How To Hack Spotify’s Poularity Score To Get On More Playlists

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Spotify has always been somewhat mysterious. And no, I don’t mean like that quiet person who plays guitar in a corner at a party looking hot that you’re drooling over. I mean mysterious in that way that we should probably be worried about what bodies are buried in the basement. Joking, joking, please don’t sue me. But the mystery is, what in the hell do you have to do to make Spotify happy so you can get in the algorithm, which we all know is where most of the streams on Spotify come from these days?

Understanding Spotify’s Popularity Score

Many of you have trouble driving your popularity score up to get into the algorithm because, let’s be honest, it’s really hard to see what’s affecting it, and you don’t understand it. Well, that’s all been changed for the majority of you now, thanks to a website I’ve been a big fan of called MusicStax. This guide will show you how to use that site to track your popularity score and learn to hack the algorithm with this free tool.

What is the Popularity Score?

First things first, I know some of you are probably wondering, “Jesse, what in the goddamn hell is this popularity score or index or whatever you’re calling it?” Think of it like this: many people confuse the popularity index with some sort of charting position. As many of you know, Spotify has a top 500 chart, which measures what song is getting the most streams each week. In contrast, your popularity score is an accumulation of every stream, share, save, like, and playlist add. It gets subtracted when there are skips but added when there are repeated listens measured from a single user. And that’s on a scale of zero to 100.

How Does the Popularity Score Work?

The popularity score can figure out enthusiasm towards your track each day rather than just listens. For example, a lot of songs get listened to initially but then aren’t played again after people realize they’re not that great. This commonly happens when a washed-up artist, like say Kanye, charts high initially because everyone wants to hear what he’s saying, but then their new album streams fall off faster than I do when I hear him rapping about Jesus. The popularity score helps since this way Spotify can measure listeners’ susceptibility to liking your tracks as well as their enthusiasm towards it.

Spotify wants to promote the songs listeners will rinse repeatedly to keep them using their app and paying that $10 a month. So, if you look at the chart of the most popular songs on Spotify that Luke from MusicStax made, you can see more than one song can have the same number, meaning it’s not a top 100. You’ll also notice that this chart includes old songs, showing that enduring popularity matters.

How to Get Into the Spotify Algorithm

To get into the coveted Spotify algorithm, you need a popularity score of around 25 to 35% at least, depending on the week and your genre. If you get on it, you’ll be on Discover Weekly and Release Radar. However, it seems pretty rare to land on an editorial playlist unless you’re above 25%. This makes sense since Spotify needs to keep people listening to their playlists. If people aren’t susceptible to your track, they will skip it, driving down your popularity score, and Spotify won’t put your track on the playlist.

Editorial Playlists and Popularity Scores

Songs that get added to editorial playlists that don’t do well get dropped pretty fast by the playlist. We often see the popularity score take a dive if it’s on a playlist it doesn’t match. Sometimes it’s a bad fit, and the popularity score goes back up after it’s dropped, but other times, it keeps going down because the only people who liked it were the artist’s biggest fans. The goal is to get your song to maintain a high popularity score.

Using MusicStax to Monitor Your Popularity Score

Now, let’s talk about bringing MusicStax into this. First, head over to Spotify and copy a link to the song you want to monitor. Then paste that link into MusicStax. I’m using my personal song of the summer so far, which is Aries and Myodotus’s banger “Snake Eyes,” which I’ve played like a hundred times in the past two weeks and really driven up its popularity score.

Navigating MusicStax

If you’ve never been to MusicStax, there’s a ton of cool data here, including key, tempo, and even loudness. But what we care about is that popularity score. Now, click on the popularity score, and you can watch it grow or shrink. Some of you may think you have already done this on Chartmetric, which is correct. But as I’m told consistently, Chartmetric is way too expensive for many of you. MusicStax is a free site where you can track your score.

Benefits of MusicStax

Luke from MusicStax told me you’ll soon be able to log in, favorite songs, and see a dashboard of every song you favorite. This site will keep improving, and it’s already a valuable tool for understanding your popularity score.

How to Use This Information

So, how is this useful? Let’s say you get added to a playlist called “Dean’s Playlist of Tunes to Pick Up Dive Bar Lizards To,” which curates only the feistiest tunes Dean uses to get the girls at his local dive bar to pretend they’re in the movie Coyote Ugly and dance on the bar. What a lot of you don’t realize is that getting on some of those playlists you pay for can actually knock down your score if the playlist is super diverse and has a lot of listeners who aren’t feeling you.

Monitoring Your Popularity Score

Those playlists can knock down your popularity score by 10-15 points. If you’ve paid to be on one of those, you could ask them to take you off if it’s driving your popularity score down. You might wonder why you can’t just do this on Spotify for Artists. As I said at the start, Spotify is mysterious and not always helpful to musicians. Opening MusicStax each day as you do your promotions helps you understand how your popularity score is affected by the things you do.

Practical Applications

For example, when artists do email blasts on the day their song comes out and really go hard on alerting their community about their new track by getting similar artists to post about it, you can often see the popularity score go up faster. These are the people most likely to rinse the song. On the other hand, if an influencer friend posts your song and their fans don’t like your type of music, your popularity score can suffer significantly. Watching your score helps you understand what promotions work for you.

TikTok and Spotify Popularity

Promoting on TikTok is the best way to drive your popularity score up. TikTok’s virality can significantly impact your Spotify streams. By creating engaging TikTok content that resonates with your target audience, you can drive streams to your Spotify tracks, thus boosting your popularity score.


In summary, understanding and monitoring your Spotify popularity score is crucial for getting into the algorithm and increasing your streams. MusicStax is an invaluable tool for this purpose, providing detailed insights into your song’s performance. By using MusicStax, you can track your popularity score, understand what affects it, and make informed decisions about your promotional strategies. Remember, it’s not just about getting people to listen to your music; it’s about getting them to love it and play it repeatedly. With the right approach, you can improve your popularity score and enhance your visibility on Spotify, paving the way for greater success in your music career.

If you want to dive deeper into strategies for promoting your music and increasing your popularity score, make sure to check out my video on TikTok promotion. This video will give you practical tips on creating viral TikTok content that can drive your Spotify streams and help you climb the ranks. Happy streaming!

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