Posts Tagged ‘Artists’

Playlist Additions: The New and Fundamental Way to Build an Independent Artist’s Career

Real Streams

In the age of digital streaming, playlists have become a crucial component of how artists have grown their fanbase and spread their music. Whether it be Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, or any other digital streaming platform, playlists bring new music to the ears of listeners that would not have come across it otherwise. In fact, Bloomberg argues that placement on some of the premier playlists that these platforms curate themselves, such as “Daily Mix” and “Today’s Top Hits” (Spotify), guarantees that a song will become a hit. Spotify’s biggest playlist, Today’s Top Hits, has been streamed over 20 billion times, has 25 million followers, and has had over 70 artists on it receive more than 100 million streams. Even some of the much smaller playlists have the potential to truly put an artist in the spotlight as multiple placements across various playlists could have just as much, if not, even a bigger impact promotionally. To begin to understand this new wave of music promotion, we first must understand what the types of playlists are.

Types of Playlists and Submissions

Today, there are more than 100 million listeners across the world who pay for streaming subscriptions to listen to music. The key to getting your song noticed as an independent artist is by getting it placed on these platforms’ playlists. The type that you may be most familiar with is user-created playlists, whether it be because of some playlists you have created for yourself or the ones your friends have made. Besides this, there are also algorithmic playlists that suggest you songs based on your listening data and history; some popular examples of these are “Your Daily Mix” and “Discover Weekly” on Spotify. In addition to algorithmic playlists, there are also human-curated playlists that are created by around 100 editors at Spotify and other streaming platforms. They use their expertise, marketing, and listening data across the entire app to make their selections for hundreds of playlists. Lastly, there are the hybrid playlists that incorporate both human and algorithmic elements of selection. Regardless of which type of playlist your music is on, the goal is consistent: bringing each listener the best music that they would want to listen to.

Only in July 2018, Spotify introduced a new way for artists to submit their music onto the platform’s playlists. On the Spotify for Artists service, artists can pitch their songs to the company’s editors via an online form that asks the artist for information such as mood, culture, and genre to better understand which playlist would be best suited for their success. After the submission, editors on the Spotify team review the songs on a weekly basis and use data and expertise to add the songs to their desired playlists.

However, this is no guarantee that your music will make it onto the playlists given the fact that thousands, if not more, artists are all submitting their music: to say the competition is intense would be an understatement. A myriad of artists are still skeptical about this submission process because of the lack of transparency that Spotify has provided on its specifics. For instance, Spotify will not specify how many submissions it gets on a weekly basis from artists nor how many of these submissions end up on their playlists. This has led to a lack of trust in their submission process and leads artists to look elsewhere for trusted services to use in order to gain playlist additions and organic streams of their music.

How Have Playlists Changed the Industry for Artists?

The most interesting impact of playlists is how they have shifted the manner in which artists make music. Nowadays, whenever an artist submits a song for playlist consideration to Spotify, it will automatically be added to some of the algorithmically created “New Music Friday” playlists for listeners. On top of that, artists have also realized that it would make more sense financially to release one or two songs at a time in a shorter time spans than it would to release an entire album worth of songs per year. This way, they can boost the streams and playlist additions of each one of their songs and in turn, make more from streaming royalties.

Additionally, many artists such as Drake have also began to create longer albums with shorter songs. This strategic approach to music production increase the amount of streams each song gets by a substantial amount because it reduces the odds of the listener skipping the song. Consequently, it also ensures a more successful album while also improving the odds of an artists’ music getting onto playlists with large followings. Furthermore, this trend of playlist necessity has also led artists to understand that their music needs to grab their listener’s attention within the first 30 seconds. Since Spotify does not pay artists for songs that get skipped by the listener before the 30 second mark, it is up to the artist to make sure they captivate the listener with their flow right away and that they do not waste time in the introductory seconds.

The ever growing demand by artists for playlists has led to an incredibly high supply: more than 2 billion playlists exist on Spotify alone! It would only be fair to assume that Apple Music has around the same aggregate and this still does not include the total playlists on all the other various streaming platforms as well. In a way, playlist hits have become this generation’s equivalent of radio hits. Trending near the top of various playlists could have an even greater impact that any other form of promotion because of how easily listeners who enjoy the music can download the song, add it to their personal playlists, and even share the word about the song.

Maximizing Your Playlist Additions

There is no question that playlist additions are crucial to an independent artist’s ability to promote their music. But how can you maximize your playlist placements? The answer is PlaylistStreams.com. Through our service, you can ensure that your music will be on multiple playlists that our team sees best fit to maximize the distribution of your music. From these placements, you will then receive organic streams and your fanbase and platform will grow tremendously. With our relationships with hundreds of curators who have thousands of playlists, you can count on us to deliver and push your music to the ears of fans across the world.

The time to take advantage of this revolutionary mode of music promotion is now and with PlaylistStreams.com, you can join the wave of independent artists boosting their platform and solidifying their marks in the music industry.

Why Playlist Activity Is More Important Than Playlist Reach

In 2013, a Spotify user by the name of Sean Parker added “Royals” by the then-unknown pop star Lorde into his playlist, titled “Hipster International”. With 814,000 followers on Hipster International, Forbes aptly dubbed it one of the most influential playlists many years ago. What followed was sensational; At sixteen years old, Lorde’s song was catapulted into success and even debuted on Spotify Viral Charts soon after. Her song “Royals” amassed hundreds of millions of streams, and her subsequent albums were equally as successful as this first song. Other large artists such as BØRNS and Halsey also share similar initial success stories, and many smaller artists are growing their listener base through Spotify day by day. It should come as no surprise then, the immense power that this app has in a music makers’ career. Users, labels, and artists are all taking advantage of this platform, and for good reason too. The reason for these artists’ success lies in engagement and activity with their content, not necessarily in the number of total streams. 

In a previous blog post, I discussed some of the differences between the different types of playlists that are on Spotify. These major playlist categories on Spotify include editorial, algorithmic, and listener, or user-generated playlists. Some emerging artists assume that getting placed on any of these playlists and gaining a large amount of streams immediately guarantees their success. Of course, streams can be a great metric to quantify reach and a powerful tool for introducing original music to the world. However, these streams carry little value if there is no organic user activity with the content, or if these streams are bot streams. Bot streams or other non-organic streams do not accurately represent how many users are truly engaged with the content. For additional insight on this difference, you can check out our previous blog post here


Playlist activity is defined not only by whether users stream music, but also when they favorite, save, add to their own personal playlists, follow the artist account, and more. Overall activity metrics tell Spotify that the song is generally liked by many and has great potential to reach more listeners around the world. It is clear that playlist activity is all-encompassing, while playlist reach simply identifies how many listens a song got. 

Obviously, both playlist reach and playlist activity are important aspects of improving an artists’ fanbase and following, but activity reigns supreme when designing a marketing campaign for a song. Chances of landing on large, influential playlists developed by Spotify’s editorial team or the algorithm itself are improved the more people engage with artist content, because Spotify tracks overall engagement only. The importance of organically increasing engagement cannot be understated. As an artist, you want listeners to enjoy and listen to your music, to the point where they follow your account, add the song to their personal playlists, and share with their connections. 

How to Develop Your Music Promotion Strategy

At PlaylistStreams, we recognize how important activity is for emerging artists, and also how difficult it can be to initially increase engagement with a song. While building a fanbase through engagement does take time, there are a few tactics that can greatly improve chances of success. Before releasing music, we recommend submitting songs through a Spotify for Artists account to the Spotify Editorial Team to be considered and added to their playlists. Creating high-quality, suitable content for each artists’ target audience is another important factor to success. A great method of increasing engagement is reaching out to user-generated playlists that match the vibe and genre of the song. PlaylistStreams draws on its large database and connections to playlist curators cross-platform to find the perfect playlists for your activity and stream goals. With time and commitment, your goals for organic engagement can definitely be achieved with PlaylistStreams campaigns.

The Ins and Outs of Music Distribution!

In the age of digital streaming, one of the most important decisions that an artist will make is choosing a music distribution service that can best promote their work. Gone are the times of everyone solely using vinyl records and cassette tapes: now, record labels and artists made the colossal change to use the intermediaries of digital music distribution services to push their music to audiences in every corner of the world.

Understanding Music Distribution Services

First things first: What is the purpose of a music distribution service? You can picture them as the middleman between you, the artist, and the major listening platforms in the world known as the Digital Service Providers (DSPs). These companies take care of the procedural and administrative work that needs to be done for your music; this extends to listening to your songs, selecting the genre that it will get the most exposure on, and negotiating with listening platforms. These online music streaming companies only take music releases that come to them through distribution services. Therefore, they are necessary to bridge the gap between an artist’s work and the audience. The question arises as to how some of the most popular distribution services function and this information will ultimately help you as an artist decide which service is best suited for you. When selecting, artists should be cognizant of fee structures, stored services, added services, and lastly, the reputation and experience of the platform. Once your song is upload via a distributor you will be ready to apply for a PlaylistStream campaign to build your fanbase. Let’s take a look at some of the nuances of the leading services that I recommend to help you make your decision.

Ditto Music: The All Rounder

Launched in 2005, Ditto Music is a distribution service that is open to all and has over 200 outlets. Upon registering with Ditto, the service helps promote your music to online platforms like Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, VEVO, and many more. It not only pushes your music to stores around the world, but gives you the liberty to limit which regions you want to focus on spreading your music too. The service markets its clients both online/offline, and also through the PR deals it signs to further expand the audience base of artists. Additionally, Ditto Music covers your Airplay-Royalty Registration, which ensures that you receive the appropriate royalties for when your music is played on the radio. The distribution service also takes care of its artists’ copyrights and uses their digital fingerprinting to prevent potential copyright infringements. Yet another positive of Ditto Music is that it gives the artist complete autonomy in regards to the royalties and earnings. They do not charge any hidden costs and execute secure financial transactions. The distribution fee for an unlimited amount of songs is $19 and there is also a $19 annual fee per artist. Ditto does not take any portion of an artist’s earnings or royalties and provides transparency with the records of both of these components as well.

Some of the shortcomings of Ditto are that although it covers the digital distribution of your music, it does not perform physical distribution as well. Ditto also only does music promotion if its artists have purchased the specific packages for that service; a general registration alone does not provide its clients with the full breadth of their promotion services. Furthermore, although artists have the independence to alter their track order before uploading their music, this ability is gone after the release has been officially processed. Ditto is reported to have a poor user interface online and its customer service also needs improvement. Lastly, Ditto also only covers an artist’s original video content and will not help distribute videos that it may see as obstacles for new artists it may sign with.

Taking all of this into consideration, I recommend Ditto as a great music distribution service for both up and coming artists as well as experienced ones. Its diligence in taking care of all the work that needs to be done before the release of the song all the way until the actual release and beyond truly eases the journey for the artists. It helps project your music across the world while also maintaining transparency about your earnings and royalties. Though it has its fair share of weaknesses and limitations, I believe that Ditto should still be a top choice, especially for artists still getting a grasp of the music business.

EmuBands: For the Independent Artist

Based out of the UK, EmuBands is yet another premier music distribution service that is tailored for independent artists. The versatile EmuBands team consists of seasoned professionals from all fields of the music business. The company has worked with thousands of clients since its 2005 origins and thus their experience is not something you should worry about at all. Unlike Ditto Music, EmuBands has a stellar reputation with customer service and even goes as far as naming an Account Manager for every one of their artists so that they can receive all the guidance and help they need. Additionally, EmuBands takes transparency with its artists one step further by providing them with direct access to their respective sales data and market trends: all from their personal user account. Artists can download this data and examine it offline with tremendous ease. EmuBands also provides the free service of automatically registering your music on Shazam to ensure that anyone who is unfamiliar with your music can discover your work right away. They also give more power to the artists by giving them the ability to pick when they want their music to be pre-ordered or released. This is a functionality that many music distribution services fail to offer and separates EmuBands from its competitors. Lastly, the service also provides a royalty payout system with a great user interface as an artist can continually receive updates on their payments and other information. EmuBands lets you obtain your payments as quickly as you want while also eliminating minimum payment thresholds.

EmuBands has room for improvement; for instance, it currently has no admin publishing services. Furthermore, it also is quite expensive with its release fees which start at $42. Along with this price, there is no payment splitting functionality or YouTube content ID, both of which many other distribution services offer. Despite these few cons, I still believe EmuBands is a leading choice because of both all the benefits listed as well as its commitment to address its issues. EmuBands has shown a commitment to continual progress and it will not be long before these issues are also resolved. The higher price is well worth it because of the sheer amount of independence it gives the artists as well as services it provides at no additional fee. For a single plan of $42.50 with 1-2 tracks, you can get a lifetime of unparalleled support and services while also keeping 100% of your royalties. EmuBands is truly willing to go above and beyond to push their artists’ music to audiences.

Landr: Unparalleled Collaboration and Mastery Services

Lastly, Landr is another distribution service that I highly encourage to consider in your search. With just an annual fee, artists are able to upload an unlimited number of songs throughout the year. A unique feature of this service is that artists can make their work accessible to other artists, friends, and even producers to get the opportunity for feedback. With this feature, artists can get a sense of the critical reception of their music before releasing it and even improve their music with other musically savvy professionals. To the other end of this collaboration feature, artists can also access to free music samples from other producers to create their own versions of them with a unique spin. This type of free and legal transparency between samples is something quite amazing about Landr as several other services are still attempting to figure out how to do the same thing. The user interface is engaging and facile to use because they have a free app that artists can download on their laptops. Landr also established Landr Academy; a portion of their services dedicated to providing their clients with tips on how to maximize their promotion and collaboration potentials. Finally, Landr also helps register you with other services and even gives you the ability to link your account with your SoundCloud account at no further costs.

Like all music distribution services, Landr also has areas in which it can use a bit more work. It also does not provide a publishing administration and can be a platform that requires some time to get used to handling. The pricing can be confusing as well because it is difficult to see what the differences are between the packages and if some are truly worth the greater price than the others. The three primary plans are the basic plan ($48 yearly), advanced plan ($108 yearly), and pro plan ($299 yearly). There is always a push for its clients to spend more money to also pay for the mastering services which the advanced and pro plans provide. Finally, if an artist was to cancel their subscription then all of their releases would be frozen. Despite these cons, Landr is both a reputable and amazing music distribution serivce. Landr is a platform that takes no commission from you, lets you maintain all your earnings, and also provides complementary educational content and AI mastering tools for its artists to sound like true professionals. This type of genuine care for the quality of their clients work is hard to find in the music distribution service industry.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you pick one of these three services or any of the countless others, remember that this is ultimately your decision. As an artist, you should be asking yourself: which service makes me feel most comfortable and also has my best interests at heart? The answer to these questions will vary for each artist, but just remember how much easier music distribution services can make your journey in delivering your music from your room to the ears of people around the world. Keeping all these factors in mind, will make the decision of selecting a service all the simpler.

Once you’ve picked your distributor and you have your music listed in the DSPs, you can then promote your music via PlaylistStreams to maximize your listeners, build your fan base and get your career rolling!

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