The three main ways to make money from Spotify playlists are to get paid directly from artists for song placements ($50+ per song), for reviewing song submissions ($0.50-12 per song), or by selling your playlist ($500+).
I’ve researched this topic, started making money from my Spotify playlist, and have written about it for you here. 🙂
The three main ways to make money from Spotify playlists are to:
- Get paid directly from artists for song placements
- Get paid for considering a song placement by reviewing song submissions
- Sell your playlist to someone else
With that said, it’s important to remember that to make money from Spotify playlists, you must build up the playlist’s follower count with real, genuine, and active listeners (in this guide, I’ll show you how to do just that).
If you’d like to learn more about building up and monetizing your own Spotify playlists, simply keep reading, my friend. 🙂
The Top 3 Ways of How to Make Money on Spotify Playlist
Although there can be any number of ways to monetize Spotify playlists, I’ve researched the top 3 ways and actually pursued one of these (the most ethical option is the one I chose).
I’ve made a small amount of money from my own Spotify playlist (about $100 to $150 per month) but stopped doing it to pursue other projects.
1) Make Money From Spotify Playlists With Song Placements
One way to potentially earn money from your Spotify playlist is by offering paid placements to artists, labels, or artist managers. However, I strongly discourage this approach as it is unethical and goes against Spotify’s policies.
Engaging in such practices can lead to a negative experience for your playlist’s listeners. Over time, your playlist may lose its quality, becoming filled with artists who have paid for placements rather than featuring artists you genuinely enjoy and recommend.
If this situation occurs, your listeners will likely stop enjoying your playlist, and artists may no longer be interested in paying for placements.
If, despite these cautions, you are determined to proceed with this approach, a straightforward method would be to add your contact details to the playlist description. This way, individuals who are interested can easily get in touch with you. However, please keep in mind this choice’s potential consequences and ethical considerations.
2) Make Money From Spotify Playlists By Reviewing Song Submissions
This is my favorite way to monetize Spotify playlists and is the method that I personally use.
There are two main companies that you can apply to become a Playlist Curator at to start getting paid for considering a song placement by reviewing song submissions:
Both companies allow you to apply once you have 1,000 real and engaged playlist followers.
PlaylistPush pays $1 – $12 per song review (I usually get $1.25), but you may see fewer submissions, while Submithub pays $0.50 per song review, but you may see more submissions.
I like this method because you get to listen to a lot of cool music, aren’t pressured to add any of the songs to your playlist, and still get to make money from your playlist.
On top of this, this doesn’t no go against Spotify’s rules, and these companies do the work of getting submissions over to you. You just need to wait for them to roll in and review them.
3) Make Money From Spotify Playlists By Selling Your Playlist
Finally, another way you can make money from your Spotify playlist is simply by building it up and then selling it to someone who wants to take it over.
To do this, you must build up a big following, prove that the listeners are real, and then find a buyer.
A downside is that you won’t be able to make recurring monthly revenue, but you would get one big payout and no longer have to worry about managing the playlist.
How to Earn Money From Spotify Playlist?
To start earning money from any Spotify playlist, there are really only 7 steps that you need to follow to get there.
With that said, it can take a bit of time (and even money) on your part before you’ve built up enough followers on your playlist so that you can start monetizing it.
The seven steps to make money with Spotify playlists are:
- Choose a Playlist Theme: Select a theme or niche for your playlist. This should be a topic or genre that you’re passionate about and believe will resonate with potential listeners.
- SEO-optimize Titles and Description: Optimize your playlist titles and descriptions with relevant keywords. This will help improve its visibility in Spotify’s search results and attract more listeners.
- Fill Your Playlist with 70 Songs: Aim to curate a playlist with at least 70 high-quality songs. These should be tracks that fit your chosen theme and are likely to appeal to your target audience.
- Create Artwork: Design eye-catching and unique artwork for your playlist. Visually appealing cover art can make your playlist more enticing to potential followers.
- Grow Playlist Followers to 1,000: Building a substantial following is crucial for monetization. Promote your playlist on social media, collaborate with other curators, and engage with your audience to attract followers.
- Apply for Monetization: Once your playlist has reached the 1,000 followers milestone, you can apply for Spotify’s monetization programs, such as the Spotify for Artists program or Songfluencer. These programs may allow you to earn money through promotions and sponsorships.
- Manage Song Submissions: Regularly update your playlist with fresh, relevant songs to keep your audience engaged. Also, consider accepting song submissions from artists and labels looking for exposure on your playlist. Be cautious about the quality and relevance of these submissions.
How To Grow Spotify Playlist Followers
Now that you’re aware of the number of people following your playlist, how can you discover legitimate methods to increase the follower and like count for your Spotify playlist?
The best way to grow Spotify playlist followers is to run Facebook and Instagram ads. Promoting your playlists on social media and forums can also work but is less effective.
The three main ways to grow your Spotify playlist followers are to:
- Run Facebook and Instagram ads by targeting listeners who are likely to enjoy your playlist.
- Promote your playlists on your own social media accounts.
- Promote your playlist on forums and subreddits.
Whatever way you promote your playlist, it is important to focus on attracting real listeners who will actively use and engage with it.
Why is this?
Spotify is cracking down on artificial streams from bots or click farms, meaning your playlist could be removed completely if Spotify is suspicious.
Also, suppose you are planning on making money from your Spotify playlists. In that case, artists will only want to pay to be on playlists that get them streams, and playlist submission companies will prioritize playlists with active and engaged listeners.
Spotify Analytics: Stats & Streams Tracker
Connect a free app called Last FM to your Spotify account to track your personal Spotify analytics, stats, and streams. Once connected, you can track what you stream on the Spotify app, web player, and any Spotify-connected device.
To learn more about how you can set this up and start tracking your stats, check out my full article on Spotify Analytics For Listeners.
What if you want to check the total amount Spotify streams for any individual song?
How To Check Spotify Streams (For Artists & Listeners)
To check Spotify streams, visit the artist’s Spotify profile and see the songs listed under the “Popular” section. Artists can check their Spotify streams for any of their songs by signing up and logging into Spotify For Artists.
For a more detailed, step-by-step approach to checking Spotify streams with both of these methods, check out my article on How To Check Spotify Streams.
Can You Make Money From Spotify Playlists?
Yes, you can make money from Spotify playlists, but it typically involves indirect methods rather than direct payments from Spotify itself. Curators of popular playlists can potentially earn income through sponsorship deals, promoting artists or products within their playlists, or driving traffic to external websites or social media profiles where they can monetize their audience.
Additionally, artists and musicians can benefit from being featured on popular playlists as it can increase their streams and exposure, potentially leading to more income from music sales, concerts, and merchandise. However, Spotify primarily pays artists and rights holders royalties based on the streams number their songs receive.
So, how much does a Spotify playlist maker make?
How much can a Spotify playlist maker earn? The allure of getting paid for doing something you love is undeniably tempting. Let’s dive into the numbers. It’s important to note that there isn’t a fixed income for playlist curators, which can vary for several reasons.
First, Spotify playlist curators can earn different amounts based on how they operate in this role. To clarify, here are some key distinctions:
- Working Directly with Spotify: Some curators can work directly with Spotify. While this option can be lucrative, it’s also quite challenging to secure.
- In-House Curators: Streaming platforms like Apple Music and major record labels have in-house curators who create successful playlists. This role can also be financially rewarding.
Generally, a professional playlist curator working for a prominent company, whether a streaming service or a record label, can make an annual income ranging from $24,000 to $40,000. Connecting with these major companies can be challenging, but technology has made it somewhat easier. However, playlist curators can use other avenues to earn money through their craft.
Another option is to become a curator for platforms offering artists song-reviewing services. Artists pay these platforms to connect them with playlist curators, creating an additional income stream.
Is it legal to pay for inclusion on a Spotify playlist?
Spotify takes its terms of service quite seriously. It’s important to be aware that receiving payment for placing a song in a playlist goes against these terms of service. Engaging in this practice can lead to losing your account and all your hard-earned efforts.
Emerging artists and record labels are typically tempted to partake in this practice, known as paid placement or selling placements. However, not only is this practice unfair, but it’s also ethically questionable.
Why is it unethical, you may wonder? The problem lies in the fact that songs don’t find their way into playlists based on their merit or the talent and quality of their production. Instead, they end up there because someone has paid the playlist owners for inclusion. This inevitably diminishes the overall quality of the playlists.
You might think this rule contradicts what has been discussed earlier, but it’s not as straightforward as it seems. There’s a significant distinction between this practice and the role of playlist curators.
Whether they operate independently or not, playlist curators don’t receive payment solely for adding songs to playlists. Their job involves listening to new songs, providing thoughtful and professional feedback, and reviewing them.
Whether a song makes it onto a playlist is entirely at the discretion of the playlist owners; there’s no obligation to include any particular song. Understanding this distinction is crucial if you intend to turn playlist curation into a sustainable career, particularly if you aim to generate a respectable monthly income from it.
How can I land a job creating playlists for Spotify?
If you’re interested in landing a job as a playlist curator for Spotify or similar platforms, it’s essential to understand the key requirements for this role. Different platforms may have varying criteria, but here are the fundamental steps to get started:
Build a Playlist with Genuine Followers
You should have at least one playlist with over 1,000 genuine followers to be recognized as a credible music curator. It’s crucial to emphasize the authenticity of your followers because platforms like Spotify use algorithms to detect non-organic growth. To achieve this, focus on growing your playlist’s followers organically.
Maintain a Minimum Number of Songs
Some platforms may require that your playlists contain a specific number of songs. For instance, platforms like SoundCampaign typically ask for at least 20 songs in your playlist. Ensure your playlists meet these basic song quantity requirements.
Demonstrate Added Value
Platforms like SoundCampaign assess whether your playlists contribute to the discovery of emerging artists and songs. To prove your playlist’s value, track how it helps lesser-known artists gain recognition and reach a broader audience.
In summary, breaking into the world of playlist curation involves building a substantial and genuine following, meeting playlist length requirements, and showcasing your playlists’ positive impact on the music industry. This sets the stage for potential job opportunities as a playlist curator.
How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)?
Want to upgrade from running a Spotify playlist to getting your own music on Spotify and becoming an official Spotify artist?
To upload to Spotify as an artist, you need to sign up with one of Spotify’s preferred music distributors and submit your music, artwork, and artist information through that distributor.
Thankfully, it’s easy for anyone to upload music to Spotify because DistroKid started offering unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee without taking a percentage of any of your earnings away.
Before DistroKid, it was too expensive and complicated (..you had to pay PER song EVERY year).
To learn more about DistroKid, check out my big fat DistroKid review for everything you will ever need to know about them. There is even a handy How To Choose A Distributor Guide and some info on the nice DistroKid discount.
If you are wondering, want to know more details about how to do this yourself, how exactly you can claim your artist profile, and actually make some money by uploading music to Spotify, check out my article called How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)
Some of my favorite music marketing tools
Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂
Click here to see a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 5,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist (called Best Friends Club).
Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission. 🤗
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.