Spotify Created Playlists - What are They and How to Get on Them?

Updated: Mar 18

Kobra artist Pretty Pale can be found on three official Spotify curated playlists as well as on multiple Spotify's algorithmic playlists.

Pretty Pale’s latest release Voices was placed on Spotify’s editor made playlists “New Blood” and “Metal from Finland”. Their previous release was listed on “Rock Isn’t Dead”. These lists amount to a total of 60 000 followers consisting of specifically rock listeners. It is no wonder that these kinds of playlists are highly sought for. A common question tossed around in the music circles is: How to get your music on official Spotify curated playlists? Simple. Impress the person who makes them.

Who are the Spotify playlist editors and what makes them tick?

Spotify playlist editors/curators are people who work directly for Spotify. Their main focus is creating playlists and adding songs to them with an objective of growth. It is obvious that Spotify wants to increase their numbers and one way to do this is by offering well curated genre or style specific playlists for their listeners. Spotify is a business and listeners are their clients. Your music is their product and they’ll only push it if it is really good. Your product doesn’t only consist of audio. It consists of your image, your following on social media, your fanbase, engagement and much more. In fact, your whole musical career is your product.

Editors will focus on the music. If it’s really good, they might playlist it, but keep in mind all the other contributing factors. For instance, your profile on Spotify. Make sure you have your cover image, profile image, bio, social links and everything else uploaded to your Spotify for Artists. Editors value this and it will increase your chances of getting listed. Also, make sure your social media is on point and aim to release music on a regular basis. Roughly a month between releases is good.

How do the algorithmic playlists work?

The other type of playlists offered by Spotify are the algorithmic playlists. These playlists are computer generated and are based on the streaming data Spotify collects from your streams. The algorithm isn’t public information, but it is designed to work in the same way as any other algorithm used in the various social media channels. The algorithms objective is to identify content (music) that is well received, and people find valuable.

If, for instance, the ten first listeners of your newly released song stream the song from beginning to end, play it on repeat and even add it to their own playlists, that is a sign of people enjoying the content. The algorithm will then push it to more people and if the same pattern emerges, it will push it out even more. If the content is skipped a lot and the amount of engagement is low, the algorithm will interpret the content as not that good.

Independently curated playlists. Should I pay for them?

Sometimes artists pay independent playlist curators to feature music on playlists. This can look good and bring you some streams, but it can sometimes be very bad for the algorithm. Let’s say you pay a large amount of money and your music gets featured on a huge playlist with a million followers. Great news right!? Well… not necessarily.

If the majority of the playlists listeners are mostly, let’s say, EDM fans (most of the followers will most likely be inactive e-mail subscribers forced to follow the list) and you get a rock song listed on the playlist, that can have a bad effect on the algorithms interpretation of the streaming data. When the EDM fans hear your rock song, there is a high likelihood that they will skip the song during the first 10 seconds. This will look bad from the perspective of the algorithm. It will interpret your song as bad, because people are skipping your song.


Always aim to get playlisted on genre or style specific playlists, because this will also work in favour of the algorithm and the algorithmic playlists are the ones you will want to be placed on, because they have the potential of blowing up your music. Spotify official playlists are good, but unless you get your music placed on a playlist as big as “Rap Caviar”, don’t except for a mind-boggling stream count. Playlists usually return a streaming amount of somewhere around 1% of the total playlist follower count in a week.

So, a playlist with 100 000 followers might bring you a 1000 streams per week and you’ll only stay on the list for a month or two. Whereas Spotify’s algorithmic playlists such as “Your Release Radar” and “Your Discover Weekly” could potentially bring a million streams per week, if you have a good product. When advancing your music career and while looking for playlist placements always keep in mind that everything counts, because everything is connected. A great artist image and great music results in engaged fans, which leads to more fans, which leads to more engaged streams, which leads to playlisting.

Spotify for Artists

If you have a Spotify for Artists account, which is easy to get if you have music on Spotify, you can pitch music to curators through the platform. Make sure you set your release date roughly a month in the future and pitch your music at least two weeks before release to make sure that it will be noticed by the editors. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get playlisted right away. Keep releasing and pitching your music regularly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know…

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