The way we as consumers listen to music today is more or less governed by streaming titans, Spotify and Apple Music. Due to this movement, curated playlists have become more and more common and are now a daily feature on both of these platforms. The idea of a playlist tailored to an individual’s personal tastes, or one that brackets a certain genre or category of music, has made it easier for consumers to access the music that they want. The convenience of this style of distribution has not only made it easier for music fans but for artists too as having a track on a curated playlist can really help promotion and record sales.
As most Spotify users will know, various playlists reflecting the mood and feeling such as ‘Pumping Iron’ (heavy rock songs to motivate users during their workouts) or ‘Your coffee break’ (chilled out acoustic tracks to mirror the vibe of a trendy coffee house) appear daily. For a relatively new artist to appear on these playlists, their fan base can increase rapidly. For example, a consumer goes to the gym, clicks the ‘Pumping Iron’ playlist and amongst well known heavy rock tracks, a brand new release appears. They like the track and proceed to download and check out more music from that artist to add to their own personal playlist which they may listen too daily. Say this happens to a few hundred people daily, who, via the music Spotify has provided for their gym session, discover a new artist, then that artist gains a few hundred fans daily and their record sales and streaming profits subsequently increase.
Aside from mood-based playlists, possibly the most prestigious playlists for artists releasing new material would be collections of what are deemed to be the `hottest’ records of the week. A feature on ‘New music Friday’ is a massive selling point for an artist. This collection of tracks will feature new releases from artists that already have a fan base and a following so as a newcomer or an artist releasing a debut single it is a massive profile raise to have your work featured amongst already established artists. The presentation of these playlists is generally one that makes the work featured appear fresh and often generates a lot of hype and excitement around the content of the playlist which naturally boosts an artist’s credibility and makes consumers intrigued to discover more of their music.
So having highlighted the benefits of having your music featured on a curated playlist, how do you go about getting your music on these prestigious collections? The key to doing so is to present yourself in an established way. Ensure your profiles on either of the main platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer) are verified. This makes your profile appear professional and therefore playlist curators are more likely to take interest in your music. In order to get your account verified, you need to complete a form. Spotify does require you to have at least 250 followers before doing so, so it may take you some time sharing your music on other platforms before you are in a position to this. Apple music does not have this fan base limitation but follows a similar application and approval process.
Next, ensure that all your other social media accounts are verified in this way; make sure information is up to date and each account contains professional photography and that the theme of each of these accounts is synthesised with one and other. It may be an idea to create your own playlists with featured artist's, so curators can get a feel for your music taste and what you appreciate. Once you’ve done this, and you are happy with the level of professionalism across the whole of your ‘digital house’, then it’s now time to contact the industry figures; bloggers, promoters or even playlist curators themselves. You can contact playlist curators by following their social media (Facebook, Twitter and Blogs) to build up an online relationship with them first. Like and share their playlists to show you have an interest in their work then either message them directly or comment on their feeds with your pitch. Google is a good tool as well; any popular curator is likely to have their contact details available at the click of a button so just simply search their name or the playlist they curate.
When pitching your music, remember, this is the action that needs to be done tactfully. Industry figures are likely to be inundated with submissions from a huge amount of artists wanting their work featured on playlists so it is important you make your pitch count. Ensure you are honest and genuine and DO NOT waffle; this will only cause people to lose interest in your pitch. Be clear and concise, still sell yourself, but be sure to maintain an authentic and realistic impression.
It doesn’t necessarily matter about having a huge fan base at this stage, yes, Spotify does have a minimum follower requirement for verification, but this can easily be achieved through sharing your work through word of mouth, either on your own social media or other smaller blogs and online communities. In all honesty, the reason why you are trying to get your music on these curated playlists is to gain a larger fan base so don’t worry too much about that side of things. Curators are excited to find and discover new music, so if your pitch is impressive then they are likely to work with you to help you extend your fan base. Streaming is the most prominent way in which consumers listen to music today, so as an up and coming artist, it’s important to harness this movement and use it to your advantage. If the right approach is followed and time is taken to ensure your digital profile and pitch are the best they possibly can be then you should stand a good chance of getting your music featured on a curated playlist.