A Closer Look At Spotify’s New Submission Tool

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Distance between creator and consumer continued to shrink after Spotify’s latest direct-to-user product, a playlist submissions tool connecting the world’s artists, labels and distributors to a global editorial team that touches six continents. The new system democratizes what some once called opaque, giving even undiscovered acts in the middle of nowhere a chance—a chance—to make Rap Caviar. Here’s what you need to know.  

The Basics

Whether today or down the road, every artist and team can benefit from the latest beta product to emerge from Daniel Ek’s company. We’ll decode the must-know components before moving onto the tool’s larger impact.

  • Anyone with access to Spotify for Artists or Spotify Analytics can submit a song, including artists, labels, distributors, and managers with admin clearance.
  • Spotify will only consider one submission per unreleased track, so all involved parties—artist, managers, collaborators, distributor, etc.—must coordinate.
  • Teams can only submit one unreleased track at a time; once that song drops, the portal will accept another pitch
  • Eligible material only includes unreleased music that has been previously delivered to Spotify with a scheduled release date. Learn more about digital distribution right here.
  • Spotify combines your existing platform data (e.g. top songs, listener demographics, etc,) with your submission responses—some required (genre, subgenre), others optional (mood, ideal moment to press play). This info provides playlist curators with a full picture of your submission.
  • While Spotify never guarantees editorial placement, those who submit a song at least seven days ahead of release will lock in Release Radar coverage for that song, notifying your followers that it’s time to tune in.

This new submission tool complements the direct pitching practices already in place at preferred partners like AWAL. Our Digital Accounts team fosters and nurtures relationships with editorial curators at major DSPs, Spotify included. The smoothest campaigns tend to stem from strategic alignment between your team and your release partner.

The Long Play

Spotify has invested heavily in its most important suppliers—creators. A data philosophy that began with publicly visible listening stats later evolved into Spotify Analytics and Spotify for Artists. The new submissions tool doubles down on streamlined transparency to give all artists a fair shot at playlist consideration.

What’s best for artists is best for Spotify. Today’s Top Hits derives influence from an eight-digit follower count. Artist resources empower creators and produce goodwill. This tool, a centralized entry point to the editorial ecosystem, facilitates workflows for both artist teams and Spotify’s playlist curators. It also requires self-classification, which might offer additional value to a company that hopes to match a listener’s mood with the appropriate soundtrack, as quickly and accurately as possible. Every submission propels that mission forward

The company’s ability to scale submission ingestion will determine the tool’s worth in the end. (Roughly 75,000 artists are currently featured on editorial playlists each week, and another 150,000 on Discover Weekly -- via Spotify) All things considered, Spotify has an exciting opportunity to level the playing field for creators. It’s safe to assume an influx of editorial real estate as the business grows around the world, encouraging ambitious campaigns to capitalize at scale.

There’s little doubt an accessible submission process will affect how rising teams prepare their releases. Spotify’s simple request—tell us more—innately emphasizes the need to match special music with special context, be it a packed hometown concert with 50 people or 50 spins from a major radio station. Trustworthy managers and release partners like AWAL help build and communicate these narratives in an environment that rewards stockpiled rollout assets, organizational agility, and out-of-the-box, off-platform marketing (for additional advice on off-platform marketing that can potentially help lead to better success with playlisting -- click here). Balanced teams can expect to find themselves in an enviable position, now more than ever.

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