How to make awesome Spotify Playlists and get Followers who stream your music

March 29, 20120
Andrea Piacquadio, published on pexels.com

This article will help you to make Spotify Playlists that your friends, your fans and the Spotify algorithm will love. You can use it as a guideline to make Spotify Playlists that gain followers immediately.

Why should you have Playlists on Spotify

There are about 3 billion Playlists on Spotify, so one of your questions might be: Does it even make sense to make a Spotify Playlist now, when there are already so many others? And the short but reasonable answer is: Yes. Of course, it’s pretty unlikely that a Playlist called “Top Hits” featuring the current Charts will bring you thousands of Followers. The competition is way too big.

But think about all the genres and sub-genres, new music trends, new social trends or activities that people do while listening to music. These offer you the chance to get people listen to your Playlists.

If you are an artist or a newcomer who just started on Spotify, you might have wondered how to get your music streamed and build a loyal fanbase. And of course, there are many possibilities like pitching music to Spotify Curators or using Pitching Services like PlaylistPush. But have you ever thought about how cool it would be, if the one with the 20.000 Playlist followers was you? Then you should read on!

Getting started: How to a develop an attractive Playlist Concept

Create a Playlist, call it “My Favs”, add your 20 favorite songs and put your last Instagram picture as the Playlist cover is a really good idea – if you want to make a Playlist yourself. Making a Playlist that might have the chance to gain followers requires lots of afford and a good Playlist concept, that makes your Playlist unique. You have to create a value for Spotify Users, so they follow your Playlist. Maybe you are absolutely into the Deep Techno Scene and know the latest tracks and best newcomers that other Techno Playlists did not notice yet. Or your Playlist cover is just so cool, that people get curious about it. However, you need to have a concept.

Think in the right order

If you want to make a Playlist that’s long-term successful it is important to think about the Playlist concept. Therefore, you should work on the following steps:

How to make a good Spotify Playlist:

  1. Identify the Playlists Genre / the music you want to feature
  2. Give it a unique name that matches the Playlists mood
  3. Upload an attractive Cover
  4. Optimize the Playlist Description
  5. Promote your Playlist
  6. Constantly improve the Playlist
  7. Profit from your work

The Playlists Genre

If you plan to do a Playlist to promote your own music it totally makes sense to offer the music genre that your own music belongs to. In case you just want to reach a maximum follower growth you have more freedom to decide what genre you want to feature, but keep in mind that it’s harder to get a high position in the Spotify search results for an EDM Playlist than a North-Australian-Progressice-Heavy-Metal-Core-Middle-Age-Guitar-Rock Playlist… But for real: Try to find a good balance between mainstream and niche genres.

You also need to decide if you want your Playlist to be frontline (always new releases, frequent updates), catalogue (collection of the all-time best songs) or mixed. My experiences are that frontline Playlists usually have more active listeners than catalogue Playlists. But this decision is up to you and also depends on your targeted genre.

Questions you need to answer before going to the next step:

  • What Genre will your Playlist be?
  • Will your Playlist be frontline, catalogue ore mixed?

How to find the optimal Playlist Name

Step 2 is finding a name which is mainstream enough, so people search for it and at the same time unique enough so the competition is not too big. Depending on the genre it can make sense to add the genre to the title or an artist that represents the genre. Try to find a name that gets the users attention and also describes what the Playlist is about. If you have two synonyms and you are not sure what people search for more often, you can use Google Trends as an indicator for the relevance of a keyword.

Once you have a good name, you can try to figure out how high the chances are that your Playlist will be easily found on Spotify and gain followers through that. Just open the web version of Spotify (use the incognito mode of your browser) and search for your Playlist title on Spotify. The less Playlists appear, the better your chances are to get a good ranking.

How to make an outstanding Playlist Cover

A good Playlist cover is unique and gets the users attention and or just looks really beautiful. If you’re planning to make many different Playlists, you should think about how to find a design that is consistent and lets people identify the Playlist as yours.

The screenshot below shows the Spotify Search Result Page for Spotify Users in Germany for the keyword Sports Motivation. Take a look and think about what stands out:

Five out of the Top 8 Playlists for the keyword Sports Motivation are mine. Is it because of the high quality logo design? Definetly not, I made my Playlist covers within 5 minutes using a free logo design app for my Smartphone. But what’s the important thing?

  • My covers stand out – they do not show bodybuilders and they are not black, grey and white.
  • My covers are recognizable as a „brand“ – They follow the same design idea

So before you choose your Playlist cover it makes sense to search for the Playlist name you will choose to find out what cover you need to stand out.

Playlist SEO: How to optimize your Spotify Playlist Descriptions

The Playlist description gives you an additional opportunity to implement relevant keywords that your Playlist might rank for in the Spotify search. Still you should not just type in random words in the description, you should remember that some people will read it – they should feel addressed by the description. Therefore, make sure to put the keywords in a complete sentence, but avoid unnecessary filler words. That is important as experiments I made have shown that only the first 160-180 characters are relevant for the Spotify algorithm.

How to find keywords for my Spotify description?

When you try to identify keywords for your Playlist description there are different ways to go:

  • Be creative and try to use keywords that you think are relevant for your Playlist
  • Take a look at similar Playlists and the keywords they use
  • Search for Instagram hashtags and suggested hashtags to get inspired
  • Go to google.com, type in a keyword and see what google auto-suggests
  • Use Google trends to decide which wording is better in comparison to others

So, when you finally have a nice Playlist description, you should type these into the Spotify search to find out how much competition you have. In the best case, there are only a few Playlists with 100-1.000 followers. This shows the keyword you chose is relevant and it is possible to get close to the Top 10 results in the Spotify search.

Playlist Marketing: Make your Playlist grow

Congratulations, now you have a great Playlist – Get ready for the thousands of followers you going to get soon! Okay, maybe it’s not that easy. Maybe your Playlist is amazing, but people just don’t know it exists (at this point I want to remind you that your Playlist only can be found by others if you made it public).

Especially in the beginning it is extremely important that your Playlist gains active followers. This is the only way to signal to the Spotify algorithm that you came up with a cool Spotify Playlist. The easiest way to gain new followers is Social Media. If you have followers that are interested in you and your music, then they are maybe also interested in your Spotify Playlist. The best way to do this, is to use the “sharing option” of Spotify in Instagram Storys. Then your followers can simply tap „listen now“ and follow your Playlist. If you have more than 10K followers, you can also use the Swipe-Up function. Here are some ideas you can take up for starting your Playlist promotion:

  • Instagram Storys
  • Facebook
  • TikTok (music affine users, high range with good content)
  • Pinterest
  • Music blogs or your website

Playlist Controlling: How to use Statistics to improve your Playlist

Once your Playlists start to grow it gets more important to improve your Playlist and take a look at some Key Performance Indicators, such as the Number of followers or the follower/listener ratio. At this point I would suggest you to get a free chartmetric account. This will allow you to easily track the performance of your Playlists over the time. If your Playlist does not grow and the follower/listener ratio is low this might be the reason why your Playlist is not as successful as you want it to be. Maybe you should go back a few steps and improve your Playlist concept.

How to monetize your Spotify Playlist

If you are an artist, you’re #1 goal might not be monetizing your Playlist but getting a promo channel for your own music. But if you aim for earning money with your Playlist you should have a look at PlaylistPush. It’s a Playlist pitching service where artists can start campaigns for their music releases. Their tracks are pitched to the curators, who listen to the song, write feedback and it to their Playlist if it matches the Playlists mood. The requirement for being active on PlaylistPush is that your Playlist has 400 (real) followers.

The Playlist Checklist

I hope that you understood two things:

  • Making a good Playlist is more than adding a few songs…
  • Playlist Curation can be lots of work, but is definitely worth it!

In case you have questions concerning Playlists, need help with yours or want to give feedback, feel free to contact me on Instagram or send an E-Mail.