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Know-how for musicians

Why you should not underestimate the Release Radar

December 23, 2020

The Release Radar offers listeners the new tracks of their favorite artists on a weekly basis. The evaluation of iGroove shows that this leads to significantly more streams for the artists in the release week.

Launched in 2016, Release Radar is one of the most handy features on Spotify for music fans. Every week, they find out what their favorite artists have released. This is also the advantage for artists, because listeners who don’t follow every move you make don’t miss your new release and give it a listen. Our evaluation shows how important the radar is.

What is the Spotify Release Radar?

The Release Radar is an algorithmically generated playlist that is created individually for each Spotify user on a weekly basis. The radar gives listeners an overview of the week’s new releases. According to Spotify, the Release Radar is said to generate more streams than any curated Spotify playlist. This is quite plausible, since curated playlists only include a fraction of artists, but everyone has a chance to get on their fans’ radar.

The criteria

  • In order for a release to be considered for the radar, it must be delivered to Spotify at least one week before the release date
  • It’s not necessary to pitch a release that it appears in the radar. However, if you want to have a certain song in the radar, you have to pitch it. If the pitched song is changed in the 7 days before release, it won’t be taken into account.
  • The release radar includes artists that the user follows, whose music he has listened to, or artists that the algorithm thinks the listener might like.
  • If the listener has already heard a song (e.g. because it was released as a single), it won’t appear in the radar. But possibly another track of the release
  • Songs for which you are the main or feature artist are taken into account. If you are marked as a remixer, it won’t appear in the radar as well as songs with various artists.
  • Re-releases of songs that are already available on Spotify are not considered
  • Each listener gets only one song per artist per week in their radar
  • A song can stay in the radar for up to 4 weeks if the listener has not listened to it yet

What else you can do

  • Try to encourage your fans to not only listen to your music, but also to follow you. The more followers, the more radar streams
  • Release as many singles as possible. With an album you are only in the radar once, but with regular single releases you are constantly in the radar of your listeners.

The Release Radar analysis

We evaluated over 2,800 songs from artists in various genres with different reach. The analysis shows that the Release Radar is responsible for an average of around 14% of streams in the first week. However, the range is wide, for some it only makes up a low single digit share, especially if they are already in large playlists, for others half of the streams or even more come off the radar.

The release radar can give you a good boost especially in the important first week and lead to numerous streams and saves.

You can see how many streams were generated by the radar in your Spotify for Artists. Select the corresponding song and go to the playlist tab.

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