Playlists are a vital part of gaining more streams on Spotify, and one fundamental playlist for independent and self-managed artists is the Release Radar.

Imagine having 10,000 followers listening to your song on their Release Radar playlist the same week as your release; the exposure and impact the Release Radar playlist can provide for an artist are truly remarkable! However, achieving such results requires some effort and a clear strategy.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the actions you can take now to increase your chances of getting featured on Spotify’s Release Radar playlist. You’ll learn about Spotify’s algorithm, how to claim and set up your Artist’s page, promote your music effectively, and pitch to curators.

Let’s dive in!

What is the Release Radar Playlist?

Spotify playlists are created by Spotify’s team of curators, by Spotify users, and by the Spotify algorithm. The thousands of playlists that you can find on the platform are divided into three main types of Spotify playlists:

  • Personalized playlists. These are unique to each listener. Created by the algorithm based on listeners’ behavior, such as what they listen to, follow, save, and share. The Release Radar playlist is included here.
  • Editorial playlists. Spotify’s curators create these playlists. You’ll know them because they have the Spotify logo on the cover. You can pitch your upcoming songs to Spotify’s curators through your Spotify for Artists page.
  • Listener’s playlists. Spotify’s users and independent curators create these playlists.

The Release Radar playlist showcases your new releases on the platform. Your music can land on the Release Radar of a Spotify user if they follow you and have been listening to your music. So, all your new releases will automatically appear on your follower’s and listeners’ Release Radar playlists, which update every Friday.

Think of it as a VIP playlist where fans can listen to your music as soon as it’s published. If your music appears in all your followers’ Release Radar, it has more chances of your songs being streamed on the release week, which counts towards your live stream count and analytics in general. Even if a few listeners forgot about your release date, they would find it on their Release Radar and can still listen to it.

How to Get on Release Radar?

All your followers will get a song from your new release on their personalized Release Radar playlist, and Spotify’s editors can also add your song to your follower’s Release Radar if you pitch your music. But what can you do to get there in the first place? For now, you need at least three things:

  • Have followers and listeners.
  • Release new music on the platform.
  • Pitch your music to Spotify’s editors.

These are all things that take time and effort. Just like creating music, gaining followers and catching the attention of Spotify’s algorithm and editors requires dedication and patience.

To simplify the process, I’ll provide you with a list of actionable steps that you can start working on for future releases, and I highly recommend that you begin implementing these steps before your next release. Don’t worry: these are not difficult steps, and you may already be ahead in some of them.

Understanding Spotify’s Algorithm

Spotify’s algorithm analyzes its users’ activity on the platform. The platform sees what you listen to, which songs you listen fully or skip, which ones you save, and what artists you follow.

Then, it uses that data from you and other users with similar activity to determine which songs to recommend to you. In that way, you get your personalized playlists and artists’ recommendations.

Based on this, Spotify will also consider your new releases to users who would listen to your music. You can’t control the algorithm but can take actions to make it like your music and suggest it to personalized playlists. However, don’t be obsessed with making your music what they call algorithm-friendly; it’s best to use this information to your advantage in other ways rather than changing your creative approach.

Here are a few things the algorithm “likes” and analyzes from you:

  • The number of followers you have.
  • Your monthly listeners.
  • Number of releases.
  • Release consistency.
  • Quality of the playlists you’ve been featured in.

In short, Spotify wants to see you active on the platform. So, instead of changing your music to what is popular on Spotify, see how you can attract active and engaging listeners who will become your fans. It is not worth it to release an algorithm-friendly song if the people who listen to it won’t support your future releases, buy your albums or merch, or get concert tickets. It’s better to have a loyal fanbase inside and outside of Spotify.

To have your fanbase informed and ask them to follow you on Spotify, you need to have your Artist Page up to date. For that, you need to claim your Spotify for Artists page.

Spotify for Artists

The first step as an artist in Spotify is to claim your Spotify for Artists page. Here’s where you’ll manage your Artist’s profile page and your upcoming releases, get access to your music analytics, Canvas, Marquee, pitch to playlists, Connect your Merch store, and more.

To claim your artist page, you need to have a distributor and have released music on Spotify. Go to Spotify for Artists, click Get Access in the top right corner and follow the instructions. After your identity is verified, you will get access to your Spotify for Artists Dashboard.

Optimize Your Spotify Profile

Aiming for more followers means having your Spotify profile ready for anyone who lands on your page to find out who you are, what you do, your music, social media, etc. Start by adding your profile photo and a banner, write your bio, and add your main social media links. Then, you can add your Artist’s Pick playlist, merch, and upcoming events.

Tips for a well-optimized artist profile.

  • Upload high-quality images.
  • Use relevant keywords on your bio, like genre and influences, and keep it up to date.
  • Tag your collaborations, albums, and songs. Make it easy to find more music.
  • Add playlists to let them know about your favorite artists.
  • Ensure the social media platforms you add are the ones you actually use.
  • Make it look good and informative.

If you’re asking your fans to follow your Spotify artist page, you must make your artist page welcoming for new listeners.

Release Schedule and High-Quality Music

It goes without saying that if you want to get your music featured on a Spotify playlist, you need to make sure it’s available on the platform. However, it’s not just about getting your music out there. Quality is key.

Rather than churning out a large quantity of mediocre tracks, aim to produce a smaller number of well-recorded and produced songs. This will help to maintain your followers’ interest and ensure that your music remains algorithm-friendly.

To keep your fans engaged, focus on delivering the music that you’re passionate about. Use your Spotify stats to identify which songs aren’t performing as well as you’d like and analyze how you can improve them. It’s always better to release fewer tracks that are of a higher quality than to put out a large number of subpar songs.

Have a release plan and schedule for your music. When you upload your music to your distributor, decide on a fixed date for the release (you can usually set this option with your distributor).

Depending on your distributor, releasing your music on Spotify can take up to 14 days. It’s best to decide on a later release date so you have time to prepare your pre-save and marketing campaigns and make some noise on social media while your music is processed. 

Since the Release Radar updates every Friday, you can set Friday as your release day. As you continue releasing songs on Spotify, you will find the best day and season to release music. For more info on the topic, check this guide from SoundCampaing, where they discuss the best time to release music.

Promote Your Music

Promoting music can be a daunting task, but there are many tools available these days to make it easier.

While working with a label or music marketing strategist can be helpful, many independent artists are responsible for everything from writing and recording to promoting their own music.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Spotify for Artists tools can be a lifesaver. Take advantage of features like pre-save to encourage listeners to follow and save your new release to their library, create Marquee campaigns to reach a wider audience on the platform, and explore your analytics to learn more about your most engaged listeners and where they’re from. This information can help you connect with them on social media and build a loyal following.

Of course, promoting your music goes beyond just Spotify. Use social media platforms to share your music and connect with fans. Consider Facebook ads, promotion through your distributor (if available), and reaching out to other artists and influencers to collaborate. Attend local events and meet other musicians – you never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise!

Engage with your fans and encourage them to follow, save, and share your music. This is crucial for getting featured on Release Radar playlists; without a strong following, you’ll be solely reliant on Spotify’s algorithm to promote your music.

Collaborate with Playlist Curators

One of the things the Spotify algorithm, editors, and playlist curators are interested in is the playlists you’ve been featured in. Being on various playlists will increase your chances of being featured on Spotify’s playlists, including the Release Radar. If you’ve never been on a playlist before, you can start pitching to small playlists by an independent curator before pitching directly to Spotify.

Search and identify genuine Spotify playlists.

It’s known that some false playlists out there promise to increase streams and followers in exchange for a fee. If you see this, that playlist is probably using illegal streams. You can search directly on Spotify for playlists in your genre and try to contact the curator, as they usually put their contact information in the description so you can reach out to them.

To make this process easier, you can use playlist finders like Soundplate or PlaylistSupply. These are platforms where you can search for playlists based on a genre, artists or keywords and they usually have filters to avoid playlists from scammers.

Pitch to playlist curators

Whether you search on Spotify or with a playlist finder, you will get the curator’s information and have to pitch to them. Make sure the playlist you’re pitching to is of your genre. Let the curator know who you are and why your song is an excellent fit for their playlist. Be polite with your pitch and be open to suggestions.

You can also contact music blogs to pitch your musical project. You can start building relationships with curators that will benefit both of you.

Submit to Spotify Editorial Playlists

With good-quality music, a solid marketing strategy, a growing fanbase, and collaboration with independent playlist curators, your new releases will appear on your fans’ Release Radar playlist!

Now it’s the time to submit your music to Spotify’s editorial team of curators. Spotify states that you do not need to pitch your new releases as they will automatically be added to your follower’s Release Radar. Still, it’s always good to do it to ensure they are featured while pitching to editorial playlists.

You can pitch to Spotify from your Spotify’s for Artist Music > Upcoming tab. Select the song you want to pitch and fill in the required information. These are the guidelines for pitching your music to Spotify editors:

  • Pitch your song at least seven days before the release date to give time for the editor to process your submission.
  • Only songs where you are the main or a featured artist will be included.
  • Previously released songs are not eligible for the Release Radar.
  • Listeners will get one song from one artist weekly on their Release Radar.
  • If a listener does not listen to your song the first week, it will continue to appear in their Release Radar for up to four weeks.

Monitor Your Spotify Analytics

You can see if your songs were added to your follower’s Release Radar from the Music > Playlist tab. Here, you can see all the recent playlists that feature your music.

Your audience will grow naturally if you follow these steps and continue releasing high-quality music. However, make sure you set realistic and achievable goals to increase followers and streams. Check your Spotify for Artists analytics regularly for insights on your music, run campaigns, and adapt them based on performance data.

Final Words

There’s no easy route to get on Spotify’s Release Radar, but now you know everything you need to be featured in it!

Remember the steps: Release high-quality music, use professional recording and post-production equipment, and master your tracks. Claim your Spotify for Artist page and set up your profile.

Run campaigns in and outside of Spotify to attract more listeners and encourage them to follow you, save and share your music, and contact other artists, influences, and independent playlist curators.

Doing all this gives you more chances to get on the Spotify Release Radar playlist.

Finally, pitch your new releases to Spotify editors for a chance to appear on editorial playlists and ensure they add your songs to the Release Radar playlist.

Good luck!