We probably don’t need to tell you that Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming apps on the planet. And as many artists have found, it’s remarkably easy to publish your music or podcast on the platform. 

But most folks who have published music and dug into the nuances of how to see followers on Spotify have one burning question: How do you get more followers and streams? 

There are a few tried and true tactics that artists have leveraged to grow their Spotify playlist followers. But we’ll preface the rest of this guide with a caveat: None of the tips here will make you a Spotify celebrity overnight. However, it is possible to grow your Spotify followers and streams over the long term—and more importantly, do so by getting actual people to consume your content. Let’s dive in.

How to Grow Your Spotify Followers and Streams

If you’ve done a Google search on how to get more Spotify followers, you’ve probably seen tips on how to buy Spotify followers. The temptation to purchase your following is real. After all, Spotify’s algorithm rewards artists who generate a ton of streams from their engaged followers. 

But that’s the thing: The followers you can purchase through a third party aren’t engaged. And even worse, Spotify no longer counts artificial accounts towards your follower number!

That’s why you should focus on gaining real followers. For folks like me, this may mean that your initial following is your mother and her friend from down the street. But if you’re willing to gradually increase your followers and streams by attracting actual human beings, this will pay huge dividends.

OK, glad we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way. Let’s discuss a few grassroots answers to the deceptively simple question of how to get more Spotify followers.

1. Share Your Music With Friends and Family

This sounds basic, but let’s be honest: It’s scary to ask people you know to listen to the art you’ve created. I, for one, have chickened out of sharing what I think are good songs with friends because I was afraid that they’d hate what I had done. 

Fortunately, technology has evolved to the point where we don’t need to rely on mass emails to our network. Check out the screenshots below, in which I pulled up an episode of a podcast I published on Spotify last year. You’ll notice a sharing icon (an up-arrow inside of a rectangle); tapping that icon reveals several sharing options, including direct links to Twitter and Instagram.

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Clicking the Share icon in Spotify reveals these options for promoting your work on social media or copying a link to share in an email. 

I prefer Instagram because my followers are more engaged on that platform. Below is an example of an Instagram Story that Spotify generates when I share a podcast from the app. From here, you can add additional text, GIFs, or music—just like you would on any Instagram Story post. 

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An example of an Instagram Story post featuring a Spotify track you’ve shared.

This isn’t the most sophisticated promotion strategy, but it’s a really easy way to share your music or podcast with a large group of your friends and family. It’s also an effective way to grow your Spotify playlist followers organically with real people.

2. Pitch Your Music to Spotify Playlist Curators

If you’re like me, you harbor some jealousy against the artists who’ve managed to get their tracks into one of those hand-curated Spotify playlists, like Discover Weekly and Throwback Thursday. What better way to get instant exposure to millions of listeners, right? But how on Earth can you get a spot in one of those playlists?

I won’t lie: There’s a lot of demand for those coveted spots. But there are a few things that you can do to submit yourself for consideration. 

Some curated playlists are generated by Spotify’s algorithm, so we’ll focus our conversation around the playlists that are curated by Spotify’s editorial team (read: humans). According to Audiohype, the steps for throwing your hat in the ring are…surprisingly simple: 

  • Log in to your Spotify for Artists account.
  • Select “Pitch a Song” at the top of the Home tab.
  • Select your song and provide as much information as possible.

Note that you can only pitch one song at a time, and you can’t pitch a compilation or a song on which you’re a featured artist. But if you think that your song is right for a particular playlist, there’s no harm in submitting it—even if your following is smaller than other artists on the platform.

While Spotify’s editorial team is known for whipping up amazing playlists, they’re not the only curators on the platform. Several independent playlist curators have huge followings and are open for submissions. Independent artist J. Scalco recently built a list of independent playlist curators on Spotify. While this approach tends to be popular among electronic music artists, there are playlist curators for all genres.

Whether you submit a track directly to Spotify or an independent curator, here are a few guidelines to be mindful of:

  • Don’t submit to every playlist curator on the planet. Take the time to consider if your song would be a good fit for a particular playlist. If you’re an EDM musician, an indie playlist curator won’t be eager to include your work.
  • Continue promoting your music outside of Spotify’s platform. While inclusion in a popular playlist could jumpstart your follower and stream stats, keep plugging away at your other promotion tactics. Remember: Spotify’s algorithm rewards artists with highly engaged listeners—and in time, you could find yourself on one of its automatically generated (and insanely popular) playlists.
  • Be considerate of the curator’s time. In many cases, an artist’s persistence is what sets them apart. But in some cases, it sets them apart for all the wrong reasons. Be considerate when you’re submitting your music to a playlist curator—and if that person declines, thank him or her for their time without antagonizing them over the decision.

3. Create and Promote Your Own Playlists

While we’re on the topic of independent playlist curators, I should mention that artists who are trying to figure out how to get more followers on Spotify often curate playlists that include a mix of songs that they like and some of their own music. 

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An example of a curated playlist on Spotify that got a handful of followers without any promotion.

The example above is a playlist I curated for a half marathon that I ran in 2019. And after I learned how to check followers on Spotify, I was surprised to find that a few of my friends had followed it. Imagine what a little effort might do for your curated playlist—especially one that includes original tracks.

Independent curators often turn to Reddit to promote their playlists. While Reddit can be full of people who leave negative comments just for the sake of hurting your feelings, it is an incredibly engaged community of folks who are actively looking for the next great playlist. Plus, there are subreddits for just about every genre, including Indie, Metal, and Pop.

As you engage with these communities, be mindful of each group’s rules of engagement before you begin sharing a playlist. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to promote a playlist that adds something new to the conversation. 

Tips and Tricks for Growing Your Streams on Spotify

We’ve only scratched the surface of building your following and growing your streams on Spotify. Musicians and podcasters across the web are running innovative and engaging campaigns to get more folks to listen to their work on Spotify. 

Want to take your Spotify promotion strategies to the next level? Consider taking this intensive Skillshare class led by music educator Joel Michael. 

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Skillshare instructor Joel Michael explores how Spotify’s algorithm builds curated playlists. 

Michael gets into the nitty-gritty of topics such as how to get more followers on Spotify, understanding the Spotify algorithm, and how to see Spotify playlist followers in your Artist Account page. He also explores how lesser-known artists can build relationships with influencers to get more Spotify playlist followers.

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