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How to grow a Spotify playlist

Updated: Nov 28, 2021

1. Decide what kind of music is going to be on your playlist. All the songs should have matching energy and mood which means adding songs that are similar tempo and not too different from one another. Having a playlist that is more than a few hours also tends to overwhelm people. I recommend no longer than five hours of music. It's ok to have older songs on your playlist as long as all the songs aren't from one small chunk of time, for example, a playlist with songs only from 2015 is going to seem dated and possibly played out.

2. Decide on a searchable title. Search for your playlist name to see if there are any playlists with that name already. If there are only a few playlists with the same name it will be easier for people to find your playlist by searching. Inspiration for a title could come from an unexpected genre, inspiring artwork, activities (i.e. camping, workout, beach day) - a title could even come from a mood like sad or happy. Playlist art that matches will help people remember your playlist name. Phonto is one of many apps where you can type the playlist name onto the artwork.

2. Write a good description. Descriptions on Spotify work just like keywords or hashtags do; if you include the playlist genre or names of the artists your featuring then people that search for those words have a chance of seeing your playlist.

3. Change your username. On the home page in the upper right hand corner is the settings icon. At the top of the settings page you can click 'View Profile'. On this page you can edit your profile photo and username. Again, it helps to have a searchable and memorable username that is easy to type, it could even be your real name or artist name.

4. Make sure your playlist is public. If you don't see the new playlist appear on your profile you'll need to change some settings; there is a button that is three dots, click on the three dots to make your playlist public. Also click 'Add to profile' if that has not been done either. Any playlists that you don't want on your profile click 'Remove from profile'

5. Hide recently played artists from your profile. On the home tab return to settings once again, click 'Social' here you can hide recently played artists. This is beneficial if you want people to only see your playlists when they look at your profile.

6. Share your playlist/profile. Click the three dots on either your profile page or playlist and click 'share' now you can send your link to friends, family and all over the internet. Reddit has groups dedicated to creating and sharing playlists. r/makemeaplaylist is one of my favorite Reddits. Facebook has groups for Spotify playlists as well but they also have a lot of groups dedicated to fanning over specific artists and entire music genres; these interest groups is where you can meet people that will be potential fans for your playlist because they already like the same music as you. Spotify launched a music exchange where you can share your playlist and join topics that have been started in the community.

7. Stay Active and stream your own playlist often. The Spotify Algorithm knows how active a playlist is. The app uses this information to determine how often it shows your playlist. Spotify doesn't make suggestions for users simply because the playlist has a lot of followers but rather they use listening activity and curator activity to determine how active a playlist is which means streaming your own playlist and updating it often is going to get the algorithm's attention. With just a few more friends and fans streaming, Spotify will start spreading your playlist like wildfire and displaying it anytime people search for words that are in your playlist title or even the description.

8. Add new and upcoming artists to your playlist. Artists that are really popular get a lot of streams from editorial placements but artists that are less popular rely heavily on user generated playlists. The playlists that are giving artists the most streams shows up on the artist's profile with a feature called 'discovered on' and if you can be the curator to give brand new artists the most streams your playlist is going to be displayed on all those artist profiles. Most artists are thrilled to hear they have been added to a playlist even if the playlist is small and even if the artist seems popular; I've told some of my biggest musical heroes that their song is featured on my playlist and I've actually gotten many positive responses back.

9. Accept submissions. As your playlist grows you may get inquiries from artists that want to be on your playlist. You can even join websites like dailyplaylists, soundplate, or tunemunk; these websites host curators who want to receive submissions, the artist can submit their song in exchange for following the playlist. It's good to consider all songs and the ones that fit your playlist because you can ask those artists if they would share or listen to the playlist to support back, I've also had many artists voluntarily add my playlist to their featured playlist section of their profile simply because I had added their song.

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