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How to Trigger the Spotify Algorithm

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

For many up-and-coming bands and artists, being placed on an influential Spotify playlist can be substantially beneficial to growing their career. Besides using Spotify ads and playlist promotional services, another way to be get noticed on Spotify, is through its algorithm playlists.

These playlists uses Spotify’s algorithm to create playlists based on various bits of data. Their artificial intelligence system known as BART (Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments), analyses users listening habits. Its main aim is to keep users listening as much as possible. While these algorithm playlists include music listeners are familiar with, BART also includes new music into user’s playlists such as ‘Rel

ease Radar’, ‘Daily Mix’, and ’Discover Weekly’.

For new music acts, algorithm playlists are a great way of increasing your chances of getting your music heard, and hopefully saved by users, on Spotify. But how can your music be included in Spotify’s algorithm? (natural language processing).

Drive Streams and Get Noticed

To have a chance of appearing on an algorithm playlist, you’ll need to make Spotify aware of who you are. In short, this means pushing people to stream your music on Spotify. This can be done through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Using music marketing services to pitch your music to websites, magazines, blogs and editorial playlists. You could also combine both of these by using paid for ad’s across social media, targeting potential fans.

Just like any product, you need to market yourself to the right audience. So it’s important to push your music to potential listeners who are likely to enjoy your music, and save it on Spotify. When a song receives plenty of streams, is saved, or added to a user’s own playlist, Spotify’s algorithm takes notice of its increase in popularity.

Regularly Releasing Music

With so many artists and bands out there, it is difficult to capture listener’s attention. One method of maintaining this (and growing it), is by releasing music regularly. The more music you have out there being released and listened to, the more likelihood you’ll be noticed by the algorithm, and Spotify’s own Editorial playlists.

Pitch Directly to Spotify’s Editorial Playlists

Spotify has a host of music experts and genre specialists who curate Editorial Playlists. These can vary in theme from genre/style, mood, activity, time period, or topic.

The Spotify for Artists service allows acts to pitch their upcoming release to Editorial playlist curators. Their pitching tool gives you the opportunity to persuade curators to include your unreleased music on a playlist.

The information you have to include consist of the track’s main genre, related sub-genres, the mood and style of the track, and a location where the track is likely to be popular. For the latter, using analytical data from your social media platforms would be useful to find out where your biggest audience is from.

Additionally, you can go into great detail about the song; its influence, what it is about, why editors should consider it for playlist inclusion and more. This is where you can use yourmusic marketing brain.

It’s important to note that you can only submit one unreleased song. So if you have an album or EP scheduled for release, picking the right song to pitch is vital. However, curators may pick another song from your album or EP for inclusion.

You can pitch your song right up to its release day, and the earlier you send your pitch, the more likelihood it will be considered for an Editorial playlist. However, it is not guaranteed your music will be included.

Quality of Listener Habits and Playlist Inclusion

When BART is searching for music to include in algorithm playlists, it analyses a tracks mood, style, and/or genre, listening time, skip rate, and playlist inclusion. The quality of these four factors are considered to be key towards being noticed in Spotify’s algorithm.

If your new track doesn’t get skipped, is listened to more than 30 seconds, is added to plenty of editorial and user’s own playlists, and matches a particular style or mood, then the likelihood of appearing on an algorithmic playlist are higher.

The quality of the playlist you’re included on is also a factor. If a playlist has a large number of followers with plenty of engagement and visibility, the quality of that playlist will be high. These playlist can be created by listener’s or curated by notable music publications/blogs and commercial brands.

Tracking Spotify Data

Although you can externally target your music to a specific audience, tracking who and when your music is being listened to within Spotify can be difficult. Spotify for Artists is a great tool for acts to promote your music and grow your popularity, even if it is slightly limited in providing performance data.

While the Spotify For Artists dashboard does show you the amount of streams, listeners and saves your track has had, it doesn’t provide a day-by-day breakdown. More importantly, it doesn’t calculate the vital metrics the Spotify algorithm is looking for; save rate and listen rate.

Thankfully, Best Friends Club offer an ideal solution to this by creating a manual Spotify stream tracker spreadsheet.

Conclusion How to Trigger the Spotify Algorithm

Triggering the Spotify algorithm is possible, but only if you’re able to put in the time and effort.

  • Market your music however possible; social media, paid for ads, PR agency, music video.

  • Drive traffic to your music.

  • Know your audience.

  • Be consistent when pushing traffic and releasing music.

  • Think on your Spotify users and audience

If you’re successful at triggering the algorithm, it’s important to keep doing what you’ve been doing, even upscale your marketing efforts.


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