If you’re an independent artist or label, it’s easy to live and die by the play count of Spotify & Apple Music. Work Hard Playlist Hard by Mike Warner is a book that educates in a practical manner on the opportunities that lie within and beyond streaming service. To celebrate the launch of the second edition of his book, we spoke to Mike and he gave away some solid tips on what not to forget when pitching to both official and independent playlist curators.
Make sure you include a link to the song!
The first point might seem obvious, but if curators have to do ANY additional work to find your song, you’ve already lost. If they are already reading your email, include a link and make it easy for them.
This is, of course, under the assumption you have already emailed the receiver before. I always advise artists to not send links in the first email. Instead, ask permission to send music and ask the curator if they have a submission process. If you follow their process and respect their inbox you may find you have more success getting music noticed by them in future.
What if the recipient is ill or dealing with a personal crisis? They could even be in an area dealing with a flood or extreme weather. This can come across as inconsiderate. Avoid small talk like asking someone how their family or their health is. That’s fine if you are already friends, but it’s a little awkward in cold outreach and follow up emails. Getting to the point and skipping past the small talk allows the reader to get to your music quicker and increase the chances of them clicking and listening.
You Attach Files
We aren’t all blessed with high speed, unlimited data or lots of storage on our devices for emails. By attaching an MP3 file or (yikes) movie, you are forcing that recipient to download your song without giving them a choice. This slows down their email and will likely lead to your email being deleted once it has finished downloading. I personally know people who block emails with large attachments, meaning your email may ever even make it to their inbox.
A streaming link with downloads enabled is far more acceptable. This can be a SoundCloud or DropBox link where the recipient can click, stream and download if they choose too.
You Tell Them Where To Place Your Song
Curators will make their decision themselves. This can be taken as an insult by telling them where to place your song. At the very least, it’s rude. Let them listen and decide if and where it fits. Your goal is just to get them to listen.
Work Hard Playlist Hard features an array of guest write-ups with a diverse background of industry-based experience. Having read the book myself, I can say, anyone who reads this will learn something new that they can apply to their musical journey.