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A Musician-Friendly Guide to Spotify’s Algorithms

A Musician-Friendly Guide to Spotify’s Algorithms

Nowadays, algorithms are the talk of every town. Essentially, algorithms are the main factors that drive social platforms to their immense success in which Spotify is no exception. One of the unique selling points of Spotify is its spot-on song recommendation and personalized playlists for users. 

All of these things are made possible thanks to algorithms. Before we cover how you can make the best use of the algorithms, let’s cover some of the basics first. 

What is an algorithm? 

In short, algorithms can be understood as an AI learning machine that sorts out and presents the most relevant content that matches a user’s interest. Before this, social platforms present content based on chronological order. 

However, to prolong the user’s time on the platforms, big tech companies introduced algorithms that is a machine learning constantly learns the user’s behavior and recommends the content based on the data. Every platform’s algorithm works differently but that is the main concept of an algorithm. 

How does Spotify’s algorithm work? 

Spotify’s algorithm has its name - BART (short for Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments). BART’s main mission is to suggest songs that listeners might like based on their listening history, habit, and similar user behaviors. This would prolong their time on the streaming services and encourage them to do more music streaming

For example, if you’re 18 years old, living in Paris, and listening to Drake’s songs religiously. Spotify’s algorithm will take note of listening habits and recommend Drake’s song to someone with a similar demographic as yours. 

Other than that, BART also aims to suggest new songs to make sure the listeners are engaged and not bored on Spotify. 

The three main functions of BART: 

1. Collaborative Filtering

Based on past songs that show listeners’ positive engagement, BART will recommend similar new songs to listeners. 

2. Natural Language Processing

BART analyzes the song’s lyrics, content, and language and then categorizes the song. 

3. Raw Audio Analyzation 

BART determines a song’s “mood” by analyzing whether it’s chill, upbeat, minimal, etc. 

To fully perform these functions, BART’s recommendation is based on the following data:

  • Listening time (in which your song needs to get past 30 seconds)
  • Playlist features (learn more with our article on how to get playlisted on Spotify)
  • Listening history (mood, style, genre to understand music taste)
  • Skip rate (less skips = more recommendations)

Why do you want to get noticed by Spotify’s algorithm?

Algorithms play a huge role in the listener’s discovery phase. With over 60,000 tracks released every day on Spotify, it is almost impossible for a random listener to encounter your song without any prior knowledge about you. 

Hence, this makes BART more important than ever as it’s one of the few chances you can reach your potential fan organically. A simple feature in one of Spotify's algorithmic playlists such as “Release Radar” and “Daily Mixes” can bring you hundreds or even thousands of new streams and potential fans. Without acknowledging and utilizing the algorithms, you won't be able to survive the crowded sea of upcoming artists. 

How do you send good signals to Spotify’s algorithm? 

Post music regularly

The key to gaining attention from the algorithm is to stay consistent with your Spotify activity. The first consistency you can have is to post music regularly with a proper schedule. By having new music regularly, you’re sending good signals to Spotify to recommend your songs to a new group of listeners. 

With this in place, your fan base can slowly grow and expand. To make sure you reach the right group of listeners, check out our article on how to target the right audience for your music

Share your works 

Sharing your works is a great way to gain attention from Spotify’s algorithms. The logic behind this is as you’re sharing your works via social platforms, you will have more people coming to your account. 

Respectively, the strike in user engagement translates to Spotify that your account and music are worth recommending to new listeners. However, it’s easier said than done as not all upcoming artists have a huge following on social media. Hence, check out our article on how to digitally promote your music.

Do music promotion 

Music promotion is one of the keys to utilizing Spotify’s algorithms. It’s important to keep in mind that the more streams and followers you give to Spotify, the better the algorithm will be able to learn the pattern and behavior of them and bring you more fans to your account. 

As a result, music promotion is the best way for you to actively promote and gain more streams - signaling to Spotify’s algorithms that many users enjoy your music so they can confidently push your music to other users. You can learn more in our extensive guide on music promotion. 

To start actively promoting your works, you can run ads for your music using music promotion services like Base for Music - generating sponsored campaigns across popular social networks such as Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, and Spotify. 

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