Work Hard, Playlist Hard
A question you, our community ask us all the time and something we work a lot on with our music promotion services is ‘how do I get my music featured in playlists’. Whether independent or Spotify official ones, playlists could be the key to getting your music heard by more people! Are playlists the future of the music industry? How many people, especially those that listen to music on streaming services like Spotify, listen to albums anymore and how many listen via playlists?
Mike Warner has just released a book ‘Work Hard, Playlist Hard’ which is a great guide for the world of music playlisting. We had a chat with Mike to hear a bit more about the book and his own journey through the music industry. Read to the end to see a little present for you…
Hi Mike, thanks for agreeing to this interview! First of all, tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do and how are you involved in the music industry?
Thanks for the invitation, it’s a pleasure. I help artists, labels and their teams with third-party playlist strategies to get them on and off the charts. I curate my own playlists, host a podcast and wrote a book.
How did you get into doing that? What has your journey through the industry been?
I started out as a DJ, got into production, started releasing music on various labels, and then started releasing music independently. I was an early adopter of streaming platforms and paid close attention to playlists, researching the various types of curators there are and how to reach them.
You’ve got a book out ‘Work Hard, Playlist Hard’, which is a great title by the way! Tell us a bit more about that.
The book is the result of multiple emails, meetings, mistakes, and successes all rolled into one DIY guide. I found myself writing detailed emails to friends and artists that I saw opportunities to help and realized I could only help a small number of artists per day. The book was the result of many requests to make everything I know available.
Why did you decide to write ‘Work Hard, Playlist Hard’? What is your goal with it?
It’s funny, while the book is written to the reader, I originally wrote it for myself. There are so many things to remember and check off that I use the book as a point of reference when releasing a new song as well.
You’re also an independent artist yourself. Tell us a bit more about that and the type of music that you make.
Date Night is me and two friends from Australia. I’m Australian born and raised, now living in California. Everything we have released was created online through Ableton Live and Dropbox. Anytime one of us opens a session we select ‘collect all and save’ so the session synchronizes to Dropbox for the other members. What’s funny is that we bounce off each other so well that we don’t miss the energy that comes from being in the studio together and anytime we are all in the same city (or country) we can use that time to play gigs, do a photoshoot, whatever is needed. Online collaboration is exciting because it’s essentially a 24-hour session. Our sound is inspired by Kaskade’s early 2000 releases and Rudimental. We never wanted to be pigeonholed into one genre and have released everything from Neo-Soul to House to Drum & Bass.
What top 3 tips would you give anyone reading?
– Always thank the curator. You would be surprised how many curators never receive a simple thank you. Even if you don’t have their social media details do a post and share their playlist. Chances are they will see it one day and it may prompt them to check out more of your music.
– Submit your music through Spotify for Artists at least 7 days before release, the earlier the better. This is the required time for the editorial team to review your song and also guarantees your original song will be placed on Release Radar for all of your followers.
– Help your fellow artists. If you like their song, add it to your playlist. If you see they don’t have a bio on their profile or are missing a potential opportunity tell them. There’s enough room for everyone, so don’t hold back on helping each other out. I’ve learnt so much from artists, which is why I don’t hesitate to give back and share what I’ve learnt!
How did you find out about Мusic Gateway?
My group Date Night recently regained control over the publishing of our entire catalogue and has been researching opportunities for placements. Мusic Gateway was one of the first search results and led to a few emails and great chats, here we are.
A massive thanks to Mike for taking the time to have a chat with us! – The industry changes constantly. I’m always posting video walkthroughs to explain new features, products and best practices. You can find these across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @askmikewarner
Do you want to grab yourself a copy of ‘Work Hard, Playlist Hard’? Get an exclusive 50% off through Мusic Gateway by using the code below! We’d love to hear it if you order one so tweet and tag in @Music_Gateway. Happy reading and we have our fingers crossed that you get a lot more playlist features from now on!