It’s Monday, and Spotify is being 124 million people’s best friend. When CDs were the upgrade from tapes, people made mixes for friends and their friends made them mixes in return. New songs, old songs, inside joke songs–mixes could be addictive … or filled with stuff you couldn’t wait to skip. 

Today, Spotify is the largest driver of revenue in the music industry, so it’s no wonder that everyone’s streaming best friend has such scary-good taste in music. When Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist updates on Mondays, those 124 million subscribers find thirty tracks tailored to their listening preferences at the ready. 

The Spotify Algorithm

Discover Weekly–like Release Radar (which updates on Fridays) and Daily Mix (which updates depending on how frequently users listen)–is compiled with Spotify’s algorithms. These algorithms, according to software engineer Sophia Ciocca, have evolved from music curation services like Songza and Pandora, “[mixing] mix together some of the best strategies used by other services to create their own uniquely powerful discovery engine.”

Ciocca’s deep-dive into the math and madness behind Spotify’s computer science skills is worth the read (she makes matrices seem simple, which is a feat), but the Cliff Note’s are useful, too: Collaborative filtering, audio processing, and audio models turn the gears inside Spotify’s algorithmic machine. 

For artists looking to nab a spot on one of those playlists, understanding the algorithm’s preferences is important. “Spotify’s data is implicit feedback,” Ciocca writes, “specifically, the stream counts of the tracks and additional streaming data, such as whether a user saved the track to their own playlist, or visited the artist’s page after listening to a song.”

Streams and saves: those are the metrics that matter. And with four billion playlists on Spotify, landing on those algorithmic mixes is a surefire pathway to playlisting success. Remember how Spotify is the largest streaming service in the world? The songs that wind up on playlists are the songs that go viral and get major label attention. 

Best Kept-Secret to Getting Playlisted?

Growing Spotify followers is the smartest way for an artist to add streams and saves. And while organic growth can be slow and fidgety, ToneDen’s Spotify Growth Playbook makes it easy. For as little as $5 a day, we’ve seen artists quadruple their followers. This math is simple: the more followers, the more streams and saves, the better the chance of being playlisted. You can thank your best friend for what comes next.

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