PITCHING: how important is it?
It’s not easy to make it to the Spotify charts, this we know. However, the possibility is there. All artists have the same opportunity to submit their music for consideration by the editors. The question is: how to make the most of it? How to design a pitch that makes your music noticeable?
Over the years, Spotify has placed over 70,000 new artists on its playlists and around 20% of these tracks submitted from this pitch process, have been accepted into at least one playlist.
What does pitching mean?
Pitching your music on Spotify refers to recommending or submitting your music for consideration to the editors, it is the process of providing them with as much information as possible about your music, from the genre, the plans you have to promote it, the related moods and so on.
Once Spotify processes your next release, when you log into your Spotify for Artists account you will see on the home page an indication that you have music coming up for release and there you will be prompted to make a pitch, if it is not there go to the music section: “Upcoming”, and there you should see the next song or album to be released.
The pitch is exclusively for songs, but if you are releasing an album or an EP you should choose what is known as a ” focus track” or focus song, it is the one you are going to use to make the pitch.
When is the right time to pitch?
Before going into detail about how to promote your music it should be mentioned that pitching is only possible for music that has not yet been released but that you have already submitted to your distributor, which means music that is already scheduled for an upcoming release date but is not yet publicly available, it is not possible to pitch music that has already been released.
You should send the song you are considering to your distributor at least 3 or 4 weeks before release, because depending on how much music they have in the pipeline it can take as little as a couple of days or as much as a week or even longer for them to watch your pitch. The earlier – the better. Once your track is visible on your Spotify for Artists dashboard, you’re ready to pitch.
What does a good pitch look like?
At this point we know that unfortunately making good music is not enough. You need to be able to make a good pitch. What makes the song special? What makes you special and different as an artist?
Don’t skip any section, think that the more information you share with them, the more opportunities you will have, the more information they will know about you, about your music, all the information they ask for is just what they need to review your music, you have to choose genres, moods, type of instrumentation, geographic location of the artist, and then there is the final part where you can include highlights about you as an artist, the story behind your song, etc.
This last question of the form is one of the most important ones. It’s the moment where you really have to grasp the essence of your song and your music. It’s also a great exercise of knowing yourself as an artist. Writing about your work to a person that hasn’t heard it can reveal lots of details that perhaps you hadn’t thought of.
Finally, this is an optional step but it is preferable that the form is filled out in english.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before writing a pitch:
- Explain what the song is about in three words or less.
- What inspired you to write it?
- What’s the story behind the song?
- Are there any curious stories related to how the song was created, recorded, arranged?
- What is the most relevant aspect of the song? Is it the instruments you used, the music production, the lyrics?
- Where do you think this song fits once it’s out there? Describe your audience.
- What are your expectations from the song?
Once you have made the pitch, all you have to do is wait, if you don’t receive any notification from Spotify it means that you have not been considered for any playlist or that you have not been notified, because there are also cases like this where they don’t notify you but in the end you are in a playlist.
Even if you don’t get in, don’t get discouraged, keep trying, perseverance is key. Making pitch after pitch for every song you release will make the Spotify team start to get familiar with your name and eventually take you into account; and you, on the other hand, will get better at it.