Ep. 46: How do songs end up on Spotify playlists, anyway? With Streaming Promotions’ Michael Sloane

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

June 9, 2020


Who gets to control the exposure of various songs and artists on playlists? Can playtime and list inclusion be influenced, monetarily or otherwise? How does the industry’s general practice compare to legal guidelines and Spotify’s terms of use? Industry insider Michael Sloane answers questions and introduces us to the world of playlist curators.


With me today to enlighten us is Michael Sloane, the owner and CEO of Streaming Promotions. Streaming Promotions works collaboratively with artists, managers, labels, and all forms of digital and traditional PR to grow audiences for artists on streaming services, especially Spotify. 


  • At the beginning of the episode, Mindy references Ep. 31 guest Sharlene Habermeyer, and her classical music listening program of research-backed, curated tracks that increase focus and concentration; enhance memory; and relieve anxiety and other negative emotions. (For more information, check out Ep. 31 or click here.)
  • How much control do artists/agents/labels have over getting their songs on playlists?
  • Who curates Spotify’s official playlists?
  • We discuss two general categories of playlists: Editorial (curated by Spotfy) and User Generated (incl. independent, influencer, branded playlists).
  • How active is the average artist/agent/label in monitoring/influencing their prevalence on Spotify playlists?
  • Are these answers fairly similar regardless of platform (Pandora, Apple Music)?
  • How does the value of playlist placement compare to radio play time?
  • Streaming Promotions’ “goal is to… [set] you up for long term success on Spotify.” (streamingpromotions.com)
  • Over the last 9 years Michael has acted as an adjunct professor at Belmont University teaching digital strategy and marketing.
  • We reference the book, “The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century,” by Adam Davidson


Michael says: Try to create a viral campaign, something that uses music in a way that it is shared beyond you sharing it. That’s similar to what we do at Streaming Promotions, trying to get music into the hands of tastemakers and ultimately into the hands of everyday fans.   Fans that will share music they love with others.



Michael says: Live music has always been a really big part of my life and career.  These days there are fewer opportunities to “just be a fan” but just after undergraduate I had the opportunity to see many artists at the very early stages of their careers, including John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson. Here’s an early show I got to attend. Knowing that I was witnessing something special was always really gratifying, especially when my those artists gained national recognition.   It was fun to know I had known them “when.”

Closing Words

Thanks so much to Michael for sharing all the fascinating information with us today, and for sharing those stories. 

If you listened to last week’s episode with Laurie Berkner, I have an update: my 18-yr-old daughter Adrienne did humor me and sing and stomp to the dinosaur song AND gave permission for me to include the video in the show notes! She really enjoyed listening to Laurie, and shared on video some of her childhood memories of Laurie’s music, and gave her own shout-out to Laurie AND agreed for me to post those video clips in Ep. 45’s show notes; so check those out if you want a heart-warming example of how childhood music can continue to impact us when we’re grown. 

Looking ahead to next week: Our country and our world continues to process the horrific killing of George Floyd right here in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. A former guest on this show has graciously agreed to chat with me later this week on this topic, and that conversation will be releasing next week. In the meantime, I want to thank my friends at the MN Opera who have compiled (and are continually updating) a list of excellent resources for us to both help and learn as we all look for ways to be part of the solution to the problem of racism. Thank you, MN Opera, for that resource of ways to stand with the black community and educate ourselves.

Thank you for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with the healing power of music.



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