Who is the biggest scam in music

"The biggest factor in getting into playlists is actually good music"

“Modus Mio”, “Wilde Herzen”, “Adrenaline Workout” - those who use Spotify keep stumbling across playlists with interesting names. Created by the streaming service itself, they feature fresh artists and make it easy to discover new music. Anyone who ends up as an artist in a playlist like "Modus Mio" with almost 1.5 million followers can look forward to many plays and thus reach and proceeds - the more the earlier you are played.

But how do you even get into these playlists?

We spoke to Jorin Zschiesche and Houwaida Goulli, the founder and Head of Product Management of recordJet. Your digital music distribution platform supports artists with new distribution channels such as playlist marketing. Her success stories include artists such as Milky Chance, Alice Merton, Fynn Kliemann and Ufo361.

Jorin and Houwaida explain when a song ends up in certain playlists, how exactly labels look at streaming numbers and whether you can help out with money.

How important is it for artists to be featured in playlists like “Modus Mio”, “Wilde Herzen” or “New Music Friday”?

Houwaida: Here you have to distinguish between the playlists themselves: There are playlists that are curated and reflect new releases, such as “New Music Friday” or “Indie Brand New”. If these artists perform well there, which means that they are often played to the end or saved in favorites, they are placed in further playlists, which could then be, for example, "Modus Mio" for German rap.

Jorin: In addition, there are playlists that are generated by an algorithm that pick up tracks that are just as performing. In fact, generally speaking, these algorithmic playlists are actually in the majority.

Is there a lot of money involved? Or is it more about increasing reach and awareness?

Houwaida: In general, you can definitely say that you can regularly end up in more and more playlists through the flow, so many streams can be generated and you can earn a lot of money with it in the long term. In order to gain awareness, it is advisable to diversify the doctorate and use various other channels.

Do you have specific examples of which musicians grew up thanks to individual songs in playlists?

Jorin: In order for artists to grow up, channels outside of the streaming platforms are still necessary. For example, Alice Merton had tremendous support from Spotify and Apple in particular, but was also extremely successful on the radio and with other advertising campaigns. It is very rare for artists to grow up exclusively on one platform and for this success to radiate out into the world.

Which factors have to be right so that my song is most likely to end up in these playlists?

Houwaida: The biggest factor in getting into playlists is actually good music. In order to be heard by the curators of the stores, the song has to be pitched to them. For example, this is one of our tasks as sales: to ensure that the pitched songs are also heard by the curators. However, there is no guarantee of inclusion in playlists.

Can you also shop there?

Jorin: That old rumor that you can buy your way into curated playlists persists but is wrong. We are aware of a large number of cases in which the stores have rejected really established artists and consistently failed to play. There are also some smaller, private playlists that may offer their seats for sale, but this is officially illegal.

Again and again there are cases that apparently streaming plays have been bought. Is it really possible to push a career and get into the charts?

Jorin: If you take it seriously, the plays are not bought directly, but tons of accounts are hacked and the same songs are played over and over again. However, the stores have upgraded significantly and are increasingly recognizing attempted fraud. Also with the chart evaluation it is analyzed exactly what is realistic and what is not. In the end, fraud can lead to you being banned from the platforms and even being sued in the end. I don't think that's a basis for a career push.

How exactly do labels look at playlists and numbers like monthly listeners in order to discover new artists and, if necessary, to sign them?

Jorin: Typically, most A & Rs look to numbers, especially with the majors. You will hardly find any artists there. If a fan base or good streaming numbers are already in place, signing is more likely.

Houwaida: It is often in the hands of the distributors, as with us, to take the first steps and push the artists so far that a label becomes aware of them. Nowadays there are many options for artists: take everything into their own hands, work with a strong management team, set up a label themselves or decide on an established label.

What status do albums still have for artists?

Houwaida: Although albums come from the "old" world and mainly ask the classic channels for such endpoints of a campaign, an album is still important for artists. In terms of image, complete works and marketing, albums are an important pillar of a career.

How do you discover new music yourself? In popular playlists or in the record shop around the corner?

Houwaida: For me it's Shazam and playlists.

Jorin: As a DJ, record digging is still firmly anchored in me. I hardly hear any playlists, but randomly look through the new releases to find the special treasures.