Are you an independent musician looking to boost engagement on Spotify? You’ve come to the right place to learn about the top Spotify hacks for artists. In today’s digital age of music streaming, Spotify remains one of the top music services where people discover new music and where artists can grow their fanbase. For artists from all genres, how do you stand out from the millions of songs present on the platform? Artists must navigate the ins and outs of Spotify to find effective strategies to build a loyal following and increase their visibility. When done successfully, more visibility on Spotify can lead to more revenues from royalties, giving songwriters a source of income. With these Spotify hacks, we’ve got 10 tips and tricks to boost engagement and get the most out of the most popular music streaming service out there.
1. Spotify hacks 101: the power of playlists
Across streaming music services, playlists are a powerful tool for music discovery and can give artists a huge boost in visibility. Music lovers who use Spotify, Apple music, Deezer, Napster, Tidal, Amazon music, or any other streaming platform will often turn to curated editorial playlists to discover new tracks. Whether users pay for a music subscription (like Spotify premium) to listen ad-free or choose to listen to music online with the free-trial version, playlists remain a primary tool to consume music. A well curated playlist, by mood, genre, or decade, lets you listen to music without having to change the track every couple minutes. For artists who land a song in a playlist with a large number of subscribers, that song could boost their streams instantly! Once someone has listened to your track on a playlist, they can easily stream music from the rest of your profile in one click. How do you get into these playlists? Here are a couple of ways.
Submit your track directly to editorial playlists on Spotify for Artists
To get into Spotify editorial playlists, you can submit your track directly to playlist curators on your Spotify for Artists account. If you don’t have one already, check out our article on how to get access to your account and take advantage of its features. Before your track is released, you’ll be able to see it in upcoming releases on your Spotify for Artists dashboard and submit it to the editorial team with a pitch. Make sure that you accurately choose the right keywords for genre, mood, and instrumentation depending on your track. The editors who listen to submissions are masters of curation: make it easy for them to categorize and qualify your track even before they hit play. If you want to boost your chances of landing an editorial playlist, you can even include a couple names of specific editorial playlists you think your track would be best suited for in your pitch.
Send your track to playlist curators on Groover
Besides editorial playlists, there are tons of user-generated playlists made by playlist curators that have large followings. Check out our selection of the top music playlist curators on Groover who you can send your music to directly. For 2 Grooviz, or 2 euros, you can send your music to an influencer of your choosing and get a guaranteed response within 7 days. If they don’t respond, you get your Grooviz back to send to someone else. For independent artists, Groover is the surest way to get real feedback and opportunities to boost your visibility.
Find relevant playlists through similar artists
A good way to figure out the right playlists for your style of music is to check out the pages of similar artists in your genre. On an artist’s Spotify profile towards the bottom, there is the section “Discovered on”. This is where you can see the different playlists their music has been featured on, including both editorial and user-generated playlists. Do some research and write down the names of playlists with music you identify with and try to find the contact information of the curator. Curators can range from passionate music lovers to record labels and music blogs. With some clever digging (website, contact form, Instagram account, LinkedIn), you can get in touch with the playlist curator and pitch your track. Spotify hacks like this are often the result of figuring out how to contact the right people 🙂
2. Engage with the community: follow music professional profiles
Another way to boost engagement on Spotify and familiarize yourself with the platform is to follow profiles of music industry professionals. This could include playlisters, labels, radio stations, Djs or even other artists. Though it may not seem like it at first, Spotify and other music streaming sites are actually social networks as well. By engaging with the Spotify community, you can make connections and stay up to date with what works and where. Active users on Spotify can choose to activate the feature “share my listening activity on Spotify”, which will display what they are listening to in real time. If you activate the feature “See what your friends are playing”, you will be able to find what the pros are listening to and when! By using Spotify as a social network, you can stay up to date on new releases, find new music, and figure out who may be interested in your tracks.
3. Update your profile regularly with Spotify for Artists
By updating your profile regularly with Spotify for Artists, you can grab the attention of potential subscribers and build a fanbase. This includes writing and updating a biography, changing your profile and banner photos, and choosing an “Artist Pick” to promote new releases. You can also include links to other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When you post music videos to Youtube or upload your tracks to other sites like Soundcloud, make sure to include the link to your Spotify artist page in the description. It’s important to stay cohesive across the board!
4. Link your concerts to your Spotify page by using Songkick
If you have some live shows or a tour coming up, you can display this on your Spotify profile! To make sure that your next concert dates show up in the “On tour” section, your show needs to be listed on a partner site, such as Ticketmaster, DICE, or Songkick. We recommend signing up for a free account by using Songkick Tourbox to publish your live shows and link them automatically to your Spotify page.
5. Synchronize your lyrics to your songs on Spotify by using Musixmatch
Another simple Spotify hack to boost engagement is to synchronize your lyrics to your tracks. In the same way that Songkick publishes your concert dates to the platform, a partner platform called Musixmatch will sync your lyrics to Spotify around the world. By adding lyrics, you can really invite listeners into your world and connect with your audience. It also adds a dynamic and interactive element when the listener lands on the playback screen of your track. Check out our article dedicated to how to add lyrics to Spotify by using Musixmatch.
6. Add Canvas videos to your tracks to develop your visuals
Similar to synchronizing lyrics to your songs, you can also now synchronize short video loops to each track by using the Canvas feature on Spotify for Artists. There are certain parameters to follow to upload a Canvas, the main criteria being:
- The file must have a 9:16 aspect ratio
- Only accepts MP4 format (or JPEG if uploading a static image)
- The video has to be between 3 and 8 seconds long
Here is everything you need to know about how to effectively use Spotify Canvas to tell a story and enhance your music.
7. Understand the algorithm: the first 30 seconds matter
Like any social network, Spotify uses an algorithm that favors certain tracks over others and pushes them into the spotlight. The more a track is streamed, added to playlists, and shared, the more data will be collected, making it easier to push the track towards new audiences. The first 30 seconds of a track matter: if someone skips through the song before the first 30 seconds are up, Spotify doesn’t count this as a play. There is a sort of snowball effect that happens when a song gets a lot of listens in a short amount of time. The algorithm notices and will be able to then find similar artists that Spotify users listen to, being able to place your track in algorithmic playlists like “Discover Weekly” or in the section “Fans also like”.
8. Upload songs regularly: the waterfall strategy
Spotify privileges profiles that have regular activity, AKA artists that upload songs regularly. By inciting listeners to visit your profile often with new releases, users spend more time on the platform. It’s as simple as that! More and more artists are using the waterfall strategy to upload successive singles every couple of weeks or months. Check out the advantages of using the waterfall strategy in our article dedicated on the topic here.
It’s important to promote your Spotify profile across your other social media accounts. Incite your followers on Instagram or TikTok to subscribe to your profile by providing a link in your story or posts. You want to make it easy for your community and potential fans to easily move between your profiles across platforms! When you announce new shows or music releases, remind your community that they can stay updated on what’s new by subscribing to your Spotify artist page. That way, once you release new tracks, they will show up in their Release Radar playlists automatically!
10. Collaborate with other artists
Our last Spotify hack to boost engagement is to collaborate with other artists. Collaborating with other artists, both within and outside your genre, can introduce you to new audiences and expand your reach. Consider joint releases, remixes, or even featuring on each other’s tracks. Reach out to other indie artists you admire to see if they’d be interested in collaborating together. By releasing a track together, it will show up on both artist’s music catalog, providing both communities with new music to listen to on the other artist’s page.
Now that you’ve learned our best Spotify hacks, it’s time to get to work! Want to learn more Spotify hacks? Check out our article on how to get more Spotify streams without cheating.