Playlists are the new mixtapes.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Very few people, if anyone, ever made good money off a mixtape. Playlist placement, however, can be life-changing. As more and more people turn to premium streaming services to access and discover music, curated playlists have become increasingly important in the overall ecosystem of the industry. Playlists can make people household names, and it can also encourage consumers to seek out “deep cuts” they may not have previously considered playing.
But how do you get on these lists? For the most part, the answer has long been to know the right people. If you know someone with a popular playlist or know someone who knows someone, then maybe — just maybe — you can get your song considered for inclusion. It’s a historically messy process with no clear path to results.
That is, until now.
Spotify’s new playlist submission feature aims to demystify the curation process for some of the world’s most popular playlists by creating a portal for consideration any artist can access. The new feature is part of its Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics tools, but it is still in beta and therefore not perfect.
If you’re an artist, label or manager with access to these tools, you’ll be able to choose one song to submit. That may seem strict, but the company tried to offer as much info as possible about the decision and tool with a recent statement:
“It’s important to give us as much information about the track as possible — genre, mood, and other data points all help us make decisions about where it may fit. You can note the instruments on it, whether it’s a cover, and the cultures you or the song belong to. The data you share will be complemented by what we already know about you — what else your fans listen to, what other playlists you’ve appeared on, etc. Editors will be searching through submissions based on the information you share to find unreleased music to consider for their playlists.”
Later in the release, Spotify notes that “as long as you tag and submit your track seven days in advance, the song you select will automatically appear in every one of your followers’ Release Radar playlists. This way you have control over which single you’re promoting to your fans.”
It’s unclear how well this last bit well function, especially for artists whose followers follow dozens of artists (or more), but the concept is definitely an alluring one. That power would allow artists to control the conversation around their music as it relates to discovery in a manner no other streaming service allows.
What do you think? Tweet at @Haulix and let us know your thoughts on these new developments.