which allow you to import and display your upcoming concerts on your artist profile. Fans will receive email notifications from Spotify when you add new show listings in their area.
Finally, once you’re fully set up you can use your artist’s pick to promote a concert, playlist or music right at the top of your artist profile. In order to make sure your message is always fresh your artist’s pick will expire every 14 days. Don’t forget to set yourself a reminder to update it before it expires.
For more detail about optimising your artist profile, please check out The Game Plan, a series of videos produced by Spotify to help artists get the most out of the platform.
Register for and Optimise your Apple Music for Artists Profile
Over on Apple Music you’ll want to make sure that your artist profile has been claimed via Apple Music for Artists and that a profile image has been set.
Access to Apple Music for Artists is only available for managers and artists. Access can then be delegated to other members of the team.
Create Bespoke Release Artwork
Got an upcoming album or EP and releasing material in the build up? Make sure that you’re creating release specific artwork rather than recycling your album artwork. This creates a better experience for your fans, allows you to build bespoke content for your release promo and shows platforms that you’re putting together a planned release strategy rather than just releasing your music to the world.
Release Edits Alongside your Full Mixes
It’s no secret that track length plays an important role in determining whether or not your release will be supported within playlists with streaming platforms often preferring shorter mixes without long intros.
Editors access a range of listener data when deciding whether your track will fit into their playlist, including users’ skip rates. It’s crucial to consider that users or editors may be more likely to listen to your track in full without skipping if you give them the option of listening to a shorter edit.
We understand that as an artist you won’t want streaming services to shape your creativity, so why not switch your one-track single release to a two tracker? Open with what would have traditionally been called a ‘radio edit’ and follow it up a longer mix for your core fanbase.
Release Clean Versions Alongside your Explicit Mixes
Similar to the above, we’ve seen success for clean versions of tracks where platforms have been offered both an explicit and clean mix. Give your audience the option of which they listen to and open your music up to a whole world of clean playlists. Think parents on the school run.
Use our Spotify Pre-save Feature
Absolute’s own Spotify Pre-save feature allows your fans to save your new music to their library or a playlist of their choice ahead of release. You can use this feature to boost your early stream count on your new release. As a bonus our Pre-Save feature will also automatically add any fans who Pre-save your release as followers on your Spotify artist profile. Alongside a number of other metrics, the number of saves your track accumulates post-release can influence editors’ decisions on whether or not to include your track in popular playlists.
Create a Buzz Around your New Release
To pick up playlist support from streaming services you’ll need to demonstrate that fans are actively coming to the platforms to listen to your music. It’s now more important than ever before to have a solid release plan in order to maximise the activity around your new release.
DSPs are likely to review social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for proof that your fan-base is engaging with you. An engaged fanbase doesn’t necessarily mean you have thousands of followers. As an example, if 150 of your 500 fans have reacted to your latest post, this is great evidence of an engaged fanbase.
Make sure you encourage your fans on social media to follow you on their streaming service of choice so they can keep up to date with your latest releases.
Introducing yourself and your music to relevant blogs, websites and tastemakers can lead to features, interviews and most importantly, exposure to a wider audience. Securing press attention for your release can increase your chances of being included in coveted playlists, including ‘Fresh Finds’ on Spotify.
Fresh Finds playlists are compiled by Spotify analysing the streaming activity of tastemaker listeners whose listening habits are ‘ahead of the curve’ in terms of listening to music which later becomes popular. Fresh Finds playlists are compiled and updated every Wednesday.
Every Spotify user has their own Release Radar playlist. When you release a new track, it will be included in the Release Radar playlists of your Spotify followers. If you have 2,000 followers, you can expect your track will be served to those 2,000 followers in their Release Radar playlists.
Every Monday Spotify create a unique Discover Weekly playlists for each user based on their listening habits and the activity of those with similar music tastes. Additionally Discover Weekly takes into account the artists each user follows and the music they are saving to their own playlists.
Digital marketing, radio, TV, press and having a solid live schedule will have a positive effect on your campaign. During your release week use Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for Artists and Absolute Project to keep a close eye on your numbers and tweak your campaigns as appropriate.
Send us your Pitching Information
Before you submit your pitch you’ll need to make sure that your music has been delivered within our requested distribution service period. Once that’s done you can submit your pitch information directly into our system – speak to your label manager for more information about doing so.
We’ll then make sure all retailers and streaming services know about your new music. You can also submit your own pitch via Spotify for Artists at least 7 days ahead of release. Feel free to discuss what should go into your pitch with your label manager.
Leverage your Editorial Support to Gain Additional Fans
Been added to a playlist or hit a milestone number of streams?
Strong imagery and visual content are now more important than ever to make sure your online advertising campaigns reach their full potential.
Looking for stunning image assets for your pre-order/pre-save launch, out now posts & playlist adds? The Essentials Pack is the choice for you. Take it up a gear and introduce animated video assets for your social media roll-out with our video-focused Gold Pack. Or take it that one step further and enjoy a fully tailored collection of video assets with our Bespoke Pack. Each pack contains a variety of striking assets to use across social media; covering all of your key campaign moments.
For further details, please contact your Label Manager who will be happy to explain how you can introduce these packs in your next campaign or email: email@example.com