What is the Spotify algorithm?

The Spotify Algorithm is an AI powered system, designed to generate recommendations for music you may like determined on your previous listening activity. Spotify’s AI system is named BaRT, short for Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments. A successful recommendation is recognised by BaRT when it is registered that you have streamed a certain track for more than 30 seconds.

Why is it important?

The Spotify Algorithm is important as for an artist, being picked up by the AI system can lead to your music being suggested to potential fans and featuring on popular playlists. This is especially important over this period as with live music being limited due to Covid-19, more streams mean more revenue. (Link to Covid-19 blog post)


How do playlists come into all of this?

Spotify is particularly known for its playlist feature. Although users are able to design their own playlists, the Spotify Algorithm is responsible for generating personalised playlists that suit the users listening tastes without any effort on their part. Avid Spotify users will be familiar with the main versions of these playlists. 


1.     The Discover Weekly Playlist

Updated every Monday, this playlist is based around the users’ previous preferences and those of Spotify users with similar taste. It provides the listener with songs they may like but have not yet listened to.


2.     Release Radar

This playlist similarly draws on the user/similar users’ preferences and alerts them to any new music that may have recently been released. It is a great way of gaining traction for new tracks and keeps fans up to date.


3.     Daily Mix

The Daily Mix playlists are a variety of playlist collections based around the different styles and genres of music a listener may be interested in. They offer a brilliant array of tracks featuring music by artists they definitely listen to and tracks by similar artists. 


What can artists do to help get on the right side of the Spotify Algorithm?

There are several things artists can do to help improve their chances of being picked up by the Spotify Algorithm.


Firstly, using social media to encourage a large Spotify following (link to promotion blog post). One of the ways that the algorithm picks up on new tracks is by recognising artists with a higher follower count and number of streams. Encouraging followers on other forms of media to also support via Spotify will therefore help the algorithm to recommend tracks to similar users.

Secondly, by effectively promoting music through music blogs, magazines and their playlists, artists are able to build up a following that is best representative of their style. Hiring a PR company such as Plus Music PR to run your campaigns in the most effective manner can therefore really improve the effectiveness of the algorithm. 

Finally, it is important for artists to ensure that their style of music is consistent or at least definable as this will help to establish an artist within a certain genre. Thus, improving the chances of tracks being featured on specific playlists with similar artists.


 [written by Hermione Kellow]

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