Hackernoon logoSpotify's VP of Marketing Explains How To Get Your Music on Discover Weekly by@Janine-Gomez

Spotify's VP of Marketing Explains How To Get Your Music on Discover Weekly

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@Janine-GomezJanine Gomez

Adam Gonzalez’s experience in the music industry comes from his early days of opening shows for artists like DrakeTrey SongzYG, Tyga, and various others.

Now, he helps major records labels like Atlantic, Astrelworks, Hitco, APG, Epic, Interscope, and others with their marketing, using his strategies to build their developing artist fan bases from nothing to millions of fans all over the world. Adam Gonzalez is Sweetshop's new Senior Vice President of International Marketing and Co-Founder of Social IQ a marketing company that specializes in working with brands and developing artists for major record labels. According to Daily Press Adam Gonzalez is one of Hollywood's top marketing and pr experts.

Adam Gonzalez says musicians frequently pivot onto making it to curated playlists, whether that’s Spotify’s editorial compilations like New Music Fridays, Caviar, Mint, Today’s Top Hits, Viva Latino!, Rock This, or user-generated playlists. Nonetheless, if your desire is to increase more streams, getting on algorithmic playlists like Release Radar and Discover Weekly can be much more powerful.

Before we delve into Release Radar and Discover Weekly individually, here are a couple of pieces of advice that apply to get on both of these algorithm-based playlists:

Adam Gonzalez says before we explore into Discover Weekly and Release Radar, here are a few bits of advice that cover getting on both of these algorithm-based playlists:


The more music you release, the more opportunities you have when it comes to landing on Spotify user’s Release Radar or Discover Weekly playlists. Be as it may, quality is more important than quantity, so if your output is high, make sure the definitive of each release is high too.


Concentrating completely on Spotify is a common mistake. If you become infatuated on Spotify playlists, you will miss out on other promotional opportunities, including social media ads, email marketing, and live shows, which all have their definite benefits and can certainly affect your performance on Spotify in their own way.


Each Spotify user receives their own unique Discover Weekly playlist every Friday morning. This playlist is based fully on that distinct user’s music tastes, and is not put together by Spotify’s editorial staff, but instead by an astute algorithm which analyses each individuals listening habits and reveals similar songs that may not have heard of in the past. How can you boost the chances of your music is included in a potential fan’s Discover Weekly? 


Spotify bases it’s Discover Weekly selections heavily around other playlists across the platform. It uses data across every playlist to determine tastes, artists similarities and what other listeners might enjoy, whether that’s a playlist with thousands of daily listeners, a user’s private playlist, or a public list with just a few followers. Every one of them counts.

This is a quote from a Spotify executive and offers an explanation of how Discover Weekly is compiled. “We look at what you’ve been listening to. And what are the songs playing around these songs that you’ve been jamming on, but that we know you haven’t heard yet on Spotify. Let’s say you’ve been playing a song by The Killers and a song by Bruce Springsteen a lot. Algorithms look for how those songs are played and ordered in other Spotify users’ playlists. If it turns out that, when people play those songs together in their playlists, there’s another song sandwiched between them that someone has never heard before, that song will show up in your Discover Weekly.”


If your music is not good you, you will have high skip-rates, listener engagement/retention and you won’t get picked up by Discover Weekly. 

On the other hand, it’s not all about how many streams you have. Typically a song with at least 20,000 streams has a good chance of making the cut, but more important metrics from the Spotify algorithm’s point of view include the portion of your tracks that are listened to all the way through, how many people save it, add it to their own playlists and share it on their socials, etc. This engagement is key.


Despite Release Radar is still based on an algorithm, it’s a little less elaborate when it comes to understanding how and why music is subsumed. Similar to Discover Weekly, every weekly Release Radar playlist is unique to each user. Nevertheless rather than bringing up artist the user has yet to discover, it provides up to two hour’s worth of new releases from the artists they already follow or listen to on a regular basis. Here’s how to land on this playlist.


Your music will typically only appear on the Release playlists of the people who follow your artist profile, remarkably if you want to make sure they know about your latest track, ask them to follow you, rather than simply passively listening to your music on Spotify.

Once you build up a good following, every time you release new music those fans will be notified via Release Radar.


Gonzalez says if you have just released a new track, make sure to heavily incorporate Spotify into your promotional efforts. For instance, post links to your music on Spotify to social media and ask blogs that feature your tracks to embed them from Spotify. The more fans that visit your Spotify songs from “off-platform”, the better.

Spotify’s algorithm-based playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar don’t just generate millions of streams for the artist, they generate Billions. Music fans tend to check these playlists first when searching for fresh music based on their specific tastes, or for a new track from their favorite artists- so don’t underestimate their promotional power.


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