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Curators charging to get on Spotify Playlists

Curators charging to get on Spotify Playlists

I’ve noticed a new trend where a vast majority of independent playlist creators are charging money for them to review and put songs on their playlists. I’ve been purposely asking about submissions from several of these creators to see their responses and a vast majority are versions of this (below). I wanted to know if this is against Spotify policy for these creators to profit off of Spotify’s brand, or if its just a terrible unethical thing to do that we cannot do anything about. This particular playlist creator is “Joe Vuong” and he curates “Acoustic Lounge - Chillout & Easy Listening” which has almost 400,000 followers. I’ve received similar messages from dozens of creators that are profiting off of Spotify’s success.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!


"I get hundreds of requests to consider songs for my playlists. So I have had to develop a submission system whereby you can get a priority review of your songs. I'm only charging $20 USD PER SONG to dedicate my time to reviewing it. You can PayPal the money to Please note. I will definitely listen to it but it doesn't guarantee that it will get added to the playlist. Takes about 2 weeks for me to decide. Once the money has been paid I'll send you a link to submit the songs."


I’m in a band and we embraced Spotify early on and were lucky enough to have some of our music chosen to be put on some very popular playlists like Mood Booster quite a few times and it did wonders for our career. We even got several big TV and FILM placements because music supervisors and producers heard our music on your playlists.


Over the past year, I’ve been finding (as are many artists) that its becoming darn-near impossible to get on any major playlists as an indie band. I’ve noticed Spotify set up a few “submission” pages but probably due to the infinite number of submissions, nothing ever comes of it. We even had a song chart on US iTunes all the way to #22 and yet it couldn’t get any notice on Spotify playlists.



5 Replies

A more sound (and fair) arrangement would be if you set up your own site (and/or a Facebook page) with links to your music at Spotify, and spread the word via social media, both directly to listeners and to possible promoters.


Advertising doesn't come for free, when there are thousands of other artists that want the same visibility.



You just described what every artist has been doing since facebook and the internet began. Every single artist in existence has a facebook page and website and promotes their Spotify page through those sites. It doesn’t work 😉 


The problem (and the point of my post) is that the Spotify community is riddled with opportunists that are taking advantage of independent artists looking to get their music out there. And major labels are cornering the Spotify playlist market. Like “Filtr” for instance (which runs most of the biggest playlists on Spotify) is owned by Sony and only puts Sony artists on their playlists.


The point is, its becoming harder and harder for independent artists to get their art out there. A great song is no longer enough to get noticed. 

Well, it's an industry :).



Most artists in my genres tour like crazy, especially to festivals.

Back when Obama was president he made payola perfectly legal. Any time you have people in a position that could be beneficial to artists, and no accountability for their actions, you are going to have to pay to get to them one way or another. What sucks is paying for submissions can bankrupt an artist and have virtually 0 results. At least with blogs you know you are paying for a placement. There are some sites that allow you to submit to independent playlist, like .

Hey, first I'd like to say I discovered The Well Pennies on Spotify, love your music and follow you since then 🙂


I'm an artist too (way more underground than you), and my take on this is: Spotify is complacent with this set of things. The day they want to become a true music industry revolution, they will give more power to the people: user-curated playlists having the same spots as editorial ones, search playlist by track feature, etc.


Maybe 8tracks integration will bring it? Maybe. If the company doesn't do it by themselves, Internet will find a way to crack the system - or competitors will do.

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