Music in Social Media II students (and their tattoos).
Music in Social Media II students (and their tattoos).
The WP students who optimized playlists over 4 months. And their tattoos.

We published a post recently that compiled the work of 11 William Paterson University Music in Social Media students. They’d spent a semester creating playlists on Spotify and trying to figure out how to get other people to listen and follow. 


The post received an excellent comment, from someone we’ll name
Tekknikal, that we decided to share separately. This person had some additional points that you may find interesting.  Give these a read and then lay your own comments on us.

How To Optimize A Spotify Playlist: Part II

Promoting Spotify Playlists: Creativity is Key

Cool stuff, guys. I curate a few playlists on Spotify and I’m always looking to better understand Spotify’s search algorithms and playlist rankings. I personally don’t use Facebook / Twitter / Insta to share my playlists, because quite honestly I don’t want to promote in that way. Still, I have been able to operate a few successful playlists. Here are some of the things I’ve found that work really well.

1) Spotify seems to temporarily rank your playlist higher when you’ve recently added music. Also, if you consider that people can find your list by searching for something in your title, OR the tracks / artists within, it goes without saying that more popular and FRESH tracks will attract people to your playlist. So with this in mind, I like to spread out updates along the course of a week instead of updating a bunch of songs all at once.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 6.34.44 PM2) In the same vein, it helps if the purpose of your playlist is to provide FRESH music that people might have not otherwise found, OR eclectic music that is related to other music they might like. That being the case, it helps to have a good mix of the new/eclectic music as well as stuff that people are familiar with, so they find your playlist with the popular, established songs, but you end up getting the follow for the stuff they haven’t heard of.

3) Another good strategy is to try and tie your playlist in with something popular that is going on. For instance, I have one playlist that I made back when the Project X movie came out. It contains music on the soundtrack, other songs that appear in the movie, and other music that is related. That playlist has slowed down as the movie has gotten older and I since have playlists with more subscribers, but that one blew up like no other playlist I’ve made. Another example is making playlists based off events that are happening. Upcoming music festivals, big music releases are a good example of this.

4) is a great place to list your playlists. You gain badges / achievements based off playlists that you create, which don’t do much for me personally, but they assign credibility to your playlists, which can have a nice residual effect on new playlists. A good technique here is reposting continually curated playlists every once in awhile to push them back to the top of the “new” list.

5) Multiple successful playlists lead to further exposure and success. This is really the key one. Let’s say you are an aspiring musician and you want to get your music out there. You can use some of the tips above to gain a following on Spotify, and then when you create a playlist similar to Kevin’s above, you already have a social footprint established on their platform and you get some crossover follows.

At this point, I have a few playlists with 1000+ follows, a couple in the 100+ range, and 550 people who have followed my name directly. I would think if you were to combine some of my strategies to better place yourself in Spotify’s search results along with some of the ideas above for spreading your playlist on social media, you could come up with a widely successful following.

To sign up for our weekly newsletter, just click HERE.


Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too).  Reach him at or find him on LinkedIn HERE.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.