Updated: Oct 24
Hopefully you’ve all got the list of playlist contact details from me (if not click here) and have had some success in pitching your music. One question that I’ve been asked multiple times is how to write a good playlist pitch?
While I don’t think there is a single “correct” way to do it, as ultimately you’re reaching out to a person and everyone is different, here are 10 steps that might improve your chances of a successful pitch.
1. Is It Right For You?
Before you even get started, make sure that your genre of music is going to fit in on the playlist. If you’re pitching a metal-core song to a ska playlist, you’re probably not going to have much luck. And if by chance you do get on, it’s only going to mess with your streaming algorithms and do you more harm than good.
2. Hi Joe!
Always use their first name if possible if you can find out what it is. Addressing someone directly makes it more personal and helps form a connection. Avoid sending blanket emails to multiple playlists, I know it’s more time consuming but it’s worth the effort.
3. Stroke Their Ego
Address the playlist(s) they run directly, tell them you’ve listened and are a follower (make sure you follow the playlist!). Again, avoid mass emailing as it’s just spammy.
Give them a brief, engaging introduction to your band. This shouldn’t be too long but make sure you highlight what you feel is unique and interesting about you. You could include any previous successes you’ve had (notable press coverage, monthly listeners, national radio play etc) if you want to highlight them.
5. Pitch the Song
State the name of the song you’re pitching with a description and what makes it special. You could include a catchy hook or memorable lyric that summarises your song. Maybe reference songs or artists on the playlist that have a similar style and why your song would be a good fit for the playlist.
6. Avoid the Cliches
Try and avoid the classic cliches such as “the biggest riff you’ve ever heard” or “we have a unique sound”. Try and objective descriptions such as “dark, aggressive guitars” or “soaring chorus melody” to paint a picture for them. Remember, this is their first introduction to the track without even having heard it.
7. To The Point
It doesn’t need to be an essay. Keep things concise and to the point as they probably don’t have time to read lengthy pitches.
Make sure you add all of your contact information in your email signature and include a link to you Electronic Press Kit if you have one (pro tip - you should definitely have one).
9. Follow Up
Don’t be shy about following up if you don’t hear back at first. Give it 2-3 days after your first email, then follow up again a week after that. If you want to be persistent, try 2 weeks after that. Don’t worry about being annoying, a lot of these curators get tonnes of emails per day so might not see yours the first time.
If you’re added to the playlist make sure you share it with your followers to drive up your listens. This is easy to do with social sharing in Instagram stories etc and you can also tag the playlist curator to show you’re actively promoting their playlist which will help build your relationship ready for your next release.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is just start pitching. Try a few different formats, see what works for you and refine things as you go but hopefully the above framework is helpful.