Updated: Nov 28
Music streaming services such as Spotify have completely altered the way we listen to music. Listeners can now experience curated playlists that are unique and personalized to their taste at the click of a button. Whether it's for a specific genre, mood, activity, or a combination of all three, you can find a playlist that meets your needs.
This post will explore how to customize your own playlists and how to get more followers. We are going to break it down into three simple sections.
Making Playlists: We will walk you through how to create a Spotify account and how to create customized playlists for listeners to enjoy.
Technical Details: What’s the difference between a secret and public playlist? What about a collaborative playlist? We will explain!
Growing Followers: Some tips on how to grow your following on Spotify!
If you are a musician you may be interested in reading our previous blog post on how to get your music on a Spotify playlist.
So.. let’s get started on making your very own Spotify playlist!
Making Your Playlist
Step 1 - Making an Account
The very first thing you need to do is create your Spotify account. This can be done on your computer or on your phone.
You will first want to download the Spotify app or visit spotify.com and then click on “sign up.” From there you will need to fill out your personal information which will allow you to configure your account.
Tip: Be sure to select a profile name that you are comfortable with the public seeing. This can not be changed at a later time so make sure you are happy with your profile name!
Step 2 - Designing the Playlist
Now it is time to make a playlist. You will need to decide what exactly you are going for with this playlist. You typically should aim for a playlist having a theme such as genre, mood (happy, sad, etc.), activity (working out, walks, date night, etc.), or a combination of these.
We will be using Neon Collective’s Energetic Indie Pop playlist as an example.
Click on “create playlist” on the left hand side. You will be prompted to select:
A name for the playlist - This name should reflect the overall theme/genre of the playlist. Try to make it something fun and eye-catching so that listeners become interested.
Playlist Description - This is where you can go into a bit more detail on some of the artists included on your playlist and the overall goal of the playlist. The description should be short and sweet.
Playlist Image - At this step you want to find a visual that properly represents the playlist. You can visit royalty-free photography sites to find an image that works for you. Sites such as Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay are great options. Download the image of your choice and upload it to your playlist. If you want to take it a step further you can also upload your image to Canva and add text overtop of the image so that the playlist name is also included. If you enjoy graphic design you can take creative liberty and come up with a cover of your own.
Step 3 - Adding Songs
Now that the design of your playlist is ready let's talk about adding music. All you need to do is follow these steps.
Search for the song you would like to add
Click on the song
Click the three dots on the right beside the song
Click “add to playlist”
Select the playlist you would like to add it to.
You will notice that as you begin to add songs Spotify will recommend some songs for the playlist at the bottom of the playlist page. You can click “add” to add any of these recommended songs to your playlist.
It is always recommended to add a mix of popular songs as well as songs by new artists that match the same style of the playlist. This will allow people to discover new music based on their current interests.
If you ever want to delete a song simply click on the playlist, click on the three dots beside the song, and then click on “remove from this playlist.”
In terms of how long your playlist should be we recommend 50-100 songs. This can be adapted based on the purpose of your playlist. If it's a workout playlist you can take into account how long people typically workout for which is around 1-2 hours. Giving a little extra room for songs people may skip means a 2.5 hour long playlist (or a 50 song playlist) should do the trick. If you are making a playlist for studying or working a 4 hour playlist (80 song playlist) may be more favourable.
On our Energetic Indie Pop playlist we have on average between 45-55 songs.
If you are looking for some inspiration you can check out our post on the Best Spotify Playlists.
You have the option of making your playlists “secret” and “public” and you may be asking yourself, “what is the difference between the two and how do I change it?”
Public vs. Private Playlists
A public playlist is one that anyone can listen to. Oftentimes people come across new playlists by searching for a playlist that reflects the mood/genre they are interested in. So, making your playlist public will allow people to discover them. Who knows, maybe they will follow it too if they like the music you’ve curated.
A “secret” playlist is one that is only visible to the creator of the playlist. If you want others to be able to discover your playlist it must be set to public.
You will always have the option to make a playlist public or secret at any time. In the screenshot below, we have the option to change Energetic Indie Pop to a secret playlist:
Collaborative playlist allow you to add friends to your playlist so that they can also make changes to the playlist and add songs. This is a great feature for when you are working on a team or if you have similar music taste to your friends and want to recommend songs to each other.
Whether or not you should have collaborative playlists depends on your goal. As you are beginning to make playlists it may be best to start them on your own to build them up how you want. That being said, collaborative playlists can be a great tool to help grow your following. We will go into more detail on this a bit later.
If you have a public or secret playlist, you’ll always have the option to change it into a collaborative playlist at any time, see below:
Here is an example of a Spotify collaborative playlist. As you can see, sometimes it can get out of hand. For instance, this playlist has 113 songs which totals over 6 hours of music. We’ve seen some collaborative playlists have up to 600+ songs as well. That’s a lot of music!
There are many ways to get more Spotify playlist followers but here are a few of our top recommendations .
1. Reddit - Reddit can be a great tool to spread awareness on your playlist and to target groups that will be interested in what you created. There are many subreddit’s you can post to which are specific to music genres and fan-bases. Simply search for what you are looking for and you are likely to find an existing subreddit you can post to! You can start off by checking out “The Hottest Spotify Playlists” subreddit and discover more from there.
2. Consistency - Consistency in your brand and updating your playlists is key. It is really important that you keep on updating your playlists as you discover new music that fits it. You can also make new playlists and continue to grow your catalogue of playlists, allowing you to reach more people. Perhaps this might not help you get more Spotify playlist followers directly, but indirectly keeping your playlist updated, will help you keep your current Spotify followers which is just as important.
3. Collaboration - Look into playlists you like and learn more about the curators of those playlists. From there you can reach out to them and see if they would be interested in doing a collaborative playlist with you. You can also reach out to influencers and bloggers and see if they would be willing to promote your playlist on their socials through posts and playlist takeovers.
As you can see making your own playlists can be a lot of fun and leaves a lot of room for creativity and discovering new music as you go. It is a big commitment and to do a good job you need to stay on top of your playlists and the latest releases.
If you are looking for more information on the technical aspects of a playlist you can check out this article by digital trends.