Playlisting made sense from 2014 up until 2018. Maybe a bit in 2019 but then it just went downhill and the value of getting your music selected for playlists diminished to being null in 2022. While a large section of the indie music sphere still tries to generate momentum via playlists, the intelligent artist will read on to be at peace with himself that yes, indeed, investing money or time in Spotify is ineffective and very much a guaranteed loss of whatever you put in. Discover below the 5 inarguable reasons why Spotify playlisting is irrelevant in 2022.
5. That New Traffic Is Very Temporary
The numbers’ game. Always over and over. And always the one key difference between the successful independent artists and the struggling ones. Do you remember how we told you repeatedly to never pay for fake boosted views and for exaggerated one-off marketing campaigns because you kill your sustainability? This is valid for Spotify as well. Whether fake boosted or legitimately paid to be added by verified curators, that is extra traffic you most likely won’t be able to maintain for your future releases. How do you think you look when you pitch yourself to media outlets and they see you got some song in the past for which you garnered over 50k streams but only got 50 monthly listeners? Not to mention that you need to turn PEOPLE into FANS. Unless you do this, you will never get out of the struggle. And that is not achieved via numbers. That is achieved via real, organic, and sincere connection with the new listeners and that takes time.
4. You Can Only Keep And Control What’s YOURS.
What do MySpace, Vine, and Google+ have in common? We can’t speak about any of the 3 in the present tense. Socially, culturally, and numerically they’re dead. Somehow MySpace has an estimated 13 million visitors a month but the other 2 are officially defunct. Now Facebook is following them to the digital grave. Now what makes you think Spotify won’t join them in the future?
Okay, let’s make a second point. You pay for a highly optimized marketing campaign that sends people to your Spotify page instead of your own musician website. You gain a lot of new listeners, awesome, but you never thought this through, did you? What if Spotify mistakenly takes down all of your stats and data tomorrow due to a hack or an internal error? And worse of all, you never translated those new listeners into permanent fans that you can stay in touch with. That is something only your own OWNED website can provide and achieve. Be smart. High Spotify listener numbers don’t amount to much. And their royalty payout is pretty terrible too.
3. Few Playlists Matter And Usually They’re Not Open Access.
Sure, you too can create your own playlist and add whoever you want to it. But who’s gonna listen to it? Other playlisters from Facebook groups who don’t actually listen to the songs but mute play the tab in the background and engage in like for like? You do realize that even if the numbers go up they are not tangible or worth ANYTHING. Unless you have a community that WANTS to hear out what you tune into, your playlist is worth zero. And unfortunately, those are 90% of the Spotify playlists. Archives of music that no one gives a damn about and have thousands upon thousands of likes and it never gets anyone anywhere.
The only playlists that matter are those that are created with purpose and intent and have a community supporting them. We have our own BRE Playlist which we feature at the bottom of all articles. And we’re about to hit our first 100 followers. You think this is little but many of the artists we feature on our playlist have been discovered via our small, unknown playlist. Why? Because we get thousands and thousands of monthly readers on our website who read our articles and a portion of those play the playlist. A smaller portion actually goes as far as liking it on Spotify. So our music gets played more than it has followers which is normal and exactly what SHOULD be happening when your playlist is real. But these followers are real, they care about what we say, and they’ve all gone through at least one piece of content we put out. They know who we are, what we do, and are permanent followers. We’ll take 100 real permanent followers over 1000 who are the result of like-for-like exchanges. And of course, our playlist is not open to the public. It only features artists we’ve written about on our platform first.
2. You’re Limiting Your Exposure.
Spotify has over 170 million subscribed users. Do you know how many paying users Apple Music has? 78 million or 15% of all global music streaming services subscriptions. How about Amazon Music? 48 million loyal paying customers. Or YouTube Music? 50 million paying subscribers. Do you know what this means? It means there’s a total of 176 million paying users who DO NOT use Spotify as their primary music platform. And in case you didn’t observe already, 176 million >170 million.
You are limiting your own exposure when you focus solely on one streaming platform.
1. Social Media Determines The New Hits, NOT Streaming Platforms.
This is the current music industry cycle:
1. A trend catches fire on TikTok.
2. The song used in the TikTok trend gets googled and searched by curious TikTok users who want to stream the song outside of the platform.
3. The song now gets a ton of traffic from the searches amassing impressive and sudden numbers on all streaming platforms.
4. The streaming platforms pick it up and add it to their biggest editorial playlists.
5. Radios and DJs hear out the updated playlists and add the new record to their own rotation.
6. The record now enters the official charts and everyone on Earth knows of it. People off social media included.
Now as you’ve noticed, Spotify and the likes of it are only on the receiving end NOT on the creator end. What prompts now a song to mean something is the people’s EXPERIENCE of it which is created via TikTok trends. If you simplify it, it’s not much different than the Harlem Shake or Gangnam Style. Now it’s just a lot of Harlem Shakes and a lot of Gangnam styles simultaneously. We are all globally connected via these little silly trends because it makes us feel human and less alone. On this basis alone, you should invest in growing your TikTok if anything, and NOT your Spotify numbers. Better yet, your own musician website.
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2022
If you’re on Spotify, help us out by streaming the playlist below. Yes, your time and attention are just as valuable as a monetary donation and we both know you didn’t pay for this article.