Posted: Jul 26, 2021
**Guest post by Vince Martellacci of ForgeCollective.
"Wondering how to get your music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, or Soundcloud playlists? All you really need is a little patience, innovation, and to trust the basics. There are three main ways musicians can go about getting their music on playlists, ranging from old school to modern. But they all work. They are: email outreach, digital submissions, and social media relationship-building. You can use one or all of them, but that approach only works if you inform yourself of which one is right. Everyone has their own preferred method of contact, so mine that from their website. Because of this, social media outreach is the safest bet. It is the most modern, so people are less burnt out on direct contact there. But all three have their place, and all three work.
Email is going the way of cold-calling. But playlisters still accept submissions there, so don’t miss out. You can mitigate email burn-out on the part of the playlister (many get 200+ submissions a week) by keeping your email short while sparing no detail. It helps to state the genre, similar artists, a 3-sentence bio, and then include some links and send.
Email is where research will really help you. You can personalize your pitch to the blog once you know what type of content and types of artists they feature. Every email should be a personal email. People can often tell if you BCC.
How do you get emails to reach out to? You can buy a list of playlisters or find one with an in-depth Google search. Or, do a deep dive. With the combination of websites like Feedspot and Hypemachine, you can get the websites of hundreds of playlisters. Combine that with a tool like Hunter, a chrome extension that can find everyone’s email related to a given website, and you can build a custom list of the best fits.
You’ve probably heard of Submithub and know the process for putting your music out there through submission sites like it. I’ve got to start by telling you that the most important submission sites are the submission pages on a playlist’s website. That’s as direct a line as you can get, and it’s free. These sites will never see an email if you send one, so research is important here too. It takes about twelve seconds to see if a playlist has a submission page
A submission site basically streamlines the process of submitting your music and provides added certainty that your music will get heard. Submithub is the gold standard, but you run the risk of getting on smaller playlists. Playlister.club will get you on a lot of playlists, but they’ll have a bunch of followers with few active listeners, so there’s a lot to consider when picking your submission portal.
My favorite is Droptrack. It’s one of the most reasonably priced, and even gives you the option to do a free submission instead of a paid, guaranteed listen. Most importantly, the playlists on it’s roster are active with a high enough volume to make it worth your while. Runners up are Groover and Musosoup.
You probably thought I was going to talk about TikTok, but I want to start off with LinkedIn. Someone with a real playlist is a true professional, and they will be so open to you reaching out to them over LinkedIn messages. They respect that method of outreach. You can cut the line--they’ll often share a direct email address or open their DMs to your links. LinkedIn is truly social and it will allow you to build relationships with these playlisters.
Over on Instagram, you can find a wealth of podcasters, youtubers, and of course, playlisters. Their search function includes keywords as of this year, so you can type “playlisters” and DM for days. If email is the new cold-calling, social is the new email. They will be uniformly happy to hear from you, which is hard to replicate anywhere.
I’m not saying to pick one of these and double down. All three together make a complete strategy. Email will open you up to bigger and better metrics than a submission site. A submission will give you more control than social, which will usually net overall better results on average. I can admit that you absolutely can pick just one if you need less on your plate. But all three together create a perfect storm of exposure.
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