Image courtesy of Daniel Cañibano.

There's no denying Spotify's domination when it comes to premium music streaming subscribers. In fact, according to MIDiA Research's market share model, the Top 5 music streaming platforms, according to premium subscriber market share, are....

1. Spotify

2. Apple Music

3. Amazon Music

4. Tencent Music

5. YouTube Music

Apple Music, with a market share of 15 percent, is one of the most important DSPs on the global stage. It should come as no surprise, then, that Apple Music playlist curators are important for artists and their teams to pay attention to.

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While every DSP will have a slightly different playlist organizing system, it's to safe to bet on three primary categories:

  • Editorial: playlists curated by the DSP itself
  • Major Label: playlists curated by Filtr (Sony Music Entertainment), Digster (Universal Music Group), and Topsify (Warner Music Group)
  • Non-Editorial or Indie Curators: playlists curated by other curators, including brands, artists, and everyday users

Typically, the goal is to land on big editorial playlists; however, that's not always easy to do. In part, because DSPs try to keep their editorial playlists very exclusive.

So, when you're building out your playlisting strategy, you want to think bottom-up: What non-editorial curators can you pitch your music with a reasonable chance of getting placed on one of their playlists? What playlists feed into other playlists?

A good first step in this process is to check out what non-editorial Apple Music playlists are placing music that's in a similar genre to yours.

If you navigate to the Playlists list in Chartmetric, then click the Apple Music tab, you'll see almost 80K playlists that we collect data on every single data. To narrow this list down, you can click the Genre dropdown and select the genre you're interested in. Now you'll be able to see all Apple Music playlists that feature music in that particular genre, regardless of curator type.

To drill down to non-editorial playlists in a particular genre, click the Playlist Type dropdown, and select Indie Curators. Now you'll see all of the non-editorial Apple Music playlists within the genre you're interested in.

From there, you can click through to a particular Playlist Page to see when the playlist gets updated, what Sub Genres are usually included, what countries most of the artists on that playlist come from, and just about every track that's been on it since 2018.

Now, while we can't necessarily tell you how to contact Apple Music playlist curators or provide you with a direct line to these curators, we do provide social URLs on individual Curator Pages. If they have their social media URLs linked, there's nothing stopping you from DM'ing them or doing a little more research to find their website.

According to top independent Apple Music playlist curator Indiemono:

As Independent curators, we receive many songs on a daily basis. If you want to stand out between the submissions, here we have a few tips:

  1. Send it once it's released: Independent curators usually don't have an automatic system to add the songs once they get out, so if they like your song but it's not released yet, chances are they will forget.
  2. Keep it relevant and straightforward: A good pitch should contain the mood of the song, the genre, and one or two lines for the description. No more.
  3. Follow their rules. If a curator has a certain form or system, make sure to respect it and don't try to cheat. It won't get you anywhere.

If you want to submit your music to Indiemono, check out this link:

And if there's an editorial playlist that you really want to land on, it's worth navigating to its Playlist Page, clicking on the Playlist Journeys section, and seeing whether any non-editorial playlists tend to feed into that particular playlist. This will give you a pretty good understanding of the feeder playlists in Apple Music, i.e., the smaller playlists that tend to feed into larger playlists.

From there, hopefully all of those non-editorial Apple Music playlist adds will get you onto that editorial playlist you've always dreamed about.

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