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How Does Spotify Release Radar Work?

Spotify’s Release Radar is an algorithmic playlist updated every Friday that only includes music released in the past 28 days. Fans that follow you will get your music in their Release Radar, but if your song gets enough traction in the first 28 days Spotify may put your song on Release Radar playlists of listeners who have never heard you before.

Confusing? Let me break it down a bit more.

What is Spotify Release Radar

The purpose of Release Radar is to show music listeners an overview of the new releases for the week. Release Radar is different for every single account on Spotify and its tailored to the artists people follow and their listening habits on Spotify. The official description of Release Radar from Spotify is “Catch all the latest music from artists you follow, plus new singles picked for you. Updates every Friday”.

Release Radar is one of the biggest source of streams on Spotify, and it can cause your song to really explode. Here’s an example of my newest single ‘Over’ which was doing a respectable 350-400 streams per day until the following Friday hit and it got an algorithmic Release Radar boost.

Spotify algorithmic Release Radar boost

BAM, 4,300 free streams in one day, and a nice overall increase in perform for the entire week after that. Prior to that massive spike from Release Radar I was already getting streams from there, but it was much smaller.

My expectation from Release Radar streams from my followers is that i’ll get 10% of my follower count in streams the first week from Release Radar. Since I have around 9,000 followers on Spotify that means around 900 streams week one from Release Radar. Of course plenty of those followers may check out my profile and the new song on their own, but I have no way of tracking that unless it comes from Release Radar.

How To Get On Spotify Release Radar

Release Radar only updates on Fridays, and officially you have to deliver your music to Spotify at least one week prior to the release date for it to get on Release Radar. You don’t have to pitch your song to editorial playlists to have it show up on Release Radar, but you should pitch all your music to editorial anyways – its worth a shot.

If you’re releasing an album and you want to have a specific song on Release Radar you’ll have to pitch that song to Spotify editorial at least 7 days prior to the release date. The reason you have to do this is you’re only allowed to have one song on Release Radar per listener, so your whole album can’t be on the same person’s Release Radar.

Release Radar will factor in the followers for multiple artists if you’re doing a dual release or feature. This is one reason why collaborating can be so powerful on Spotify as your song is getting pushed out to both artists followers. Spotify doesn’t apply this same logic to remixes, covers, or song credits though.

If your song was already previously released it will not qualify for Release Radar. You only get one shot at Release Radar for each song. If you re-upload a single on an album later with the same ISRC code you will be unable to pitch that song to editorial and it won’t be allowed on Release Radar, so you’ll have to pitch a different song.

Here are the summarized rules for Release Radar:

  • By default your new song will get on the Release Radar playlists for your followers
  • If your song does well it will get on new people’s Release Radar playlists too
  • Get your song to Spotify one week before the release date
  • Release Radar only updates on Fridays
  • Songs can stay on Release Radar for 28 days
  • You don’t have to pitch to editorial to get on Release Radar, but if you want to choose which song on an album goes to Release Radar you’ll want to pitch that one
  • Re-releases of songs won’t go on Release Radar

How to get more streams from Release Radar

The most reliable way to get more streams from Release Radar is to get more followers on Spotify. As a general rule of thumb more followers will equal more streams each release, as long as those followers are actual fans of course.

I know people with 50,000 followers and more. Every time they drop a single they might get 5,000 to 20,000 streams on the first day because of their super engaged audience, a large portion of this coming from Release Radar.

The other way to get more streams from Release Radar is have your song do fantastic in the first few weeks of release and get an algorithmic Release Radar boost. Unfortunately there isn’t an exact science to what kind of numbers you need to have to trigger this algorithmic activity, but i’ve found the following to be typical…

How to trigger algorithmic Release Radar:

  • Have a popularity index of over 20
  • Have at least 1,000 listeners to the song
  • Be on at least 100 playlists
  • Have a decent save rate of higher than 30%

Some of these metrics may or may not be required, but every song i’ve gotten a Release Radar algorithmic push for has had at minimum these numbers. Almost every song i’ve released in the past two years has gotten some amount of algorithmic Release Radar coverage, sometimes its small and sometimes its massive.

Spotify Algorithmic playlists in Spotify for Artists

I’ve only been on two editorial playlists which have given me a total of 50,000 streams. So Release Radar by itself has given almost as much as that. A lot of people think Spotify editorial playlists are the holy grail of music promotion on Spotify but these algorithmic playlists are much more effective. You can see Discover Weekly has given me almost 400,000 streams so far, even Radio is crushing Release Radar.

How do you get more Spotify followers?

Thats a question that has a million different answers. However i’ve found the most reliable way to get more Spotify streams, listeners, followers and saves is to use Facebook conversion ads.

If you want more Spotify followers, instead of sending them directly to your song send them to your profile where the follow button is present. However during the first 28 days of a release send them straight to the song so you can give Spotify as much data as possible and aim to trigger than algorithmic Release Radar spike.

Learn more about running Facebook ads for Spotify here: