Unlocking the most powerful playlist on Spotify

The most powerful playlist on Spotify isn’t RapCaviar or Pop Rising, and it’s certainly not that playlist you just pitched to that has 150,000 “real” followers.

No, the most powerful playlist on Spotify is Discover Weekly.

Now I can already hear some of you saying, “But Tom, what about Radio? Or Release Radar? What about other editorial playlists?”

I can even imagine at least one of you saying, “Well, my playlist is the best curation of music on the internet.”

My response: enjoy your turtleneck. 😂

All jokes aside, let’s talk about why Discover Weekly is the most powerful playlist on Spotify, how it works, and what we can do to take advantage of it.

Behold, the power!

There’s no doubt Release Radar and Radio are extraordinarily powerful algorithmic opportunities for artists.

There’s also no doubt that getting on the right editorial playlist can move mountains.

I believe Discover Weekly trumps all of these because it offers artists the highest opportunity for impact in a measurable, repeatable way.

Release Radar is amazing, but it only lasts four weeks from when a song comes out.

Radio is a long-term growth machine, but it’s challenging to associate inputs with outputs there because it is so highly correlated with Spotify’s algorithmic understanding of our music.

And, of course, editorials are the gold standard, but they are almost always downstream of a high enough popularity score (e.g. 45%-50%) unless you’re on a major label or have connections to get on one without meeting the requisite metrics.

Discover Weekly, on the other hand, has very clear rules for access, and those numbers can be easily attributed to ad spend or success with organic content.

In short, we know how to get on Discover Weekly, and because it’s always available, no matter the age of a song, we can always access it given the right metrics.

How it works

Discover Weekly is an algorithmically curated playlist that is individually created for every user on Spotify.

It updates every Monday and includes 30 songs Spotify believes each user will enjoy.

This could include tracks from artists someone has heard of or unknown artists the algorithm believes the listener will enjoy based on previous listening history.

Getting a song on Discover Weekly requires a popularity score of 25% or higher.

At the 25% mark, a song will start to “test” Discover Weekly in the form of a few listeners and a few streams that will be visible inside Spotify for Artists.

But when a song reaches the 30% mark, that’s when the magic begins.

At a popularity score of 30% an artist will start to see Discover Weekly “pushes” depending on the track's performance over the previous 28-day window.

Better performance equals a bigger push, which means more new listeners are accessed.

In this way, Discover Weekly can serve as a launchpad for more opportunities on Spotify.

As more listeners with like-minded interests stream the song on DW, Spotify’s algorithmic understanding of the track and the artist will improve, leading to increased streams from Radio and other algorithmic playlists.

And if the song is undeniable enough, Discover Weekly can drum up increased interest in the track, leading to a growing popularity score, which, in turn, can lead to editorial placements up the chain.

What we can do

So how do we get on Discover Weekly?

Well, to gain the requisite popularity scores, a song needs to generate somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 streams within the 28-day window leading up to the Monday Discover Weekly is updated.

You’ll also need to consider how many listeners and saves the track has.

It doesn’t take a ton, but, suffice it to say if a song has 10,000 streams from one listener and zero saves, it’s not likely to get on Discover Weekly.

The results need to be organic or at least appear organic.

But you and I both know streams from real people are the only thing that matters anyway, so there’s no reason to waste time trying to game the system with fake streams.

To reach this 9-10k stream mark, the best method I have found is to send a ton of traffic to the song on Spotify in as short a window of time as possible.

If you can do this starting on release day, that’s ideal.

Within that first week of release lies a big Release Radar opportunity, which can provide additional leverage and “springboard” a track to Discover Weekly, which will, in turn, “springboard” the track to other opportunities on the platform.

But even if it’s a legacy track you’re trying to push, a lot of traffic within a short window is the key to success.

10,000 streams within three days are a lot more powerful than 10,000 streams within a year.

So create a ton of organic content and direct it to your song or focus on creating one truly great piece of content and hope it does well.

Either way, make sure you redirect that attention to your song on Spotify.

Conversely, you can choose to run a high-spending ad campaign and pull off a bit of a sneak attack that way.

But of course, you know me, and you know I’m always going to tell you to, in an ideal world, do both.

Whichever method you choose, if you can get enough people to your song within a short enough window of time, you will maximize your odds of success in getting on Discover Weekly and truly unlocking your growth on Spotify.

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Read the Newsletter: Read previous issues of The One Thing to learn at your own pace and upgrade your marketing knowledge for free.
  2. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.
  3. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.
  4. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

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