Playlist Push is a platform that connects independent artists to Spotify playlist curators, boasting over 4000 playlists. It’s a premium service at a premium price, basically a rich man’s SubmitHub or Groover.
I first reviewed Playlist Push back in November of 2017 and my results were pretty meh. I gave them another shot in May of 2018 and came to a slightly more nuanced conclusion. In both instances, my niche genre held me back.
CEO George Goodrich reached out to me in February to chat about recent updates to the platform. We caught up on a call and he explained that he was hitting up many of the “OG reviewers” to see if they’d give it another shot.
Two months later, here we are!
This time George picked the track from three options I provided. He also reviewed my targeting before the campaign went live. I was feeling quite optimistic!
Was that optimism justified? Read on!
Launching a Playlist Push Campaign
Here’s the track we went with:
It’s upbeat, lovey-dovey, and slightly over the top in an 80s sort of way. It generated 6.28 streams per listener on Spotify Marquee with a 25% intent rate, so it seemed like a promising choice.
I did a little preliminary research on Musiio Tag to inform my targeting:
I didn’t have a strong feel for what indietronica was, so I looked it up:
Yeah, that seems about right. I’ve often been compared to The Postal Service and Owl City.
Armed with some objective knowledge about my track, I logged in to Playlist Push to create the campaign.
Hard to believe it’s been five years.
Here’s where things get interesting:
Playlist Push streamlines the process of identifying your track’s genre by doing it for you, based on the similar artists you choose. To begin, it offers artist suggestions from the “Fans Also Like” section of your Spotify profile, assuming you’ve got one.
It suggested 30 genres based on the artists I selected:
I wasn’t intimately familiar with many of them, and some were completely new to me, like indie poptimism and metropopolis.
Spotify had me covered though! In most cases, a search for the genre brought up a corresponding playlist:
I couldn’t be sure I was getting an objective take on the genre though, as all of the artists listed above except Say Lou Lou are ones I actually listen to. Heck, I’ve collaborated with three of them!
I suppose the playlist description does say “picked just for you.” But does that mean that the selections aren’t representative of the genre?
Here’s what I ended up going with:
When I said that Playlist Push is a premium service, I wasn’t kidding. A max budget campaign costs as much as a 2012 Toyota Prius.
Up until this point, I was pumped. The process of selecting genres felt scientific and precise, so I figured my track would only go out to the best possible candidates.
Having extensively scoured the Spotify landscape, there’s no way there are 2734 playlists appropriate for my music, and zero chance that any given curator has more than one playlist that my music would fit on.
Doing some basic math, that’s $11 per submission, roughly 5x the cost of SubmitHub and Groover.
George gave me a $100 discount code. That wasn’t enough to give the platform a fair shake, so against my better judgment, I chipped in $310 of my own money.
That slider is super finicky! It took several attempts to even get it in the $300-500 range.
It must normally cost extra to launch the campaign right away, but in my case Priority Launch was free. I assume that’s because I’m an Amazon Prime member.
The whole process is streamlined and polished until your payment is processed. I was expecting a thank you page with animated fireworks but instead, I got this:
Clicking through to the hyperlinked page allows you to track the progress of the campaign:
I also received an email asking me to grant permissions to my Spotify for Artists account, which I did.
My Playlist Push Campaign Results
Curators have two weeks to respond. You receive an email for each playlist add:
You can view the responses page at any time, where you’re encouraged to rate the reviews from 1-5 stars:
On the whole, the quality of reviews is on par with SubmitHub and Groover. Historically I like to cherry-pick a few for their comedic value, but there were no obvious knee-slappers this time.
These four are so weak that they don’t even meet SubmitHub’s minimum requirements:
Nice work but Need better work on mix mastering keep it up!
The energy of this is incredible! It’s not right for my playlists, but keep going!
I love the vocal so much but the I am not a fan of the drums, too monotonous for me
Not good enough, the voice needs work, not catchy, need a more organic sound and more production
Note to self: next time, more production.
You can download a PDF of my complete results including the full text of every review here.
You may have already caught the recurring theme of “not right for my playlists.” Quite a disappointment after such a rigorous targeting process!
“Not a fit” was the top reason provided for rejecting the track. Some examples:
unfortunately its not a right genre fit for our indie playlists
we’re looking for tracks that implement a fuller pop-band experience and fewer electronic elements
unfortunately I don’t have a playlist in that style yet to accept your music
this indie pop/electro pop genre doesn’t fit my chill house playlist
I don’t have a place a song like this would fit on my playlist
I don’t have a playlist with a well enough matching mood/genre
Super frustrating! It would be one thing if we could choose which curators to submit to, but we’re completely at the mercy of the “new and improved” targeting.
On the plus side, I received 66 reviews even though I paid for an estimated 49 curators.
Here’s a summary of my final results:
At first blush, it looks pretty good! All the numbers went up.
Did that have anything to do with the campaign? No. It didn’t.
Here are the playlists my track was added to:
You can tell from their names that these playlists have little potential to reach fans of my genre, with the exception of my friends at indie alt pop (who had already added the track via SubmitHub).
Here are my Spotify for Artist stats for the song from the launch of the campaign through the final report:
Sure, it looks bad, but imagine how much worse it would’ve been if not for Playlist Push!
Kidding aside, the playlists did generate some streams:
I crossed out my own playlist, but the others are all from the campaign.
Playlist Push Conclusion, 2023 Edition
As a rule, I don’t like to write negative posts. Like Mom always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
In this case, not saying anything at all isn’t an option. I agreed to write a review and sunk $310 of my own money into it.
My stance used to be that if you’ve got more money than time, it might make sense to opt for Playlist Push over SubmitHub.
Today SubmitHub can automatically select curators for you too, and it does a much better job of it. You can see exactly who you’re submitting to, what playlists they curate, how often they accept tracks in your selected genres, and how many streams you’re likely to get if added. And you can deselect the ones you don’t want!
Bottom line, you’ll reach many of the same curators on SubmitHub for a fraction of the cost.
With that in mind, I can only in good conscience recommend Playlist Push if you’ve already exhausted your opportunities at SubmitHub. Arguably, Groover should be your next stop, assuming you can dedicate a few hours to researching the curators there.
Have you tried Playlist Push? Another Spotify playlist pitching service? Share your thoughts and results in the comments!