How to get more followers on Spotify [TIPS & Insights]
Before we start on how to get more followers on Spotify, I’d just like to share some eye-opening words that stuck with me recently:
Over a year ago, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek estimated that roughly 40,000 new songs were hitting the platform every day. By now, that number has likely risen.
Rolling Stone magazine
So Spotify is loading around 40,000 new songs per day. That’s insane when you think about it – especially because only a slim fraction of them will make it to the top. And that’s not all!
Spotify curates 3,000 editorial playlists; their algorithms create 200 million discover weekly playlists and 200 million release radar playlists.
Struggling with Spotify ?
I’ll be very honest with you. Since I have been managing artists, Spotify has always been a kind of blackbox to me, as I’ve seen a lot of deserving artists struggle to grow followers on Spotify and receive fair recognition of their music.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great music content platform to discover tons of artists and expose your songs/albums to the world at the same time. But let’s be honest, this is a streaming platform that has some serious limitations when it comes to promoting yourself.
In this post, I offer you some relevant tips and insights you can instantly apply to counter this and hopefully get more followers on Spotify.
One major challenge you may already face on Spotify is reaching your followers.
As a Spotify artist, if you check your dashboard, you will see the analytics provided there giving you a teaser of who your audience is … and that’s it.
Let’s just recap on the limitations I’ve personally encountered:
How Popular You are on Spotify
This is a value that you should be absolutely aware if you want to market your song on Spotify.
The popularity factor is calculated by algorithm. It’s a KEY value used by Spotify to rank artists.
Why is Spotify Popularity important?
Spotify Popularity gives you a valuable insight into how the Spotify algorithm currently evaluates you and your music. The higher your popularity index, the more likely the algorithm is to recommend you to new listeners, and place you in algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly.
Let’s suppose, you just released a new single and immediately start to get more followers on Spotify – the algorithm starts looking for additional audiences straightaway. Notice the critical moment as the initial response of your audience, as soon as the single is released. It means you have a very short timeframe to create the momentum.
You can find a visual of the popularity of a track with a little sidebar but really, it's quite vague.
Let me show you how to find the popularity value:
The method I’m about to explain to you is FREE and requires just a few minutes to get around it.
If you are using a solution such as Chartmetric (whether the free version or the paid solution), you should be able to access the data in just one click (Chartmetric is merely pulling data from Spotify).
Go to Spotify Console.https://developer.spotify.com/console/artists/
Select Get an Artist and then
In ID: enter the URI and click on TRY IT.
You will see a list of coding appearing on the right of your screen. Scroll down, and you should be able to spot the popularity value of the artist.
Popularity ranking start from 0 to 100. The more popular is the artists, the higher the number is.
You may want to keep track of the evolution of that number on regular basis (like once a month).
Note: If you are using a analytic tool solution such as Chartmetric ( free version or paid version), you should access those data in just one click (again Chartmetric is just pulling the data from Spotify).
Additional resource can be found here below:
Additional values to check:
Save Ratio is a value that is checked by the Spotify Editorial team. So the higher it’s is, the higher chance you have to be picked.
There is a discussion around what would be the minimum Save ratio for a track to be considered "OK" and speculatively that number is around: 10% save of your total Listeners.
This information though is variable and isn’t set in stone.
Fan Conversion Ratio: is the total number of followers divided by how many monthly listeners. This ratio helps to understand the level of engagement and the way the artist is building a community around them
Generating followers helps definitely in traction of early streams and pre-saves (for a single release).
Now that I’ve exposed you to the dark side of Spotify, let’s look at the bright side of opportunities to grow your audience in this realm.
I’ve identified 3 angles based on playlists, to not just get more followers on Spotify, but also streams and listeners:
Spotify Editorial Playlist:
This playlist is curated by Spotify’s Shows & Editorial team and tend to have a large following.
For every release you make, I encourage you to submit your track through Spotify for Artists even if there is a slim chance to be selected by the Spotify’s editorial. You need to submit the track 2 weeks in advance for this particular consideration.
Again, keep in mind there are 40,000 new songs on Spotify every single day 🙂 So don’t be too disappointed if you are not taken.
If you want to know more about this topic, I really recommend you to read this article from Spotify.
In this case, you can identified and contacts any Spotify playlist owners and ask if they will be interested to place your song in their playlist.
Tip: you can always get in touch with an artist you feel close to and propose to get his songs in his playlist and vice versa. Both of you promote to your respective audiences and can only increase your streams and potential gain of new followers.
But let’s be practical – looking for playlist owners and contacting them can be time-consuming, so check out these platforms below who are offering one-stop services:
A quick word about Submit HUB:
I’ve been using SubmitHub for the last three years. This platform allows you to promote your song to playlist curators, YouTube channels, blogs, radios, influencers and even record labels.
You can create an account for free but need to purchase credit to start pitching.
A very important aspect, you need to pay attention if you start using this service: do your homework when you select the curators or influencers. Check if your music fits their playlists or their channels. If you don’t pay attention, you may burn a lot of money by picking the wrong audience for your song.
I found SubmitHub to be very clear in their approach and their communication. Below are their notes on receiving feedback (after you submit your songs to curators).
One possible drawback here is that you may have difficulties finding curators for your exact niche. I had difficulties, for instance, to place some goth/industrial tracks for one of my artists.
There were curators, though very limited in number while in other genres such as pop and electro, there were plenty.
In terms of results, I did several campaigns for the electro-pop act I Wear* Experiment and got a result rate of 15% to 44%. I'm reasonably happy with those results. Usefully, I began to know also which outlets were the best to send my tracks to and which ones I should avoid.
You may not be accustomed by the term “algorithmic playlist” but I’m sure you’ve heard about
Those playlists are build automatically by the Spotify Engine based on your listening habits
Discover Weekly is updated every Monday. This playlist is built on the user’s personal history. Spotify provides similar tracks/artists to the ones that the user is currently listening to.
Release Radar is updated every Friday, and is often used by artists when they drop their new single.
This playlist incorporates all the new tracks from artists the user is following.
Daily Mix serves up to 6 mixes based on genres you like. The content of your daily mix combines your regular listens with Spotify’s recommendations. The update of the daily mix depends on how often you listen - the more you listen, the more often it gets updated.
How to influence the Spotify algorithm
Right, so we’ve established Spotify as a bona fide blackbox, in that they don't make it easier for emerging artists to get more followers on Spotify.
What actually happens on the inside of Spotify is tricky to measure and tweak. But what happens if we look from a different angle, say before a listener enters Spotify.
What if we triggered them at an earlier stage?
I’ve identified multiple ways to reach an audience from whom some of them could potentially become your followers.
Option 1 - Mailing List
A great way to bring traffic to your Spotify song or profile or even your latest playlist is to invite your mailing list audience. If you haven’t yet built a mailing list, I encourage you to check this post I wrote a while ago about “the beauty of having a mailing list” 🙂
I use the mailing list when one of my artists releases a new song, or when if I start to work with a new artist and want to introduce my audience to his Spotify profile.
Having a mailing list can really help you to get you more followers on Spotify, at least you will notice a push (you can use the mailing list also when you release a new single and want to run a pre-save campaign).
Option 2 - Facebook/IG Ads
With Facebook ads, you have the option to trigger your audience (cold or warm) towards your Spotify account, by ticking this list:
Keep in mind the following: Generating follows helps directly in gaining traction with early streams and pre-saves (for a fresh single release).
The logic in bringing traffic – through FB ads – to your Spotify profile:
Set up an Ads on Facebook
You invite fans from your FB artist page (i.e. your custom audience, your most engaged fans or even a cold or dormant audience) to check your Spotify profile.
Start to create more traffic
Once your Facebook Ads is up and running, certainly at the start, you should immediately see a spike in visits on your Spotify profile, which potentially leads to more listens, more saves and more follows.
More exposures = more streams
With exposure and a semblance of presence established, as a final consequence your streams will have noticeably increased, no matter how slightly. Not just from the algorithmic playlists, but also due to all the listeners who put your songs in their playlists from your profile.
Grow all-important Popularity factor
At this stage, you should notice the number of newly converted followers, meaning your Spotify popularity has in fact increased. This means that, your tracks will now appear more frequently in those coveted Discover Weekly/Release Radar playlists.
To give you an example, recently we launched a Spotify campaign through Facebook Ads.
We invited the artist’s audience to check their newly-released track and also their Spotify artist profile. We observed an increase of traffic, additional saves and even extra followers.
Their tracks appeared in Release Radar, and Discovery Weekly. Their popularity ranking increased by 2 points. It’s possible, and that straightforward.
3 possible targets for your FB campaign:
Here I’ve identified 3 targets (triggered link) to use when you run your Facebook campaign,
Type of campaign on Facebook and Instagram: Traffic
Audience on Facebook: Custom Audience/Engaged Audience with equal possibility of cold or lukewarm audience (on Spotify)
Creative: I used ads for FB and Instagram feeds and dedicated ads for FB and Instagram stories. I noticed by using ads on Instagram stories that I get more followers on Spotify. Seems the conversion was higher.
NOTE: out of topic, I wrote an e-book with regards a certain number of solutions you can use when you start promoting your next tour and consequently target an audience growth.
If you are interested, it's a FREE resource, click HERE
Smart link: link that lead your audience to a landing page (or a pop up) where they can select for instance their favourite streaming or content platforms to listen your music. I have been using smart link on regular basis for various artists when it comes to pre-save campaigns or to push traffic towards a streaming platforms.
This type of tool can be very useful during your traffic campaign and help you to get more followers on Spotify.
I have listed below some companies developing smart link. You can have a look:
This is how it looks (see below).
I had to mention the existence of this solution. In a nutshell, this platform not only allows you to create your Facebook and Google Ads campaigns in just a few clicks but create smart links as well.
I particularly like the Audience Insight section. Toneden is pulling data from Spotify listeners, Spotify followers Spotify Popularity; plus Youtube views, Soundcloud streams and Twitter hits.
I have not explored this platform enough at this stage, am still testing, but what I can already say is: Indeed it’s very user-friendly, though I still strongly recommend you to learn first the foundation of how to run a FB campaign before using this solution. More info on a future post.
Spotify-created, it’s a tool to build a visual asset of your track which you can share afterwards on your social media. It’s free. So if you are in need of additional visuals for your campaign, you can use this one.
Mobile Deep Linking
A deep link is a link that sends you directly to the app instead of a website.
Nowadays we spend a large amount of time on our phone. By using this link, you are sent directly to the content app (for instance Spotify) and consequently it makes the user’s journey smoother.
If you are interested to know more, you may want to check out URLgenius.
I will come back in a later post about how you can use effectively a deep link in your Spotify traffic campaign.
To conclude this post, I really encourage you to release consistently on Spotify. I know the release cycle of an artist is focusing on sporadic releases per year, and you don't have to release a new single every month to get more followers on Spotify.
However you can think of releasing these what we used to call in the pre-digital industry as “samplers”, on a frequent basis.
These include B-sides, work-in-progress tracks, unfinished tracks. Elements the present digital industry perhaps has taught you were not ‘okay’ to release to tide your listeners over while they wait for your next big ‘official’ release. Yes, you can. It’s a matter of just setting up a playlist dedicated just for those unfinished tracks “soundbytes”, demoes, clips - tasty, timeless treats that could come to be known as ‘rarities’ back in the analog era.
Think positive always. By releasing frequently, you will send constant signals to the Spotify algorithm and stimulate its engine. Kind of how the universe works - you matter! Likely results? You only stand to end up gaining more streams and listeners while increasing your popularity ratio.
Don't forget also to keep track – on a regular basis – of the Popularity value and Save Ratio. Knowing these well lets you to know where you are and whether you are actually progressing.
Finally, I really invite you to review your growth strategy on Spotify with Facebook ads. Here also, with the right setup and the right targeted audience, you can really make the difference and drastically increase your traffic and get more followers on Spotify.
Good luck !