Dream Side Hustle Alert: How This Musician Earns $1,000 a Month Curating Playlists on Spotify

Robin Young stumbled into the world of paid playlist curation while promoting his own music. He now gets paid to consider songs from new artists for his popular rock playlist, and currently averages $6.25 per song play, a rate he says comes out to about $150 per hour.
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If your playlist curation skills are on point, they could be making you extra money each month. 

Robin Young is a musician who makes over $1,000 a month from his curated Spotify playlists. It’s a side hustle he says he stumbled into. “I released some music last year, and while trying to promote it, I made a rock playlist on Spotify to put my songs onto it,” he says. “The playlist grew significantly.”

Then, a friend of Young’s told him about two websites, Submithub and Playlist Push, that pay playlist curators to review and consider certain songs for their popular playlists. Both platforms require a playlist of at least 1,000 followers. Young didn’t have a big audience initially, so he invested “about $400 into Facebook and Instagram ads” earlier this year to promote his playlist and get it over the 1,000-follower threshold. His playlist now has over 10,000 followers and makes him extra cash every month.

Most young people now have a side hustle on top of their main job. For both millennials and “zoomers” — members of the population born 1997 and 2012, better known as Generation Z — nearly three in five have a side hustle, according to a report from Zapier, a marketing automation company.

For Young, the side hustle is a perfect fit for his day-to-day schedule. He makes his primary income from online product websites, including a price comparison site for fitness equipment, in which he makes affiliate income from some of the products he reviews, along with a second niche website selling outdoor garden furniture. The websites give Young a flexible schedule, which is helpful for his musical pursuits, which now include playlist curation.

If getting paid to listen to music on Spotify sounds like something you could see yourself doing, here’s how it works.

How to Make Money Curating Spotify Playlists

If you have a popular playlist on Spotify, artists and managers will pay you to consider adding their clients’ songs to your playlist. The curator is paid to listen to songs and consider adding them to the playlist. Platforms like Submithub and Playlist Push connect curators with artists and managers. The songs on the playlist rotate at a frequency of your choosing; Young says he changes the songs monthly.

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Submithub pays $0.50 — $1.50 per song review, and you must submit your review within 48 hours. There’s no cap on how many songs you can review in a day, but you are required to listen for a minimum length of time. Both platforms require that you integrate your Spotify account in order to confirm with data that you actually listened. Young reviewed 30 songs daily on Submithub, which made him between $400 and $500 a month. He says this volume of songs was “incredibly demanding.”

In contrast, Playlist Push pays based on how many followers you have on your playlist, paying between $1.25 and $15 per song review. However, you can only review up to eight songs a day, a strategy Playlist Push says increases the chances of placement for artists, according to a blog post on their website.

“I now earn $6.25 per song review on Playlist Push,” says Young, noting that his initial efforts on Submithub helped him become more efficient with reviews. “It only takes about three minutes to review a song, so I earn roughly $150 per hour.” 

He says the hardest part of this side hustle is getting a playlist past the 1,000-follower threshold, and that the other challenging aspect is letting people down and telling them that their music isn’t good enough to be added to the playlists.

Tips to Grow Your Spotify Playlist

Young says you could have many good songs for consideration, but you don’t want to fill your Spotify playlist with unheard-of bands. Those playlists are harder to grow, because the bands have yet to be discovered. He suggests that, in a playlist of one hundred songs, you’d want at least ninety of them to be well-known artists.

“When people land on a playlist with songs and artists they’re into, they hear the songs and start following the playlist,” says Young. “Then, after time, you’ll be featured in the top spots as people search. At one point, my playlist was coming up first when people searched for rock playlists.” 

Young notes this side hustle is excellent for someone who enjoys music because you’ll be listening to many songs. His tips are to:

  • Build a successful playlist by picking a theme. It can be based on mood, genre, or topics you enjoy listening to music around. 
  • Study successful playlists of a similar theme you’re going for, and see what songs they add. 
  • Promote your playlist on your social media networks to grow it organically as much as possible. 
  • Spend some money on social media ads to promote the playlist if you want to grow faster.

To Increase Your Earnings, Stay Focused

Young says the bigger your playlist grows, the more money you can make with Playlist Push. His goal is to get to $15 per song review. He still wants to work a few hours and keep one playlist, but make more money.

“If you have just one playlist, you’re limited on how much you can make,” he says. “But if you had ten successful playlists in ten different genres, you could earn thousands of dollars per month. It could be very lucrative.” 

If you love listening to new artists, curating a playlist on Spotify could be the perfect side hustle to help you pursue your financial independence goals.