What Artists Should Know About Playlist-Promotion.com

I’d heard good things about Playlist-Promotion.com before their manager Andi reached out to me in mid-July. He offered me a campaign valued at $350 for the purpose of a review.

I knew they could deliver a good number of placements and streams safely (my #1 priority), but I worried they didn’t have enough playlists specific to synthwave/synthpop.

Andi shared my concern and asked if I had songs in another genre. I provided him a link to my (not Spotify’s) This Is Color Theory playlist and he came back with three selections he thought would work for pop, indie pop, electro pop and indietronica playlists.

We settled on my new (at the time) single, “The Rot.”

I gave Andi read-only access to my Spotify for Artists account so he could monitor the results on his end, and promptly departed on a late summer family vacation.

My Playlist-Promotion.com Results

When I returned, a full report was available:

My song had been added to 26 playlists with a total follower count of 682.3K.

A $350 campaign promises a follower reach of 100K, meaning they overdelivered by nearly 7x.

Andi assured me that the 100K figure was only a minimum. Depending on how well the song is received by curators, it can go higher. I’m not complaining!

Here’s a full list of the playlists my song was added to:

Playlist-Promotion.com playlist placements

While my song is objectively not a “hit” in any sense, much less an 80s or 90s hit, the placements were on target.

I appreciated that there were:

  1. No fake soundtrack playlists ✔️
  2. No workout playlists ✔️
  3. No copyright free Twitch playlists ✔️
  4. No TikTok playlists ✔️

Those seem to be the bread and butter of most playlisting services.

Other than “insomniacs” and “store music,” the playlists are all built around a particular musical style and/or period.

That means they’re likely to feature music similar to mine, giving me the best chance of reaching fans of my genre. Or at least not mucking up my Fans Also Like section any more than it already is! (don’t get me started)

Of course follower reach doesn’t say anything about how active the playlists are. Some small playlists generate impressive stream counts, while some big ones are virtually dead.

Here are my Spotify for Artists playlist stats after three months. I’ve circled the Playlist-Promotion.com placements.

Playlist-Promotion.com playlist stream counts

Playlist-Promotion.com is responsible for 32K of the nearly 43K streams of the song since the campaign launched:

That number is still rising! My song remains in the top two playlists after three months, which is surprising because curators are only required to keep them in for 30 days.

I reached out to Andi to make sure I wasn’t getting special treatment, and he said it happens all the time. Either the curator really likes the song or forgets to remove it.

Normally you wouldn’t want over 70% of your streams to come from playlist promotion. Fortunately my other songs are doing well enough that, looking at my catalog as a whole, “other listener’s playlists” only account for 27% of my streams (and that includes my own playlists).

As you probably guessed from the playlist names, they mostly reach Spanish-speaking countries, where retro music has a strong following:

Keep in mind that the above stats are for all streams of the song, not just Playlist-Promotion.com placements.

The top cities look completely reasonable, with no obvious outliers:

Playlist-Promotion.com Conclusion

I feel entirely confident recommending Playlist-Promotion.com.

With so many artists’ music being taken down for botted streams, it’s more important than ever to find a company you can trust. Every service promises “100% organic Spotify promotion” but many (most?) of them are either lying or hiring out a service that is lying to them.

If you’d like to try out Playlist-Promotion for yourself, you can get $30 off using coupon code “PASSIVEPROMOTION” (no quotes) here.

I’ll make a small commission, which will go towards further experiments.

The only other playlisting service I know is legit is Moonstrive Media (my review here), which specializes in SEO playlisting. Their playlist network is unlikely to overlap with Playlist-Promotion.com’s, so you could potentially try both out either sequentially or simultaneously and reach a broader selection of curators.

Have you tried Playlist-Promotion.com? How are you promoting your music on Spotify? Share your thoughts and results in the comments!

31 Comments

  1. Are you concerned about Spotify’s inverse Robin Hood plans to “rob the poor to pay the rich” with the Royalty scheme that awards the royalties for low level plays to their top payers?

    I notice Deezer is also moving to that model too. It feels very scammy. I am thinking of pulling all my music from these sites in protest. I never saw value from Spotify even with one of my published tracks via a label getting hundreds of thousands of plays. But to hear that all my low playing tracks will just now serve the music juggonauts, is not a model I want to support moving forward.

    I have been in the music business since the 90s, and it in many ways it is worse for artists today because it cons them better but on the same promises: the lure of fame and riches, while never delivering, and only ever feeding the machine’s darlings.

    I am starting to think we are better off going to personal delivery models, where the only way to get our stuff is via our own websites. Earn a living another way, and use that to fund our creative ventures. That is probably going to be my approach for the future with my music, and my books.

    1. I was just debating this in the YouTube comments of an artist who decided to pull their music from Spotify in protest.

      My understanding is that most royalties below the threshold go uncollected, and that putting them into the pool will mean ever-so-slightly bigger payouts for the rest of us. That could be wrong, and nobody knows where the threshold is. AFAIK Spotify hasn’t made any announcement yet.

      The other changes are obviously good, but don’t go far enough. Spotify should have their own royalty-free white noise and rain sound effects, for example. Nobody should be collecting royalties for that.

      YouTube’s requirements are almost certainly much higher than Spotify’s will be, 4000 watch hours in a year if memory serves. I’m surprised more people aren’t drawing the obvious contrast. If Spotify is a villian, than YouTube is the antichrist.

      tldr I don’t have any issue with it, yet.

      1. Yea, I am done with YT too. They started removing my comments recently and giving me notices when discussing this subject. Been researching options and – not ideal – but am in the process of moving all my music videos to Rumble and will gradually reduce my YT exposure.

        I hadn’t really considered this side of it until the new “inverse robin hood” model got defined by Spotify recently. I assumed my YT music videos underlying music copyright ISRC would cover any plays, but I take from your comment that probably we sign the right of that away too, when we agree to distribution.

        I use Routenote, and am waiting to see if they allow me to adjust my distribution outlets, I dont seem to able to edit the existing ones. Yesterday I removed all my Amuse distribution because they claim to allow it, but when you try to change it, you just get caught in a support loop. lol.

        I am seeing more people treat this moment as the time to make an exodus from streaming. I really dont think it adds value for most independant small time artists and just becomes a distraction from the art and from connection with fans in a real way. The only thing that would keep me there now, is the advantage of ISRCs being issued against all my tracks for free and thus royalties elsewhere get collected by APRA (Australian performing rights society)

        I am hoping and praying Bandcamp survives the ongoing changes having been sold by Epic to … whoever it was… Seen a lot of complaints by the “union” fans in the staff getting axed, but tbh I see unions as causing as much trouble as the companies they work for. So far Bandcamp is the last bastion of indepentant artist fair play. If they go, I’ll have to look at selling from my website direct.

        Is this a bad move? I dont think so. Why on earth would I support the theft of value from millions of independant artists by huge outlets? I cant justify it. And to be honest, I am glad to be walking away from streaming, its been a con since it began. My D&B collboration release (as Mark Berry) hit hundreds of thousands of plays and we got hardly anything.

        I am old though, so have done my time in the machine. I now want to work for the love of creativity. The industry is just a distracting, hungry monster, and always will be, imo. Prince was on the right track.

        1. The way I see it, YouTube and Spotify are exposure. They introduce my music to thousands of new listeners per month. Getting paid for it is gravy. Or icing. Or gravy icing, delicious.

          As for the 1000 streams requirement, that’s a couple bucks. I think the idea is that many distributors have a minimum payout threshold, and that artists who generate a few hundred streams per year never hit it, and the money goes unpaid.

          It might be worth complaining about if the threshold were an order of magnitude higher, but I don’t see it as a big deal. Again, it’s far less restrictive than YouTube.

          I’m not sure what you mean about ISRCs, or the idea of them being “issued against” tracks. I assign my own fwiw.

          I’m with you on Bandcamp, and I do sell direct on my website!

          Let’s say for the sake of argument that I’m Damn Angry about this nonsense, so I pull my music from YouTube and Spotify and streaming and Bandcamp because I side with the union.

          What’s left, social media? Are Meta’s hands not just as dirty? Where do you draw the line?

  2. Hi, appreciate your work!
    But how do you know that this is legit though? How do you really know that there aren’t any fake streams?

    1. A fair question Matt! I suppose I didn’t spend a lot of time exploring that in the post.

      Mostly because, as I mentioned at the start, I was already familiar with the company. I’d read/seen glowing reviews from people I trust that poked hard at that question.

      artist.tools never showed any fake playlists. I check in there at least once a week.

      I received plenty of saves and playlist adds, but the data is messy. At the beginning of October when my album that includes the track came out, I pulled the single release. From that point many of the saves and playlist adds were performed on the album, with no way to tease apart the impact of the playlist campaign.

      Bottom line, I never spotted any red flags. The track selections make sense, the geography lines up with the intended audience (Brazilian curators generating streams in Brazil), and I didn’t notice any weird spikes in streams or followers.

      You’ve got the full list of playlists if you’d like to do some digging of your own! If you catch a whiff of anything even slightly suspicious, I’d love to hear about it.

    2. Hello Matt,
      here is Andi from Playlist-Promotion.com . We take fake playlists very seriously and only collaborate with organic ones. Before adding any playlist to our system, we thoroughly vet them using multiple tools. Furthermore, we have been promoting playlists since 2015 and have partnered with many created during a time when bots were not prevalent. Rest assured, all our playlists are 100% organic. If you’d like, you can verify all the playlists yourself by using Chartmetric. It’s a reliable tool that allows you to check the complete history of each playlist.
      Best regards,

  3. I also wanted to ask you what you think about this: I see on their site that they claim BTS have used their service in 2018. I have to say I’m very skeptical about that. I really don’t think Big Hit, which is the company behind BTS would have needed this. What do you think? Maybe the service they provide is still ok though, even if that part is not true…?

  4. Sorry, I couldn’t seem to reply to the reply you left me so will add it here because I think it is an important topic currently.

    You wrote: “The way I see it, YouTube and Spotify are exposure. They introduce my music to thousands of new listeners per month. Getting paid for it is gravy.”

    Yea, but you spend most of your day driving a business aimed at marketing your music. I don’t. I just make music and don’t have a head for marketing. I have also been on spotify and YT for years and recieved zero value without driving marketing campaigns that mostly got me bot clicks from third world countries. That game is today getting even more swamped, difficult, criminally faked, and probably achieves a lot less than the same amount of effort spent on “exposure” in person at a gig, or from direct communication over social media, leading to a real fan.

    I think it is mostly false belief it creates exposure. It think it creates a business model so complex that you now have to spend your entire day working at it to get anywhere while competing with everyone else like you, all the while the water level is rising on what is your copyright ownership royalties as it gets syphoned off elsewhere.

    If you are making money from that, it is, of course, still of value to do for you. But most of us are not, and certainly won’t be now. So why bother? The exposure for most artists is really zero, and now its going to be swamped with AI creations, it will become even less.

    You wrote: “It might be worth complaining about if the threshold were an order of magnitude higher, but I don’t see it as a big deal. Again, it’s far less restrictive than YouTube.”

    For me this is like saying, I dont mind being abused at work because at least I have a job, and then pointing out it is worse across the road. Meanwhile this theft continues because everyone else thinks the same way. There is no way on this earth that putting my music into streaming services that lock me out of the same exposure you are paying handsomely to reach, is worth it. It isnt. And unless I am willing to spend as many hours of the day as you do working on that, its not going to be of value to me, so why would I put my music out there for these companies to benefit from by using me when I get nothing in return?

    If Spotify had said it plans to take the millions they make from scooping up all the small artists money and put it back into supporting small artists? Sure, but they havent.

    You wrote: “Let’s say for the sake of argument that I’m damn angry about this nonsense, so I pull my music from YouTube and Spotify and streaming and Bandcamp because I side with the union. What’s left, social media? Are Meta’s hands not just as dirty? Where do you draw the line?”

    I think for me I just realised I am not heavily invested in marketing my music as a business, and after years of so called “exposure” from streaming, actually I have recieved none in reality, and as someone else pointed out there is a risk you are being played by bots anyway.

    I have had way more exposure from download sales. I also then reduce my time and energy away from concern about streaming to a more personal connection with fans by closing the door on streaming world.

    I think it makes sense for you, because your business model relies on streaming and the complex world that makes you a niche – and highly valuable – resource. But for someone like me, who hasnt the time or the inclination to jump through all those hoops to learn the complex tricks, I think this is last straw for me with streaming.

    I just cannot see the value in it, and I have spent plenty of $ trying to make it work, but the truth is, unless you invest as heavily as you do in it, it simply does not work.

    1. Hey Mark! Replying here is great. The site only lets you reply in-line a few times, so we don’t end up with really narrow columns of text.

      I totally understand where you’re coming from, but I want to push back on a couple of points:

      The “false belief” of Spotify exposure. I’m thinking of algorithmic playlists in particular. They introduce my music to a thousand or so new listeners per month, and I don’t have to lift a finger. If the song really resonates with listeners, it can seriously blow up. Though this hasn’t happened to me (yet!), for some artists, it happens with their very first single!

      “Theft, abuse”. Sorry, but these are hyperbolic and inaccurate characterizations of a minimum payout threshold. Lots of companies I do business with have higher minimum payment thresholds. $50 or $100 isn’t unheard of. I’ve got tracks on multiple compilation albums that I’ll never see a penny from because there’s no way I’ll ever reach the threshold.

      If pulling your music from streaming allows you to devote more time to what seems to be working (download sales), then obviously you should do that. I don’t see the harm in leaving your music on streaming and YouTube so people can find it, but I understand there’s a degree of protest behind the decision as well.

      All that said, I’ve seen mile-long comment threads on the topic and I’m in the minority here.

      1. You wrote: ““Theft, abuse”. Sorry, but these are hyperbolic and inaccurate characterizations of a minimum payout threshold. Lots of companies I do business with have higher minimum payment thresholds. $50 or $100 isn’t unheard of.”

        You are talking here about thresholds before you collect your owed $, which is something else.

        My understanding is that from 2024 Spotify is setting a threshold which you have to meet before you can recieve any payment at all i.e. it is not stored for you until later, you now simply dont qualify to recieve a cent if you are below the set number of plays. (Can we post links? here is a good one ) – https://metalinjection.net/its-just-business/songs-need-at-least-1000-plays-yearly-on-spotify-to-get-royalties-in-2024

        It is setting a play number that you have to meet before which your money is syphoned off for use elsewhere as they see fit. So, essentially that is “theft”, since it is our copyrighted music that is being used to add value from a large pile of other people like us. i.e. the low performers will get nothing. As individuals of course one could argue cents are hardly being lost, but as a collective that is a big deal. That is a lot of money, collectively.

        I do understand why they are doing it, Spotify – as I understand it – is not a profitable business model. I think I read Apple use their other services to pay artists decently for their music royalties at their loss. I think, unfortunately the game is like that.

        I appreciate the conversation. I think in many ways it probably comes down to whether it is of value to us a individual musicians based on what results we see. I see very different ones to you, but I am not in a niche genre, or putting much effort into marketing. So it is kind of apples and oranges.

        1. Right, 1K streams per year. Many artists will never reach that. That’s why I compared it to the compilation albums that I’ll never see a cent from.

          Even though the mechanics may be different (money is technically accruing towards the threshold), the net result is the same. I’m never getting paid.

          YouTube’s payout threshold is $100. Imagine the outrage of Spotify adopted the same policy!

          Bottom line, it’s not a lot of money, even in the extreme circumstance of having dozens of tracks that don’t quite meet the threshold.

          And to be clear, the money isn’t “siphoned off for use elsewhere as they see fit.” It goes back into the royalty pool. I’m sure they’ll save a bundle in administrative costs though!

  5. I paid for the same campaign that you were gifted and the final reach was given was ~120k and 8 playlists (not anywhere close to ~682k and 26 playlists). Andrew Southworth did a review where Playlist-Promotion also gave favorable placements that are not reflective of what the user sees. Very unfortunate.

    1. Yeah, it would be very interesting to hear the true, and I really mean the true answer to why that is? Because when you ask, everyone is collaborating with Sony and Universal and has so many connections and absolutely treats everyone in the same way. But we know that’s not true. I don’t mean to be negative, just seeking the truth here. So I’m also very interested in a thorough reply to what Hank tells us about his experience. It is a lot of money to invest and I’m really tired of false promises. Not giving up though, cause I think I make really good music.

    2. My understanding is that they send the track out to their network of curators who then decide whether or not to accept the track. Keep in mind that Andi selected my track himself based on what he thought would have the best chance of success.

      Sure, it’s possible that Andrew and I got special treatment, even though I specifically asked about it and was assured that wasn’t the case. I’m more inclined to believe your song wasn’t as good a fit for their curators. Feel free to share a link or artist/track name and I’d be happy to take a listen.

      Regardless, they delivered 20% over the promised 100K follower reach, so I’m not seeing any cause for concern. Ultimately you probably care more about how many streams the campaign generates, not how many playlists you were added to or how many followers those playlists have.

      1. Hi Brian,
        I write synthpop music, and my music is commonly found within the same (organic) playlists as yours. The submitted song receives about 150 discover weekly plays a day, and before my test, had a popularity score of 35. While it’s possible that a sizable number of playlist-promotion curators decided they didn’t like our track, but liked yours, the pessimist in me tells me that two of the individuals who folks commonly go to in order to ‘figure out how to market’ got favorable pushes in order to drive sales for playlist-promotion.

        You are correct in stating that they indeed over-delivered on what they promised for my campaign by 20% — I just find it a bit unusual and suspect that two reviewers ended up getting 600% increase in pushes, giving the average person (like myself) the impression this was normal

        1. I absolutely get where you’re coming from. Keep in mind that Andi selected “The Rot” because it wasn’t so synthpop, versus something like “Crystal” which performed far better on synthpop/synthwave playlists.

          Without hearing your song and knowing which playlists you were added to, I have no substantive way to compare our two campaigns.

          Ultimately what we care about is the quality of the placements and the number of streams. Since they can’t guarantee streams without violating Spotify’s TOS, they use follower count as a proxy, which IMHO is irrelevant.

          For example, take my playlist. The stream count is mostly determined by how much I’m spending on ads. When I turn off the ads, listeners and streams plummet, but the follower count remains.

          If you’d like to share a link to the song, your placements, and some stream counts, we might be able to draw some conclusions. Or perhaps after the campaign is complete? By then I’ll likely have some other campaigns to compare to.

    3. Hello Hank, I hope you are well. I wanted to take a moment to provide some clarification regarding our follower reach packages.

      It’s important to note that our follower reach packages come with minimum guaranteed numbers. However, it’s crucial to understand that the performance of each song may vary, as songs are received differently by our curators. The selection process is meticulous, and our curators maintain a high level of selectivity.

      As a result, it is possible that certain songs may receive more placements and achieve a higher follower reach than others. We consistently strive to deliver optimal results for every artist, regardless of their size or prominence.

      It’s imperative to emphasize that the nature of organic music promotion means that the success of a song significantly influences its performance. Some songs are inherently more receptive to our curator network, and factors such as genre, style, and current trends play a role in this dynamic process.

      We understand that each artist’s journey is unique, and we appreciate your understanding of the nuanced nature of music promotion. It’s worth noting that subsequent releases may yield different results, and we encourage you to view this as an ongoing and dynamic process.

      Should you have any questions or require further assistance, please feel free to reach out at your convenience. I am here to assist you and ensure a positive experience with our services.

  6. Hm. Andi hasn’t answered my emails. Perhaps I was a bit too critical? I think you should be though because you’re so easily ripped off in this business… or maybe my emails ended up in his spam folder somehow

    1. Hi Matt, I apologize for the inconvenience. Could you please provide your email address? We are currently in contact with four individuals named Matt, and I want to ensure that my response reaches the right person. Thank you for your understanding.
      If you don’t want to share your email adress here, please send an email to
      [email protected]

      and add passivepromotion to the subject of the email.
      Thanks

        1. I’m sorry, but I can’t find any email with ‘passivepromotion’ in the subject. Also, I haven’t received any emails from a ‘Matt.’ Is your email application working properly? If you’d like, you can share your email here, and I’ll send you one.

  7. I was extremely dissatisfied with Playlist-Promotion and used them based on this referral. The mainly Spanish speaking playlists was not a coincidence because of you track type, its because that is their target audience. Because My track was country and they targeted the same playlists, with only one or two curators and most of the lists were blues not country. I reached out halfway through to see if they could seek out country lists and they said the country curators rejects the song. Funny thing, I am using submithub and having no problem getting it where it belongs! I also didn’t get nearly the number you received, but I wasn’t writing an article either! Overall I would’nt recommend this company to any other artists. Stick to SubmitHub and so the work yourself, or Playlistpush as they are directly affiliated with Spotify!

    1. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience! Since posting this review I’ve heard mostly positive anecdotes, but then again, you’re the first country artist I’ve heard from. While blues obviously isn’t the same thing, it’s about as close to country as synthwave is to dance! 😉

      I always recommend starting with SubmitHub, if only to see if curators are receptive to the track.

      I’ve reviewed Playlist Push multiple times (here, here, and here) and the results of my Playlist-Promotion campaign are better than all three of the Playlist Push campaigns combined.

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