The Basics of the Spotify Algorithm

Learn about the Spotify algorithm, how it works and how to stimulate the algorithm in your favour!

Spotify is a platform beholden to its users.

Think about it. It hosts content that enters an algorithm to determine how to place the most appropriate music in front of the right people. And based on how users interact with it, it will amend the content you see…or listen to. 

And here’s all you need to know about it. 

What is the Spotify recommendation algorithm?

Firstly, what is it?

The Spotify recommendation algorithm uses AI to suggest or recommend songs to listeners.

Factors such as historical streams, search history, and demographics, influence the platform’s machine-learning system to determine how to recommend the right music to the right people. But more on that later… 

This structure makes Spotify a helpful platform for listeners as it’s easy to discover music and artists they might not have found otherwise. 

On the latest Fan Study released on April 2024 by Spotify, more than 25% of all new artist discoveries came from Spotify mixes, radio, and other autoplay features. Including Discover Weekly and Release Radar, discovery was more toward 40%. 

How does the Spotify algorithm work?

This question seems to stump users of the platform and it’s not surprising.

Let’s break it down. 

It’s split into two:
 editorial curation and personalised recommendation. 

Editorial involves curators who work for and represent Spotify itself.
They use their deeper understanding of trends, data insights, and knowledge of music to place content where it resonates most.

Personalised recommendations are a little more complicated. 

Algorithmic recommendations seek out content across individual listeners’ Spotify experience to suggest music they’ll love. It takes information from Search, Home, and personalised playlists. 

These recommendations rely on various inputs which chop and change over time. The inputs include: 

  • Taste Profile: This is an accumulation of all user actions on the platform. Searching, listening, skipping, and saving create your “taste profile” which informs Spotify of what you’re interested in. 

  • Personal Information: Your location, language, age, and who you follow influence your algorithm. For instance, if Spanish is set as your default language, you’ll get more Spanish-speaking content. 

  • Trends: If a group of users interact with a specific search in a particular period, the algorithm will identify it as a trend and recommend it to other people. It will give the platform an idea of the tastes and behaviours of its users.

  • Content Information: This is often referred to as metadata and covers things like genre, release date, and category. Similar to your “taste profile,” if a user listens to a lot of punk, they’ll be recommended other punk music. 

All that information gets combined into a big melting pot. Which leads us to… 

As an artist, how can you stimulate algorithmic recommendations in your favour? 

Like all algorithms, there are no foolproof “hacks” to get you to the top of the leaderboard. 

While that’s likely not what you want to hear, it doesn’t mean that you can’t nudge the algorithm in your favour. 

Things like streams, likes, adds to a library, adds to a playlist, shares on social media, and searches all work in your favour. 

Follows are particularly important as things like the Release Radar heavily consider that information.  

So basically: engagement.
But how do you do it? 

How can DailyPlaylists help you generate engagement on Spotify? 

So now you know how the algorithm works and what triggers it. But how do you go about it?

DailyPlaylists can help you out. 

On our platform, you have access to new global audiences through playlisting. You already know that submitting to playlists is great for your exposure–as long as you’re getting on legit, well-curated ones. 

If you’re on a playlist with a stable community, those listeners will likely interact with your music, upping your chance of being recommended to other users with a similar taste profile.

If you’re a playlist curator yourself, you can utilise something called a “gate” to generate more engagement. Here’s how.

No matter your audience size, you can register to be included in the DailyPlaylists free marketplace where you can receive songs from artists who want to be added to one of your playlists. 

The “gate” is a condition that must be filled to send the submission. Gates include “save song,” “follow a playlist,” “follow an artist,” or “pre-save a song.” 

In other words, the user must save your song to their Spotify to submit to your playlist. The best part is, the process is automated meaning you don’t have to leave the website for the gate condition to be carried out. 

And there you have it. 

Now you know what the algorithm is, how it works, and how to use it. 

The question is: which song are you going to run with first?