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Spotify

Being added to a Spotify editorial playlist may be the goal, but there are many factors that impact placement. A few things to remember:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media and its effects on securing you a spot on a Spotify curated playlist. What you do outside of Spotify matters.
  • Being added to smaller playlists is incredibly important in terms of increasing streams, saves, and finding a place on a larger playlist. You can create a Crosshair campaign to get your music in front of influencers of all sizes.
  • Creative partnerships with influencers on all social media platforms can help create honest buzz. Influencers have loyal followers who trust them. A collaboration, recommendation, or shout out from an influencer is invaluable. Create these online relationships.
  • Make sure to get your name and music out there- tour, make videos, get your music reviewed by blogs, or anything else you can to grow your fan base outside of the streaming platform. Social media and streaming are very interconnected. The momentum and buzz on social media and the Internet will drive playlist activity and streaming engagement within Spotify.

Below are some real-life examples, ranging in size, where social media and Spotify wins of all kinds helped songs find success they otherwise may not have found:

Black Beatles & the Mannequin Challenge

You probably remember the Mannequin Challenge. Whether you loved it or hated it, at the end of the day, you knew about it, and you could recognize the tune playing in the background after watching a few videos. It started out as a fun video created by a group of teenagers pretending to be frozen in time to rap duo Rae Sremmurd’s song “Black Beatles.” Ultimately, it became what made the difference between a decently popular song and an insanely successful track and cultural craze. The first Youtube video posted with the #MannequinChallenge hashtag was from October 26, 2016, and by November 3, 2016 the song was in Spotify’s Top 5 daily charts with over 32 million streams. Rae Sremmurd also made Spotify’s 20 under 20 list. Once the hashtag and video craze started spreading through Youtube, Instagram, and other social media channels with other people trying to replicate the #MannequinChallenge, the song skyrocketed on streaming platforms and social media. “Black Beatles” now has almost 500 million streams on Spotify. This wasn’t an intentional marketing technique created by Rae Sremmurd or their management – instead, the natural power of social media was what helped this song gain initial momentum on the charts. 
Following in the footsteps of “Black Beatles” was the song “Bad and Boujee” by hip-hop trio Migos. Released on August 27, 2016, this song found huge success after listeners picked up on its “meme-ability” or its ability to be made into humorous memes, jokes, tweets, plays on lyrics, etc. “Bad and Boujee” has a quotable chorus, which lent itself well to this new wave of social media hit-making. Ultimately, on January 9, 2017, “Bad and Boujee” actually knocked “Black Beatles” out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart. These two songs weren’t the first songs to find success through social media, and they certainly will not be the last. 


Prohaize

Prohaize, an independent artist from Atlanta, launched a Crosshair campaign for his song “Next Time.” Starting with few streams and monthly listeners, his song was sent to our influencers where he received some positive feedback from playlisters. He was added to a few Crosshair playlists, most of which could eventually be found under his “Discovered On” section on Spotify. As his song continued to be saved and added to these playlists, the Spotify Discover Weekly algorithm picked up on the fact that this was a song being discovered, and enjoyed, by other users. Within a few weeks, “Next Time” had made it onto multiple Discover Weekly playlists, and as more listeners began to save “Next Time” to their libraries, Spotify continued adding it to many more Discover Weeklys. Ultimately, it gained so much steam that it landed on the Spotify curated playlist “Fresh and Chill.” “Next Time” currently has almost 200,000 streams and Prohaize has almost 9,000 monthly listeners – a huge jump from where he started. Through small increments of success, starting with a few playlist adds and saves, leading up to being added to a Spotify curated playlist, Prohaize was able to build streams, find success on Spotify, and open up more opportunities for for his next single, “Why Me.”


Mitchell Rose

Independent pop artist Mitchell Rose has seen first hand the impact social media and playlist placements have had on his Spotify presence. Mitchell has not overlooked the importance of a strong social influencer presence. He teamed up with music producer and influencer Kurt Hugo Schneider to do a cover of Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away.” That video now has almost 2 million views, and his cover was placed on the Spotify playlist “This Is Kurt Hugo Schneider,” generating even more streams. Charlie Puth himself even saw the video and left a comment! Mitchell’s song “Famous” also hit Youtube by way of makeup Youtuber Laura Leth’s video, which has reached over 15,000 views. As each of these songs created buzz, Mitchell’s Spotify streams and monthly listeners increased. For example, his song “Candy,” released this year, now has over half a million streams and was added to 756,000 Discover Weekly playlists in five weeks – an impressive feat for an independent artist. Recently, he launched a Crosshair campaign for his latest song “Judy Blue” and was added to a couple of user curated playlists. He was also featured on the music blog Digital Tour Bus. As a result, Mitchell’s monthly listeners increased to over 300,000.  You can see in the graphic below how whenever a new song of his was released, there was a spike in listeners and a bigger audience each time. Through small steps such as minor playlist adds, listeners saving his songs, and blog and Youtube features, Mitchell has been able to cultivate a strong fan base that continues to grow. This success didn’t happen overnight, but rather as a result of strategic long term planning, and not underestimating the power of social media and small Spotify wins.



Click here to read Part 1 – Spotify Playlists: How are the made, and how do you get on one?
Click here to read Part 2 – Where Man Meets Machine
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Spotify
As mentioned previously, the ecosystem of music curation is a complex environment where man meets machine. In this expansive ecosystem, social media platforms- in their ever-changing nature- play quite a larger role than one might initially realize.  

Getting buzz on one platform can translate to success on other platforms and on a larger scale. For example, Billboard has the “Social 50” chart that ranks artists’ social popularity based on weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views and weekly song plays, as measured by Next Big Sound. Next Big Sound “crunches consumption data from social media and music-streaming sites, tracks buzz on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube, and collects private sales figures from clients and partners to inform its predictions.” Using metrics like these is becoming more common as music giants race to find the next undiscovered talent.

Learning how to perfectly blend manpower and technology to provide the best playlists for its users is currently one of Spotify’s main focuses. One of the tools that helps Spotify do that is the Echo Nest. Founded in 2005 and later acquired by Spotify in 2014, the Echo Nest is known for web crawling and data mining to determine what people want to listen to and make music suggestions. The software scans about 10 million posts a day on blogs, news sites, and social networks to see what music people are talking about. Using the data collected by Echo Nest, Spotify can then figure out what’s currently popular and what has the strong likelihood of finding success on a playlist – something Spotify closely monitors.

You may not have heard of Echo Nest before, but chances are you’ve definitely heard of Discover Weekly. Discover Weekly is a playlist custom made for each Spotify listener based on machine-made recommendations that take into account many factors including not just songs you’ve been listening to, but also songs your friends have been listening to. Discover Weekly helps to create new fans through machine-made recommendations. The more success (i.e. streams, saves, or additions to other playlists) that a song on a Discovery Weekly playlist has, the more Discover Weekly playlists it will end up on.

So how are these recommendations made? Spotify uses not one but three recommendation methods blended together to create the perfect, customized playlist for you. These methods are:


  1.     Collaborative Filteringthis analyzes your, your friends’, and others’ behaviors using implicit feedback by monitoring things like how many times you’ve played a song, if you’ve saved it, if you added it to a playlist, or if you visited the Artist page after, for example. This is why being added to playlists, even small playlists with few followers, is so important. (We’ve recently lowered our playlist follower requirement for influencers on Spotify to 200 followers with this fact in mind.)
  1.     Natural Language Processing – this analyzes text from news articles, blogs, and other text on the Internet.
  1.     Audio – this analyzes the raw audio tracks themselves. Although the first two methods provide plenty of data, this third method helps improve the accuracy, and more importantly, it takes into account new songs.

It’s important to highlight that, in regards particularly to collaborative filtering, being added to non-Spotify playlists, no matter the number of followers, is a key driving factor in capturing the attention of Spotify. If a Spotify playlist editor or algorithm notices a song naturally growing and being added to many playlists, odds are that song would resonate with other users. With our new follower requirement being 200 followers on Spotify playlists, we’ve increased our influencer pool along with the chances of landing your song on a playlist.

Once a song has successfully captured the attention of a Spotify algorithm, recommendation method, or a human curator and has finally landed a spot on a Spotify playlist, the editorial team pays close attention to different metrics such as skip rate, engagement rate, save rate, and playlist adds to determine if that song connected with the audience- if not, edits may be made. Spotify wants as close to a sure thing as it can get, while still providing undiscovered music for its users. That’s why it’s so important to those who oversee editorial playlists to notice if songs yet to be hits are generating buzz both on and off of streaming platforms.

If Spotify can secure a solid song on a playlist, they add value to their company by being a place where users can come to find new music curated for them, rather than being solely a streaming platform. By using social media and other playlists of various sizes, you can strengthen the case for your song and capture the attention of both Spotify’s curators and algorithms.


Read Part 3 to see the next steps you should take as well as some success stories!

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Spotify
A spot on a heavily followed playlist – especially a Spotify curated playlist – is highly coveted these days. After all, artists can expect to see a boost in streams of about 50 to 100% once they get onto a Spotify sponsored playlist. The question is: how do you get on one? To understand what goes into consideration during the playlist curation process, it’s important to know the different kinds of playlists Spotify has and how they are created:

  1.     100% Handcrafted Playlists – any Spotify user can make these, and they can be public or private

  2.      “Algotorial” Playlists – A Spotify created word that combines “algorithm” and “editorial.” Algorithm based suggestions are handpicked and filtered down into a smaller batch of songs by human curators.  Ex: Fresh Finds

  3.     Fully algorithm based playlists. Ex: Discover Weekly


Your music could end up on any of these kinds of playlists! Being added to 100% handcrafted playlists and having listeners save your song to their libraries can trigger Spotify’s algorithm to add you to their playlists (which is extremely important to note) but
there are other ways to attract the attention of Spotify that have nothing to do with playlists and everything to do with the broader ecosystem of music curation.

Our behavior is being closely watched by Spotify. Every time we stream a song, save it, add it to a playlist, or share it on social media, Spotify tracks that data to get insights about us to better tailor music to our taste and behavior. Not only is this data used to better tailor music for ourselves, the data is also used to see what music is popular on Spotify and around the Internet so it can be placed on other playlists and recommended to other users. It’s all interconnected.


From this data,
according to Spotify Senior Editor of Content Programming Austin Daboh, algorithms have been created and utilized to help see how people are consuming music, how they’re engaging in music, and how it’s spreading across different territories of the world. And, while Daboh admits he doesn’t think anything will ever beat hand-crafted human curation, given the number of subscribers and users Spotify has, this data driven help is necessary, often in partnership with hand crafted curation.

It’s all part of the ecosystem of music curation where man meets machine. Spotify is not a vacuum unto itself, and what tastemakers and algorithms have in common is both are searching the Internet and its many platforms to see what music consumers are talking about. Getting mentions on various social media platforms is something artists must take advantage of, especially if the goal is to get on Spotify curated playlists.


Check out Part 2 to see what happens when man and machine combine to find the best music recommendations.

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Spotify
We are excited to introduce our new Crosshair Elite Influencer Program! Each month, starting November 1st, 20 of the most engaged influencers will receive special perks as a thank you for their engagement with our artists! These influencers have been selected because they are the most involved, the most passionate about working with musicians and the most excited about promoting undiscovered music.
 
At the end of each month, these influencers will be re-evaluated on criteria listed below to either renew their Elite status, or have their spot open up for another influencer! Any influencer can become an Elite Influencer, so if you don’t meet this criteria currently, that doesn’t mean you won’t during a different month!

What can Elite status get you?

  • 3 times your current pay
  • Unique affiliate link to earn revenue share from Crosshair when you send artists to us
  • Perks from artists (tickets, merchandising, swag, etc.)
  • Recognition on a chart that will be shared with the Crosshair community and with our publication partners. This is to grow your channel subscribers.
  • Social media shout-outs from our partners
  • Marketing packages for growing your channel from our marketing partner, Gyrosity Projects
  • Hands-on coordination between you and the artist to get the most co-promotion possible
  • Perks from other associated companies

How can you become an Elite Influencer?

  • Review all your campaigns within 4 weeks
  • Leave strong feedback
-DON’T: Copy and paste the same message, leave one word comments, simply say “this is not good for my playlist” (why isn’t it?)
-DO: Leave thoughtful or helpful feedback, explain your decision to add or not add a song to your channel, comment on quality of production, voice, sound, rhythm, lyrics, etc.)
  • Respond to messages from artists
-Check your inbox regularly
-Message the artist back within 48 hours

These 20 Crosshair Elite spots will be updated monthly, and current Elite Influencers can maintain their status by continuing to meet the requirements.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
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Spotify

Recently AWAL wrote an article titled, “4 Secrets to Closing More Playlist Pitches”. Inside this article they talk about how to appeal to playlist curators and increase your chances of placement . The discussed methods include vamping up artist social followings, optimizing streaming accounts, and linking content in order to help Spotify algorithms find your music. 


The article is insightful in many ways and the strategies put forth by AWAL are strategies that Crosshair Music puts into place every day. Crosshair is a tool for submitting your songs for usage to digital influencers, such as Spotify playlisters, YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. 



Utilizing A Social Buzz


Social media and streaming platforms are complimentary and should be used in tandem to increase your fan following. Artist accounts and profiles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are great to direct your fans to your streaming profiles. 


Having an active social media strategy is more than a great idea, it’s a necessity in today’s music industry. It keeps your existing fans primed for music releases and allows them to share content to their extended networks. 


One unique benefit to using the Crosshair Music platform is that it offers it’s artists the ability to pitch music to social media influencers, music supervisors, and bloggers in addition to playlist curators. Coordinating an influencer marketing campaign on Crosshair is simple and can help generate fresh, shareable content, exposing your music to a whole new group of potential fans and followers.


Developing artists may not have a massive budget for radio, a PR campaign, or the traditional marketing tools, so developing your social media presence is extremely important. Along with press highlights, more people following your social media profiles indicates to streaming services that your music is solid and deserves attention.


Like mentioned in the AWAL article above, this can also sway a playlist curator to get onboard and promote your song. 


Social influencers on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can create content and directly link followers to your streaming profiles. Influencer marketing is a strategy that has been adopted by brands throughout these platforms and can grant needed exposure to artists that capitalize on the opportunity.



Understanding Playlists


In order to understand how Spotify’s algorithm can promote your music, you’ve got to first understand the two categories of playlists. One category is the Editorial Playlists and the other is User-Generated. 


The editorial lists are those curated by Spotify staff members, major label partners, blogs, or brands. They are highly followed and typically featured favorably on the platform when users search for new music. Most of these playlist curators are unaccessible and, on top of that, extremely selective of the music they add.


The other group of playlists are referred to as User Generated Playlists. These lists have been created by users of Spotify. They have amassed a large following based on the mix of music or mood as well as the engagement of their listeners.  These playlists typically have between 1 and 150,000 followers and vary in terms of engagement. 



Algorithm Exposure


While the Spotify editorial playlists can drive thousands of streams and monthly listeners to your song in a very short amount of time, the playlist adds are rare to come by without the proper network in place. 


User generated playlists work hand-in-hand with Spotify’s discovery algorithms to help recommend your music to listeners with a similar tasted in music. 


The Discover Weekly playlist for example, has the ability to drive as many streams as an editorial playlist. Each user gets a fresh Discover Weekly playlist each week and it is determined by which songs you listen to or skip, and which user playlists you follow. In short, this means the more User-Generated Playlist adds an artist can secure the more a song is exposed to similar users who are likely to not skip the song. 


There are two types of algorithmic playlists that are getting traction on Spotify and driving tremendous music discovery for developing artists. The first is Discover Weekly, a weekly playlist delivered to every subscriber on Spotify that looks at your playlist collection as well as users with similar listening habits and generates a playlist of music that is primarily of developing artists. Release Radar and Your Daily Mix function similarly. Since rolling out, more and more people are discovering new music of developing artists and adding them to their own playlist.

The other type of algorithmic playlist is the Fresh Finds playlists, which scours the internet for music shared on social media, in music blogs, and on non-Spotify owned “tastemaker” playlists. Tastemakers are playlisters with a high number of followers whose playlists have low skip rates (well curated!) and highly shared, and thus is a trusted source for new emerging music.


Lucky for independent artists looking for Spotify promotions, Crosshair Music has done a great job of partnering with hundreds of User-Generated Playlist curators to help us promote the best indie music. Through our platform, we put your music into the ears of playlisters and influencers that want to promote the next wave of great musicians. Check out our website at www.crosshairmusic.com and give your music a true audience. 

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Spotify

Trying to promote music online through Spotify to no avail?

Playlists are the key to your streaming success. 


There are two types of playlists that are found on Spotify. On one hand you will see user generated playlists. Individual users create these playlists for different genres and moods. On the other hand lie the Spotify curators playlists. These are created by an editorial team that Spotify employs. Take a look at how Spotify determines their Discover Weekly playlists.

Getting your music featured on enough user generated playlists is a great way to get your music noticed by Spotify! According to recent RECODE article, “Spotify has more than than two billion playlists, most of them created by Spotify’s users. But the service also features a handful of prominently featured playlists, which can help lift a song, and the artist behind it, from obscurity.” 

This is what being on a big-deal Spotify playlist looks like, in chart form: Here’s performance data for five independent artists — Guordan Banks, Michael Brun, Elohim, R3hab and Verite — after getting a push from Spotify playlists like “New Music Friday.”These artists generally see a boost of 50 percent to 100 percent once they get on Spotify-sponsored playlists; even after those spikes wear off, the artists often see a 20 percent increase in their streams.







Help playlisters find your music.

Unfortunately, not every artist gets the nod from Spotify to be on a curated playlist. From this point the best strategy to replicate these results is to get on user generated playlists. Therefore, the best way to promote your music online to these people is through our service Crosshair music. Crosshair is a web application to connect artists and playlists to promote music online through Spotify.

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Spotify

Playlist Curators vs. Discover Weekly Playlists

To understand how Spotify generates Discover Weekly playlists is difficult. However, as a curator it’s important to know that Spotify is already recommending songs to its users, so you can curate your playlist to do this differently.  Here is a great article that dives deep into the formula behind Spotify’s custom playlists. 

For anyone who is not going to read all that information, basically Spotify takes the music that a user listens to and creates a “taste profile”. It then finds all the user generated playlists with at least two of the same songs. After computing through all the playlists, Spotify finds any song that the user has never listened to. If that song matches the users taste profile, it gets added to a list that becomes the Discover Weekly playlist. 

Where do Spotify Discover Weekly playlists fall short for curators?

There is nothing wrong with the Discover Weekly playlist and the music it provides. It’s a quick and easy way for users to find new songs they may like. Although, we think you as a playlist curator can do even more for your followers by digging deeper. It’s no secret your followers want to hear new music alongside songs they’re already familiar with. So why deliver the same music that an algorithm-based or record label-owned playlist can deliver? Bring them relevant new music they’ve never heard before. 

The real advantage over Spotify is in positioning. Position your playlist where the Discover Weekly playlists falls short: undiscovered music. Their algorithms won’t recognize good songs that haven’t been added to tons of other user playlists, but you can. Music that hits the Discover Weekly playlist is already out in front of listeners and already added to user playlists regularly. Using Crosshair you can add the music living in the Spotify “underground”.   

 

Crosshair is Discover Weekly for your entire playlist.

As a curator you can use Crosshair to stand out and provide something unique to your followers, while also keeping your playlist authentic and growing.  The chance to add undiscovered music to your playlist is valuable, yet finding which music and artists are right for your following is challenging. 

Crosshair is going to be a tool for you to find the best new music for your specific playlist. Once on the platform, we analyze information from your playlist’s data. Using this information we find the artists whose music appeals to a similar audience base. When we find the songs you want, we send them to your influencer profile on the Crosshair platform. 

For listening to 20 seconds of these songs and answering a few questions for the creator of the song, you get paid by us. When you hear a song that is perfect for your playlist, we connect you straight to the artist to discuss promoting each other. 

Use the Crosshair platform and you get paid to discover and support artists who you believe in and truly need the help. Think of Crosshair Music as the Discover Weekly playlist where your entire playlist makes up the taste profile. You will find tons of relevant music for your followers to help keep your playlist fresh and growing.




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Spotify

Adding undiscovered artists to your Spotify playlist.


Discovering an undiscovered artists music (before anyone else) is a gratifying experience for any music lover. It’s so popular among listeners that Spotify has managed to grow their Fresh Finds playlist from under 100,000 followers to 399,000 followers. They’ve been using just this concept of adding what people haven’t heard yet. The playlist titled “Fresh Finds” has music crossing multiple genres. It features only the artists picking up steam in the streaming world. This can be a worthwhile strategy for growing your public playlists. The key here is trying to decipher which artists are on the rise and which are not. Therefore, you should be finding those artists who are actively growing their listener base. 


Which undiscovered music is right for your playlist?


Adding the music of an undiscovered artist to your playlist can be a risk. As a curator, all you have are the songs you pick to represent your playlist and your brand. How do you find songs that align with what your following will want to listen to? While you can’t predict what each individual user will like or dislike, using Crosshair you can discover new artists that bring value to your playlists.


Here’s how:


Crosshair Music, using your playlist’s data, analyzes your existing playlist. Based on which songs you’ve already chosen to add, we determine the demographic of users most likely follow your playlist. For artists we build the same audience profile based off of their existing music and audience. 


When there is an audience overlap, it means there is potential for an artist’s song to be received favorably by your followers. Crosshair will send you the songs that have this overlap directly to your Crosshair Influencer profile. Here you listen for the songs you like and the artists you believe in to add to your playlist. 


Curators like yourself will use Crosshair to discover the music that keeps their playlist fresh and current, while also getting paid along the way to review songs. Check it out.

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