Mastering Your Spotify Playlist Promotion – Josh Brust (IndieMassive, YouGrow Promo) – The Label Machine Podcast Ep. 26

On this episode we have Josh Brust, founder and CEO of music distributor IndieMassive and promotion company YouGrow Promo. After founding the duo Project North, Josh began reinvesting his royalties money into furthering his music's promotion, eventually developing a business that helped other artists promote and release their music.

Join us for an hour-long discussion on Spotify playlists, connecting with curators, building a marketing system for your music and much more.

Getting on Playlists - does it really matter?

We live in a world saturated with music. As Dorian Perron, CEO of Groover, pointed out in episode 25, there are over 60,000 songs added to Spotify every single day.

As such, it is imperative for independent artists and labels to have their music stand out - and one of the best ways to do so is by getting featured on curated playlists. But catching the eye of curators is no easy task.

Josh Brust knows all too well the challenge that is being added to playlists organically - hence why he created YouGrow Promo, a tool that helps match new releases with playlist curators looking for new content.

Josh is clear on what artists and labels should expect out of playlists: "I definitely would not advise people to look at Spotify promotion as a means of making a direct return on investment, right? I would definitely look at it as this is something that I can use to step my career up to the next level."

The fact is that legitimate, curated playlists are a venue to potential new fans, which is why so many artists invest in playlist promotion, from established stars of the music industry to brand new artists and bedroom producers.

How Does YouGrow Promo Differ from typical playlist placement services?

Many playlist placement services operate outside of Spotify's terms and conditions. They deliberately sell places in playlists and use streaming bots to foster quick yet fundamentally inorganic growth of your Spotify streams' numbers.

Not only do these dishonest methods mean that your music is still not reaching actual listeners, but they also can result in your music being removed from the platform and your account being banned from the app.

So how can YouGrow Promo guarantee playlist placements without resorting to the tactics of other illegitimate services?

The secret lies in a huge network of playlist curators Josh and his team cultivated over the years, and a data infrastructure capable of matching the demands of curators with the supply of new music.

When you use YouGrow Promo, your release campaign is assigned a dedicated manager that will connect your song with the right playlists. Taking into account details such as music genre and geographic location, the campaign manager will connect your song with the right curators that are currently looking for fresh content to add to their playlists.

This initial appraisal of which playlists are the best fit for your music and also looking for new content is key for YouGrow Promo's success. By "curating the curators," YouGrow increases the odds of your music being featured in playlists exponentially. It also guarantees that your music is being sent to genuine curators that are committed to grow their own playlists organically and with transparency.

But what happens if, for some reason, you can't get your song placed in a playlist?

Simple - you get your money back. Full refund, no questions asked.

How can I increase the odds of getting my music featured on playlists?

Services like YouGrow Promo certainly do most of the heavy lifting for you. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do on your own to ensure your music is featured on playlists.

For example, building a captivating artist profile is essential for attracting the attention of playlist curators. Develop a compelling bio, highlight your achievements, and showcase your personality through engaging artist photos and videos. This will help curators understand your music and increase the likelihood of getting your music considered for playlist inclusion.

Likewise, building actual, lasting relationships with playlist curators is crucial for long-term success. Show genuine appreciation for their support and feature their playlists on your social media platforms. Collaborate with curators by promoting their work or offering exclusive content. These relationships can lead to continued playlist features and increased exposure.

In addition to seeking playlist features, it is essential to promote your music independently. Utilize various marketing strategies such as email newsletters, music blogs, and online communities to connect with your target audience. Engage with your fans, build a loyal following, and create a buzz around your music to attract the attention of playlist curators.

Finally, feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. You can disregard the "hate" of trolls, but do give due credit to constructive criticism from tastemakers and adapt your approach accordingly. Understand what resonates with listeners and curators and make adjustments to your musical style and marketing strategies.


Playlists are still an important aspect of any strong music promotion blueprint, and while there are many actions artists and labels can undertake to increase the probabilities of featuring in playlists, using services such as YouGrow Promo can save time and resources that are better spent on other parts of their overall release strategy.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this episode. See you on the next one!

Available in all major podcasting platforms.

Other Podcast Transcripts

Latest The Label Machine Posts