Tom DuPree III icon
Tom DuPree III icon

The benefits of promoting your own playlist on Spotify

Jul 9, 2024

The benefits of promoting your own playlist on Spotify

Jul 9, 2024

The benefits of promoting your own playlist on Spotify

Jul 9, 2024

There are multiple upsides to building and marketing your own playlist on Spotify. 

Now, I have gone on record in sharing my opinion about pitching to third-party playlists on Spotify. 

In short, I think it’s a big waste of time, energy, and, potentially, money. 

But before we dive into this, let me be clear in saying that this is not that. 

This is something different. 

Building and owning your own playlist (or even a network of playlists) on Spotify can be a huge unlock for independent artists, especially those frequently releasing new music. 


Owning vs. renting 

Ownership is always the best path forward. 

At least in my book. 

When pitching to user-generated playlists, we’re only renting an audience. 

And honestly, the same is the case with editorial playlists. 

Curators (or Spotify) can pull a song at any time, and once our track is out of rotation, there’s no guarantee we’ll find success with the next pitch. 

When we create our own playlist, however, we own that distribution forever, and as the playlist grows, so too does the reach for every new song we release. 

And our old stuff too. 

With complete power over the track listing, we can place new songs at the top of the list and sprinkle in our other work down the order depending on our goals. 

If we have a few winning tracks and we want to keep the momentum going, we can push those toward the top. 

If we want to increase the efficacy of our entire catalog of music, we can do that too. 

And what’s cool about this is that a simple ad campaign that directs to the playlist (instead of a song or our profile) will continue to build the listenership for this playlist and expose our music to a wider audience over time. 


Hedging our bets

The fastest way to get traction for a new song is to run an ad campaign that sends traffic directly to the track. 

This causes the song to autoplay when listeners land on Spotify and will, in theory, drive up streams relatively quickly, which can lead to increased exposure for Spotify’s algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly. 

However, not every release campaign goes to plan. 

In fact, a lot of them don’t. 

But rather than be disheartened by a lack of results for a song we worked so hard on, we can, instead, use our own playlist to hedge our bets and guarantee at least some results even if our release campaign isn’t a winner. 

By using a winning ad strategy that has proven historically effective at driving new listeners to our playlist (and placing our new song at the very top of the order), we can sort of “bypass” the release campaign and build in more streams for new material by increasing our playlist campaign budget when the occasion calls for it. 

And if things go perfectly with our release campaign, we can still place that new song at the top of our playlist and “double dip” to drive more streams even faster. 


A case for “the algorithm”

Of course, building your own playlist isn’t just about generating streams. 

There are long-tail algorithmic benefits too. 

Spotify’s recommendation engine is built upon historical user behavior. 

It looks at who is listening to which track, which artist, and which playlists to serve up better musical recommendations for listeners in the future. 

This means we can use our playlists to sort of “educate” Spotify in serving up our music to the right people and alongside the proper artists and songs. 

We can do this by curating a playlist of our music that is also filled with songs and artists we want our work to be associated with. 

If we can do that (and drive enough traffic to it), Spotify will see this listener behavior as an indication that these songs and artists are getting consumed by the same people and then recommend our music to fans of those artists (and others) who might not yet have heard of us. 

We can sort of “game” the algorithm in a sense. 

Now, just like working to earn followers and catalog streams, building a playlist takes time and work, whether you’re running ads or not. 

But curating and marketing your own artist playlist can be an effective way to bolster your artist growth further and build in some long-term attention at the same time. 

Good stuff. 

There are multiple upsides to building and marketing your own playlist on Spotify. 

Now, I have gone on record in sharing my opinion about pitching to third-party playlists on Spotify. 

In short, I think it’s a big waste of time, energy, and, potentially, money. 

But before we dive into this, let me be clear in saying that this is not that. 

This is something different. 

Building and owning your own playlist (or even a network of playlists) on Spotify can be a huge unlock for independent artists, especially those frequently releasing new music. 


Owning vs. renting 

Ownership is always the best path forward. 

At least in my book. 

When pitching to user-generated playlists, we’re only renting an audience. 

And honestly, the same is the case with editorial playlists. 

Curators (or Spotify) can pull a song at any time, and once our track is out of rotation, there’s no guarantee we’ll find success with the next pitch. 

When we create our own playlist, however, we own that distribution forever, and as the playlist grows, so too does the reach for every new song we release. 

And our old stuff too. 

With complete power over the track listing, we can place new songs at the top of the list and sprinkle in our other work down the order depending on our goals. 

If we have a few winning tracks and we want to keep the momentum going, we can push those toward the top. 

If we want to increase the efficacy of our entire catalog of music, we can do that too. 

And what’s cool about this is that a simple ad campaign that directs to the playlist (instead of a song or our profile) will continue to build the listenership for this playlist and expose our music to a wider audience over time. 


Hedging our bets

The fastest way to get traction for a new song is to run an ad campaign that sends traffic directly to the track. 

This causes the song to autoplay when listeners land on Spotify and will, in theory, drive up streams relatively quickly, which can lead to increased exposure for Spotify’s algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly. 

However, not every release campaign goes to plan. 

In fact, a lot of them don’t. 

But rather than be disheartened by a lack of results for a song we worked so hard on, we can, instead, use our own playlist to hedge our bets and guarantee at least some results even if our release campaign isn’t a winner. 

By using a winning ad strategy that has proven historically effective at driving new listeners to our playlist (and placing our new song at the very top of the order), we can sort of “bypass” the release campaign and build in more streams for new material by increasing our playlist campaign budget when the occasion calls for it. 

And if things go perfectly with our release campaign, we can still place that new song at the top of our playlist and “double dip” to drive more streams even faster. 


A case for “the algorithm”

Of course, building your own playlist isn’t just about generating streams. 

There are long-tail algorithmic benefits too. 

Spotify’s recommendation engine is built upon historical user behavior. 

It looks at who is listening to which track, which artist, and which playlists to serve up better musical recommendations for listeners in the future. 

This means we can use our playlists to sort of “educate” Spotify in serving up our music to the right people and alongside the proper artists and songs. 

We can do this by curating a playlist of our music that is also filled with songs and artists we want our work to be associated with. 

If we can do that (and drive enough traffic to it), Spotify will see this listener behavior as an indication that these songs and artists are getting consumed by the same people and then recommend our music to fans of those artists (and others) who might not yet have heard of us. 

We can sort of “game” the algorithm in a sense. 

Now, just like working to earn followers and catalog streams, building a playlist takes time and work, whether you’re running ads or not. 

But curating and marketing your own artist playlist can be an effective way to bolster your artist growth further and build in some long-term attention at the same time. 

Good stuff. 

There are multiple upsides to building and marketing your own playlist on Spotify. 

Now, I have gone on record in sharing my opinion about pitching to third-party playlists on Spotify. 

In short, I think it’s a big waste of time, energy, and, potentially, money. 

But before we dive into this, let me be clear in saying that this is not that. 

This is something different. 

Building and owning your own playlist (or even a network of playlists) on Spotify can be a huge unlock for independent artists, especially those frequently releasing new music. 


Owning vs. renting 

Ownership is always the best path forward. 

At least in my book. 

When pitching to user-generated playlists, we’re only renting an audience. 

And honestly, the same is the case with editorial playlists. 

Curators (or Spotify) can pull a song at any time, and once our track is out of rotation, there’s no guarantee we’ll find success with the next pitch. 

When we create our own playlist, however, we own that distribution forever, and as the playlist grows, so too does the reach for every new song we release. 

And our old stuff too. 

With complete power over the track listing, we can place new songs at the top of the list and sprinkle in our other work down the order depending on our goals. 

If we have a few winning tracks and we want to keep the momentum going, we can push those toward the top. 

If we want to increase the efficacy of our entire catalog of music, we can do that too. 

And what’s cool about this is that a simple ad campaign that directs to the playlist (instead of a song or our profile) will continue to build the listenership for this playlist and expose our music to a wider audience over time. 


Hedging our bets

The fastest way to get traction for a new song is to run an ad campaign that sends traffic directly to the track. 

This causes the song to autoplay when listeners land on Spotify and will, in theory, drive up streams relatively quickly, which can lead to increased exposure for Spotify’s algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly. 

However, not every release campaign goes to plan. 

In fact, a lot of them don’t. 

But rather than be disheartened by a lack of results for a song we worked so hard on, we can, instead, use our own playlist to hedge our bets and guarantee at least some results even if our release campaign isn’t a winner. 

By using a winning ad strategy that has proven historically effective at driving new listeners to our playlist (and placing our new song at the very top of the order), we can sort of “bypass” the release campaign and build in more streams for new material by increasing our playlist campaign budget when the occasion calls for it. 

And if things go perfectly with our release campaign, we can still place that new song at the top of our playlist and “double dip” to drive more streams even faster. 


A case for “the algorithm”

Of course, building your own playlist isn’t just about generating streams. 

There are long-tail algorithmic benefits too. 

Spotify’s recommendation engine is built upon historical user behavior. 

It looks at who is listening to which track, which artist, and which playlists to serve up better musical recommendations for listeners in the future. 

This means we can use our playlists to sort of “educate” Spotify in serving up our music to the right people and alongside the proper artists and songs. 

We can do this by curating a playlist of our music that is also filled with songs and artists we want our work to be associated with. 

If we can do that (and drive enough traffic to it), Spotify will see this listener behavior as an indication that these songs and artists are getting consumed by the same people and then recommend our music to fans of those artists (and others) who might not yet have heard of us. 

We can sort of “game” the algorithm in a sense. 

Now, just like working to earn followers and catalog streams, building a playlist takes time and work, whether you’re running ads or not. 

But curating and marketing your own artist playlist can be an effective way to bolster your artist growth further and build in some long-term attention at the same time. 

Good stuff. 

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Subscribe to the Newsletter: Join our growing network of artists, creators, and entrepreneurs by receiving The One Thing directly to your inbox every week.

  1. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.

  1. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.

  1. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Subscribe to the Newsletter: Join our growing network of artists, creators, and entrepreneurs by receiving The One Thing directly to your inbox every week.

  1. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.

  1. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.

  1. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Subscribe to the Newsletter: Join our growing network of artists, creators, and entrepreneurs by receiving The One Thing directly to your inbox every week.

  1. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.

  1. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.

  1. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

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Subscribe to The One Thing and receive one thing to help you improve your marketing and expand your audience—delivered every Tuesday.