How To Get on Spotify's Discover Weekly
Are you an artist wondering how to get on Spotify's Discover Weekly? Spotify's algorithmic playlists are the biggest driver of streams on the platform, and i've personally gotten nearly 80k streams using these playlists - mostly from Discover Weekly. The real problem is that very few understand how to get your music on Discover Weekly, so many artist promote their music in a way that hurts their chances.
Algorithmic Spotify Playlist Types
Before I tell you how to get on these playlists, let me explain exactly what they are:
- Discover Weekly - a custom playlist of music the user hasn't heard yet generated by Spotify each week specific to each user, based on what they already listen to
- Your Daily Mix - a daily mix of music in a certain genre combining music the user already knows and similar music, several are generated by Spotify for every user
- Release Radar - a collection of music the user is following, and new music the user might like - all of it is relatively new and it is generated by Spotify every Friday
- Radio - a playlist that plays music from the artist the user clicks 'Radio' from, along with similar artists based on what other people are also listening to
- Other.... - playlists like On Repeat, Repeat Rewind, Top Songs, etc., are playlists based on what each user has already listened to to encourage them to re-listen to it
In my experience Discover Weekly drives by far the most, followed by Release Radar and Your Daily Mix, and then Radio, and lastly the 'Other' category. One of the reasons why Discover Weekly is so powerful is that when Spotify users click the playlist, they are actively seeking to discover new music they've never heard before. This is the best opportunity you could ever have to grab a new fan.
What Spotify Wants
So great, Discover Weekly is awesome, but how do you actually get on it? Well you have to understand what Spotify actually wants from the music on its platform, and its very similar to what ever other website and app wants in the end. So let's walk through this logically before seeing what Spotify itself actually says.
- Spotify makes money when people buy monthly subscriptions
- New people on the platform means more money for Spotify
- People will continue to pay for monthly subscriptions if they enjoy the platform
- You can measure someone's enjoyment of the platform from how long they actually USE the platform
- Spotify encourages people to use the platform more by algorithmically creating playlists that the user is most likely to enjoy, and keep listening to
From this we can expect that we can make Spotify very happy if we send people to the platform, have those people listen to our music as much as possible, and have them engage with our music as much as possible. This is very similar to the algorithm on YouTube where the longer you can keep people watching your videos, the more YouTube will promote your video.
Okay... so what metrics are most important for this?
- Listeners clicking links to your Spotify
- The diversity of where those people are linked from, and what country they're from
- Repeat streams from each listener
- Save ratio (listeners/saves)
- Follow rate
- Playlist additions
If you can achieve high performance in these metrics relative to other music on the platform, Spotify will promote your music on its algorithmic playlists. If the song keeps performing well it will continue to be spread by Spotify because its actively helping Spotify make money.
I want to talk about the most common way people say to market your music on Spotify in 2020, playlists, and how that can actually HURT your song. Lets walk through that...
You pitch your music to a bunch of playlists, or even hire a playlist pitching company to do it for you, and thats all you do. You might get thousands of streams from these playlists, but since many people passively listen to user created playlists while they're at the gym or working, you get almost no saves, very few repeat listens, and no followers.
On the surface playlists look like a very cheap way to market your music, but as soon as the playlist dumps your track your song will fail. If you're lucky and get a perfect playlist placement it is possible for the song to perform well, but most user playlists in my experience will not get you the data you need for the song to perform well long term by themselves.
Then of course, you run the risk of playlists having inflated numbers and fake listens from bots which is the worst case scenario for your song. Bots don't engage or become fans.
I want to point out that playlists aren't all bad when paired with other marketing strategies, or if the playlist is great. If your song is the perfect fit for the playlist, and the followers of that playlist are engaged it can help out a lot.
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for... how do you actually improve these metrics to get on Spotify's Discover Weekly playlists? I'm sure this isn't the ONLY way to do this, but this is exactly what i've done to do it.
The secret is to promote your music with Facebook Ads.
Why Facebook Ads? Well.... Facebook Ads allows you to run ads on Facebook and Instagram, but it allows you to do it in a way that is highly specific. This means I can show the ad to people that like music very similar to my own music. I can target genre's, artists, festivals, or even celebrities. Here's an example...
With Facebook Ads I can send an Instagram Stories video advertisement to a 16-34 year old male, who has Spotify, likes San Holo or Odesza, and is from the United States. The most powerful aspect of this is that I can specify multiple audiences that are equally specific, and let Facebook figure out which audience gets me the cheapest click to Spotify.