When I first released my music to Spotify...

A tiny part of myself held out hope that one of my songs would "blow up" and get hundreds of thousands of streams, catapulting my music career...

Even though I had no fans to speak of. 

I've since learned Spotify doesn't work that way.

Sure, Spotify WANTS to share your music with new people, but first, you have to give Spotify what IT wants. 

What does Spotify want, and how do you give it? 

That's what I'll cover in this behemoth of a post.

Consider this your ultimate guide to growing your Spotify streams, so get comfortable, grab a snack, and let's dive in...

TL;DR - Download This Blog Post In Bullet-Point Form

Don't want to read this whole article and instead just want a one-page bulleted list of tasks you can do to grow your streams?

No problem! Just click the button below to download it.

Is Spotify Worth It?

Now, before embarking on the giant task of growing Spotify streams, we should probably first ask ourselves...

Is it really worth it?

Can an artist really benefit from growing on Spotify? 

That's what I attempt to answer in the video below...

Long story short though, here's what you need to know about Spotify:

  • Over 356 Million Users available in 178 markets
  • Great discoverability because of keyword search, discovery weekly, and more
  • Personalized technology designed to put new music in front of the people MOST LIKELY to enjoy it
  • Spotify is a search engine and social media platform rolled up into one (great for discovery and engaging with new fans)
  • Spotify is a key revenue stream (It's realistic to make an extra $1,000 - $5,000 a month from Spotify streams alone)

With all of this in mind, I'd say it's DEFINITELY worth it. 

In fact, actively working to grow your Spotify is more worthwhile than trying to grow your Facebook or Twitter followers. 

Spotify Income Calculator

Or, you can also check out my Spotify income calculator below.

This will enable you to see a couple of cool things. 

In the top row, you can just input how much income you want to make per month from Spotify streams.

Then, in the second row, you can input how many songs you have on Spotify.

Finally, you can adjust the "revenue per stream" slider so that it more closely matches your reality right now. 

Like I said, the average is about $0.004 per stream, so I would just leave it there.

Once you've inputed all of that data, out spits:

  1. How many total streams you need per month to hit your income goal
  2. How many total streams you need a day
  3. And how many streams you need, per song, per day

As you can see, if you release a lot of music on the platform, and you're actively working to get those songs streams...

It is actually very feasible to make a good $1,000 to $5,000 a month just from Spotify streams.

Some artists are actually making full-time incomes from just Spotify streams.

I break down how they do it in this article here.

How Long Does It Take To Get Noticed On Spotify?

If you're an independent artist, you can't expect to just upload a song to Spotify and have it take off and start getting thousands of streams a day. 

Instead, you first have to put into some effort to "get the ball rolling" and trigger the Spotify algorithm so that it knows to promote your music more. 

Therefore, how long it takes for you to really start to gain traction on Spotify depends on:

  1. 1
    How good your music is
  2. 2
    How strategic your branding is, and
  3. 3
    How much effort you put into marketing 

This article is all about helping you dial in the second two, and I have other posts on this site that can help you with the first and make better music. 

How The Spotify Algorithm Works

Before we dive into all the tactics and strategies for growing your Spotify streams, it's helpful to have a basic understanding of how the Spotify algorithm works. 

Spotify's algorithm is driven by the inputs it receives from users. 

The platform is constantly watching how its users engaged with different types of music in order to feed them more of what they like. 

There are certain positive and negative indicators that the Spotify algorithm receives in order to determine which songs to suggest to its users. 

If your music receives a lot of positive indicators, and not as many negative, then Spotify will start serving up your music to new fans. 

Important Data For Spotify's Algorithm Includes:

  • Listening history (mood, style, genre)
  • Skip rate (less skips = more recommendations)
  • Listening time (getting past 30 seconds is positive)
  • Saves (clicking the heart icon)
  • Playlist features (User-generated, Algorithmic, & Editorial
  • Streaming velocity (Do you receive spikes in streams over a short period of time?)

Long story short, the more positive indicators you can give Spotify, the more the algorithm will share your music. 

So now with the rest of this post, I'll dig into how you can give Spotify more of these positive indicators.

1. Build Your Brand & Image

Building your brand and image is vital to helping your stand out to your most ideal fans on the platform (and beyond). 

Your brand is simply the collective thoughts and feelings that people associate with you...

And your image is just visual aspect of your band (photos, graphics, album art, fonts, colors, etc.)

Get to know your ideal fans. What image would attract them to you?

For example, my wife and I getting into making Synth Pop/Synthwave music under the name "Andromeda Coast". 

As a result, we made sure our debut album in this micro-genre included aesthetic and visual elements our ideal fans would recognize and jive with.

This means:

  •  Use of the colors blue and pink
  • 80s-inspired font
  • Sci-fi world
  • Pyramid

You can check out our album art below:

By building your image and brand, you are setting yourself up for success. This is the foundation for success in music. 

If you want help figuring out what your micro-genre is so that you can recognize and start to attract your ideal Superfans to you...

Then click the button below to download my free Micro-genre worksheet.

Free Worksheet

Discover Your Micro Genre

Just click the button below to download a free worksheet to help you discover your micro genre so you can start to find your very own SUPERFANS.

2. Submit Your Music To Spotify Editorial Playlists

The next step is to submit your music to Spotify editorial playlists.

These are playlists that people at Spotify have personally curated. 

If you have access to Spotify for Artists, you can pitch one song to them at a time before it's released. 

Your odds of getting on a playlist might not be great, but it's definitely worth a shot, as getting on such a playlist will really boost your music in the eyes of Spotify.

You can check out my video below for a detailed tutorial on how to do this.

3. Submit To Spotify Playlist Curators

The editorial team at Spotify aren't the only ones with playlists. 

Regular old users of the platform are creating new playlists all the time.

Pitch your music to these curators and start getting your music playlisted. 

Even if some of these playlists are small, remember, just getting on playlists majorly boosts your music in the eyes of Spotify. 

This is how you can hack the Spotify algorithm and get your streams to snowball. 

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do this, download my free guide here.

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

4. Contact Music Blogs

Spotify also likes it when you can bring new people to the platform. 

Therefore, a great way to boost your streams and also your standing in the algorithm is to contact music blogs and see if they will review your music. 

You can use a paid platform like SubmitHub.com.

Or you can simply google blogs in your genre that review music, and start contacting them for yourself. 

5. Reach Out To Influencers

The final group you can reach out to in order to promote your music on Spotify and beyond are influencers. 

Basically just anyone online, or even offline, with a following of people who match your ideal Superfan (again why knowing this is so vital). 

Some good places to look for influencers are:

  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Reach out to these influencers and see if you can work out some kind of deal where they will promote your music. 

A great approach is a review and giveaway. 

If you are working with smaller influencers (micro influencers), then they might be willing to run a review and giveaway for you for just the cost of you sending your album to them for free.

The way this works is they review your music, rave about it, and then promote your giveaway where everyone who opts-in gets a chance to win your CD, or maybe CD merch bundle. 

You then get the email address of everyone who opts in, allowing you to rapidly grow an email list of people who have raised their hands and said they're interested in your music. 

6. Build An Email List

This brings me to my next tip, which is building your email list. 

This is vital. 

Email is better than any social media platform because you can reach everyone on your email list (whereas social media platforms wont show your posts unless you pay them). 

Not only that, but people are way more likely to buy and take action through email than social media. 

So if you want your fans to actually go and stream your music on Spotify, then be actively working to get them on your list. 

If you want to start building your email list, then get a free ConvertKit account to get started. 

Start Your Email List

Get started with ConvertKit for free and start building your email list.

7. Build Your Own Playlist(s)

Hey, getting music on your own playlists helps too!

If you're growing your own playlists, then this means more potential streams, saves, and re-playlisting from everyone that follows your playlists. 

So you should definitely have growing your own playlist be part of your Spotify strategy. 

The above playlist is one I'm working on growing, so feel free to follow if you're into Popwave/Synthwave/Retro Electronic music. 

How To Grow Your Own Spotify Playlist

One of the best things you can do is just regularly stream your own playlist. The more streams a playlist gets, the more Spotify will share it with others.

On top of this, you can look to share your playlist in Facebook groups or Reddit communities where your ideal Superfan hangs out. 

8. Have An Intentional Release Plan

You also want to have an intentional release plan when you go to publish new music on the platform.

You don't want to do this half-heartedly. 

Use a calendar, and plan out how you will go about promoting your new music in the weeks leading up to, and after, the release date. 

You'll want to think about:

  • What pictures can you post on social media to promote the release?
  • What graphics can you share?
  • How many different videos can you make promoting the release?
  • How many emails will you send, and what will you say in each one?

9. Get Pre-Saves (HyperFollow)

Running a pre-save campaign should definitely be part of your release strategy. 

By creating a pre-save link, this enables your fans to save your song to their Spotify library before release, which means more streams on launch day. 

And as pointed out about how the Spotify algorithm works, more streams in a short period of time can help trigger the algorithm to promote your more listeners. 

A lot of different digital distributors allow you to create pre-save links, and a really nice one is called "HyperFollow" by DistroKid (see image above).

In addition to pre-saves, HyperFollow gives you great data about what other artists your fans like, and it can even help you to build your email list. Crazy awesome!

Get DistroKid 7% Off

Get started with DistroKid and get access to all of their great tools for distributing and promoting your music.

10. Release Music Frequently

The more consistently you release music, not only will you naturally get more streams, but you'll give your fans a reason to follow you and keep coming back.

But don't take it from me...

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek himself said...

“You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.”

- Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

I'm going to say something crazy, so brace yourself...

What if you thought of Spotify as a social media platform instead of streaming platform?

Would you only post to Instagram once every few months, or once a year?

If not, then why aren't you publishing more content on Spotify?

I know, crazy!

But there are ways you get more mileage out of each of your releases. 

Every time you make a song, can you instead make say...four songs?

  • Official Release
  • Acoustic Version
  • Remix Version
  • Commentary

By repurposing content like this, you can get a lot more content on your Spotify.

Shoot for releasing something new at least once a month.

11. Update Your Spotify Profile Regularly

Short of releasing music more frequently on Spotify, there are other ways you can upload new content to the platform in order to keep fans coming back. 

Here are the other things you can update regularly on your Spotify profile:

  • Photos
  • Bio
  • Artist Pick
  • Playlists

If you just change up something on your Spotify profile once a week, whether that's releasing a new song, or updating something else, then you give fans a reason to keep coming back...

Which means more streams and positive indicators for you. 

12. Share Your Spotify Links On Social Media

This is probably an obvious one, but it should be said nonetheless. 

If you're active on social media, then regularly be sharing links to your songs on Spotify. 

How you can make this more effective

While sharing links to Spotify on social media might be obvious, these two tactics aren't so obvious. 

When you share a link back to Spotify, it should:

  1. Link back to ONE specific song
  2. Include a story

Just sharing a vague link to your Spotify profile with the message, "check out my music," isn't likely to get much attention.

However, if you share a link to just ONE song, and also include the story behind the lyrics or the creation of that song...

Now you are creating a much more compelling reason for people to click and stream.

13. Share Spotify Codes

Did you know you can actually create Spotify codes that enable people to just point their phone at it in order to listen to your music? 

Just go to SpotifyCodes.com

These are handy in case you're doing any offline, in person, promotion. 

14. Embed A Spotify Follow Button On Your Website

To get more followers (another positive indicator than can also get you more streams), you can embed a Spotify follow button on your website. 

I added one to the home page of our website, and it's very easy to create.

Here's what it looks like (feel free to follow if you like Synth Pop and Synthwave music).

15. Embed A Spotify Play Button On Your Website

Similar to a follow button, only here you are inviting visitors to your website to play your music. 

Instead of clicking the "copy link to artist" under "share", just click "Embed artist", and then you get a pop-up that looks like this:

You can simply click the "copy" button to copy the code, and then again, paste it onto your website. 

Once you do, it will look something like this: 

16. Create A Spotify Podcast With Anchor

Podcasts are rapidly growing, and have been referred to by some experts as the new blogging. 

In addition to their rapidly growing popularly, they are great way to really build a relationship with your fans as most listeners actually listen to episodes all the way to the end. 

That means fans will spend a lot of time with you, increasing their "know, like, and trust" factor with you, causing them to be more likely to become Superfans.

So create a podcast around a topic that's important to you, and then use Spotify's own Podcasting platform, Anchor, to distribute your podcast across all the various podcast players. 

Having a podcast just gives you one more piece of content on the Spotify platform that you can direct your fans to, again, giving the algorithm more of what it wants.  

17. Build An Audience Related To Your Music

You can also build an audience teaching on a subject related to your music. 

For example, I created this brand, Orpheus Audio Academy, teaching other music artists how to make better music and grow their fanbases online. 

By building an audience here, I'm able to indirectly bring attention to my music as well, as in all of my tutorial videos I'm working on my own music. 

It's also much easier to build an audience around teaching something than art like music. 

This is because you can take advantage of SEO and create content around topics that people are actually searching on. 

I get new followers and fans of Orpheus Audio Academy every day, and I don't use social media or ads. All I do is publish blog posts and YouTube videos. Simple!

Building a second brand is also a great source of income as well. 

It is a lot of work though, and definitely isn't for everyone. 

Building online businesses is actually what I currently do for a living (although my goal is to eventually go full-time in music), so if you want more help with this, then just shoot me an email.

18. Incentivize Your Fans To Stream & Follow

We as humans operate by incentives (which is one reason why Communism never works). 

So incentivize your fans to stream and follow you!

Create collective goal rewards for hitting certain thresholds. 

This could look like:

  • You'll do a bonus live stream once a song hits a certain number of streams
  • You'll release an exclusive demo that all your fans can download for free once you hit a certain number of followers
  • Run a giveaway

Run A Giveaway

You can also use a free tool like KingSumo to run a giveaway. 

Giveaway something you think your fans would like, and then after they opt-in, you can set up special actions your contestants can complete to gain extra entries in the giveaway. 

For example, you could have your contest entrains gain extra entries in your giveaway for:

  • Streaming a song on Spotify
  • Following you on Spotify
  • Following your Spotify playlist
  • Etc...

19. Create A Street Team

A street team is a term used to describe a group of people who "hit the streets" promoting an event or a product.

You could assemble a team to hit the literal streets, but in this day and age, the "streets" are social media platforms and email addresses. 

Consider creating an application process for your fans so that you can assemble a group of people who are willing to go out and champion your newest release. 

In order to make your street team members feel special, and part of a community, you can create a private Facebook group for these members to communicate. 

You could also grant them access to exclusive street team merch, and gamify the promotion experience by "unlocking" rewards for hitting predetermined streaming or follower goals. 

The possibilities are endless! 

20. Collaborate With Similar Artists

If you want to grow quickly, then collaborate with similar artists. 

If you can start releasing music on Spotify that are collaborations with artists in your same genre, and who have a similarly-sized fanbase...

Then with each new release, you're essentially doubling the number of people who know about you. 

Sure, you'll split the royalties, but music isn't a zero sum game. 

People like to be fans of many different artists, so some of that other artists' fans will become fans of your music, and now you have more people streaming each new release you put out. 

21. Utilize DistroKid's Playlist Spotlight

DistroKid also allows you to compete to get your music on their giant playlists. 

You can submit a track of yours to be matched up against other artists, and then people vote as to which song should be added to the playlist.

This is an awesome free promotional tool that you should definitely take advantage of if you have DistroKid.

22. Utilize DistroKid's Wheel Of Playlist

DistroKid also grants you access to their "Wheel of Playlist". Simply spin the wheel to determine where on the playlist you will be placed. 

Boom, an instant playlist placement!

Your song will get replaced if someone else spins the same number, but you can simply go and spin again when that happens, and continue to get your music playlisted, helping you in the Spotify algorithm.