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Spotify Playlist Themes & Names (With 15+ Theme Ideas)

By Matthew Vultaggio

May 25, 2021

Coming up with the perfect playlist theme and name to attract followers and grow your playlist can be hard, so I researched this topic and wrote about it here for you.

A good Spotify playlist theme and name will have a balance of aesthetic appeal, relevance, and search engine optimization to attract as many followers and likes to the playlist as possible.

Aesthetic appeal is really just about being vibey and cool but it is the search engine optimization (aka SEO) part that can really get your playlist in front of thousands of people that might just fall in love with your playlist for free.

To learn more about the types of Spotify playlists you can make, how to craft the perfect theme and playlist title, as well as 15+ playlist theme ideas that you can go ahead and use right now, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

Types Of Spotify Playlists To Make

When deciding what type of Spotify playlist you should make, it can be a bit overwhelming at first: there are an endless amount of ideas but none seem to be coming to you right now.

To make things easier for you, here are 15 playlist theme ideas for you to use (also, keep scrolling to the next section for a deeper breakdown into each of these for more info):

  1. Emotions & Moods
  2. Society & The World
  3. Geography & Cultures
  4. Specific Situations
  5. Events & Concerts
  6. Decades & Time Periods
  7. Genres
  8. Holidays & Important Dates
  9. Pop Culture
  10. Instruments & Sound Design
  11. Connections & Common Threads
  12. Record Labels & Crews
  13. Life Events & Milestones
  14. Best of…
  15. Tempo & BPM

But, when coming up with your Playlist theme and it’s title, make sure that you remember this:

A good Spotify playlist theme and name will have a balance of aesthetic appeal, relevance, and search engine optimization to attract as many followers and likes to the playlist as possible.

Of course, your playlist name should let your potential listener’s know what is in store for them, but it should also be optimized to get you as many new followers as possible.

What is “Search Engine Optimization” and why should you care?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a marketing strategy that usually applies to getting as high up in the ranks as possible in Google and YouTube search results.

However, Spotify clearly has a function as well, which means you can apply these techniques when creating your very own Spotify Playlist.

You can structure your title and description so that your playlist shows up for certain Spotify user searches by adding keywords to your Spotify playlist name and description that Spotify listeners might be searching for like genres, moods, artist names, song names, etc.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper into some key Spotify playlist theme ideas…

15 Spotify Playlist Theme Ideas

Here are 15 Spotify playlist theme ideas that you can use to inspire your next great playlist:

Emotions & Moods

All music conveys some kind of emotion or mood, and music can be the perfect companion for any type of mood or emotion you (or your playlist followers) might be experiencing.

Why not tap into these emotions and build a playlist around more detailed vibes such as:

  • Hope
  • Celebration
  • Passion
  • Wanderlust
  • Nostalgia
  • Loneliness
  • Love lost
  • Innocence
  • Regret
  • Solitude
  • Temptation
  • Adversity
  • Fear
  • Feeling invincible

Society & The World

Everyone can feel like they are the only ones that fit in to society and the world at large in a unique way, but the truth is that a lot of people will resonate with these particular feelings.

Why not take inspiration from deeper philosophical thoughts and feelings like:

  • Greed
  • Spirituality
  • Tradition
  • Change
  • Growing up
  • Life and death
  • Family
  • Simplicity
  • Nature
  • Fitting in

Geography & Cultures

Artists that are from the same city, country or state may have a common thread that goes deeper than their location that can be worth exploring. Music from certain cultures can be equally inspiring.

  • Artists & songs from the same country
  • Artists & songs from the same city
  • Artists & songs from the same state
  • Artists & songs from a particular culture

Specific Situations

A playlist about a particular feeling, thought or emotion can be a bit vague, so why not create a playlist that is perfect for a very, very specific situation.

Some specific situations you can make playlists around include:

  • Exploring abandoned buildings
  • Songs to play to impress a girl
  • Songs to play to impress a boy
  • Music for a cocktail party
  • Music for night rides through the city
  • Backyard BBQ music
  • Music for when chilling at a coffee shop in Vienna without your laptop

Tip: the more specific the more interesting your title will be. 🙂

Events & Concerts

Put together a playlist made up of artists playing a specific concert or festival, or simply a group of songs that perfectly fits a specific event.

  • Top Songs from Coachella 2018
  • The Grammies 2021
  • Radiohead’s Complete Set List from Anaheim May 2018

Decades & Time Periods

Music from a specific time period or decade is a quite popular (if not very typical) type of playlist to create.

  • Songs from the 90s
  • Songs that sound like they are from 80s but aren’t
  • Classical renaissance period music

Genres

This one might seem a bit obvious, but a playlist built around a specific genre or sub-genre is always a safe bet.

  • Hair metal
  • Lofi
  • Deep house
  • Female-fronted pop

Holidays & Important Dates

Music that fits a particular holiday or important date can be great (particularly on or near that specific holiday or date).

  • Christmas
  • Halloween
  • Canada Day

Pop Culture

Music from or inspired by TV, movies, celebrities and other things from pop culture can be a great way to build a playlist.

  • Songs from Marvel movies
  • Music from the hit TV show, Friends
  • Music that makes me feel like Don Draper

Instruments & Sound Design

Music is (usually) made from instruments and particular types of sounds, so why not have your playlist revolved around that?

  • Songs with guitars
  • Atmospheric songs
  • Acoustic songs
  • Piano songs

Connections & Common Threads

Similar to the idea of making a playlist featuring artists from a particular city, you can build up a playlist with a theme that focuses on unusual connections or common threads between theme.

  • Songs about New York City
  • Songs written in London from artists that aren’t from London
  • All the songs that Kendrick Lamar features in (but isn’t the main artist)

Record Labels & Crews

Artists from the same record label tend to have a similar sound, which can be a great theme for a playlist. Taken a bit further, some artists aren’t on the same label but are friends or part of the same crew.

  • Songs from Fueled By Ramen
  • Songs from the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All crew

Life Events & Milestones

Creating a playlist around a specific life event or milestone can be a great way to remember that event forever.

  • Sweet 16
  • First home
  • Moving out of my parents house

Best of…

An easy way to create a playlist is to create a “best of” playlist of any other playlist theme.

  • Best of Frank Sinatra
  • Best of 90s songs
  • Best of Lofi

Tempo & BPM

All music has a tempo or speed at which the song is performed which is measured in beats per minute (BPM). You can create playlists around songs that have the same tempo / speed / timing.

  • Songs in 120 BPM
  • Upbeat songs
  • Downtempo songs

Collaborative Playlist Themes

When creating a collaborative playlist with your friends or loved ones, it can be a great idea to have a specific theme instead of just a collection of your friend songs.

Some collaborative playlist theme ideas include:

  • Activities you do together (ie: golfing, chilling at the beach, dungeons & dragons, etc)
  • A common thing you all like (ie: Marvel movies, surfing, cats)
  • An upcoming event (ie: a concert, festival, movie, party, bar night)

Playlist Theme Generator

If you want artificial intelligence to take the wheel, here are some playlist theme generators that can take all the guess work out of creating a playlist theme:

Spotify Playlist Descriptions

A good Spotify playlist description will have a balance of aesthetic appeal and search engine optimization to attract as many followers and likes to the playlist as possible.

  • Moods
  • Genres
  • Funny / Humor

To learn more about how you can put together the perfect Spotify playlist description and for some ideas you can use in your own playlist, check out my article on Spotify playlist descriptions. 🙂

How To Organize Your Spotify Music

The best 2 ways to organize your Spotify music are to do it yourself by creating and managing playlists or by using a third-party tool like ‘Organize Your Music’ by Playlist Machinery.

In both cases, you will first want to have an idea of how you want your music organized, whether it be by genre, release year of the recording, or specific moods or situations like studying or an upcoming party.

To learn more about how you can organize your music on Spotify, with a breakdown on both techniques, and examples of how others organize their music, check out my article on How To Organize Your Spotify Music. 🙂

How To Make Money From Spotify Playlists

Want to learn how you can make money from your Spotify playlists?

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

To learn more, check out my full article on How To Make Money From Spotify Playlists. 🙂

How To See Who Liked Your Playlist On Spotify

You can find out how many people follow any Spotify playlist by opening the playlist in Spotify and looking for follower / like count near the playlist’s title and information. Although you can see how many followers you have, you can’t see the individual profiles.

The follower / like count will show up in different areas depending on if you view the playlist in the desktop app, smartphone app, and web browser

To learn more about if this feature will ever come to Spotify, if there are any workarounds, or how you can see the number of Spotify playlist followers in detail, check out my article called How To See Who Liked Your Playlist On Spotify. 🙂

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 Find Your Top Artists On Spotify

The best way to find your top artists on Spotify is by using a 3rd party tool like LastFM or Stats For Spotify, or by using Spotify’s built-in Wrapped, Your Top Songs, or Today’s Top Fans features.

The benefit of using a 3rd party tool is that it clearly shows you the top artist information you are looking for, but you have to go outside of Spotify to find it and give these tools access to your Spotify data.

To learn more about these options and which is the best method for you to find your top artists on Spotify, check out my full article on How To Find Your Top Artists On Spotify. 🙂

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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