Safe Spotify Hacks for Algorithmic Playlists
As a new artist, it can feel like an uphill battle to get your music heard.
But it’s not impossible — you just have to know what approach to take.
The good news: There are hacks to maximize your presence on Spotify, and they’re actually rather easy.
But if you want to earn a staying place on Spotify’s algorithmic playlists, you’re going to have to be smarter than just buying streams with a credit card.
Here’s what you need to know to get your music noticed on Spotify — and make sure your music stays there.
Spotify’s Two Main Algorithmic Playlists
Discover Weekly is an algorithmic playlist updated every Monday with music that’s unique to the individual Spotify user.
Spotify uses an algorithm to craft a weekly playlist that it thinks a user will enjoy based on their listening habits, such as:
Artists, albums, or tracks the user likes
Artists, albums, or tracks the user shares
Songs the user saves to their own playlists
Songs that a user skips
Based on this data (and data culled from users with similar tastes), Spotify will craft a unique playlist for that user, which is a great opportunity for them to discover new artists.
Release Radar is another weekly playlist updated on Fridays.
Like Discover Weekly, it’s unique to every user and curated based on their tastes.
It consists of about two hours of music from artists that users have expressed interest in.
It shows users new music when an artist releases something, and also recommends new music based on their listening history.
This makes Release Radar a great option for prolific artists who worry that listeners might miss their latest tracks.
How Algorithmic Playlists Grow Your Audience
The great thing about algorithmic playlists is that, statistically, listeners are almost certain to love your music.
Discover Weekly and Radar Release are both highly targeted.
Listeners who use these playlists tend to be the most active users, since they rely on these playlists to actively discover new music they wouldn’t have heard otherwise.
These listeners are much fewer in number, but they’re much more likely to become dedicated fans if they find music they like.
Even if they’re not actively looking for new music, they may listen to your music on these playlists anyway because it comes recommended alongside their favourite musicians.
The Basics of Getting on Spotify Algorithmic Playlists
While in theory you could figure out the algorithm and hijack it, Spotify is on the lookout for fraudulent promotion.
The smarter option is to be patient and learn how the algorithm works so that you can leverage it organically.
Here are a few ways to do just that.
Collaborative filtering is a concept Spotify borrowed from data science — basically, it’s the engine that makes a recommender system (like an algorithmic playlist, for example) work.
In plain English, collaborative filtering is the process of recommending new music to a user based on what other listeners with similar tastes are jamming to.
Let’s say you have users A, B, and C who like to listen to coffeehouse acoustic.
Users A and B listen to a new song in that genre.
Because user C has similar tastes to users A and B, the new song users A and B listened to is recommended to user C.
You can’t directly hack collaborative filtering algorithms, but you can target them by narrowing your outreach.
These algorithms rely on view-to-click, click-to-play, and play-to-save metrics, so if your music performs well on these metrics from playlist placement, a collaborative filtering algorithm will catch on.
Web scraping is a concept plucked from search engines, which use it to identify the best result for a given search term.
Spotify uses it to identify who music bloggers are talking about online and who artists are being compared to.
It then uses these results to generate algorithmic recommendation playlists.
Because the algorithm pulls data straight from music bloggers, the best way to get picked up by this algorithm is to get your music reviewed by bloggers.
Do your homework to figure out which bloggers are influencing your target playlists.
To do this, make a list of the playlists you want to get featured on.
Then make a list of the songs and artists featured in each of those playlists.
Head on over to HypeMachine and type in the song — you can find out what blogs have mentioned that song.
This allows you to make an educated guess which blogs are influencing a playlist’s scraping algorithm.
From there, you can reach out to those bloggers to review your album because it’s similar to the album of X artist.
Make sure to include a URL link to a song from the album to give them a taste.
Get Your Music Heard (Best option)
Getting your music heard isn’t sorcery and it isn’t guesswork.
It’s about figuring out how Spotify curates the list and making sure your music gets noticed in those areas so the algorithm can pick up your music organically.
It may take several tries, but it will generate long-term results with real longevity.
You just have to have the patience to get there.