Artist and Label Playlist Best Practices: Part II

After posting a short piece on artist Spotify playlist naming conventions and examples, we received a lot of inquiries into how these fit into an overall playlist strategy. In this post, we want to introduce some language and terminology to help us better navigate the long list of playlist types and know when and how to use them effectively.  This playlist nomenclatures helps us better understand approaches and identify strategies.

Organic, Systematic and Fan Generated Playlists
Most of the playlist in your portfolio will be either organic or systematic.  Organic simply refers to playlists that are curated (“Favorites”, “Inspirations”, i.e.), while Systematic playlists are based on a methodology or set of rules and are sometimes generated automatically or semi-automatically.  These include discographies, “Hits” lists, and “Best Of” playlists.  The metrics used to create these are usually time (chronology), sales, popularity or other data-driven factors.  “Campaign” playlists (these are playlist that are created for or generated as part of a marketing or promotional campaign) can have elements of all three approaches.   These list can be fan generated (as is the case with many of our collaborative playlists), which make them intrinsically organic as well.

What are Evergreen Playlist and what are Recycled Playlist?
So the idea of to either keep a playlist alive indefinitely (evergreen) or reuse playlists over and over again by simply renaming them (recycled). These are important practices because you want to GROW the number of followers on each of your playlist over time, and in order to do that you must AVOID creating new ones or deleting existing ones.  So each of the playlist in your artist portfolio NEEDS to fall into one of these 2 categories.  The rules surrounding this are simple and obvious, generally all the playlist covered in our initial post on playlist “types” fall into one of these categories.

Build out an Artist Playlist Portfolio: Required and Optional Playlist
As an artist you want to review our list of playlist types and identify which ones are going to work best for you.  The goal is to have AT LEAST 3-4 playlist that you can grow and leverage over time.  Here is what we think should be required and optional playlsits:

  • Required: Discography Playlist, a “New Album”/”New Music” Playlist and “Favorites” Playlist.   With the exception of the “Favorites” Playlist, these are systematic lists that can be created and maintained by your label or management. If you have a Discography Playlist, a “New Album” Playlist isn’t required, but doesn’t hurt – this is because it brings needed focus on your most recent music project.  If you haven’t released music for some time, you may want to make sure your “New Album” Playlist is simply the name of your last album or EP (which is usually the case anyway)
  • Optional: Strategies for optional playlist are equally intuitive. If you have enough music out there, then consider a “Best Of” Playlist (“Ultimate”, “Essentials”, i.e.).   If you are an accomplished songwriter, then create a “Songwriter” Playlist.  If your music tends to get remixed a lot or if you have a lot of remixes, a “Remix” Playlist is a good idea. At Christmas, or spring time or summer – consider a “Seasonal” Playlist. This doesn’t have to be your own music. Perhaps your “Seasonal” Playlist is also a “Favorites” Playlist, this is a very common seasonal approach.  Launching a user generated content campaign on our platform or by yourself? Consider a “Campaign” or “Themed” playlist. Going on tour? Make sure you have a “Tour Playlist”! Simple right?  You will probably find that maintaining organic (or systematic) playlist is not the easiest thing in the world. Consider using 2Playlist Platform that automates, delegates or simplifies the management of your playlist by providing you with with research, “photocopying”, import/export and other tools to help playlist curators.