How to Get More Spotify Plays and Followers
George GoodrichJul · 6 min read
These are easy tips and tricks to help you gain more streams on Spotify, gain new followers and get more plays. I have complied these from running over 7,000 campaigns via Playlist Push and working with thousands of artists of all genres of music over the past three years.
Desperate for those streams? I got you.
(1) Catalogue Consistency.
Most artists sit on songs and only release several or in a lot of cases one record per year. On Spotify, it is in your benefit to get all of your songs onto the platform. Why? Because when you do have that one record that pops off potential listeners will be able to listen to other records/stream more of your music. For listeners, it’s very easy for someone to lose interest when you only have one song on the platform. Also, the more records you release the more chances you have to get on bigger playlists. Stick to the following formula:
- Release high quality singles out of the gate at a comfortable rate, lets say 1 single every 3 months.
- Set a budget for these upfront singles and set an achievable metric for monthly listeners. If you are starting from zero lets gun for 10K.
- Use the first three singles to nail down your formula (what promo companies/services to use, consistency in track artwork and other content you create around the record such as music videos.)
(2) Make it pop from the start.
You need to make your song flow well, but don’t waste time during the first 15–30 seconds of a song. 28.97% skip in the first 10 seconds (Forbes). We get a ton of records submitted to us which are great but many of them have a pointless 15–30 second intro. For new listeners, don’t waste time warming them up, get into it! This is especially important when you are sending your music to labels and playlist curators.
(3) The shorter the better.
Are songs getting shorter? Some are, but mainly in the Hip Hop/Pop genres. If you are an instrumental artist, you don’t need to cut down a 6 minute masterpiece to 1:30. If you are a Hip Hop artist and still putting out songs that are over four minutes long you should rethink your process.
Additionally, for a Hip Hop artist the shorter the song the less writing and production, this enables you to crank out more songs. Examples of very short song would be Kodak Black — If I’m Lyin, I’m Flyin (2:10), Trippie Redd — Taking A Walk (2:01). The opposite would be the 12 minute song that starts off my Burning Man playlist, it makes sense and is a great intro track for the playlist. When it comes to song length, remember context and audience is key!
(4) Spotify for Artists
This one is by far the most UNDER UTILIZED tools that is FREE. I have seen artist with over 30,000 followers not submit their song to S4A. That is 30,000 Discover Weekly/Release Radar placements down the drain. Submitting your song 2 weeks prior to release is the most important box to check when releasing a new record on Spotify. Access Spotify for Artists
(5) Your distribution company is your best friend
Complaining about your distributor on twitter, being an asshole over email is the quikest way to end up on the shitlist. Furthermore you will never gain access to the numerous marketing opportunities that come through DSP’s like Apple Music and Spotify. Services like Spotify are always reaching out to their network of distributors for certain types of songs for playlist placements or on platform marketing opportunities. Be nice to your distributor they are likely your greatest ally in the struggle to get heard!
(6) Use the “Splice” method.
This one was pioneered by my friend and former artist manager Alex Mitchell-Hardt. The method is very simple.
- Create a music video that is 60% of your song and upload the video to YouTube.
- Overlay the video with the message “Listen to the full song on Spotify” and link to the song on Spotify in the video description.
- You can use the same video across social platform, recommended video lengths are as follow. Twitter: 20 seconds, Facebook: 30 seconds, Instagram: 15 seconds.
(7) Think long term over short term.
You don’t need a hit, you need to release more records to increase your chances of creating a hit. The more releases, the more chances you have to trigger the algorithms when a new release hits Spotify. Play the long game and develop a release strategy you can stick to. Get off social media and get to to work.
(8) Cover art, Cover Art, COVER ART!
Cover art, album covers whatever you want to call them were one of the biggest deciding factors of buying a new CD when I was a kid. Now it seems to be the most overlooked piece of a sucessful rollout. Intriguing artwork will not only draw in potential listeners you have a better shot of getting picked up by playlists. The better the artwork the more you look like an established arist.
(9) Forget about junk playlists.
There are plenty of people out there running junk playists, some are named after soundtracks which means its mostly passive listeners. Even worse they are playlists with fake streams. When it comes to playlists keep the following in mind:
- You only want to be on playlists with real listeners and followers. Sometimes these are smaller playlists but have a more active dedicated following.
- Good lists for your music gain you new followers, saves and repeated streams. Lists that don’t fit your vibe only lead to low saves and a high skip rate. This kills the algoritms on Spotify and leaves you with little chance of gaining a larger editorial placment.
- Using a service like Playlist Push delivers your music to curators with real listeners and helps build postive data (repeated streams/saves) for your song and profile. The curators we work with are strictly vetted and tracked for active engagement on a daily basis.
(10) Social Media.
If you have a weak Twitter and Instagram it can be hard gaining plays and followers on Spotify. It’s all relevant.
If you have a solid following on Twitter or Instagram, use these channels to not only notify your followers you dropped a new song but share playlists you have picked up along the way.
Do you take your music career seriously? If you do you need to consider Playlist Push. We have ran over 7,000 campaigns and have spent the past two years building our genre matching system to ensure your song is only going to the correct curators. Not only that setting up a campaign is as easy as the following.