How to nudge casual listeners through the direct-to-fan funnel
The increase in the number of Spotify users who seek out a song for repeat listens after discovering it through a personalized playlist, compared to a curated one.
Why this matters
After finding that users spend more time listening to personalized playlists than human-curated ones, Spotify announced in March that some mid-tier playlists will start including algorithmic suggestions based on listener behavior.
This change is happening at a time where there is growing uncertainty about the benefits of being added to a big playlist. An artist might experience a spike in streams from the right placement, but this doesn’t always translate to ticket or merch sales or a deeper connection with fans.
Ultimately, all streams are good news for labels, but what can artists and their teams do to build a fanbase that returns week after week? One answer is to provide listeners with a clear path to learning more about an artist outside of streaming platforms.
Set up retargeting ads, share behind-the-scenes videos, or create a newsletter that encourages further engagement after playlist discovery. This, in turn, begins the loop of organic searches, shares, and likes—important cues for algorithms to add music to more personalized playlists.