Not All Playlists Are Created Equally

Spotify playlists have become some of the most valuable digital real estate for artists and labels. If you can get onto a good playlist you can crank a nice flow of streams and earn some serious cheddar. Even better if you can get on an active list and stay there indefinitely. Playlist owners on Spotify are becoming more aware of the value of their playlists and some are charging artists for placements on their list. This violates Spotify’s terms of use and puts the artists profile at risk. Look for Spotify to really crack down on this in 2018. Whenever something becomes valuable on the internet or is perceived valuable people will (try) to game the system.

Followers mean NOTHING

There are user generated playlists out there that have thousands of followers but gain ZERO STREAMS. To be fair some of this could be due to lost engagement over time. The playlist you made a few years ago no longer gains streams. People follow a list and a month or two later have moved onto new/different tunes. Maintaining an active playlist takes time and dedication. Here are a few red flags that will help determine wether a list is fake/inactive or real/active.

Real People = Real Streams

Usually a playlist is tied to a person or a real blog/publication. This is easy to see if you click on their username and run a quick google search on the profile. A red flag would be a list with a random name that has no other internet presence. Even worse if they have something like this in the description “for business inquiries and playlist submissions contact us SketchyMusicGroup@Gmail.com.”

Update Frequency

Good playlists usually have been around for a while, at least a few months and some of the best have been around for years. Does the list contain songs that have been there for a few months? Do they have multiple songs that were added months ago? Click on these artists and goto their “About” section on their profile. This will show you if they are gaining substantial streams from that list depending on how popular that artist is. From what we have seen at Playlist Push fake lists refresh their playlist and delete and re-add every track on their list every few days.

Random Playlist Titles

Look for misspelled words in the title, ridiculously basic names like “Rock Hits” “Pop Tunes” are usually dead giveaways the list is junk. Most of the time they won’t even bother writing a helpful description of the playlist. Weird name and no description=red flag.

Music Selection

Fake lists I have seen contain mostly pop or very popular artists on their lists. Does there seem to be very little creativity to the list as far as musical selection goes? Even more reason to think why would someone want to follow this list? Better yet, they have a bunch of random songs from artists they have received compensation from and placed on their list.

Use Tools

There are a few great tools that use Spotify’s API that can help you detemine the validity of a playlist. Chartmetic is one of our favorite because we can see playlist follower growth overtime. If you see a spike in followers within one or two days that can be a red flag.

Spotontrack is also a great website that displays follower data and will show trends in follower count increase. Each list should have a slow growth and burn overtime and shouldn’t really have 10,000 follower spikes in a few days.

Don’t be quick to judge

The worst part about a playlist that is no longer active is often times the playlist owners has no way to know the list gains zero streams. If you do come across a list that is weak or does not gain streams keep this in mind as to not attack the playlist owner! It can be a hit to their ego. We have served ties with playlists that have close to 111,000 followers! If you are a playlist owner do your best to maintain your playlist by keeping it fresh with new tunes and staying true to the sound that gained you the followers in the first place.

Spotify Playlist Reviews

I think these lists takes up very little of the overall selection of great playlists made by music fans but be aware and make sure you vet each list. As more ways for artist to monetize their playlists like PlaylistPush come along I think we will see more of these lists popping up. At PlaylistPush we are able to measure data from each list we work with and do our best to develop relationship with the actual humans that are controlling the list. Curators at PlaylistPush review your music and we send you the top reviews from each playlist curator. To get your music into the ears of some of the most active playlist owners on Spotify setup a campaign with us.