The Spotify Algorithm Explained

You’ve heard about Spotify’s algorithm, right?

The mysterious AI that can make or break the career of emerging artists on Spotify.

Well, in this blog we’re going to reveal exactly what the algorithm is, how it works, and most importantly – how to break into it!


Well, it all starts with Bart…

No, not that Bart!

We’re talking about the real name of the algorithm running on Spotify: BaRT (which stands for Bandits for Recommendations as Treatments).

BaRT’s job is to keep users on Spotify for as long as possible by recommending music that is most relevant & engaging to the listener.

In fact, it’s the musical equivalent of those pesky algorithms that keep us hooked on scrolling social media sites like TikTok and Instagram when we should be working..

To recommend the most relevant music, BaRT utilizes three main functions:

Natural Language Processing:

Analyses the language, lyrics, and content of a song

Raw Audio Analyzation:

Detects the ‘vibe’ or ‘mood’ of a song and decides whether it’s upbeat, chilled, heavy, minimal, etc

Collaborative Filtering:

Compares new songs to a listener’s current habits to decide what will suit their tastes

Unsurprisingly, these functions are supported by a mind-boggling amount of data.

But there are four key statistics which have the most impact on it’s decisions:

✅ Listening history [mood, style, genre]

✅ Skip rate [less skips = more recommendations]

✅ Listening time [getting past 30 seconds is the key]

✅Playlist placements [personal, third-party & editorial playlists]

Now we know how Spotify’s algorithm works, let’s take a look at how we can break into it and get BaRT batting for your release!

Profile Engagement

Spotify actively tracks profile engagement, and the more users interact with your content [by clicking your social media links, following your profile, listening to your playlists etc], the more positive data is fed into the algorithm.

Track Tagging

Whilst Spotify is incredibly good at figuring out the genre/mood/vibe of your song automatically, you can give the algorithm a kick start by correctly tagging your tracks on SpotifyForArtists.

When submitting a new release, make sure you select the most relevant categories for your track and avoid unnecessary tags that could potentially confuse the algorithm [this also ensures your release is shown to the most relevant editorial curators at Spotify].

Similar Artists & Songs

We’ve already seen how Spotify uses listening habit data to recommend new songs, so it’s crucial that BaRT can make a connection between your track and similar artists/songs.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is by ensuring your playlist placements are targeted and relevant to your release’s genre/mood/theme.

Streams, Saves & Follows

This is arguably the most important data you can feed into Spotify’s algorithm, and again, this is where relevant playlist placements can be crucial.

Hyper-engaged playlists provide high-quality streams [listeners listening for 30+ seconds], profile click-throughs and song saves, which are all major pieces of positive data for your release.

If you need help getting on engaged, targeted Spotify playlists, LyricalMind can help. Providing the Spotify algorithm with the data it requires can push your music to thousands of listeners. Click here to find out more.

We hope that’s provided some insight into the all-powerful algorithm and how you can grow positive data around your release to influence BaRT!

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LyricalMind is not affiliated with or funded by Spotify. All names and logos of third parties, including Spotify, are trademarks of their respective owners.

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