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How to Create a Spotify Pitch That Works? – Playlist Pitching Guide with Examples and Tips

October 27, 2020
Let’s be honest. Playlists in music streaming have fundamentally changed how we find, listen to and share music, how music is sorted and distributed. And how successful your music turns out to be. That’s why you can’t ignore playlist pitching these days. If you can get on the Spotify curated playlist or one of the personal playlists, you can expect a lot more listeners and interest from the audience. 

In this article, we give DIY musicians, artist managers, and labels three tips on how to pitch Spotify using Cyanite. Cyanite is an AI tool that lets you analyze your music for a direct and objective opinion.

Three Types of Playlists

There are several types of playlists and you can get your track on each one of them. We distinguish between the following playlists:

  1. algorithm-based playlists (Spotify);
  2. independent playlists (external bloggers & curators);
  3. editorial playlists (Spotify’s curators).

We’ll focus on the last two and provide playlist pitch template using Cyanite. Independent playlists usually have their own websites, as well as contact details somewhere on the website. They would host their playlist on a multitude of platforms including Spotify.

Editorial playlists on Spotify are created by Spotify editors. These playlists can only be accessed via the portal Spotify for Artists. For those who do not yet know how the portal works, here are two quick guides by Spotify and Spinnup.

What is Spotify for Artists?
If you’re going to pitch Spotify, Spotify for Artists is the tool for you. Any artist can submit a track to Spotify so that Spotify editors can review and include it into one of the playlists. The editorial team at Spotify accepts only unreleased tracks, so if your song is already on Spotify you won’t be able to submit it. Therefore, before you choose the submission date on Spotify for Artist, make sure you use the pitching option first. At the same time, editors’ review takes time, so you need to submit a song well in advance.

Tip: If you submit a track on Spotify for Artists at least seven days before the release, it is included in the Release Radar of the artist’s followers.

How to Pitch a Track?
Spotify for Artists gives you a step-by-step guide on how to pitch the song. But as with every platform, there are tips and tricks that can increase your chances of getting onto the playlist. 

Here Cyanite comes into play, as it improves the quality of your pitch and makes things more smooth and productive. 

Our tips on how to pitch a playlist using Cyanite include:

  1. Identify the strongest emotions of the song;
  2. Find the right words for the Spotify song description;
  3. Filter out the most suitable playlists. 

Let’s explore these steps in detail.

Tip 1: Identify the strongest emotions of the song.

The Spotify for Artists portal lets you select two emotions that classify your song the best. Being limited to only two, it is very important to make the right choice here. The emotional and subjective nature of music makes this task particularly difficult.

Spotify for Artists pitching

Here is how you do it with Cyanite. Upload your song file as MP3 or via a YouTube link into your library on Cyanite. The song will be analyzed and tags such as genre, mood, energy, or instruments available for you. Also, in Cyanite’s Detail View, you will see how the moods, genres, energy levels, or instruments develop over the duration of the song. 

Here is a scheme that shows how the emotions of Spotify for Artists can be equated with the emotions on Cyanite.

If you manage to find emotions that correctly describe your track, it will save time for the editors and you will make a good first impression. This is confirmed by the professionals in the music industry, who often have to deal with tons of music releases. 

Dan Glaunsinger, an artist manager at daynight.music, used Cyanite when submitting artist SACCC to Spotify for Artists. Dan remembers that choosing emotions has always been one of the most difficult parts for him. He says: “The objective view of  Cyanite’s AI helps a lot“.

Additionally, some of Spotify’s playlists are mood-based, so mood match is the first criteria editors look at. Stephen Cirino emphasizes the relevance of emotion selection in his article on the pitching process: “Choosing the right moods to match your song can help get your music in front of curators for mood-focused playlists such as Mood Booster, Dreamy Vibes, Sad Indie and more“.

Additionally, you can choose and match genres, sub-genres, and instruments using Cyanite. Here is the screenshot of the song analysis with all the data:

Cyanite Analysis of genre, sub-genre, mood

Tip 2: Find the right words for the song description.

Spotify song description is usually mentioned as the most important part of the Spotify pitch by the editors. In 500 words you need to describe what your song is about and why it is a good match to any of Spotify’s playlists. 

Yes, it is all about the context. Especially when filling in that big blank space where you can describe the song to the editors. Everything that gives the editors extra background information about the song has to be packed in here. In the end, it makes their work easier. 

For that, Cyanite’s Augmented Keywords are a great choice. They are pooled from 1,500 music describing terms featuring, genres and moods but also rather abstract terms such as contexts, situations, use cases, and activities.

We give more detailed instructions and Spotify playlist pitch example in the article: How to Write Press Releases and Music Pitches with Cyanite.

Spotify for Artists text description

The text pitch should present you as an artist and also include details about the song: your artistic approach, inspiration, collaborations, credits, and future plans can be included here. You can also mention which playlist might be a good fit for the track. 

AWAL, the distributor and label of Kobalt, writes: “It also requires self-classification, which might offer additional value to a company that hopes to match a listener’s mood with the appropriate soundtrack, as quickly and accurately as possible“. With the company, of course, Spotify is meant.

A big part of how listeners experience a song is the way it develops and what turns it takes over the duration of the track. As the name suggests, the Dynamic Emotion Analysis does not only show you what moods a song is made of. It maps the most characteristic peaks and lows and all developments in between. This gives you the data-supported vocabulary to describe certain dynamics of your song and the fine little details that let it stand out. See the screenshot below.

Cyanite detail view with dynamic emotion analysis

Additionally, to write a text pitch you can use Cyanite Augmented Keywords. These are the keywords that characterize a song in addition to other data on moods, genre, energy level and etc.

Tom Odell’s Grow Old With analysis – Augmented keywords from Cyanite

You can use these keywords to write a compelling text pitch or just copy and paste them into one of the AI writers and the software will write it for you. With some human editing, current AI writing tools can produce compelling song descriptions and pitches. We tried using a “product description” option and here is the result for Tom Odell’s Grow Old with Me

Tom Odell’s soothing new song is the perfect soundtrack for any emotional situation. It reminds you that beauty, love, and joy are always close by and will always be a part of your life. The acoustic guitar and piano melodies help create a calm and relaxed atmosphere where you can’t help but feel comfortable. Tom Odell has the power to move you through music. Take the time to experience Grow Old With.

Tip 3: Filter out the most suitable playlists.

After analyzing the mood of your music in a bottom-up approach, let’s see how you shed some light on the character of the playlists themselves. In a reverse engineering approach, we identify the most fitting lists by using the Track Mood Analysis.

With Cyanite, we considered the first 10 tracks from the popular playlists Deep Focus and Motivation Monday. As Cyanite and Spotify accounts are connected, selecting tracks for the analysis is very convenient.

Example 1: Playlist Deep Focus (3.3 million followers)

The screenshot outlines how the Deep Focus playlist moves in the lower half of the network diagram, which is comprising more calm moods.

Example 2: Playlist “Monday Motivation” (600k followers)

In contrast to the Deep Focus playlist, the songs of the Monday Motivation playlist cover a much more positive mood and a higher activation level.

We also fully analyzed Spotify New Music Friday playlist, so if you want to see the results of the analysis you can download a free data sheet here

So how exactly can I use this analysis for myself as an artist or artist manager in playlist pitching? As we know, Spotify for Artists does not allow you to directly suggest the editorial playlists you would like to get into. The Spotify editors have control here. Fortunately, there are also many public playlists put together by independent curators, such as Monday to Monday, Indietronic or Songpickr. Playlists like Soundplate or Indiemono even offer their own ways to submit music via their websites.

Long story short: find out the general vibe of a playlist, compare it to the moods in your song and figure out which playlists fit best. Then consider all the other relevant factors such as genre, country, and cultural influence and put your time into messaging only the right curators.

How to best approach these indie curators is well described here and for more great tips on how to promote your music check out this article by Studio Frequencies.

Will I Be Picked?
It is impossible to tell if your track is going to be picked by Spotify. The waiting time to find out is usually from two weeks to a month. If after that time you realize that nothing is happening, don’t worry. Sometimes the track is picked later when it starts to gain traction and listens on Spotify. 

That’s why it is important to continue your promotional efforts after the release and use other platforms including social media. We explain why using ads and social media outreach is so important for Spotify editors in the article: How to Create Custom Audiences for Pre-Release Music Campaigns in Facebook, Instagram, and Google.

What’s Next?
Given the continuous streaming hype, mastering the art of playlist pitching seems inevitable.

Nevertheless, because playlists have such an influence on the music industry, it’s a topic that needs critical discussion. In addition to our guide, we recommend these readings on Spotify curatorial practices and playlisting on Musically and BestFriendsClub.

Ultimately, the success with playlist pitching comes with finding the right fit and putting work into correctly tagging the song and writing a song description. You can do that manually or you can use tools like Cyanite if you’re tired of listening to the same track over and over again or if you have large volumes of music to pitch. 

I want to use Cyanite for playlist pitching – how can I get started?

Please contact us with any questions about our Cyanite AI via mail@cyanite.ai. You can also directly book a web session with Cyanite co-founder Markus here.

If you want to get the first grip on Cyanite’s technology, you can also register for our free web app to analyze music and try similarity searches without any coding needed.

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