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How To Make Money From Spotify Playlists (Explained)

By Matthew Vultaggio

May 17, 2021

There are 3 main ways to start making money from Spoitfy playlists that you own, however, the first step is arguably even more important: you need to have a playlist with real and genuine listeners.

I’ve researched this topic, started making money from my own Spotify playlist, and wrote about it all for you here.

To make money from Spotify playlists you need to build up the playlist’s follower count with real listeners before you get paid directly from artists for song placements, for reviewing song submissions, or by selling your playlist.

The 3 main ways to make money from Spotify playlists are to:

  1. Get paid directly from artists for song placements
  2. Get paid for considering a song placement by reviewing song submissions
  3. Sell your playlist to someone else

There are other ways to make money from playlists, but those are the main ones. Again, it is definitely worth emphasizing that you first need to build up your playlist’s follower count with real, genuine, and active listeners.

If you’d like to learn more about building up and then monetizing your own Spotify playlists, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

The Top 3 Ways Make Money With Spotify Playlists

Although there can be any number of ways to monetize a Spotify playlist, I’ve researched the top 3 ways and actually pursued one of these.

I’m now making a small amount of money from my own Spotify playlist (about $100 to $150 USD per month).

Spoiler alert: the method I personally use is the 2nd one listed here and I also think it is the most ethical way to go about making money from playlists.

Make Money From Spotify Playlists With Song Placements

One of the most basic ways to make money from a Spotify playlist is to directly sell placements on your playlist to artists, labels and/or artist managers.

I would not recommend this method because it is pretty unethical and is actually against Spotify’s policies.

Selling placements could also be a really bad experience for the listeners on your playlist because your playlist could eventually deteriorate into a crappy playlist filled with artist’s that have paid to be there instead of filled with artists you actually like and recommend.

If the above situation happens, it will only be a matter of time before your listener’s ditch your playlist, and artist’s no longer want to pay to appear there.

However, if you do want to go this route, a simple way is to leave your email in the playlist description so that you can be contacted. From there you would simply need to negotiate a deal.

Make Money From Spotify Playlists By Reviewing Song Submissions

This is my favorite way to monetize a playlist and is the method that I personally use.

There are 2 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 of these companies allow you to apply once you have 1,000 real and engaged playlist followers.

PlaylistPush pays $1 USD – $12 USD per song review (I usually get $1.25 USD) but you may see less submissions while Submithub pays $0.50 USD 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 actually add any of the songs to your playlist, and still get to make money from your playlist.

On top of this, this is 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 ’em.

Make Money From Spotify Playlists By Selling Your Playlist

Finally, another way that you can make money from your Spotify playlist is simply by building up your playlist and then selling it to someone who wants to take it over.

To do this, you would need to build up a pretty big following, prove that the listeners are real, and then find a buyer.

Obviously, a downside is that you won’t be able to make recurring revenue month to month, but you would get one big payout and not have to worry about managing the playlist anymore.

Make Money With Spotify Playlists in 7 Steps

To start making money from any Spotify playlist, there are really only 7 steps that you need to follow to get there.

With that said, it can definitely 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 7 steps to make money with Spotify playlists are:

  1. Choose the playlist theme
  2. SEO-optimize the titles and description
  3. Fill your playlist with 70 songs
  4. Create your artwork
  5. Grow your playlist followers to 1,000
  6. Apply for monetization
  7. Manage song submissions

If you would like to download a handy 7-step checklist that is actually interactive and teaches you more about each of the 7 steps in more details, check out my FREE 7-Step Spotify Playlist Check List I Used To Get 1,000+ Likes & Get Paid (COMING SOON). 🙂

How To Grow Spotify Playlist Followers (The Legit Way)

Now that you know how many people are following your playlist, how can you learn legit ways to grow your Spotify playlist’s follower / like count?

The best way to grow Spotify playlist followers are to run Facebook and Instagram ads. Promoting your playlists on social media and forums can also work but is less effective.

The 3 main ways to grow your Spotify playlist followers are to:

  1. Run Facebook and Instagram ads by targeting listeners who are likely to enjoy your playlist to your playlist
  2. Promote your playlists on your own social media accounts
  3. Promote your playlist on forums and subreddits

What ever way you choose to promote your playlist, it is important to focus on attracting real listeners that will actively use and engage with your playlist.

Why is this?

Spotify is cracking down on artificial streams from bots or click farms, meaning that your playlist could be removed completely if Spotify is suspicious.

Also, if you are planning on making money from your Spotify playlists, artists will only want to pay to be on playlists that actually get them streams and playlist submission companies will prioritize playlists with active and engaged listeners.

Spotify Analytics: Stats & Streams Tracker

To track your personal Spotify analytics, stats, and streams you need to connect a free app called Last FM to your Spotify account. Once connected, you will be able to 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 personal stats, check out my full article on Spotify Analytics For Listeners.

But…

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 how you can check Spotify streams with both of these methods, check out my article on How To Check Spotify Streams.

How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)?

Want to upgrade from just running a Spotify playlist to actually get 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 a company called DistroKid came along and 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. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

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.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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