How to trigger Spotify algorithmic playlists
Today we’re going to talk about how to trigger Spotify algorithmic playlists! These are the most valuable playlists on Spotify, more so than editorial playlists.
I’ve managed to get every song i’ve released in the past 3 years on Release Radar and Discover Weekly, so hopefully I have some helpful insights for you.
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Spotify Algorithmic Playlists
Just in case you’re not familiar, let’s go over the most common Spotify algorithmic playlists:
Your Daily Mix
When you drop a new song, anyone that follows you on Spotify will get your new song on their release radar. Release radar updates every Friday, but it also includes artists you’ve never heard before - this is the algorithmic push part of release radar.
Discover Weekly is a playlist full of music you’ve never heard before, based on your listening behavior on Spotify. People literally go to this playlist to discover new music, every single Monday when it updates.
Radio is an algorithmic playlist that also takes multiple forms. One place is when you finish playing a song, album or playlist on Spotify, it will keep generating related music based on your listening behavior.
Another form is when people go directly to your profile and choose to play your artist radio.
Your daily mix is a series of playlists based on your favorite music mixed with new music, grouped together by genre, style or mood. On repeat is a playlist for people who have listened to your music many times recently.
How To Get On Algorithmic Playlists
Algorithmic playlists have some mystery to them, but fortunately I do pretty much know exactly how to get on both Release Radar and Discover Weekly.
For Release Radar, in the first 7-21 days get at least:
First Discover Weekly, in any 28 day period get at least:
Now I want to point out these are averages from a 300 song study we ran a couple years ago. However i’ve found these numbers to be accurate as recently as this month.
In a nutshell, these numbers for Release Radar and Discover Weekly are related to achieving a 20 or a 30 popularity index, respectively.
It seems like the quality of engagement you get these streams matters though. Using 3rd party user playlisting alone to get you there likely won’t cause algorithmic playlists to trigger, because the engagement from these sources is so low.
Using high engagement sources like Facebook ads or organic will get you algorithmic traction though, and you can blend 3rd party playlisting with ads as long as the ads represent most of the volume.
I would recommend that you also aim for a stream / listener rate of 2.5-3.5, and at least a save rate of greater than 25%.
Very often listeners from ads will produce a save rate of greater than 50% in the short term. Then once algorithmic stuff kicks in it will naturally drop.
Now while i’ve found that hitting these numbers will get you the algorithmic push, they don’t determine the size of the algorithmic push.
Sometimes you get 10,000 streams your first week on Discover Weekly but you’re kicked off 2 weeks later.
Other times you only get 100 streams the first week on Discover Weekly, but it grows slowly week by week and you’re on it for years. And everything in between these two extremes.
We don’t know how factors such as repeat listens and skip rate factor into this. Or how cohesive the listeners are streaming your track.
Is sending 1,000 Blink-182 fans more effective than sending 2,000 general pop-punk fans? How does that compare to a mixed bag of 2,000 pop-punk fans with 2,000 indie pop fans?
I have to imagine more niche audiences help train the algorithm who they should serve your song to more effectively. However I have no data to prove this, and i’ve had so many songs pop off with broader audiences (at least on the Facebook ads targeting side).
In our agency Forbid Media we’re always brainstorming what factors influence the algorithm the most, and how can we impact those variables most effectively.
If you want to learn more about my technique for running Facebook ads to promote your music on streaming platforms, check out my course Spotify Growth Machine.
YouTube has 3 new features that benefit music artists. You can now link from shorts to long form video content, YouTube music now has Samples and also a comments section.
Did you know you can listen to my music industry interviews on podcast platforms? Click here to listen to the Modern Music Marketing podcast.
Here are some music industry news highlights from the past week.
Deezer raises prices AGAIN to $11.99 for an individual plan
Music Business Worldwide predicts audio streaming services will continue to raise prices on a more regular basis, just as video streaming services have
TikTok is working on an automatic AI content detection algorithm
George R.R. Martin and other writers are suing OpenAI for alleged copyright infringement
Quote of the Week
Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:
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My ad agency. Forbid Media specializes in running Facebook conversion ads to promote your music on Spotify.
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