I gave up on Spotify playlist pitching services. They just aren’t worth it.
First off, there’s the risk of bots, which could get you booted off Spotify. Every service denies using them, but what human would choose to listen to unthemed collections of random songs by unknown artists? And yet there they are, sometimes with tens of thousands of followers.
The services that don’t employ bots tend to place your songs on ultimately worthless playlists. In my case, workout playlists, fake movie soundtrack playlists, and 80s playlists, quietly buried among actual hits from the era.
Sure, those playlists generate streams, but not fans. The minute the campaign ends, your monthly listener count plummets. Your Fans Also Like is skewed towards the pitching service’s other clients because Spotify can’t tell who your real fans are.
If you’re lucky, you earn back enough royalties to cover maybe a third of the cost of the campaign, and then you’re back to square one.
Normally I wouldn’t, but I received an offer too good to refuse from someone I trust.
Meet the Blaster Twins
Now she’s got a new service called Playlist Blaster that accepts all genres and promotes on Spotify, YouTube, and TikTok.
They offer Spotify campaigns ranging from $500 to $5000, with a guaranteed number of streams depending on genre, quality, and mainstream appeal.
In return for writing about my experience, she offered me a $2000 campaign with a guarantee of 120K streams. To no one’s surprise, I said yes!
Playlist Blaster Targeting
Vicky suggested the following targets in order of importance: Synthwave, Night Drive, Gaming, TikTok, Anime
I added Retrogaming and Synthesizer since those interest targets perform well for me on Facebook.
To be clear, this isn’t some sort of automated search. They hunt for appropriate playlists manually.
TikTok didn’t immediately strike me as a match since my audience skews older. I asked Vicky why she suggested it, and she explained that TikTok playlists include all genres and would allow me to reach a younger audience while also being associated with trending songs.
My Playlist Blaster Results
The campaign for my song “The Outset” started on its April 16 release date and ran for nearly seven months.
While it performed admirably, it may have been a tough sell considering that the vocals don’t enter until the one-minute mark. Also unhelpful is the lack of any obvious chorus, though the refrain has a solid hook if I do say so myself!
Vicky landed five big playlists within days, with five more to follow shortly thereafter.
Here are the song’s all-time top playlists, with Playlist Blaster placements circled in red:
Busting out the old calculator, that’s 165K streams to date, blowing past the promised 120K.
Here’s how those streams played out over time:
And here are my past 7 days, with the vast majority of plays still coming from Playlist Blaster placements even though the campaign is over:
Playlist Blaster Conclusions & Recommendations
No question, Playlist Blaster overdelivered.
Based on a payout of $0.004 per stream, I anticipate receiving about $660 in royalties for streams to date.
While I wasn’t placed on any workout or fake movie soundtrack playlists, not every placement was a perfect fit. Obviously, the song isn’t an actual TikTok hit, nor is it chill trap.
To be fair, there aren’t that many big synthwave playlists, and the one she placed me on might be the biggest. I’m already on or have been declined by most of the others.
Gaming strikes me as the next best thing, and “relaxing music” is broad enough to work. My music is copyright-free in the sense that I don’t enable Content ID, and I encourage streamers to use it on Twitch and YouTube.
With all that in mind, I don’t see much room for improvement. I’ve spent hours searching for more appropriate playlists only to come up empty-handed. If I had any better suggestions, Vicky would’ve been happy to approach those curators on my behalf.
I highly recommend Playlist Blaster and see no reason to go anywhere else.
It’s been a couple of years since I wrote about Spotify PR, and in that time I’ve heard nothing but tales of woe from friends and fellow artists who’ve tried other services. That includes the one that comes up in my Facebook and Instagram feeds constantly, and likely yours too!
There is one thing I’d do differently though!
I’d wait a month or so before launching the campaign, to maximize my chances of getting algorithmic traction using Facebook ads. The higher the percentage of streams from playlists, the lower the save ratio, so holding off might yield better results in the long run.
That’s all theoretical though, and I don’t think there’s a reliable way to test out that hypothesis. There’s probably an ideal balance between stream count and save ratio that calls for a mixed approach.
If you’d like to give Playlist Blaster a shot, submit your music via their homepage or email [email protected] and let them know I sent you. There’s nothing in it for me, but it’ll signal that you’re a discerning customer!
Have you tried a playlist promotion service? How does it compare with Facebook ads? Share your results in the comments!