Warning: Spotify playlists can harm your career. Ari Herstand explains why.
Lucidious was a talented musician with a growing fan base and a well-paying day job. But he also couldn’t access a Spotify playlist to save his life.
Now he makes $250,000 a year and has a devoted and growing fan base. And he is quiet I get no love for Spotify playlists. How is that even possible?
Ari Herstand, author of How to Make It In the New Music Business, explained that including it in huge playlists can make sense harmful for the long-term career of an artist. He’s seen it firsthand — and in this podcast, he explains why.
Strangely, the exclusion from Spotify playlists is actually enforced Clear to acquire fans in more meaningful ways.
“While everyone was focused on playlists, he went the other direction,” Ari explained. “And he ignored playlists because playlists ignored him. So instead of slamming down the door of every playlist editor and begging to be put on a playlist like everyone else in the music industry did — and still does — he asked himself, “What’s my ultimate goal here?” — My number one goal isn’t to get on playlists. My ultimate goal is to gain fans and make money from my music.’”
Shockingly, artists who are on playlists with millions of followers can find it difficult to fill their venues. Or even get a respectable number of people to show up. “I see that all the time,” Ari said. “Someone has 100 million Spotify streams and nobody knows the artist’s name and they can’t sell 50 tickets to shows in their hometown. So you book a show and then nobody shows up – because people are fans of the playlist and not fans of the artist.”
“If you get on hot playlists, you get a lot of streams,” Ari explained. “But it doesn’t get you many fans.”