Even after 16 years of its existence, Spotify remains a global sensation in the music industry and is still one of the largest music streaming providers. Apart from allowing musicians to share their music with their fans and listeners around the world, it also gives them, as well as any platform user, the creative incentive to work with the music of others and create playlists that anyone can listen to.
In fact, the power of Spotify playlists is undeniable. It’s been reported that as of 2021, Spotify had over 4 billion user-generated playlists available in its catalog; in 2020 alone, over 1 billion new playlists were created on the platform. Have you created a playlist on your own and are looking for ways to have other music lovers listen to it? In this article, we’ll give you valuable tips on connecting with new listeners and organically growing your Spotify playlist followers.
1. Listen to your playlist and listen to it often
As with every creative work that an artist makes, a playlist, too, should be something that you, as a creator, enjoy. If you want other people to listen to your playlist, it should start with you listening to it first. High engagement is crucial for the playlist’s visibility on the platform and when a new playlist is made, its engagement is purely up to its creator. Listening to your own Spotify playlist is therefore the first step to take to secure growth of the number of your playlist’s followers. It may take a lot of time and patience but if you spend a few weeks actively listening to your playlist every day, the platform will reward you and its follower count will gradually increase.
For long-term results, it’s important to be consistent and remain a keen listener over time. Spotify’s algorithm is smart and quick to notice when a playlist is neglected or forgotten by its creator. The number of followers may then stagnate and start declining. The great thing about Spotify, however, is that even if you happen to put your playlist aside, all you have to do is start engaging with it on a regular basis again. This way its visibility will increase again and slowly a new, steady stream of listeners will follow.
As suggested before, listening to your playlist is much easier if you actually love it. It’s important to consider your target audience, the amount of competition you may face, and upcoming trends (we will talk about it later) but making the playlist with the intention to reflect your taste in music and include tracks you personally want to tune in is key in the long run.
Moreover, adding music only based on what your audience may want to listen to will take a heavy toll on your music brand. Not only that it won’t represent your personality but you will most likely end up crafting a list that resembles x others. This will then have a negative impact on your engagement and, consequently, your followers’ count.
Hot tip: Be 100% sure that every song added to your playlist is a song that you love. If you’re even a little bit unsure about a song, don’t include it.
Creating a public playlist on Spotify
2. Find your niche
It’s great to know that anyone is welcome to create their own playlist but it also means that the competition is quite high. Even if you remain true to yourself and your taste in music, it may happen that you’re dedicated to a very broad and established genre which will make it difficult for you to stand out. A clear focus for your playlist is therefore crucial.
One way to establish your niche is to narrow down the focus of your playlist to a particular sub-genre, theme, or mood. The ultimate goal is to be as specific as possible to have your playlist rise above others. Don’t hesitate to brainstorm and experiment to see what kind of music resonates the most with your audience but remain loyal to the music you’re passionate about, too. Think of what genre, types of songs, and/or artists you love and would like to include in your playlist. Playing around with small and distinctive fragments and emotions of the songs and music you enjoy may result in creating a unique playlist that will catch the attention of others!
Music is constantly evolving with new trends and subgenres gradually emerging. A unique playlist can also be one that is focused on particular patterns that reflect upon current or potential future trends. Creating such a playlist may be more difficult as it involves substantial research and creativity but can be more rewarding, too, providing both you and your listeners with a special listening experience. Listening to a big volume of music across genres may help you discover uncommon patterns and come up with interesting ideas. You can edit your Spotify list at any time so don’t be afraid of trying something new - you can always remove unsuitable songs or add new ones that will fit the specific style of your playlist better.
3. Add a good title and a description
Just like the playlist should stand out, its title and description should too! That’s when keywords come in to play an important role. That’s because keywords are the terms that listeners will search for to find the perfect playlist.
The best title is one that is both descriptive and unique at the same time and will perfectly outline the kind of music that listeners will find there. Just like the content of the playlist, the title should be specific, as well. Going just for a general genre title, such as ‘Pop Music’ or ‘Country Folk’ will not really help you or your potential audience. You can think of the particular sub-genre, style, mood, theme, or even a specific time period that your playlist is focused on and then combine a general term with a more specific one to be clearer about the overall selection of the playlist. If your list intersects two or more genres, try to be playful and go for a catchy title. Playlist titles such as ‘90s Summer Rock’ or ‘Winter Chill 2023’ are more likely to catch your audience’s attention and help you rise above others.
It’s important to bear in mind that the title and description are each searchable within Spotify so what you put in both ultimately matters. A lot of Spotify users may directly go after particular artists without very much knowing what kind of genre or style of music they make. A description is therefore a perfect place for adding names of some popular artists included in the playlist. You can also mention some additional genres that may be covered in the playlist.
Editing the title and the description of a Spotify playlist
There are plenty of websites that can help you explore and discover suitable music genres for your Spotify playlist. On Last.fm and Chosic, you can search for relevant artists and see what kind of genres and subgenres they are most commonly associated with. Google Trends can then help you measure and compare the popularity of particular genre names and choose the most useful ones.
Beth Hart's profile on Last.fm
4. Choose a great cover picture
Images have the power to attract attention and draw viewers to the content you create by evoking emotions. Additionally, the human brain tends to process visual data 60,000 times faster than text. Striking cover art may lure potential listeners into opening the playlist to see what’s inside and what the image represents. Each music genre, sub-genre, and mood will require a different type of visual aesthetic, and to choose the right one, you can find great inspiration in various artists and album covers. Platforms with a strong visual focus such as Pinterest or Instagram can also help you decide on the eye-catching image for your playlist cover.
Making a cover art is a creative endeavor, too, and some musicians may want to take part in that activity, as well. If graphic design is another passion of yours or just something you enjoy in your free time, you may make use of graphic design software, such as Canva or VistaCreate that will help you create professional designs with powerful, free, or paid, features.
You may also come across various artists whose piece of work you like and would want to use for your cover. In such a case, we would recommend contacting the artist to make a request and then credit the author in the playlist description. If you use someone’s art without their permission, they may eventually ask you to take it down.
Last but not least, there are plenty of websites with free-to-use images, such as Pexels, Unsplash or Pixabay. These may come in handy to use, especially for playlists with a particular topic or mood!
Canva's templates for Spotify playlist's cover pictures
5. Focus on the quality
It’s extremely crucial to be picky about the songs you include in your playlist. There is no limit on the number of songs a playlist can have but what matters the most is the quality of those that are in there. It’s easy to say that your playlist has a focus on a particular style of music, genre, or mood but it’s rather difficult to really stick to it - and the bigger the playlist is, the harder it gets to maintain a high bar for quality. Creating a unique playlist that stands out is key but it’s also important to keep your audience engaged and interested in your playlist for a longer period of time. It’s therefore vital, as highlighted in the first tip of our article, to spend adequate time listening to your playlist.
Be sure that every song in the playlist is curated with the intention to fit the overall theme of the playlist and represent your music personality. Incorporating songs just to add to the volume may harm the overall characteristics and thus the quality of the playlist, making it feel neglected and poorly managed. Your listeners will then be very quick to choose other playlists to listen to instead.
Furthermore, one should be aware of the actual popularity of playlists in comparison to albums. Already in 2016, it was reported that playlists amounted to 31% of listening time across demographics, while albums accounted for 22%. Studies also show that 40% of modern listeners prefer to listen to playlists, mostly to enhance their listening experience. With the huge amount of songs released every day, listeners have become more selective about what they listen to. Playlists provide a great tool for them to do so, making it easier now than ever to listen to a particular genre, subgenre, style of music, or music produced by artists within a specific time frame.
Humans also have a strong curious nature. Playlists that give the audience an opportunity to explore and discover new great songs are more likely to keep them engaged for hours. Additionally, if the music is tightly curated, listeners are more likely to return and listen to your playlist again and again.
6. Add classics to your playlist
Although it’s true that people seek to find new songs they would listen to and enjoy, adding songs that have been widely popular and, more importantly, adored can actually have a positive impact on your playlist and the number of your followers, as well. That’s because music has the power to evoke intense emotions and stir up important memories and so we tend to develop a strong connection and emotional attachment to songs that affect us this way.
People are passionate about their favorite songs even after listening to them for the millionth time and they can get excited if they see some of them in the playlist you’ve created. If there are some classics that you love and are relevant to your playlist, don’t hesitate to include them. Considering that there are more than 420 million annual active users on Spotify, there is a very high chance that other listeners will love those classics, too!
7. Put the best songs in the top spots of the playlist
The top of your list can be considered as some kind of an introduction to the songs you’ve curated. Although now you don’t necessarily need to listen to a playlist in the order it’s been created, the first few songs are those that grab your listeners’ attention and may play a decisive role in the way they perceive the playlist. If they like it, they are likely to stay, if not, they will search for a different playlist and will for sure find one that they like.
The first 10 songs of your playlist should therefore be chosen extra carefully, representing your favorite songs and the best that your playlist can offer.
Playlists nowadays play an extremely important role in the music streaming industry. In this article, we have listed some key tips to follow to organically grow your Spotify playlist followers. Our last tip, not mentioned before, is to remain patient.
Growing your Spotify playlist audience is a matter of taking your time to build and care about something you love so that others can love it, too. Therefore don’t rush things and expect thousands of new followers every day. The key is to remain passionate about the music you love and curate in your playlist and notice and celebrate even the smallest progress you make.
Can't get enough from Spotify playlists? Read and learn more in our Spotify Playlist guide here.
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