Case Study: discover the impact of third party playlists on an independent artist's streams

Case Study: discover the impact of third party playlists on an independent artist's streams

You're an independent artist and you know your music is good? Then the challenge for you is surely to get it heard! Finding people to listen to your music is the most important thing for any independent musician who wants to get their music known, and it's very difficult to do when you don't understand how the music industry and the streaming platforms' algorithms work. You've probably been told that it's important to get into Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music playlists... But do you really understand the impact that these playlists can have on your music and your streams? In this article we'll show you how playlists can impact your streams, especially third party playlists which are the most accessible for independent artists.

To help you understand what third party playlists can do for you as an independent artist, we asked Groover to provide us with a case study. Groover is a music promotion platform that allows musicians to connect with playlist curators, media, radio stations and music industry professionals (such as labels, publishers, bookers, etc.) - with guaranteed listening and feedback within 7 days. With their Groover Obsessions support program, they use their own tools and expertise in music promotion to help artists get their music out there, and we'll show you the impact this has had on Mathieu Saïkaly's streams.

Third party playlists: what are they?

First of all, we need to understand what a third party playlist is and how they differ from the others. To make it short, there are 3 types of playlists on Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music: editorial playlists, managed by real people employed by the platforms themselves as editors; algorithmic playlists, based on track and listener's data which are processed by the algorithms of the streaming platforms; and third-party playlists, which are managed by Spotify or other streaming platforms' users. Integration into third-party playlists is also a way to leverage the other two types of playlists. Indeed, it will allow you to increase the stream scores of your tracks, and the algorithms of the streaming platforms, as well as the curators, will take this into account. Why? Because it's a great signal that your songs are liked if they are included in third party playlists!

Now, the equation is simple: if editorial and algorithmic playlists seem "closed" to you, as it can be the case for many independent musicians, you still have third party playlists to increase your visibility on those platforms. In order to enter the algorithmic playlists, the algorithms of streaming platforms such as Spotify analyze your data: the number of monthly subscribers, the number of streams on this track, the number of playlist entries... All this data allows the algorithm to evaluate if your music appeals to listeners. However, the curators of editorial playlists also take few risks: editorial playlists are mainly made up of artists who are signed to a label, or who have already managed to generate substantial stream figures, proving the public's interest in their music. You got it: whatever happens, you have to flatter the algorithms of the platforms and generate streams. Thanks to the statistics provided by Groover, we'll prove to you the impact of third party playlists in achieving this goal.

The impact of third party playlists on your monthly listeners

Let's get to the heart of the matter. More than the raw number of streams on your track, the platforms' algorithms value the number of monthly listeners per month and the strength of an artist's stream growth. This was confirmed by Lucile Genevois, Data Analyst at the distributor Believe, during the L2P Convention in Paris. So, if you make 15,000 streams in February, but 1,200 in March, the algorithm could consider that you are less interesting than an artist who makes 6,000 streams in February and 7,000 in March. In fact, it makes sense: if your music is sustainable and has a strong appeal, people will share it with each other and keep listening to it. That's what an upward curve indicates, while a downward curve indicates that people forget about you.

Let's take the example of the artist Mathieu Saïkaly, supported by Groover Obsessions. To promote the track Neptune, Groover Obsessions obviously used Groover to contact third party playlists. Out of 157 feedbacks, they got 86 acceptances: more than half of the third party playlist curators, radios or media have integrated Neptune in their selections and playlists on Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer. As a result, in just 1 month, his monthly listenership has increased by 33%. His previous track, Respirations #1, recorded 6,582 streams in 9 months on Spotify. For Neptune , he recorded 10,961 streams in just 1 month on Spotify thanks to the promotion done through Groover.

Among these streams, 799 came from the playlist Longing Dance which has 1587 likes on Spotify and was pitched through Groover. That means the playlist generated more than half as many streams as her listeners: that's a huge engagement level! In total, Neptune was featured in 302 playlists in 1 month and the major playlists were almost all reached through the Groover campaign.

Even better, with his next release in French - Pourquoi tu me dis je t’aime - Mathieu Saïkaly landed the great Spotify editorial playlist Exception Française. His growing audience, number of monthly listeners and third party playlist presence have played a great role in this achievement! Yes, getting into third party playlists can definitely help you get in the ears of the editorial teams at Spotify and other digital streaming platforms.

Integrating a third party playlist to create a “snowball effect” on your Spotify artist profile

There were few doubts, but now it's obvious: integrating third-party playlists has a huge impact on your streams and visibility on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer. So far, we've only mentioned the most important statistics: growth and monthly listeners. But as you can imagine, other data is valued by the algorithms of the streaming platforms: the number of subscribers, the listening time, the origin of the listeners... And all this data is precisely very impacted by third party playlist integrations.

Let's look at the case of Mathieu Saïkaly and his music promotion campaign on Groover as an example. Before the release of the track and the Groover campaign, he had 3,687 subscribers on Spotify. One month later, he has 3,808, that is 121 more people who will receive his music directly on Spotify! Thanks to these subscriptions, his music will often be suggested to relevant listeners and with each new track, he can easily enter the algorithmic "Release Radar" playlist of Spotify users. And this is probably one of the most important playlists on the Spotify streaming platform, since this playlist is likely to be very well matched to the tastes of listeners. Subscription is one of the ultimate ways to prove that a listener liked the track: they hear it in a playlist, like it, go to the artist's profile and subscribe to it to stay up to date with the artist's news. The perfect new fan path! This way, through integration in third party playlists, you can create a loyal following, which may follow you throughout your career.

Then, if you've been following along and are good at math: one playlist can lead to another! Indeed, with his music promotion campaign made on Groover, Mathieu Saïkaly got 86 acceptances for his song Neptune, including radio and media. Yet, it was integrated in more than 300 third party playlists in the first month! In fact, beyond subscriptions, users who like your track after discovering it in a third-party playlist on Spotify or other streaming platforms can add it to their own personal playlists! They may not be followed by many people, but they do tell the algorithms of the streaming platforms that they like your music, because that gesture means they want to listen to your song again.

And tell me, wasn't the original goal to make music for people to remember it? Embedding third-party playlists is a huge boost for a musician to get noticed on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer. As you could see, they had a very positive effect on Mathieu Saïkaly's track Neptune, which was promoted via Groover. With Groover, you too can contact a large number of playlist curators to find your audience.

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