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Playlist Push Revisited

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Playlist Push promises to help independent artists get their music on Spotify playlists, and gives playlist curators a way to monetize their music discovery. As of this writing, they have 242 curators across 60 genres with a total of 8 million followers.

Campaigns start at $185 and run for two weeks.  The price increases with genre popularity, or by adding multiple genres, providing more placement opportunities. Pop, hip hop, and indie rock are their main genres, which doesn’t bode well for a retro synth nerd like yours truly, but more on that later.

When I first reviewed the service in November, they were experiencing a massive influx of curators, and weren’t able to screen them all properly. As a result, my five playlist adds were of negligible to questionable value, and I didn’t see my Spotify numbers budge.

Since then they’ve gotten their act together. They monitor all accounts for suspicious activity, fake or inactive followers, multiple accounts, and other violations. I saw plenty of improvements on the curator end, until I decided that screening songs at $0.75 a pop wasn’t worth my time, especially since so few were a good fit for my retro synth playlist.

That’s not a standard payout, mind you. It’s determined by your reputation score as a curator, which hinges on a variety of factors, like leaving helpful reviews, how long you’ve been on the platform, and how active your playlists are. My playlist barely met the minimum requirement of 400 followers and I was a total newb, so my payout was relatively low.

Last time I mentioned that CEO George Goodrich offered me a redo, which we did in March with my song “In Motion”.

I sent an mp3 and they took care of the rest, so I can’t walk you through the campaign creation process like I normally would. I found out afterward that the campaign would have cost $230, and the genre my song was placed in was… disco.

Playlist Push genre

Yes, disco.

Apparently it’s still a thing. I don’t know if that decision was a fatal flaw or a stroke of genius, but there were plenty of curators ready and willing to screen my track.

Saturday Night Fever disco

My Playlist Push Campaign Results

Playlist Push campaign results

After two weeks, I received 41 written reviews and 4 playlist adds. Unapproved or less than two-star reviews aren’t shown, so I don’t know how many curators actually listened to the song.

The quality of the written reviews was excellent, with many curators promising to follow me, check out my other tracks, or even add the track to their playlist at a later date. For example, here’s way more than $0.75 worth of feedback from someone who didn’t even add the track:

nice review

And a refreshingly musically-literate comment from someone who did:

Workout - Running Playlist

Of course, there are also the usual backhanded compliments I’m used to from SubmitHub:

funny review

As much as I’d love to be able to tell you my streams went through the roof, that wasn’t the case. So you may be wondering what the song popularity +55% figure above means.

Spotify assigns a popularity score to every song and artist, which you can see on Chartmetric. So Playlist Push approximates that the playlist adds will result in a 55% increase in that score. Of course, that’s just a guess, because it has no way of knowing how many streams it will actually get.

Currently my song has a popularity score of 16 out of 100, so if their algorithm were accurate, that would mean the campaign took the song from a 10 to a 16. In other words, from totally unpopular to very unpopular.

When I wrote my first review, Spotify for Artists only showed playlists that generated 25 streams of a song. Now it shows the top 30 playlists for the artist, and the top 15 playlists for any individual song.

Out of the top 15 playlists for “In Motion”, currently two are from Playlist Push (#4 and #6). It hasn’t been 28 days yet, so I expect those numbers to go up.

Spotify playlists

The four playlists that added my track are:

Workout – Running Playlist by Chris Lee
SPOTLIGHT – Edm • Pop • Hits by Augmented Music
New Cool Music ☊ Pop Hits ♬ 2018 ♬ 2017 by Gerardo Boué
the popularizer by talkaboutpopmusic.net

They’re all legit as far as I can tell, but if you discover otherwise, let me know!

Your mileage WILL vary

It would be easy to conclude that Playlist Push doesn’t work, but I don’t think that’s fair. Ultimately you’re only paying to use their software. The way I see it, the moral of the story is: don’t submit retro 80s synthwave to mainstream playlists and expect good results.

George gave me a PDF with two case studies showing fantastic results, as you’d expect. Just last week I was talking with a friend/mastering client/patron who landed some big placements with Playlist Push. It all comes down to the music.

If you’re working in a niche genre like I am, maybe Playlist Push isn’t the best choice. Otherwise, it’s basically SubmitHub Lite™.

If you’ve got more time than money, start with SubmitHub. They don’t have anywhere near as many Spotify curators, but you can research them individually and choose only the most promising.

If you can afford it, Playlist Push will get your music to the ears of a wide swath of curators in one fell swoop, zero effort required.

If you can afford both, even better, assuming the song justifies the investment! I always get a Crowd Review first.

I get the same sorts of feedback on both SubmitHub and Playlist Push…

“Love the song, but it’s not a good fit.”
“Too retro.”
“Amazing vocals but I don’t like the production.”
“Amazing production but I don’t like the vocals.”

Should you decide to give it a try, please support the site by using my affiliate link. Don’t forget to share your results in the comments!

UPDATE 10/5/18: Playlist Push now offers an alternate referral method. The affiliate link still works, but if you instead use coupon code KNNX437 you’ll get a 7.5% discount on your first campaign.

If you’d like to hear more of my promotional escapades, be sure to subscribe to my How I’m Promoting My Music This Month email newsletter.

20 Comments

  • Reply
    Daniel
    May 2, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Thanks Brian, great article as always, I’ll definitely be checking them out!

  • Reply
    Chris Lee
    May 5, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Great insight, Brian. Thanks for the review of my review! Man, it’s tough being on the receiving end of this…

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      May 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      You are the star of the show! Thanks again for the thoughtful comments and playlist add Chris!

  • Reply
    Martin Kennedy
    May 8, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    I just joined as a curator… on the strength of your article. Fascinating experience so far. I think there needs to be a few more genres added or sub genres for ‘electronic’ in particular or at least a bit more targeting (of the song to the curator). I’m getting some great songs but they are miles from my stated playlist genres

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      May 9, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Glad to hear you’re giving it a go! I haven’t actually seen all the sub genres for electronic, but if my best option was disco, I’m sure you’re right. Maybe they don’t have the curators to support that level of focus yet, or they just want to cast a wide net.

    • Reply
      Marc Z
      May 22, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Hi. I was wondering if i’d be able to contact you because I make lots of electronic music 🙂

  • Reply
    Dubstep Jaggernaut
    May 24, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Poor Brian Hazard…still dumping his time and money in worthlesss payola services…aren’t you ever getting tired of being ripped of?I guess not.

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      May 24, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Maybe you should focus on your reading skills rather than making worthless comments. As the article clearly states, it was free.

  • Reply
    Niqui Niqui
    May 30, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I appreciate this article, you’re always looking out for your fellow artists!

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      June 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      My pleasure! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    Martin Kennedy
    June 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Update to my previous comment. Thoughts on Playlist Push as a curator – mostly a positive experience. Some questionable songs came my way and I found it hard to write them off but I had to reject them to preserve the integrity of my playlists. It was so nice when I received amazing songs AND they fit either of my playlists.
    My experience as an artist submitting a song – Holy crap it was devastating! Some of the comments made me realise just how generous I’d been as a curator. I had a dozen or so reviews mostly negative and was added to only 3 playlists, two of which removed me within a week or two. To be fair, my slower style of music is probably too niche for the majority of curators. Not sure if I’ll continue with it.

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      June 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks for the view from both sides of the mountain!

      Yeah, I stopped curating because my playlist is just too niche. I was letting in stuff that really didn’t belong, because I wanted to be nice and not reject EVERYTHING.

      As for submitting, maybe it’s worth trying Crowd Review and/or SubmitHub first to make sure people are responding positively to it. That said, I just submitted an instrumental that got rave reviews on Crowd Review (a 7.9 = 97th percentile) and it pretty much bombed on SubmitHub.

  • Reply
    Brian Young
    July 18, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Very insightful, really helpful as I navigate these waters.

  • Reply
    Katie
    July 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    I found playlist push to be a massive scam. Paid 1000 dollars and the FEW playlists they got me on did almost nothing for my song. I literally got more streams from a 20 dollar gig on fiver.

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      July 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Sorry to hear that! You must have put it in multiple genres, which makes me wonder if the targeting could have been better. Or maybe one genre has grown so big that it commands that kind of price on its own, which is pretty intimidating!

      I assume that you got a ton of feedback and that the curators actually listened to the song? If so, I don’t think it’s fair to call it a scam. You’re paying to use their software and connect with curators. They can’t possibly guarantee playlist adds.

      Have you had any better luck with SubmitHub? I think that’s a cheaper way to test the waters, if you’re willing to do the work of finding the most appropriate curators to pitch to.

    • Reply
      Brian Hazard
      July 28, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Coincidentally, I was just on SubmitHub and the latest chat item was a Playlist Push success story. 50K spins in 1 month. But the point that drew my attention was this:

      “I would suggest just picking one or two genres to submit to, as their genres cross over a lot, so basically you’re paying for the same playlist twice.”

      Wonder if that was the case for you…

  • Reply
    katabok
    August 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    wow interesting man… thanks for sharing!

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