Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube; growing followers is fundamental in becoming a successful artist. But what about Spotify followers specifically?
The first thing we pay attention to when it comes to Spotify is our Monthly Listeners. And yes, don’t get me wrong, it is very important! But first, let’s get some vocabulary out of the way so we know what we are talking about when it comes to Spotify.
Monthly Listeners: Unique listeners who play your music during a 28 day period.
Followers: People who like or follow your artist profile (fans).
With Instagram and other Social Media, our eye goes straight to how many Followers this person has. It’s on top of their profile and very visible!
Spotify Prioritizes Monthly Listeners
“Monthly Listeners” gives you a snapshot of how the Artist is doing this month. We all know how variable this number is. You can have one song land on a major playlist and you’ll see your Monthly Listeners skyrocket! And drop just as fast once you’re off that playlist. Very unstable on its own.
Ultimately, your goal should be turning those unique listeners into followers and therefore, fans.
How Does Spotify’s Release Radar Work
Unlike Instagram and other social media, Spotify doesn’t have a “feed” with the latest releases from the accounts you follow. What they do have is a playlist called “Release Radar”.
Release Radar is an algorithmically generated playlist that is created individually for each Spotify user on a weekly basis. According to Spotify, Release Radar generates more streams than any other curated playlists! Which makes perfect sense! If you have 100 followers on Spotify, your next release will land on 100 Release Radar Playlists. Every week! If you are consistent with your release schedule this will automatically grow your streams!
Here is a screenshot from my personal Spotify for Artist page:
As you can see, I have three songs on my followers’ Release Radar generating a little over 200 streams this month. This isn’t a crazy amount, but these streams keep growing as long as I focus on growing my followers.
Other playlists such as Editorial or Listener curated playlists are out of your control. You might get on, and you might not. Why focus on uncertainty? I’m not saying to not pay attention to these, they are one of the best tools to get your music discovered by new listeners and hopefully convert them into followers/fans.
All I am saying is to focus on your followers and not your monthly streams.
What Are Spotify’s Fans Also Like?
Have you ever, as a music fan, scrolled down your favorite Artist’s Spotify profile and see a section called “Fans Also Like”? This is also generated automatically based on the artist’s fanbase and their listening habits! Well to be more precise, Spotify calls this metric “artist similarity”.
Artist Similarity is calculated based on your fanbase: your followers. Glenn Macdonald from Spotify explains this a bit better:
This is also a great way for listeners to discover your music!
The Future of Spotify Followers
I’m sure you have already noticed a few things based on the Artists you follow. The other day I received a Spotify notification on my phone that one of my favorite artists had a show nearby. This could happen to us in the future!
So far these notifications are only limited to some artists, but we know Spotify eventually makes new features like this available to the entire community. We have seen it first hand with Spotify Canvas.
Spotify Notification Center
Spotify is also currently working on a “Notification Center” on their mobile app. This will act as the “Instagram Feed” mentioned earlier on, where fans can see what’s new music-wise with their favorite artists!
This only means one thing: it’s time to take care of your Spotify followers!