Pitching to playlists

Spotify playlist pitch

Pitching your music to Spotify playlist curators

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I’m Bowe, the founder of Good Music Radar and the question I get asked quite often is “How do I get more Spotify streams?” It seems like the million Dollar question, so I’ll tell you a little on how I got my streams up to one million a year.

Spotify curators

First of all we need to have some basic understanding about the two types of pitches is can be done to editorial playlists and to user generated playlists.

Editorial playlists

When I release a new song, I always stick to the same format. I pick a date around three weeks in the future on a Friday in my distributor’s dashboard. I started using CD Baby, but have switched to Ditto now as they don’t keep a percentage of the song’s royalties and CD Baby does. Ditto does charge a fixed amount each year. So the math I’d recommend you to do is estimating if the royalties will be higher than the Ditto fee each year.

When the song has been approved by your distributor, it will pop up in your Spotify for Artists (free tool from Spotify) after a week or so. Ditto sometimes tends to keep the song in review way too long, so they are not scoring bonus points there. I always contact support through Instagram when that happens, which strangely enough is way faster than a support ticket.

Pitching to Spotify editorial playlists

Once your song is in Spotify for Artists, you can pitch it to Spotify’s editorial playlists. They ask you some questions about the song and which instruments were used. I highly doubt if they are really looking into that. I think they check your monthly listeners, collaborations and just listen to the song. It is important though to write a good text for the pitch. My advice would be to have a good text set up once. For future releases, you might be able to change that yourself, using the previous one as a template. My writers could assist you with that if you’d want to.

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Pitching to user generated Spotify playlists

Both free Spotify users and people with a Spotify Premium account can create as many playlists as they like. I think I’ve created thousands of them and finally after ten years, there are three that have some following. But it seems like a mission impossible almost. I have spend a lot of money on promoting and growing my lists through Facebook and Instagram Ads, but mostly with high costs per result. I got my degree in online marketing and have done that for 15 years, but even for me it was a real challenge. Did those lists get a million Spotify streams a year? No, but they did help a little bit.

How I got playlisted on Spotify?

Mostly from 2016 until 2020, I have spent days and days trying to contact curators. At first I did that through Facebook mostly, later on it switched more to Instagram. When I only saw ‘Juan’ as the name of the curator, I knew it would be pointless. So look for less common names as that has greater chances of finding someone. Often people use the same photo on Facebook as the one they use on Spotify, that can also help. Then write a good message, complimenting them on their playlist and ask them kindly to listen to your song. Don’t write a very long text as most people are busy and don’t want to read a lot of text. Also not just copy paste, but personalize the message. Don’t write to too many people as that might be seen as spam. Then hope for the best! If you search long enough, you’ll see there are still some nice people doing this for the love of music. Sometimes I’d get a reply after a year when someone was checking his spam folder. So, it’s really a long term thing. I managed to really build relationships with a lot of curators and that is the number one thing that has helped me get to a million streams a year.


Payola is asking money for playlist placements and Spotify does not allow it. Does that mean it never happens? Ehh no, it happens a lot. Some curators immediately send you a PDF with a price list for spot 1 to 10, a price for spot 10 to 20 etcetera. They might make a few fast bucks, but I have seen many lists disappear from curators that use those tactics, it’s a very risky game. I also always recommend you to do a background check  on playlists by checking the list on www.isitagoodplaylist.com. If a list loses a thousand followers in one day and then gains 2,000 the next day, it’s a big red flag too. In the end my advice would be to stay away from it because you risk your music to be taken down and the people running the lists aren’t doing it for the right reasons, so the lists seem to suck.

Playlist Pitching ‘the right way’

Let’s say your friend would have a playlist. Paying him money to get on the list would not be allowed. Now we’re going into a very gray area, because you’d be allowed to ask your friend to review your song and pay for that. It would be up to your friend to choose if he’d want to add your song to his list. So reviewing is allowed? Yes! Payola? No!

The other legit option is hiring someone who pitches your song to curators. You can compare that to a radio plugger that gets a fee to pitch your song to the famous radio deejays he speaks to every day. If you need my advice on the next step, just send me a message through the button below.

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