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Why Playlist as a Low-Budget Independent Artist?

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Okay, so you're an independent artist trying to make it and trying to make ends meet. You're working on little to no budget, but you need to get your music heard. What better than getting your music on popular playlists? It seems like a no-brainer, right? But what if playlisting costs money?

Don't waste your funds. Independent artists are typically working on a low-budget but don't know where to spend the funds they do have. One repeated mistake is blowing it all on merch. Merch is a great way to generate brand awareness, and who doesn't love seeing all their friends and fans wearing their own band tee? But the problem with buying clothing merch is that it's hard to make profit. Usually, you have to buy in bulk or larger quantities, and the prices are high. Each imprint, color, and setup is a separate charge. Merch is hard to push. Other popular kinds of merch are fun CDs, vinyl, or cassette tapes. These are great mementos for your fans but are often impractical and do not give you the best bang for your buck. You'd have to be consistently in front of an audience to sell physical products or ship them out, which includes another cost. These options are best for more established artists or if you like to be creative and have some extra cash to spend!

The solution? Playlisting. The origin of playlists predates streaming services. Really, playlists are just mixtapes for the digital age; unique, personalized, and shareable collections allowing music fans to become the tastemakers. But playlists dominate a listener's streaming habits; even in 2020, Deezer had reported that over half of their surveyed music listeners admit to listening to fewer albums in the last five years, and 40% noted that they prefer playlists. But what kind of playlists do you want to be on? Many independent and emerging artists think the best thing for their music and brand is to be on one of Spotify's most coveted playlists, 'New Music Friday.' In theory, that should be perfect: a playlist of all new music for listeners to discover. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. While it could generate new fans, you must also consider the infamous algorithm. The best playlists for an artist's algorithm are playlists that users stay on, like user-generated mood and vibe playlists. For example, a 'lo-fi study beats' playlist is a great playlist to get placed on, as long as your music fits, because listeners will keep this playlist streaming for a while in the background and rarely ever skip a track. Playlists like New Music Friday span multiple genres, not fitting any user's specific niche, which often causes a higher skip rate, harming your algorithm. Not to mention that there is a greater chance of being struck by lightning than pitching and scoring a spot on a Spotify-generated playlist. If you're lucky enough to get placed on a playlist with good traction, it could work like dominoes. Big Spotify playlists are not the tastemakers. Large and oftentimes editorial playlists keep a pulse on smaller playlists to see what the average Joe's are really rocking with. So if you can get on one of those, it might be easier for you to make it upstream. But how do you increase your chances of getting placed?

Forge your opportunity. Outsource it. Outsourcing will cost money but often will deliver even better results. One great platform that allows you to playlist your tracks is 'Playlist Push.' This platform comprises user-generated playlists, many of which are those 'mood' or 'vibe' playlists with lower skip rates that will please your Spotify algorithm. These playlists are specifically curated to get your music in front of the right listeners and allow you to tailor your pitch specifically. After uploading your track, you can play with the sliding scale to pick the proper budget for you and your project while seeing an approximate number of curators your track will be sent to. This transparency lets you see exactly what your money is getting you. Next, you'll select artists and genres that you feel best match your sound. This way, you'll be put in front of audiences that your music will resonate with most. Getting placed on these playlists are not only great for getting heard, but many of these playlists have large followings that stream the playlist frequently. That means gaining placement will increase your number of streams, positively affecting your algorithm.

But of course, you can try free solutions. Get creative and make your own mood, vibe, or genre playlist while including some of your hits. You can also add some of your favorite collaborators or fellow musicians to your playlist and ask them to do the same. That's a win-win! You can also get your fans involved! Encourage them to add your music to their playlists. Create a call to action by asking your fans to screenshot your music on their playlist and offer to send them something as a thank you! That could be another free solution, like sending a sneak preview of a new track or something as small and inexpensive as a sticker.

So, if you're an artist looking for the best bang for your buck, playlisting is your best option. You can get your music heard in front of the right audience and boost your Spotify algorithm, all at the same time!


LONG STORY SHORT: Playlisting is good. Playlist Push is a great service, and you can get 7.5% off your first campaign with our code 'EQYVLWD'. Why playlist?

  • they have user-generated and 'vibe' playlists

  • playlisting boosts your algorithm and song streams

  • can work like dominoes and eventually get placed on a big or editorial playlist

  • it helps you find new fans and more listeners!


1 Comment

Playlisting offers a cost-effective strategy for increasing visibility and reaching new audiences, particularly for artists with limited budgets. By securing placements on popular playlists curated by Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms, independent artists can amplify their music's exposure without significant financial investment. Read more here:

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