The Spotify Promotion Guide for 2020

How to Promote Your Music on Spotify

When it comes to music promotion, getting more exposure on Spotify is high up on any artists to do list. 

In this article we’re going to cover some of the main ways to promote your music on Spotify, and how this can fit into your overall marketing strategy for your music. 

Whether it’s by using Spotify Playlist Submission, using Spotify Ads to promote a new release or upcoming concert, or using social media to boost your followers, the tips we cover here should get you well on your way to increasing your Spotify plays.

Table of Contents

  1. Promoting on Spotify
  2. Build your Spotify followers
  3. Pitch to Playlists
  4. Use The Canvas Feature
  5. Add Your Lyrics
  6. Create Your Own Playlists
  7. Promote New Releases With Artist Pick
  8. Use Spotify Ad Studio
  9. The Spotify Algorithm 
  10. Spotify Promotion Tools and Services
  11. Collaborate With Other Artists
  12. Buying Spotify Followers and Plays 
  13. Should I Buy Spotify Plays?
  14. Promote on Social Media
  15. Review Your Stats
  16. Summary

Promoting on Spotify

Spotify for Artists

A lot of Spotify promotion can actually be done on the platform itself, and there are a few tools provided that can help you to do this. 

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have your artists profile claimed and verified. We’ve seen a few instances where people have uploaded their music to Spotify, but they haven’t claimed their profile. 

Sorting this is easy, just head over to https://artists.spotify.com/ and follow the steps to get started. 

The Spotify for Artists provides you with the ability to update your artist profile, find playlists to pitch to, manage audio and video ads and view the stats about your tracks. 

Assuming you have this all up to date, let’s take a look at some of the key ways to build engagement.

Keep Your Profile Up to Date

Your profile on Spotify should accurately reflect you as an artist, it’s your opportunity to give fans an insight into your brand. Use relevant photos and keep your bio relevant.

You can also share new or favourite tracks with the artist pick option, and add links to fundraising or any playlists you would like to feature.

Build your Spotify followers

When it comes to organic Spotify promotion, probably the main determining factor in how well your tracks perform comes down to your followers. 

Spotify even say this themselves:

“On Spotify, the key to getting your new release in front of fans is “Follow.” Think of your followers as subscribers to your mailing list on Spotify.”

There’s a few main reasons why followers are important, and these come down to how your music gets pushed throughout the Spotify universe. Most notably in these three main areas:

Release Radar playlist – The release radar is a personalized weekly playlist that pulls together new tracks based on followed artists and listening history. If you’ve managed to get followed by your fans, you’ll likely show up in their release radar playlists. 

Discover Weekly – this is a section that appears in the discover section of the Spotify app, as well as in the home tab every Monday.

New release emails – On Fridays, Spotify also sends out a new release email to users, which highlights up to 10 new releases from artists they follow. 

As you can see, building followers is key to real Spotify promotion, not to mention the impact on your relevance and credibility elsewhere. Remember, Spotify is just one part of the music promotion pie.

How to See Your Spotify Followers

One of the most common questions people ask is how to see followers on Spotify. 

It’s fairly straightforward to see who followers your profile. You just need to head over to your profile page on the app and then click on the ‘followers’ button. 

Unfortunately this feature is not supported for playlists, so if you were hoping to see a list of all the people who follow you Spotify playlists, this isn’t going to be possible 🙁  

Tips to Increase Your Spotify Followers

So you know that followers are essential to your Spotify performance, but how do you get more followers?

There’s quite a few things that you can be doing, and following along with the advice in this article will help, but there are a few specific follower related tips:

Embed the button on your website – Putting the follow button on your website is a great way to convert people to followers – follow the tips on this post.

Email newsletter – Send a message out to your email list asking them to follow you. Explain the benefits. You’d be surprised at how many fans actually don’t use the follow feature.

Promote on social media – Send out the same message on your social platforms. Ask people to follow. Don’t just share your tracks and hope for plays, ask them to follow, share and like. 

Remember engagement is just as important as plays, so your goal should be to increase engagement across the platform. 

The rest of the article will help cover a range of areas designed to get your promotion game up to scratch, boosting your engagement and growing your fanbase. 

Pitch to Playlists

Playlist pitching can seem like the holy grail of music marketing to some artists, but in our experience it should only be one aspect of your music promotion strategy. 

This being said, playlist promotion is an extremely powerful approach and done correctly it can have a dramatic effect on your reach. 

How Do I submit to Spotify Playlists?

Before you go pitching to playlists, it’s important to have an understanding of how playlists work, the different types of playlists available, and the different ways to go about pitching to Spotify curators. 

To pitch to an official playlist, most of the time your track will need to be new, whereas this isn’t the case for most personal playlists.

We go into this in more detail in our guide on how to submit music to Spotify playlists, showing you how to find playlists to submit to and how to reach playlist curators, so give it a read and you should be good to go.  

Use the Canvas Feature

Music and visuals have always gone hand in hand. 

The Canvas feature on Spotify allows you to bring visuals in to accompany your tracks, and adds an extra level of engagement to your music. 

The Canvas feature isn’t available for everyone, but we are seeing a lot of artists are able to use it. 

We recommend you get to grips with this feature, and we’ve created a more detailed Spotify Canvas guide to help you through the process. 

Add Your Lyrics

Another feature that’s been added fairly recently is the ability to have your song’s lyrics displayed on Spotify. 

This is powered by either Genius or Musixmatch, with Musixmatch actually offering a bit more functionality, including the ability to sync your lyrics in time to your music so they show up in the app at the same time.

Both of these services will require you to get verified on the according platform. Sign up for Musixmatch here and Genius here.

For more detailed steps check out our guide on adding lyrics to Spotify.

Create Your Own Playlists

As well as trying to get featured on other peoples playlists, why not consider creating your own. As an artist, your fans will likely take an interest in the sort of music you would put on your own playlist. 

It’s also a great opportunity to build relationships with other artists in your genre. As you curate your list, why not reach out to those featured to let them know – they may end up being Spotify playlist curators themselves and feature you back. 

At the very least hit helps get your name about and build some valuable relationships – something you will find invaluable in your music promo efforts. 

Promote New Releases with Artist Pick

The artist pick section on your profile can be a great way of highlighting things to your fanbase. Whether that’s your latest release, an album you have been enjoying, or one of your favourite playlists. 

You can also place a short message about why you’ve chosen this.

It’s a great way to further engage with your fans and promote yourself. 

Use Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify Ad Studio is an advertising platform that allows you to create and manage your own ads that appear on the streaming platform. 

You can get specific with your targeting, selecting to target fans of a particular artist, or target fans of your genre. This is where it’s really to understand who your audience is, as it allows you to target them much more effectively.

This is where your Facebook Audience tools can really come in handy. Playing about with this can help you get a much better understanding of what ages and genders are likely to be into your sound.

The Spotify Algorithm 

In the same way Google uses an algorithm to bring you the most relevant search results, Spotify has an algorithm designed to bring you the most relevant new music. 

When it comes to understanding how the Spotify algorithm works, there’s really a couple of areas you care about as an artist.

  • How well you come up in the search results for your music
  • How often your music is recommended to listeners – for example in the radio, or discover feature

Understanding how the algorithm affects your reach is useful for any artist looking to maximise your presence on Spotify. But it’s not straightforward. 

How Does the Spotify Algorithm Work?

The Spotify algorithm is complex, and can’t be easily summed up in a few paragraphs. 

However, some of the key areas that it looks at are engagement with your songs, additions to playlists, frequency of the music you are adding, amongst other things. 

All in all it comes to how much you engage with the platform, and in return how much your audience engages with you. 

The whole system is run by an AI called Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments (BaRT)

The details of the system are complicated, and outside the scope of this article, however for those who want to better understand it there are a few useful articles worth checking out to start with. 

How Spotify’s Algorithm Manages To Find Your Inner Groove

I Decoded the Spotify Recommendation Algorithm. Here’s What I Found.

How Spotify’s Algorithm Knows Exactly What You Want to Listen To

Spotify Promotion Tools and Services

tools

There are a countless number of tools and services that have been developed to help you with marketing your music on Spotify and other platforms. 

These range from music promo tools designed to help you with getting better insights into your audience and performance, those designed to help you connect with popular playlists, to the more questionable services designed to increase your followers and plays on the service. 

These can be a useful addition to your arsenal, but for those getting started out we recommend you learn and understand the basics first. 

Once you have a good foundational understanding of how to promote yourself you can look at adding these into the mix. Until then don’t worry about using these to launch your promotion campaign.

We’ll have a future article on Spotify promotion tools coming up, so be sure to subscribe for the latest updates. 

Collaborate With Other Artists

collaboration network

Collaboration has to be one of the most effective music promotion techniques. Not only on Spotify, but across the board. 

A good collaboration exposes both artists to each other’s fanbase and can be very mutually beneficial. Being listed on a track on Spotify will allow fans to click directly on your name and see what else you’ve done.

However it’s very important to consider how the collaboration fits into your story as an artist. You’ve spent time cultivating a certain brand and image, and anything you do should fit nicely with this.  

Collaborations can come in many different forms also – it doesn’t have to be jumping on a track, it can be getting featured on each other’s playlists, sharing each other’s music on an Instagram story, or even using the artist pick we mentioned earlier. 

So get creative, get out there and start building some connections.

Buying Spotify Followers and Plays 

Buying Spotify followers and plays is such a grey area and you’ll find so much conflicting advice out there, published over the last few years – a lot of it coming from the promotion services companies themselves. 

Spotify is a system, and like most systems where there are benefits to be had, people will try and hack it. 

It’s easy to see the appeal also. If you buy Spotify followers it can seem like a quick way to boost your profile and make you seem more attractive to labels and partners. 

It’s a negative area of an industry that focuses so much on image and perception – and for a lot of artists they feel like they need these stats before anyone will take them seriously. 

However it’s not without its downsides. Time and time again we see instances of people buying plays and getting a quick initial boost and increased monthly listeners, only for these to drop back to zero a few weeks later. 

It’s quite clear that these aren’t real plays or real followers. 

Services like this actually harm Spotify, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they will be actively targeted by them. 

While the exact ins and outs of the Spotify algorithm are not fully known, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine how this sudden jump in plays and then drop off could be perceived as lack of engagement and potentially have negative effects down the line. If your monthly listeners jump up and then drop off it doesn’t look very good.

Does this mean none of these services help? Not necessarily, there are likely some services out there which are run in a way which can actually make this work, but the decent ones are not likely to come cheap or be freely available. 

Think about it – if you had a music  promotion system that could take an artist and make them a major player in the music industry in a short space of time, would you be selling access to it for $20 online?

In life you get what you pay for, and this is true when it comes to buying plays and followers.

Should I Buy Spotify Plays?

Our answer would have to be no. The odds of getting good results are stacked against you. Not to mention the potential algorithmic impact this could have on your results elsewhere. 

Have people done it before and been successful? – sure. But people are always doing stupid things, and every now and they they pay off.

Play it safe.

Promote on Social Media

social media icons

If you’ve been doing music promotion for any length of time you’ve no doubt revisited your social media strategy time and time again, so we’re not going to go into detail on it here. 

But if you’re not using your other social platforms to drive listeners through to your music then you’re missing a trick. 

Be sure to promote your tracks, playlists and artist profiles to your fans and followers on other platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud – wherever. Think of this as a free Spotify promotion service, people used to pay good money to get let their fans know a new track has dropped. Encourage users to follow you as opposed to just sharing your tracks. 

Remember, followers on Spotify are key to increasing your engagement and getting picked up by the algorithm. 

Also sharing your tracks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will also create a Spotify player – allowing fans to quickly listen to your music, and at the same time boosting your metics on Spotify.

Don’t forget that other social platforms are a great way to reach out to curators and influencers, and network with the people that can get your music shared – that up and coming TikTok influencer may just be the person that gives your music the push it needs to go viral. 

There’s also the option for paid music promotion on these platforms – Using Facebook manager you can run paid ads to get your music in front of people who match your audience profile. 

If you want more detailed guides on each of these platforms be sure to sign up to our updates, as we’ll be covering Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in future articles. 

Review Your Stats

spotify stats

It’s hard to maximise the impact of your Spotify promotion activity without reviewing your stats. These can all be viewed in 

Your stats provide you with insights into how well your tracks are performing. You can view the source of your plays, your monthly listener data, how listeners are finding your tracks, the cities they are listening from, as well as demographic data such as listeners ages and genders. 

All this information is extremely useful to get an insight into your audience. 

We’ll be digging deeper into this in future resources so be sure to stay tuned and sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date when new posts go live. 

If you want to check out some of the most frequently asked questions be sure to check out the Spotify FAQs page.

Summary

So there we have our full rundown on how to promote your music on Spotify. Hopefully you’ve found it useful.

Be sure to check out all the linked to resources for more detailed insights into each of these areas. We’ll also be creating guides to music promotion on other popular streaming services such as Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Prime and YouTube in the near future. 

We’re always on the lookout for new artists to work with and help with their music promotion, so be sure to get in touch if you would like to work together. Also don’t hesitate to sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date with new resources as they are published. 

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