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Spotify Playlist Promotion vs Spotify Ads

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

In years gone by, if an artist wanted their music to be heard they would heavily lean on radio airplay, and later music vides. While these are still key to an artists growth, having a prominent spot on digital streaming platform (DSP) playlist is now considered just as influential, if not more.

Amongst the various DSP’s, Spotify is considered the biggest of these with 165 million premium subscribers worldwide. On Spotify, there are several ways to get your music heard. Understandably, if you’re an established and popular act, you are organically listened to by millions. However, if you are an independent artist or band with a small fanbase, getting your music heard can be difficult.

Thankfully there are two ways to promote your music on Spotify; playlist promotion and adverts.

Spotify Playlist Promotion

As previously mentioned, having your track included on an influential Spotify playlist can have a major impact on an artist’s growth. There are hundreds of prominent, and niché, playlists on Spotify. Some of these are curated by Spotify themselves, others are overseen by established media outlets, commercial brands (such as Nike and Starbucks), and music blogs.

But how does an up-and-coming act get their music to be noticed by these curators? Well, there are two ways. The first is by directly contacting them, repeatedly messaging or tweeting them, trying to get their attention. However, this is seen as unprofessional within the music industry. Remember, you are just one of hundreds of acts trying to get noticed. Alternatively, you can use a variety of playlist promotion services.

There are various playlist promotion services out there, some more credible than others. Some make empty promises and “guarantee” playlist inclusions. However, services such as SubmitHub, Daily Playlists, Playlist Push, Indie Music Academy, and are known to be reliable, providing genuine support, meaning your music is heard by real people opposed to fake followers (or “bots”).

These services can vary in price, with some offering a free option. Some of them offer more than a playlist promotion service. They can work with you towards increasing your monthly listeners, develop a strategy to increase your Spotify presence, or help market your music to other DSP’s such as Apple Music.

Whichever option or service you use, it is important to do your research beforehand. For example, reach out to other artists or bands on social media that have used playlist promotion services for their feedback. Does the service you’re using have music industry knowledge or reach to promote your music to the right playlist curators, record labels, and Spotify listeners?.

Using the correct Spotify playlist promotion services can be truly beneficial. For starters, you know you’re going to listened to by real people, allowing you to grow organically on Spotify.

Spotify Ads

A more traditional method of promoting your music is through advertisements. For decades, adverts in print, on radio and television has helped promote a variety of products including music. Spotify is no different.

While there are millions of paid Spotify users, there are free users too. For these listeners, their music listening consumption can be interrupted by adverts. Although it’s not ideal for them, for artists, bands, and consumer brands, it’s a benefit. These ads can not be skipped or ignored, meaning the rate of engagement is high. It’s estimated that around 1-4 minutes of ads are played for every hour of consumed Spotify content. In addition, when it comes to most times spent on an app the Spotify mobile app is ranked #1.

Like a host of other digital marketing tools, Spotify’s very own Ad Studio has the capability of tailoring adverts to reach your target audience. After all, if you’re a metal band you wouldn’t want to be heavily advertised in front of hip-hop fans, right? Knowing who your target Spotify audience is vital. Getting it wrong can potentially be costly.

The Spotify Ad Studio

The Spotify Ad Studio is considered the best way to advertise on Spotify. For example, they offer a free service that uses voice actors to record dialogue that is tailored for your audience. All you have to do is put together the script for what they want to say within the 30 second audio ad. Signing up to Spotify Ad Studio is simple, and only requires a personal Spotify account. Although it’s recommended a separate account is used, so that it can be accessed by people within your team.

Unlike playlist promotion services, the Spotify ads platform allows a more hands on approach to promoting your music. Advert targeting and reporting is thoroughly detailed, allowing you access intricate feedback on how well your audio ad is performing. These reports provide a range of metrics including reach, conversion rate, and intent rate. The latter is a Spotify-specific metric as shows which people have intention of listening to your music again and/or adding it to a playlist.

The considerable downside of using Spotify ads, compared to playlist promotional services, there is no free option. Within any marketing and ad space, you will need to invest money to get your audio ad heard. Spotify ads cost a minimum of $250. If you are an artist or band with financial backing within the music industry, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re not, you are going to have to consider whether it’s worth investing your money into. Although one positive about using Spotify Ads, is that it allows you to specifically target the right audience.

Conclusion of Spotify Playlist Promotion vs Spotify Ads

Overall, getting your music heard on Spotify is possible. Both, playlist promotion services and adverts have their benefits. It all depends on who you want your music to be heard by, and if you’re able to invest time and money.

If you’re looking to cast your net out far and wide, working with a playlist promotion service is the best option. They can potentially get you included on numerous playlists spanning various demographics. Alternatively, if you want to be listened to by people who you know are more likely to enjoy your music, then Spotify ads is a worthy, if considerably costly, option.



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