Some reports show that major record labels have paid thousands of dollars to add their artist's songs to
popular playlists, and this "paid placement" (where a fee is paid for a playlist owner
to consider/add a
song to their playlist) is also common among unknown artists as they try to get their music added to
playlists, both big and small. The amount of money you may earn depends upon the size and quality of
your playlist, as well as how active you are in selling placements on your playlist to interested
An example: we contacted a Spotify playlist owner with 7k followers, who wanted $30 per month (and for a
top 10 position, wanted an extra $10, so $40). Using these figures, if you place 5 songs each month
without any special placement, you could make an extra $1,800 annually. With special placement, the
number increases to $2,400. These numbers also assume that each song is only retained for a month. Most
artists will want you to keep their songs on your playlist for many months. If we assume that a song
will be on your playlist for six months, then the above totals are multiplied by 6 for a total of
$14,400. I think you’ll agree, this is pretty nice money for a smallish playlist.
Before concluding this section, you should now that Spotify frowns on paid placements –
and as a result
we don’t encourage it – but in the interest of full disclosure you have the right to know that this
practice is not uncommon.
Paid Song Reviews
A second avenue for generating income is to affiliate yourself with one of the commercial services that
acts as a middleman to connect owners and artists. As a playlist owner you are paid a small fee, in
exchange for reviewing a song with the idea that if you like the song you might add it to your playlist.
Hurdles to Successful Monetization
Even if you're just starting out on Spotify and don't yet own a major playlist with thousands of
followers, your playlist can be successful. But first, it is necessary to understand what hurdles you
face as you attempt to monetize your playlist.
Finding Your Playlist
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that most genres of music have hundreds of thousands
of playlists created by record labels, artists, and listeners. As a result, your playlists can
easily get lost in the mix. The standard way of discovering playlists is to do a key word search in
a Spotify user account, followed by manually filtering and sorting the results and recording the
data. This is a tedious and time-consuming process, and unless you own a major Spotify playlist with
a large following, you’re likely not going to be found.
The second hurdle is finding you – the owner of a playlist – as Spotify does not provide contact
information for playlist owners. This means that even if your playlist is discovered and people are
interested, they still don’t have an easy way of getting in contact with you.
Connecting Curators (You) With Artists
There are several sites available that attempt to eliminate some of these hurdles, including Playlist
Pump, Playlist Push, and Playlist MatchMaker. A few thoughts on these options: Playlist Pump and
Playlist Push don’t directly connect artists with playlist owners -- they act as more of a "middle man"
in the process, agreeing to pass along an artist's songs to popular playlists for a fee, with no
guarantee that the playlist owner will add the song to their playlist. Artists who use these services
are paying for only the chance to be added to major playlists, with the understanding that their
material might not be accepted. Alternatively, Playlist MatchMaker handles this process differently, and
directly puts artists in contact with playlist owners.
Artists who use Playlist MatchMaker can perform a genre-specific search, and the system will return tens
of thousands of matches. After sorting and removing duplicates, artists should typically have a few
hundred to a few thousand playlists with 50 or more followers provided to them from this search. What
this means is that, even if you have a modest-sized list, Playlist MatchMaker will likely locate it, and
it will be featured in the list of genre specific playlist search results. This means your playlist is
likely to be found.
Additionally, playlist owners or curators can register with Playlist MatchMaker, and their contact
information will be added. When a search is performed and your playlist is matched and provided to an
artist that has conducted a search on Playlist MatchMaker, your contact information is available to
them, and this means they can find not only your playlist but they will also be able to find you.
The bottom line is that your Spotify playlist's success really depends upon your ability to connect
with/contact Spotify Artists. Working with a service that directly connects you as a playlist owner to
an artist simplifies this process and makes those connections possible. When the main hurdles to
playlist discovery are eliminated on Spotify, the door to your success is suddenly wide open, making it
entirely possible for you to successfully monetize your playlist.