How to build a successful playlist

Sinces 2015 I´ve been building my Ibiza Deep House playlist step by step. It´s time I try to sum up some of the learning on the way so you can build your dream playlist. A playlist is in many ways like a dynamic compilation or even a record-shelf. It is meant to make it convenient for the listeners either to discover new tracks or to cover some sort of need like training, chilling on the beach having a party at home. My tips here is from an artist perspective. So feel free to share this with fellow artists, labels and managers.

artist playlists spotify

Make a clear unique theme

In order for your playlist to have some sort of identity, make a clear theme or a thesis to answer to the need that the playlist cover. Also, as with songwriting, make the title unique. We REALLY don´t need any more Chill, Deep House, Mellow, TikTok, Training or Running playlists on ANY streaming service. The playlist will eventually be a part of your artist identity and the last thing you want is to be generic! The playlist might be the first time a listener finds out about you – so make that experience special!

Love your playlist

If you don´t relate to your playlist – no-one else will. Your playlist is the go to record shelf, your favourite gems. Dear to be unique and personal. Listen to your playlist at least a couple of times a week. If you are tired of one of the songs, delete it. The more you listen to stuff YOU like, the better will also Spotify serve up relevant song suggestions in Discover Weekly and other algorithmic playlists. Use that to your advantage. You might even be inspired to make music that is more you!

Music in the car
Listen to your playlist as often as you can and in different situations – LOVE your playlist 🙂

Share and run ads

The playlist is your online virtual set. It´s in a way your gig. And its super sharable. So why not share it. Whenever you add a new song, share that with your fans. They would love finding new music with your. Even run ads where you tell them about the great finds. Oh and make sure to properly tag the artists you talk about. They will love you back, share your tweet and repost your Instagram story. Obviously this is more likely the smaller the artist.

Make it visual

The artwork of the playlist is super important. But not only that, build a branding around it. Make suitable videos or find them on iStock to help setting the listener in the mood that the playlist is about. Users who are introduced to your playlist via a video are more likely to stay on there and understand your vision of the playlist.

Ibiza playlist
Place your playlist in a bigger setting to visualise for the context – the dream scenario!


You wanna work with music, the playlist is a vital part for your own discover, development and curation skills. Yep the learnings are equally applicable to when it comes to building your live set! So including playlist curation into your weekly routine. To keep some sort of structure to your work, I recommend making a private playlist called “Inbox” where you put newly found tracks. Personally I put tracks in there through the week, and go through them on the weekend so I have a clean inbox on Monday! This is also a good point to update your artist pick on Spotify, as that only lasts for 14 days.

Curate playlist
Add an event to your calendar to remind yourself to work on your playlist!

Make a live set!

To support your playlist effort, make a live set on Youtube, Facebook or Instagram. Check out my live set on Youtube for some inspiration. This one is done with 2 action cams recorded live into OBS. Super simple and effective. The video description is a great place to promote your playlist!

Simon Field - Live from home