Achieving playlisting for an artist is hard work, whether that be through editorial or third-party playlists. While editorial is hyper-competitive, the third-party playlist space can be… let’s say, shady – and you might invest a lot of time for little return. However the incentive is real: if artists do get playlisted on independent playlists, it can be very impactful on their careers.
PlaylistSupply was created to help artists and their teams find relevant playlists faster and make the whole process more efficient.
Benjamin Stein, who’s an artist manager as well as CEO and co-founder of PlaylistSupply, launched the tool back in May 2020. He says that his tool is designed with the modern artist in mind: “This tool was designed to level the playlist promotion playing field and to avoid scam-like “playlist networks”. The tool is super effective for niche genres and anyone looking to increase their Spotify traffic.” The tool comes with a few handy features, which we’ll discuss in more detail in this piece.
How it works
To use the tool, you’ll first need to sign up – and then you’ll find a search bar that allows you to search any keyword you like, filtering playlists in whatever way you prefer. For example: you could search for genres, moods, or activities such as ‘gym music’. The tool searches the titles and descriptions of all currently-available playlists on Spotify, and provides a list of all relevant search results.
A very useful additional feature is the ability to search for ‘Similar Artists’ – where you can type in an artist’s name and see playlists on which that artist is featured, as well as playlists with similar artists. A second search bar narrows down the main search further. This is where you can get creative and combine artist names with genres and moods.
PlaylistSupply’s Project Manager Ryan Abraham Khabbaz recommends creating a list of vital keywords for each artist that you work with. “Just add as many keywords as you possibly can and then you can just interchange them between both search boxes. I also recommend having a list of similar artists that you can search for as well – as many as possible.”
Pitching to playlists
PlaylistSupply also tries to help with another time-consuming job: finding contact information for playlist owners. Since the tool is not a database, PlaylistSupply does not have contact info that is not public. Instead, it pulls all the contact info from the description of the playlist and simplifies the process of retrieving that info. Users have the option of selecting which type of curator contact info you’re interested in – e.g. email or socials – and then the tool scans through Spotify and displays the results.
These searches are real-time: if there was a new playlist that was created on Spotify today, it would show up within the same day.
Khabbaz stresses how important this up-to-date element is: “instead of constantly searching on Google for lists or databases, someone is able to create their own databases using this tool. So if you’re a manager who is managing five artists, you would have five different folders on your computer for each artist – and within that, thousands of contacts that you could reach out to at any time. That’s essentially the whole purpose of this tool.”
PlaylistSupply offers nuanced options: email contact info can be further filtered by social media contact availability – so users can see playlists that can be contacted both ways. Users can sort further by metrics like follower count, or total popularity.
The total popularity filter is especially interesting. It’s a score from 0-100: a score closer to 0 signifies a playlist that has very ‘unknown’ tracks by ‘unknown’ artists. A score of 100 is the playlist that has the most ‘well-known’ tracks by ‘well-known’ artists. We looked at a playlist with a score of 75, which featured artists like Drake and Post Malone. The lower scored lists featured increasingly smaller artists.
The idea behind this feature is to give someone an indication of whether their submission would get accepted or not – thereby saving time and helping to make pitches more relevant. Khabbaz adds: “Usually for the Spotify algorithm, it’s much better to get on a bunch of the smaller playlists than just one or two of the bigger ones. So I really recommend using this.” The platform also scans for when the playlists were last updated which can help to understand the quality of the playlist.
The biggest step: reaching out
Once you have all the results for your search query, you can copy and paste the whole table – or export to CSV or PDF. For Khabbaz, one goal is to simply save time on often-repeated work based on his own experience: “I was interning at a label a few years ago and what I was doing was I would go through each playlist and copy paste this one by one onto a spreadsheet. That took way too much time and that’s kind of why we came up with this tool. It’s basically the same as doing your research on Spotify except you have everything on a table right in front of you. You can export accordingly and you have your database of contact info.”
While having carefully-filtered contacts readily available to reach out to is great, there’s a valid concern that those curators are possibly going to ask for a payment in exchange for playlist placement. The PlaylistSupply team agrees that curators that supply their email address publicly often have a more business-focused approach.
However, they suggest that it depends on who is asking and how you ask – their blog provides tips on how to best reach out to curators. Khabbaz recommends a more structured approach: “It’s super easy to just PayPal them but that’s not going to create some kind of bond for the next time. What we recommend is providing an offer like merchandise or guest list tickets or a meet and greet with the artist for instance. In that way you’re able to build a relationship with the curator. If you’re just asking for a favour, they will probably ask for money if they see it’s possible to.” For smaller artists, even promoting the playlist on their own channels could be a good offer.
The most comparable tool on the market is probably Playlist Hunter, which offers a similar service, searching for keywords, finding available contact info, and fine-tune filtering, etc. Pricing is similar – Playlist Hunter is $15/month and PlaylistSupply is $19.99/month, however, the search and filter opportunities in PlaylistSupply do seem to be more robust.
SubmitHub and PlaylistPush are two well-known platforms that work a little differently: on SubmitHub, users pay per curator submission, and you can directly reach them within the platform – potentially offering a higher response ratel but possibly favours a targeted approach over volume. SubmitHub has a more limited number of partner curators, and you can’t search for playlists by keywords (rather, search is based on the type of music a curator typically playlists).
On PlaylistPush, an artist’s music must first be submitted, and only once it becomes selected, can you run a campaign with the service, handling the relationship and campaign management with the curators (only based in North America or Europe). Pricing can range from $300 to $1,000+ depending on the targeting and matching the customer selects.
A valuable solution to a common problem
In short, we think this tool is a valuable solution to create a database of highly-targeted third-party playlisters to reach out to. Users could even use the tool in combination with a service like Is It A Good Playlist? to analyse your most valuable playlist targets. PlaylistSupply a powerful tool for people who need to find and filter ideal targets from the sea of playlists – and who want full control over their outreach strategy.
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