We’ve all heard about Spotify’s algorithm, right?

That magical, mysterious machine that can make or break the career of emerging artists..

Well for today’s blog I thought we’d delve into the algorithm, explain what’s actually going on beneath the hood on Spotify and answer the question on every artists lips:

“How do we actually break into it?”

Well it all starts with Bart..

No, not that Bart!

I’m talking about the real name of the algorithm running on Spotify: BaRT (which stands for Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments).

BaRT’s job is to keep users on Spotify for as long as possible by recommending music that is most relevant & engaging to the listener.

In fact, it’s the musical equivalent of those pesky algorithms that keep us hooked on scrolling social media sites like Facebook and Instagram when we should be working..

To recommend the most relevant music, BaRT utilizes three main functions:

Natural Language Processing
Analyses the language, lyrics and content of a song

Raw Audio Analyzation
Detects the ‘vibe’ or ‘mood’ of a song and decides whether it’s upbeat, chilled, heavy, minimal etc

Collaborative Filtering
Compares new songs to a listener’s current habits to decide what will suit their tastes

Unsurprisingly, these functions are supported by a mind-boggling amount of data. But there are four key statistics which have the most impact on it’s decisions:

✔ Listening history [mood, style, genre]

✔ Skip rate [less skips = more recommendations]

✔ Listening time [getting past 30 seconds is the key]

✔ Playlist placements [personal, third-party & editorial playlists]

Now we know how Spotify’s algorithm works, let’s take a look at how we can break into it and get BaRT batting for our release!

Profile Engagement

Spotify actively tracks profile engagement, and the more users interact with your content [by clicking your social media links, following your profile, listening to your playlists etc], the more positive data is fed into the algorithm.

Track Tagging

Whilst Spotify is incredibly good at figuring out the genre / mood / vibe of your song automatically, you can give the algorithm a kick start by correctly tagging your tracks on SpotifyForArtists. When submitting a new release, make sure you select the most relevant categories for your track and avoid unnecessary tags that could potentially confuse the algorithm [this also ensures your release is shown to the most relevant editorial curators at Spotify].

Similar Artists & Songs

We’ve already seen how Spotify uses listening habit data to recommend new songs, so it’s crucial that BaRT can make a connection between your track and similar artists / songs. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by ensuring your playlist placements are targeted and relevant to your release’s genre / mood / theme.

Streams, Saves & Follows

This is arguably the most important data you can feed into Spotify’s algorithm, and again, this is where relevant playlist placements can be crucial. Hyper-engaged playlists provide high quality streams [listeners listening for 30+ seconds], profile click-throughs and song saves, which are all major pieces of positive data for your release.

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I hope that’s provided some insight into the all-powerful algorithm and how you can grow positive data around your release to influence BaRT!

Got any questions? Feel free to get in touch at artists@wearedrop.io [we’re always happy to offer FREE advice and pinky promise not to hit you with any schmoozy sales talk], or hit us up on IG!

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Drop© is a digital music promotion platform powered by API technology.

We connect artists with a global network of verified playlist curators reaching over 10m combined listeners, including some of the biggest new music platforms and tastemakers on the planet.

To protect the artists we work with, Drop© uses intelligent API monitoring to ensure every release reaches real listeners and operates in full compliance with every major streaming platform.

Learn more here!