Spotify

Artist’s Guide To Submitting Songs To Spotify Playlist Curators (Without Getting Ripped Off)

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With playlist placement continuing to dominate as one of the most effective ways to gain exposure as an artist, many eager musicians are falling victim to scams – parting with hard-earned cash only to see their music completely ignored. Here, we look at how to pitch your songs to playlists without getting ripped off.

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Guest post by Corey Koehler of Music Marketing Guy

Do you want to submit your songs to Spotify playlists without getting ripped off by playlist submission services?

Here’s why I ask…

I saw this the other day:

“I just recently paid about 65 dollars for a playlist promotion service. I can see my Spotify plays from DistroKid. The plays for my track were zero for the whole “campaign”. That means no one ever actually considered the track. I don’t think the guy ever pitched to anyone.”

Not cool!

And this isn’t a one-time occurrence. I did some Google searches and realized it’s fairly common.

These services are popping up every day and DIY musicians can be easy targets.


Hell, it’s hard to fault DIY musicians for getting sucked in because getting your songs on the right playlist can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in streaming revenue. And it can bring in a ton of new fans who will support you for years.

What makes it even worse is when we’re constantly bombarded with headlines like this….

“How an indie artist earned $56k from one song on Spotify (an interview with Perrin Lamb)” From the CDBaby DIY Musician

Picturing your name in that scenario can lead to some bad decision making. And when money is tight, a bad decision can set you back months or even years.

Sure, there are reputable playlist services, but what are you willing to spend?

You’re likely looking at forking over anywhere from $250 to $1,000+.

They may increase your chances of getting on the playlists but your results aren’t guaranteed with them either. You could still be flushing your money down the crapper.

Is There A Better Way To Get Your Songs On Playlists?

So, it got me thinking: how could indie musicians reach out to playlists to submit music without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars and risk getting next to nothing in return.

Cold email.


I know what you are thinking… “You want me to SPAM people?”

No, I don’t. SPAMMING is for lazy people. It is super tacky, bad karma and isn’t going to get you far.

Cold email, if you do it right (like I describe in a minute), it works great!

I’ve used it successfully (without sounding the SPAM alerts) in a bunch in other campaigns, such as:

  • Booking gigs (dozens of times in the beginning which lead to over 100 shows)
  • Getting guest posts (you might be reading this post right now because I reached out to bloggers and music industry peeps)
  • Increasing RV sales (Yep, even sold a few campers using this method).

Bottom line, it works.

This is something you can do on your own pretty easily. It doesn’t take much time and best of all, it doesn’t cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

I’m going to show you exactly how to do this in a minute, but first I have to warn you.

This is not for artists who aren’t willing to spend 30 – 60 minutes a few days a week working on promotion.

If you aren’t willing to put the time in, then stop reading right now.


I’m not saying you should do this forever, and you shouldn’t unless you really like doing it. But doing it yourself at first is the best way to ensure you’re not getting ripped off because you’ll know how it should and should not be done.

Then, when you get to the point where you can hire someone to do this, you know what to look for and you know the right questions to ask. Bootstrapping business owners have been doing this forever. Before hiring out, they do it themselves.

Here’s how it works.

(P.S. To get the Spotify Playlist Playbook click here or the image below)

How To Submit To Spotify Curators

Here’s a step by step breakdown of what you can do to get your music on Spotify Playlists (or really any playlist on any platform).

1. Make a list of curators

Use an Excel spreadsheet, Google Spreadsheet or CRM and start adding names. This will help you keep track of who you did or did not reach out to. It will also be a great place to keep track of who did or didn’t add your music and any other notes about the curator. Having that information will be extremely valuable the next time you release a song.

2. Email the curators one by one

I’ve received thousands of emails and CDs in the mail from musicians wanting me to listen to their music. I didn’t have time to read an email outlining every detail of an artist’s career, nor did I care (at least until I heard the music and it was something I liked).

These curators you are reaching out to are no different.

Here are some scripts that will help get your email opened and read.

SUBJECT
“Quick Question”

BODY:

Hello [FIRST NAME],

What is the best way to submit my music for consideration on your playlist?

Sincerely,

Jody The Musician

You Want To Listen To My Music? Click here jodymusic.com

Why this works. “Quick Question” does two things:

Evokes curiosity “Hmmmm… I wonder what they want”
Makes a promise… this will be fast.

Then when they open the email, you deliver on your promise by asking one question. You just made it super easy for them and saved them a bunch of time.

Here’s another one you could use that might help especially if you have something you can offer them (like your audience).

SUBJECT:

Quick Question

Or

“I want to help you get new listeners…”

“Want help growing you playlist?”

BODY:

Hello [FIRST NAME],

What is the best way to submit my music for consideration on your playlist?

If you think it is a good fit, I’d love to share your playlist with my email list and social followers.

Jody The Musician

You Want To Listen To My Music? Click here jodymusic.com

Offering to help them grow their listenership lets them know you aren’t all take and no give. It’s more of a partnership.

Those scripts will help you stand out because you are evoking curiosity, promising them that you are not going to waste their time and maybe even helping them out.

Get in the habit of sending out a set amount every day. Commit to a certain amount like 10 or 25 for a period of 7 or 30 days.

After a few days it will get faster and easier. It shouldn’t take you more than 20-30 minutes per day once you get a system down.

BONUS TIP:
You could use a variation of these to send direct messages on Facebook, Twitter or other social sites as well.

TIMESAVING TIP:
If you use Gmail, there is a feature called “Canned Response”. It allows you to save the email as a template so you don’t have to write it out every time or copy and paste from somewhere else. To add it just click on “Settings”, then “Advanced” and check the box labeled “Canned Response.”

3. Follow-up

This is where a lot of people drop the ball. People are busy so they might not have had time to read or reply just yet. Reaching out shows them that you are serious and not just spraying and praying.

There are a couple of types of follow-up you need to do:

1.”No reply” follow-up

If you haven’t heard anything in a couple days, either reply to the previous email or change the subject and try again.

You could probably do this up to 3 times. If there is still no response, cross them off the list and move on.

2. “Reply” follow-up.

This is the type is the follow-up you do in the future with the curators that replied.

Keep a list of all the curators who replied so that you can stay in contact with them. And I mean ALL of them. Both the curators who played your music and didn’t play your music.

That way you can reach out again and again when you release the next song or album.

This makes your outreach easier and easier with each release. It’s like pushing the ole’ snowball down the hill. After awhile it can really help get maximum exposure for your music in a short period of time which is big for building buzz and drawing attention. Algorithms on search, social media sites and music platforms favor hot, trending content.

I’ve used this with my music and this blog and it just works.

And don’t just reach out when you have something you want to be promoted. You would be wise to periodically send them ideas for other artists’ songs they could add to their playlist or information that might help them in some way (like an article or video). It makes them much more likely to add your songs in the future because you’ve helped them.

Wrapping It Up

So there you have it. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to have someone help you submit music to Spotify Playlist Curators. You just need a few minutes a day and a good plan.

And remember, you don’t always have to do this. Just know that doing this yourself at first will help you choose the right services when you have some budget and want to focus on other areas of your career.

Eventually, you get more plays, more buzz and more fans. Plus, you might even make some new friends with people who are just as geeky about music as you are.

Before you go, be sure to get my Spotify Playlist Playbook pdf, You’ll get a downloadable version of the checklist above. Plus, you’ll get some additional resources to help make the process faster, easier and much more effective. It will save you a ton of time and improve your results.

Go get it!

(P.S. To get access to the Spotify Playlist Playbook click here )

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