Last month, my colleague Philippe Giard wrote a blog post about the importance of playlists in our lives today. In that same vein, I’d like to zone in on a fantastic platform that puts playlists at the center of its operation: ShareMyPlaylists.com.
Initially created as a standalone site, ShareMyPlaylists — or SMP for short — now serves as Spotify‘s wingman of sorts. One of the first apps within the Spotify desktop client, SMP makes sharing and exploring Spotify playlists its mission, pointing users to Recommended playlists, Charts, Lyrics and even a Playlist Generator. Each playlist tracks play counts, allows for comments and makes sharing easy with readily available social links. And because the proof is in the pudding, here are the numbers: SMP counts 850,000 unique visitors and 3 million page impressions a month, with an average of 400 new users a day. Of the approximately 300 new playlists uploaded a day, about 15,000 of them are played… a day. Impressive, right?
Ok, so we know that SMP is worth our attention… But, you ask, how can you get YOUR playlist in the spotlight? Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to see your numbers grow…
Start by creating an account on ShareMyPlaylists.com.
While the casual listener may be able to publish a playlist in a jiffy using SMP’s ‘drag-and-drop’ Playlist Publisher on Spotify, as an artist or label you’ll want to have your own branded account. Do this by registering on the SMP website and make sure you pick a username that reflects your label or band.
Put together a rad playlist on Spotify
That’s easier said than done… I mean, how many tracks do you pick? What kind of playlist should it be? How often should you update it?
Of course, these questions merit specific answers:
How many tracks do you pick?
The number of tracks “sweet spot” is between 20 to 50 tracks, unless you’re creating a Top 100 or chart playlist.
What kind of playlist should it be?
That’s up to you and your creative genius! To help your juices flow, here are some popular playlists and their particular characteristics:
- The “Artist — Best Of:” This one contains at least 20 tracks and is best when used for artists that have a large back catalogue.
- The Record Label playlist: Similarly to the “Artist — Best Of,” this playlist is the way to go if you want to showcase your entire label’s music prowess. You can also opt for a New Releases type of playlist to update with all your not-to-be-missed new albums — though I’d only recommend doing that if you have an active release schedule. Check out: Best of The Orchard 2011
- The Genre playlist: This one is great for genre-specific labels but requires a bit more upkeep. Show your expertise and showcase your artists — you don’t need to be modest — but keep it relevant and update it regularly. Check out: The Orchard Catalogue Cuts: Beyond Legend
- The “Occasion” playlist: Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Christmas or your anniversary with a topical playlist. It’s a great way to add your personal touch to a popular event, or spice up a special celebration, like an anniversary. Check out: St. Patrick’s Day: 40 Great Irish Pub Songs
- The “Top …” playlist: End the year with a bang, celebrate a milestone or just give a shout out to your favorites with a “Top 100 Tracks of 2012″ or “50 Tracks for 50 Years” soundtrack. Check out: Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Tracks Of All Time
How often should you update it?
It depends on the playlist. If you’re going for a “Best Of” or “Top 50 of X Event,” you probably won’t need to update it again, but that also means you won’t have as many opportunities to share it with your fans or gain new ones. Genre or New Releases playlists should be reviewed monthly or at the most quarterly and shared across your networks whenever you update them. “Occasion” playlists can be put on hold until the following year — and don’t hesitate to completely overhaul them. By revamping the same one, you’ll ensure that you don’t lose the subscribers you secured the first time around.
Upload your playlist
You’ve finished your playlist masterpiece and it’s ready to be set loose into the world. What do you do? You click on the “Submit Your Playlist” button on SMP’s homepage and fill in the required fields, including your spiffy playlist title, Spotify URL (right click your playlist title and click on Copy Spotify URI) and, very important, custom artwork, a description and a genre.
Creating custom artwork for your playlist is essential if you want it to be featured in any way on SMP. Also, it’s just more attractive for listeners! So go through the extra steps and ask your up-and-coming designer niece (or your professional designer if you have one!) to create a 150×150 pixels image to catch the world’s eye. If you’re in a bind, you can always ask SMP to generate artwork for you based on the songs in your playlist (similarly to what Spotify does when you create a playlist), but don’t expect to get much promotional support for it if you do — you’ll be on your own!
Descriptions are helpful for pickup and listeners are more inclined to subscribe if they have a bit of history and context. This is also a great place to share how you came to pick the songs you’ve carefully listened to on repeat to come up with your perfect playlist. A great example is our “Around ‘On The Road” playlist, inspired by Jack Kerouac’s famous novel.
Don’t let the Genre category fool you! Picking “Compilation” should be a last resort, as that’s the most popular genre and your playlist will risk getting lost within the throng.
Share away and watch your playlist rise in rank
If you’ve followed my suggestions carefully, you should have all the ingredients you need for a successful playlist. The last step is to raise awareness and share, share, share. (It’s not called ShareMyPlaylists for nothing, folks!) Share the SMP link on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your blog; encourage your followers to comment and share it too; use the Total Plays number (if it’s good) to drive more traffic; ask your followers to help you rise up in the Charts… whatever works!
Of course, an extra push never hurts… If you want further marketing opportunities with ShareMyPlaylists to extend your reach through banner ads and Featured Playlist spots on the homepage, reach out to Kieron at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more info.
Time for our us to show you how we’ve used SMP! (Though if you’ve read this post carefully, you’ll notice some plugs earlier on as well…) Here‘s a link to all of our personal SMP playlists.
Go ahead, do it too! Share your new playlists with us in the comments, or on Twitter, or on Facebook — we’ll be waiting eagerly!