We’re forgetting about what’s most important.

With streaming continuing its growth trajectory and finally reaching critical mass in 2017, playlists were a major conversation topic for everybody in the music industry, and deservedly so. Their instrumental role breaking artists could not be ignored. Every time a manager or label brings up a new artist and their groundbreaking music on the way, the next words out of their mouth are usually who they know or need to get in contact with at the various streaming services that will secure them playlist placement to launch their artists and propel their careers.

As playlists continue to grow, their importance in the development of an artist will continue to increase.

When developing an artist, we as industry leaders need to think beyond the playlist. It’s actually not about what the playlist can do for us, but what our songs and artists do for the playlists.

It’s about creating moments around the music that demonstrate the growth of your artist to streaming services and the world.

A sync or YouTube promoter channel upload or digital talent star posting about an artist usually doesn’t move the needle as much for superstars. However, for developing artists these moments and the story intertwined with them directly impacts the traffic being driven to stream the artists… And this is what we should be focused on.

For example, Dua Lipa’s New Rules was already doing well, but it was releasing a music video we couldn’t take our eyes off (approaching 859MM views) that drove enough traffic to streaming services for them to push her track to the top of their playlists and propelled the record’s global success.

Similar to all of us, playlist editors at the end of the day are music fans first and foremost. And fans rejoice in movements. Whilst the curators have way more data to back up whether the movement behind a track or artist has substance or not, this year it’s time we stop focusing solely on why a song is a perfect fit for a playlist.

Instead think about how you can develop your artist outside of the streaming platform in the first place, and then use this momentum to propel streaming success.

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