Getting on Spotify’s Discover Weekly algorithmic playlist is a big deal for music artists. As of right now i’ve gotten over 430,000 streams from Discover Weekly for my solo music alone. But how do you actually get on Discover Weekly? Spotify doesn’t officially say what it takes, but we did some independent research and found exactly what you need to get on Discover Weekly and Release Radar algorithmic.
To get your song on Discover Weekly you need these numbers within the last 28 days:
To get a Release Radar algorithmic boost you need these numbers within the last 28 days:
Now let me talk about how we figured this out and some other awesome things we learned along the way.
Data was submitted directly by music artists from their Spotify for Artists account to a completely free and anonymous (if chosen) Google form – I made a video on my YouTube channel asking people to please submit their data to help us learn how Spotify’s algorithm works. We had 331 entries, which means 331 unique songs to analyze.
Marc Schmieder did the data analysis, and you can read the full report for free on my community. I won’t pretend to understand everything he did, but the report does a solid job walking you through his process.
From this data a model was built using machine learning that can predict a popularity index based on a specified number of streams, listeners, saves etc. By pushing the data collected through the model Marc was able to compare the accuracy of the model to the actual popularity index scores with an accuracy of over 98%.
You can see from the chart above that Marc’s model was quite accurate most of the time with only a few outliers. Later in this post I talk about some possible reasons for the outliers.
Here are some of the metrics we asked for in the form:
- Streams last 7 days, 28 days & all-time
- Listeners last 7 days, 28 days & all-time
- Saves last 7 days, 28 days & all-time
- Number of playlists all-time
- Song release date
- Song popularity index
- Streams from Discover Weekly last 7 & 28 days
- Streams from Release Radar last 7 & 28 days
There were also other metrics collected, but these were the most important.
Why did we do this?
Over the past several years i’ve been deep in music marketing myself and others in this niche noticed a trend with the popularity index of a song and if that song would get algorithmic Spotify playlist coverage on Release Radar and Discover Weekly. Generally the common knowledge was if you got a popularity index of around 20 in the first couple weeks you’d get an algorithmic Release Radar boost the following Friday, and if you got a popularity index of around 30 at any point you’d start getting an algorithmic Discover Weekly boost the following Monday.
The way that we concluded how many streams it takes to get on Release Radar and Discover Weekly was actually just figuring out on average how many streams, listeners and saves it takes a song to get a popularity index of 20-22 and 30-32, respectively.
So your next logical question might be: well did you do a study to figure out what popularity index correlates with getting on these playlists? Unfortunately, no – at least not yet. However by using the data we have I was able to do some quick Excel magic and figure out what the average popularity index is for artists on Discover Weekly.
If you’re wondering how to find the popularity index of a song, the easiest way is to use MusicStax. You can search for any song / artist on Spotify and see the popularity index along with some other very cool metrics.
Discover Weekly Popularity Index
First I have to mention, we didn’t add the data collection for Discover Weekly streams until several weeks into the data collection phase. So we only had 96 entires for this data. I sorted the entries by if the song had any streams from Discover Weekly in the past 28 days as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and then plotted them against popularity index.
From this chart it’s pretty clear that the artists who ARE on Discover Weekly generally have a popularity index higher than artists who ARE NOT on Discover Weekly. But we can take the average of all the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ data points to make it more clear…
Here we see from these songs the average popularity index of songs on Discover Weekly was around 30, and the average for songs not on Discover Weekly was about 19.
You may be wondering why there seem to be so many outliers – why is someone on Discover Weekly with a popularity index of 20 and someone else with a popularity index of 40 isn’t? I have a few thoughts…
- In the case of the users with a popularity index of over 30 and them NOT being on Discover Weekly, perhaps they recently achieved that number. It’s also possible that their song performed poorly ON Discover Weekly (high skip rate), so Spotify removed it the following Monday.
- In the case of the users with a popularity index below 30 and them being ON Discover Weekly, perhaps this is due to the delay that Spotify reports the popularity index (they claim its 3 days behind the real value). I’ve also noticed that once you get a popularity index of 30, you can stay on Discover Weekly even after you dip below 30.
- It may also be possible that a popularity index of 30 isn’t necessarily a magic number, but rather the average value at which Spotify can correlate enough data to figure out who to recommend your song. Once Spotify locks in who your people are they start pushing it on algorithmic playlists and testing how it performs on those playlists.
Its also totally possible that these metrics are partially genre dependent. Its not hard to imagine that since hip-hop is more competitive than death metal, it may be harder to have a hip-hop song really pop off on Discover Weekly. However its also easy to imagine that if a death metal song were to get on Discover Weekly the volume may be less due to less death metal fans compared to hip-hop fans.
If you wish to learn more, I made a YouTube video going through this as well.
I’ve found the best way to trigger the Spotify algorithm and get on Discover Weekly is by using Facebook conversion ads to drive people to my music on Spotify. If you want to learn more I made a full guide on that here: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/facebook-ads-how-to-run-a-conversion-campaign-for-spotify-streams-full-guide/