Being added to a Spotify editorial playlist may be the goal, but there are many factors that impact placement. A few things to remember:
Don’t underestimate the power of social media and its effects on securing you a spot on a Spotify curated playlist. What you do outside of Spotify matters.
Being added to smaller playlists is incredibly important in terms of increasing streams, saves, and finding a place on a larger playlist. You can create a Crosshair campaign to get your music in front of influencers of all sizes.
Creative partnerships with influencers on all social media platforms can help create honest buzz. Influencers have loyal followers who trust them. A collaboration, recommendation, or shout out from an influencer is invaluable. Create these online relationships.
Make sure to get your name and music out there- tour, make videos, get your music reviewed by blogs, or anything else you can to grow your fan base outside of the streaming platform. Social media and streaming are very interconnected. The momentum and buzz on social media and the Internet will drive playlist activity and streaming engagement within Spotify.
Below are some real-life examples, ranging in size, where social media and Spotify wins of all kinds helped songs find success they otherwise may not have found:
Black Beatles & the Mannequin Challenge
You probably remember the Mannequin Challenge. Whether you loved it or hated it, at the end of the day, you knew about it, and you could recognize the tune playing in the background after watching a few videos. It started out as a fun video created by a group of teenagers pretending to be frozen in time to rap duo Rae Sremmurd’s song “Black Beatles.” Ultimately, it became what made the difference between a decently popular song and an insanely successful track and cultural craze. The first Youtube video posted with the #MannequinChallenge hashtag was from October 26, 2016, and by November 3, 2016 the song was in Spotify’s Top 5 daily charts with over 32 million streams. Rae Sremmurd also made Spotify’s 20 under 20 list. Once the hashtag and video craze started spreading through Youtube, Instagram, and other social media channels with other people trying to replicate the #MannequinChallenge, the song skyrocketed on streaming platforms and social media. “Black Beatles” now has almost 500 million streams on Spotify. This wasn’t an intentional marketing technique created by Rae Sremmurd or their management – instead, the natural power of social media was what helped this song gain initial momentum on the charts.
Following in the footsteps of “Black Beatles” was the song “Bad and Boujee” by hip-hop trio Migos. Released on August 27, 2016, this song found huge success after listeners picked up on its “meme-ability” or its ability to be made into humorous memes, jokes, tweets, plays on lyrics, etc. “Bad and Boujee” has a quotable chorus, which lent itself well to this new wave of social media hit-making. Ultimately, on January 9, 2017, “Bad and Boujee” actually knocked “Black Beatles” out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart. These two songs weren’t the first songs to find success through social media, and they certainly will not be the last.
Prohaize, an independent artist from Atlanta, launched a Crosshair campaign for his song “Next Time.” Starting with few streams and monthly listeners, his song was sent to our influencers where he received some positive feedback from playlisters. He was added to a few Crosshair playlists, most of which could eventually be found under his “Discovered On” section on Spotify. As his song continued to be saved and added to these playlists, the Spotify Discover Weekly algorithm picked up on the fact that this was a song being discovered, and enjoyed, by other users. Within a few weeks, “Next Time” had made it onto multiple Discover Weekly playlists, and as more listeners began to save “Next Time” to their libraries, Spotify continued adding it to many more Discover Weeklys. Ultimately, it gained so much steam that it landed on the Spotify curated playlist “Fresh and Chill.” “Next Time” currently has almost 200,000 streams and Prohaize has almost 9,000 monthly listeners – a huge jump from where he started. Through small increments of success, starting with a few playlist adds and saves, leading up to being added to a Spotify curated playlist, Prohaize was able to build streams, find success on Spotify, and open up more opportunities for for his next single, “Why Me.”
Independent pop artist Mitchell Rose has seen first hand the impact social media and playlist placements have had on his Spotify presence. Mitchell has not overlooked the importance of a strong social influencer presence. He teamed up with music producer and influencer Kurt Hugo Schneider to do a cover of Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away.” That video now has almost 2 million views, and his cover was placed on the Spotify playlist “This Is Kurt Hugo Schneider,” generating even more streams. Charlie Puth himself even saw the video and left a comment! Mitchell’s song “Famous” also hit Youtube by way of makeup Youtuber Laura Leth’s video, which has reached over 15,000 views. As each of these songs created buzz, Mitchell’s Spotify streams and monthly listeners increased. For example, his song “Candy,” released this year, now has over half a million streams and was added to 756,000 Discover Weekly playlists in five weeks – an impressive feat for an independent artist. Recently, he launched a Crosshair campaign for his latest song “Judy Blue” and was added to a couple of user curated playlists. He was also featured on the music blog Digital Tour Bus. As a result, Mitchell’s monthly listeners increased to over 300,000. You can see in the graphic below how whenever a new song of his was released, there was a spike in listeners and a bigger audience each time. Through small steps such as minor playlist adds, listeners saving his songs, and blog and Youtube features, Mitchell has been able to cultivate a strong fan base that continues to grow. This success didn’t happen overnight, but rather as a result of strategic long term planning, and not underestimating the power of social media and small Spotify wins.
Click here to read Part 1 – Spotify Playlists: How are the made, and how do you get on one?
Click here to read Part 2 – Where Man Meets Machine