Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services and, as such, a promising “playground” for spotting talented and unsigned artists that fit your roster.
To give you some perspective: there’s over 50M tracks available on Spotify, and the average user listens to more than 40 unique artists each week.
The top 1% of the most popular artists account for 90% of all streams. Exploring the other 10% is therefore a bit tricky, but can reward you with finding and signing the freshest new talent ahead of your competition.
Here's what you can do to stay ahead of others when it comes to spotting emerging Spotify music talent:
➡️ Find “smaller”, independently curated Spotify playlists.
➡️ Use Spotify’s discovery-based features.
➡️ Try out Spotify RADAR to locate rising new talent.
➡️ Use analytics tools for easier research.
Alright, let’s get into the details.
Because playlists are where it’s at. A third of all listening time on Spotify is spent on user-generated playlists, meaning ones that are curated by real people, not algorithms.
To start browsing the playlists, create your Spotify account and open the player. Spotify will immediately start recommending various playlists and artists for you to click on. The more the algorithms know about you, the more refined the search.
While getting on popular playlists such as “Rap Caviar” or “Viva Latino” (around 13M or 10M followers, respectively) is the dream for many artists, a more realistic goal is getting onto a “non-editorial” playlist curated by individuals, brands, other artists and “everyday users”. Try to focus on playlists that showcase independent artists, unsigned acts, fresh releases or social media viral hits. Many of these playlists are curated by various labels and media, so check out the usernames as well.
You can start with these 10 playlists:
👉🏼 “New Finds” by Black Valley Playlist
Pop, Alternative Pop, Indie Rock, Hip Hop.
👉🏼 "Undiscovered Indie & Brilliant" by Indiemono
Described as “Lo-fi indie, folk indie, bedroom pop, indie garage rock, indie pop & dream pop with less than 30k likes.”
👉🏼 "Indie Playlist” by BIRP!
Pop Rock, Indie Pop, Rock, etc.
👉🏼 “Weekly Indie A&R Chart” by We Are:The Guard
“Picks on the indie spectrum”, featuring lesser-known artists as well as more popular tracks.
👉🏼 "Double J Best New Music" by Double J Radio
Pop, Alternative Pop, Rock, Hip Hop.
👉🏼 "Fresh Finds" by Touch playlists
A mix of independent and mainstream Hip Hop, Trap and R&B artists.
👉🏼 "United Masters: The Playlist" by unitedmasters
Featuring the artists distributed by United Masters, plus “everything else they’re listening to right now”.
👉🏼 “Brooklyn Drill, the New Sound of New York” by Complex
Dedicated to Drill Rappers.
👉🏼 "the motherfucking future: the nocturne edit" by Charli XCX
A look into Charli XCX’s “moods”, ranging from Dance to R&B.
👉🏼 "Upcoming New Artists 2020" by Kinimaru
Discovering breakthrough Rock artists.
Clicking “Search” is the obvious first step. You’ll see there’s a user- or algorithm-generated playlist for pretty much any mood, genre or occasion, so try out different combos and follow various artists.
The “Most Necessary” playlist is one of Spotify’s classics. The “Release Radar” playlist is also an obvious choice. It will hit you every Friday and select 30 tracks for you – namely, the new stuff from the artists you’re following. You can keep track of any new interesting collabs that way.
With Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist, you’ll also get a playlist with 30 tracks that you've never listened to on the platform every week. For example, you might get to hear up-and-coming Hip Hop artists such as Gminxr, or Mishaal. It’s algorithm-based, so it’ll take a couple of weeks to get to know your tastes and start recommending artists you might never have heard of otherwise.
Spotify has a dedicated hub for showcasing emerging music talent from around the globe. It’s called RADAR and you can access it here.
The initiative is one of Spotify’s efforts to help more longtail artists get the necessary exposure, and is designed as a collection of 20+ region- and genre-specific playlists, curated by Spotify’s editorial team.
While such discovery-based playlists are great since they deliver promising artists right to your profile, there’s a downside: you won’t be the only one getting this information delivered. As the playlists are curated, it also means that at least one round of selection process has already been applied.
If you want objective, unbiased and time-effective research, you can always go for the music industry’s “secret weapon”: music analytics tools.
Surfing through new audio discoveries can be fun, but it can also be very time-consuming. Try a more effective way, and find rising artists on Spotify with a tool such as Viberate.
Viberate is the most complete music research and analytics tool for talent discovery on the market. We cover almost every music artist in the world and measure their views, likes, streams etc. on Spotify, Soundcloud, Beatport, Instagram and other relevant channels. This data is then presented in a way that makes talent discovery much easier.
Our tools make scouting and evaluation simpler and more cost-effective. You can see all the world’s artists ranked in a single browsable Chart, and compare their popularity stats in one place.