The Secret Hit-Making Power of Streaming Playlist

You can have a successful marketing campaign without playlist support from streaming platforms, but it is definitely something you should consider as a marketing tool for your next release. As more and more people turn to streaming as their primary source of music listening, applying techniques that relate to these platforms can certainly help boost your reach.

How Many People Actually Listen To Playlists?
Before considering whether playlists are right for you, it’s important to understand how many people actually engage with playlists rather than going direct to the single, album or EP that is available.

 A new study published by Music Watch offers surprising clues as to how exactly music streamers listen to their music. Based on 500 online interviews with Spotify and Apple Music users (sorry, those who prefer Tidal) who “participate in listening to or creating playlists,” the study found, unsurprisingly, that 90 percent of music streamers listened to or created their own playlists. Apparently, premium subscribers are the most active playlist listeners, with 8 in 10 users “listening to their service every day” and about half listening to a playlist every time that they use Spotify or Apple Music.

Apparently, those who have listened to their preferred service’s playlist, 90 percent of them created their very own playlist in the past three months. So, what kind of playlists, then, are music streamers listening to? Easy. Genre-based playlists were the most popular in the survey, with 68% of respondents having listened to playlists based on this format. What’s next? Simple. “Best of the Year” or others like “Top 40” or “Top 50” playlists were equally tied with “mood-based playlists” with 50 percent. If genre-based playlists are on top, how often, then, do music streamers listen to them? Apparently, 24% listened to a genre-based playlist “each time they used a music-streaming service.” What exactly is important when listening to or creating your own playlist? Genre and familiarity, with music discovery not even being close on this list.

What Playlists Are The Most Important?
The answer to this question totally depends on what music you are making. Perhaps the most well-known playlists are the ‘New Music Friday’ playlists. However, the tracks on these playlists burn fast – they are constantly changing. It may be considered a high-profile playlist, but if you are considering using playlists as part of your marketing campaign then it is perhaps more beneficial to be on a more specialised playlist with less followers as this may have more engagement. You should define what genre of music you make and then search for playlists that are created around this type of music. Follow them for a few weeks and get to know how often the tracks are changed around. This will tell you which playlists will give you the most coverage. It’s not just about how many followers it has – a playlist could have tens of thousands of followers, but if your track is only on there for a few days then this won’t give you as much exposure as a playlist that has a couple thousand followers but gives you weeks of coverage.

How Do I Get Playlisted?
On sites like YouTube where there’s a user-upload system, you don’t need to engage the actual platform, just the person who is making the playlists. This can often be quite easy – most people have some sort of contact details on their channel / profile or there is a messaging system embedded into the platform. Again, find out what each playlist curator usually includes and tell them why your track would fit with that playlist.

What Can I Do Myself To Boost My Marketing Efforts?
When it comes to playlisting, you don’t have to always rely on other people to include you in their playlists to help with your marketing campaign – create your own! If you’ve got a new track you want to tell people about and link people to in your website / social media announcements, first create a playlist that has your promoted track first on the list, followed by some of your other material. For example, after someone has watched a video on YouTube it automatically starts playing content from other channels. If you link people to your own playlist on YouTube then it keeps people on your own content. Similarly with Spotify or Apple Music – yes, you want to be promoting that specific track, but you should also be getting people hooked on you as an artist! Why not point them in the direction of more of your content? Linking people to playlists you’ve made of your own music can do this.


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