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How to get on RapCaviar: Spotify’s Biggest Playlist

“Ratchet yet gourmet” – Tuma Basa, Spotify’s biggest ex-hip hop power player, describing what has become the most highly sought-after and trusted global rap & hip hop playlist –(trumpet fanfare) RapCaviar.

Hosting a weekly roundup of the best new music on this side of hip hop, getting a track featured on RapCaviar has the potential to gain new artists massive exposure, thousands of new fans and countless streams. But with such a high value offering – the question remains: how do you get on it?

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7 ways to increase your chances of getting playlisted on RapCaviar 

With a current following of over 14 million Spotify users and recently crowned ‘The Most Influential Playlist in Music’, it’s easy to see why getting featured on a playlist like RapCaviar could do amazing things for your career!

But why?

Well (and now this is straight from the horse’s mouth) - much of this comes down to what Tuma describes as the playlist’s “consistent honesty” – a weekly promise to listeners, to deliver the “best of the best” in all things current hip hop.

Interested to hear more? Find out what else Tuma Base had to say on the case of RapCaviar in XXL’s Shot Callers podcast session!

Now while getting your track on such a highly regarded playlist can be a tough pursuit, if you’ve got a hip hop track that bangs and you know it – it’s time to shoot your shot!

So here’s a list of 7 things you can do to increase your chances of getting that coveted hot spot on Spotify’s RapCaviar!

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1. Pimp out your Spotify for Artists profile

Before you can even think about submitting your music to RapCaviar, make sure your Spotify for Artists profile is as well-optimised as possible.

And if you don’t already have a Spotify for Artists profile, now is the time. Mostly as this will give you the ability to pitch your songs directly to Spotify's editorial team for playlist consideration.

However, being a verified artist on Spotify is also an immediate green flag for Spotify’s editorial curators when they’re checking out your profile on their hunt for new music.

So if you haven't got that blue tick yet, learn how to get verified on Spotify here.

A well-optimised profile also means making sure your profile imagery BANGS.

striking profile imagegreat background photo and strong track artwork will do wonders for your profile perception.

Just like so..

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and so...

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and (finally) so...

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Just make sure all your images are;

- High quality

- Accurately representative of you as an artist

- Optimally sized for use on Spotify (check out our guide to music platform image sizes for all the deets on this!)

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 2. Bulk out your release schedule

Getting playlisted on a huge playlist like RapCaviar is very much a numbers game.

So let’s do the maths shall we?

The more records you release, the more organic streams you’ll get.

The more streams you get the more chance you’ll have to trigger the algorithm.

The more chance you have to trigger the algorithm = the higher the chance of you getting noticed and ending up on one of these bigger Spotify playlists.

See? It’s all logical, I promise.

So rather than submitting one hopeful hit, make sure you’ve got a whole schedule of new music, well in advance and ready to start releasing. Even if it’s just regular singles or EP’s.

Just remember to be realistic about how many tracks you can bring out and promote in a set time line, while never compromising quality.

Instead, move fast, put in the work & release high quality records that’ll get you noticed.

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3. Be a Spotify activist

Actively engaging with the platform via the likes of social media shout-outs, can be a great way of garnering attention and getting your music picked up by Spotify's marketing team.

Why not make it interesting and get to tweeting or tagging the company in your posts…

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This also means sharing any of the playlists you get added to on Spotify, with your followers and encouraging them to check it out…

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The aim of the game is to be on team Spotify. The more mentions they get, the happier they’ll be. And the more they’ll reward you for helping them build their brand.

Oh, the corruption.

But as Tuma says: “if you want it on Spotify, your CTA should involve a Spotify link.” 

So when it comes to promoting your music, think about how you’re beating that Spotify drum.

Are you..

<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; border: 5px solid #000000; text-align: left;">- Including links to your Spotify artist page from your website?<br><br>- Sharing your Spotify artist page across all your social media and other music platforms?<br><br>Including a link to your Spotify artist page in the occasional email newsletter to your fans?</p> 

Pom poms at the ready.

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4. Hone in on your sound

Finding your niche is another way to get your music heard by the right people and to get on the right playlists – including CaviarRap.

With 100+ sub-genres for hip hop alone, it’s important to find out where you fit in on the spectrum and stick to it.

This makes it way easier for Spotify to segment your music to a more specific genre, which will help you get onto the more micro-genre lists within the platform. Cause’ once you’re on these bad boys, the final destination is nigh.

So think about the specific style of your music and figure out other artists who you’d most associate yourself with.   

Whether that’s the Conscious Hip Hop scene, alongside the likes of Mos Def and Immortal Technique.

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Or the UK Hip Hop scene, alongside Ambush Buzzworl and T MULLA.

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Or even the more Pop Rap scene, including the likes of Drake and 6LACK.

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Doing this will also help you when you’re pitching to independent curators on your niche. If you know how to describe your music and your lane, there’s a much higher likelihood they’ll consider you for their playlist.

So start by landing places on those smaller official niche lists, and your chances will be 10x better to get placed on a macro list like RapCaviar.

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5.  Work with a well-connected music distributor

Your music distributor choice is key when it comes to getting on big, influential playlists.  

Building up momentum and establishing a close relationship with your music distributor can have a big impact on where your music ends up. Making yourself known could put you in the prime spot for any potential opportunities, brand deals or new music requests that may arise.

At Ditto Music, our promo team are some of the best in the business, having already helped thousands of artists release new music across a diverse range of DSPs – including Spotify.

If you aren’t already distributing with us, sign up today for your 30-day free trial & start getting your music across all major music platforms, plus the chance to feature on our own Ditto Music Spotify playlists!

Beyond your distributor, buddying up with any kind of music publicist, journalist or industry exec who knows a relevant curator, is also a really great way to increase the chances of getting your music playlisted.

Plus – it’s the music industry. Never hurts to have a couple of friendly connections, am I right?!

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7.  Trigger the algorithm 

When trying to land on a globally recognised playlist like CaviarRap, triggering the Spotify algorithm is one of the most important things to keep in mind.

Why?

As you probably already know, much of Spotify is based on listener data – i.e. if a user adds a song to a playlist, if they’re saving the song, if they’re repeatedly listening to the same song again and again. And so on and so forth.

All of that info goes straight into the algorithm and that’s what helps Spotify determine who gets featured on their playlists.  

Spotify editors often test out tracks getting notable attention from the algorithm, in their “feeder” playlists. This means tracks that perform well on a playlist like “New Noise” (374K followers) might be promoted to “Rock This” (4.6M followers). Or songs that get a lot of engagement on “Most Necessary” (2.6M followers) might eventually end up on “RapCaviar” (14.2M followers).

Now there’s a couple of ways you can trigger the algo and build your listener data. But arguably the best way is by submitting your tracks to independently curated playlists.

Getting on these lists is a secret weapon for new and emerging artists. These features can build your streaming numbers and monthly listeners, which forms the data that trickles down into Spotify’s algorithm game – and that’s the game you wanna be in to push out into the big leagues like CaviarRap.

It’s really got that “started from the bottom, now we’re here” kind of energy.

Learn more about how to approach submitting to independent curator playlists!

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7. Go directly to the source

While triggering Spotify’s algorithm is important, don’t overlook the value of making human connections with some of the editorial curators.

Editorial playlists like RapCaviar are curated by Spotify’s Shows & Editorial team. Made up of a team of music experts and genre specialists from around the world, these guys are hired specifically to curate and manage Spotify’s own playlists.

So by directly approaching a member of the Spotify Editorial team, you could really improve your chances of getting a placement on a list like RapCaviar.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not telling you to go spam Linda from internal marketing with links to your last 5 tracks on SoundCloud, YouTube, Deezer and so on.

Instead, take a more professional approach, by reaching out to these big cats in a more reserved and authentic way.

A good way is through browsing on networking platforms like LinkedIn. I can pretty much guess that almost every employee of Spotify will be active on LinkedIn. Just pull up the Spotify company members page to find out who these editors are, or who is actively on the hunt for new music.

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But remember - the aim of this isn’t to hound, but to generate awareness about your music, through your dedication to Spotify.

So be polite in your messaging and don’t expect any immediate responses.

And that’s the shiznit!  

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