Playlists have always been popular in the music world. Whether labelled as mixtapes or introduced to you through NOW! CDs, a collection of songs put together by someone for others to consume has always been a great way of discovering new music and sharing your favourite artists.

However, since the launch of popular streaming site Spotify in 2008, playlists have become an integral part of getting new music both discovered and shared. Later followed by the likes of Deezer, Tidal and Apple Music, streaming services have built an ever-lasting formula with specialised curated playlists which continues to enable them to stay up to date with the latest releases.

The rise in the number of subscribers following these curated playlists has seen a dramatic rise in the last few years. Artists, labels, management and even PR teams all want to secure placement on influential playlists, with the hope that the music they’re making or promoting is not only heard by a larger audience, but also integrated into people’s daily lives.

But it’s not that easy to get playlisted by key curators. Here’s a guide on what you can do to ensure that your music is seen by the key industry players…

Outpost's Top Tips

GET DISTRIBUTED

With Spotify closing their feature which allowed independent artists to upload their music directly to them, it’s now more important than ever to find yourself a distributor. Contrary to popular belief, music doesn’t magically appear on streaming sites. Your music needs to be submitted to streamers in order for it to be on curators’ radars, and distribution services can help sell your music well. For more, check out our Outpost Distribution Service.

DRIVE ENGAGEMENT

Your presence online is important now more than ever. How are you helping to support your releases across social platforms? Are you sharing teasers or behind the scenes footage?  It’s important to prove to curators that you can drive traffic to their playlist as this will ultimately make you more attractive to them. But it’s not just online… are there any live shows in the pipeline? What’s the venue capacity? Be active in building a whole community around the release.

PRESS OUTREACH

Although your main aim may be to get added to those all important big playlists, your press outreach is just as important. Getting featured on top tastemaker publications are factors in being added to key playlists. So get yourself a great press team who can help secure great coverage to enhance your playlist likeability and also build your online fan base further.

MAKE GREAT MUSIC

This is the most important part. Love your music. Make great tunes. People will be drawn to good songs and will want to include your music in their playlists. This doesn’t mean all your music has to be upbeat, dance tracks. There’s playlists out there for every kind of genre. But if it sounds good, it feels good. So love what you do and continue to create.

THIRD PARTY PLAYLISTS

Big playlists are great. But don’t neglect the smaller ones who might only have a small, but dedicated following. Every stream counts. Getting added to third party playlists can help boost your chances of securing positions in the larger ones and these curators are more likely to take the time to listen to your music. Recognition from tastemakers is hugely important!

BECOME A CURATOR

Get friends and family to add your music to their playlists. Invite people to follow your very own playlist and add your new tunes to your playlist. Share your playlists on social media or through mailing lists. The more the track is heard, the more likely algorithms are going to notice it. Securing a large number of plays could lead you to banking that big playlist placement. 

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