Spotify’s co-head of music Jeremy Erlich has come out strongly against agencies charging labels or artists to pitch their music to the streaming service’s playlists. “I hate it. They’re just scamming artists. There’s absolutely no promo in the streaming world. We don’t talk to any of these people at all. They’re scams,” he told Forbes. “If I could snap my fingers and make them all disappear, I would. When people use our name falsely we try to stop them. If anyone tells you to pay for playlisting, it’s a lie. Going through the pitch tool is the only way.” Note, he was talking about Spotify’s own playlists: there are agencies that focus on pitching to external curators too, who don’t misrepresent themselves.

Erlich made a strong case for Spotify’s playlist-submission tool as the only way in. “The playlist submission tool is the only way we review music. People may text me their song, but I tell them they need to submit it in the tool because that’s how you get playlisting. Editorial decisions are based purely on the quality of the song and its fit in the playlist. I was just telling a label that everyone emailing me doesn’t increase your chances of getting on a playlist at all.” That said, Spotify has recently brought its editorial and artist and label relations teams closer together, into the division jointly run by Erlich and Marian Dicus. Labels may hope that talking to the latter team about campaign plans increase their chances of being playlisted by the former, but judging from Erlich’s comments, the submission tool remains key.

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