When it comes to using Spotify as an independent artist, you might be a little put-off by just how challenging the whole platform can feel. Unlike other streaming platforms, getting on Spotify takes a lot of work and effort. Therefore, trying to use it as an independent artist can feel quite worrying if you aren’t too fluid with their system.

However, while getting your own tunes in the top echelons of Spotify can be a hard thing to do (though by no means impossible thanks to tools like CDBaby) but you have other avenues to utilize this particular program.

For example, if you can get your music featured in playlists, you can get a massive boost in both revenue and reputation. It’s a hard thing to get right, but the prevalence of streaming in the modern world makes this an absolute must.

Indeed, artists in the past have been able to help augment and even empower a full-time income simply by having access to a Spotify playlist.

With one single song featuring in a prominent playlist, you can really help to spike your revenue earnings and your overall visibility on one of the most powerful platforms around. How, though, is a bit of a challenge.

Spotify Playlists: Preparing for Success

So, the first mistake that many people make is getting their music on Spotify without owning the rights. You MUST own the master recording and FULL publishing rights for all of your music that you wish to get advertised.

This is the difference between making a little, or making a lot. Now, as an independent artist, you should not have too many issues with this.

If someone offers to get you ‘huge hits’ on Spotify, though, be wary about what they want from their end of the deal. If they want to take the rights or recordings, back away. With enough work and invention, you can get to where they want to take you on your own anyway. So, to prepare for your Spotify success by using playlists, you must make sure that you never compromise on this factor.

It’s often the sole difference between that hard work getting into a playlist paying off or not. if you spend a lot of time trying to get on a playlist and it turns out you don’t own the music fully, earning potential drops through the floor.

Preparing for success in this avenue, though, does take a huge amount of work to reach the point that you intend. With that in mind, we recommend that you:

  • Don’t expect to be there this time next week – or month. This is a long-term issue, so be ready to commit
  • Prepare the groundwork to start preparing your music to be noticed despite not being signed up
  • Take the time to work at this slowly; getting into the big Spotify playlists takes time, effort and luck

With both mental and financial prep in place, what do you need to do?

Spotify Playlists: Getting Started

So, first off you need to actually have a Spotify account – that should be obvious. Start off by installing Spotify, creating an account and then log in. we recommend you do this on a desktop or laptop, rather than a mobile device. You get a better angle of the layout of the software and can use its features easier, too.

To start getting your tunes on Spotify, we recommend that you take a look at our previous article regarding CD Baby distribution on this platform. It’s a very easy solution and can get the solution that you need in place with a click of the fingers.

This can make a big difference when you are looking to get your music on Spotify; with over 100m listeners (and growing all the time) this is worth the time investment needed.

Now, you’ll need to get your Artist account set up and verified. You can message the Spotify customer support team to get more information on how to do this: they’ll give you all the information that you need.

Naturally, even as ‘only’ an independent hip hop artist, you should be looking to get yourself verified ASAP.

Essentially, getting on playlists is much easier to do if you have a verified profile. Also, add in the extra profile analysis and easy management of your profile, and it’s a must. Now that we have the groundwork put in place, how do we try to get you appearing on popular playlists?

Spotify Playlists: Approaching Curators

While there’s some excellent advice out there on how to build up your own playlists, we recommend that you take some time to look at trying to pitch yourself to curated playlists. Once you’ve done all of the above (and followed the advice on DIY playlist development above), try the following:

  • Show interest – Start off by actually following the playlist in question; think that sounds obvious? Many people skip this imperative part of the process.
  • Be specific – As an independent hip-hop artist, you want to be pitching to playlists that match your music genre. This can be quite varied so don’t discount stuff like workout music playlists; just make sure you fit in. Don’t start pitching to some rock playlist!
  • Create an impression – Don’t just message them and be all “hey wanna feature me lol” – play it cool. Follow them on social media, start talking with them and set a positive impression. Let them find out you are an artist by product of being interesting enough to make them read into your profile.
  • Slowly pitch – Once you feel there is a rapport and they appear to respond to comments you make with friendly candor and they show an interest in your music, then make the suggestion about potentially featuring you. Make it very brief and avoid either pestering people to try keep them on your good side, and don’t get snappy or rude if they reject you either.

Keep this in mind, and you should find that managing and getting visibility on Spotify playlists isn’t actually as hard as it might sound at first.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.