Valentine’s Day Playlist Strategy Leads to Streaming Success – Billboard

Al Green

Valentine’s Day Playlist Strategy Leads to Streaming Success – Billboard


Fat Possum Records, an independent record label best known for RL Burnside and Cedell Davis’ original blues album, begins preparations for its Valentine’s Day livestream each October. “It’s a 100 percent priority for us,” said Patrick Addison, Tag Manager. “This is Valentine’s headquarters.”

reason? Al Green. Around 2008, the label licensed the Hi Records catalog, which houses most of the pastor’s R&B love classics. “Love and Happiness,” along with other songs, hit a “significant peak” on February 13 every year, leading to a “massive peak,” Addison said on February 14; according to MRC Data, in the last V- On Day, “Let’s Get Together” was played 307,000 times, compared to an average of 198,300 every other day. “Every year, we collect data and make more plans,” Addison added.

Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas as the music streaming holiday approaches. “It’s a more compressed opportunity,” said Tom CorsonCo-Chairman and COO of Warner Music, which released a Michael BublĂ© cover of Paul McCartney’s “My Lover” by Sir Paul himself on February 11 ahead of BublĂ©’s March 25 album higher. “It’s a different kind of calculus. It started in early February and really came back to life the week before.”

At the heart of the label’s Valentine’s Day streaming strategy is Spotify’s 124 Valentine’s Day Love playlist, which has nearly 482,000 likes, including songs from Billy Joel, Carol King, the Seals and The Beatles. Classic pieces, as well as contemporary stars like Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton. Amazon Music’s Greatest Love Songs playlists are more sentimental, including Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me,” and the service joins Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan, Miguel and others in artist-curated playlists cooperation on. Apple Music and Fat Possum Celebrate Green’s 50th Anniversary let’s be together album, including an interview with the pastor himself on Estelle’s Apple Music Hits radio show.

Another common entry on many V-Day playlists these days is 2016’s “True Baby,” which indie star Father John Misty made while recording a demo for Lady Gaga and producer Mark Ronson . They chose not to cut the song at the time, so he posted an MP3 from his phone to SoundCloud, and it took off right there. “There was no marketing around that song,” said Tony Keewell, president of FJM’s record label, Sub Pop Records. “We paid zero dollars. It’s his biggest song, about 10 to 1.” (Until a few weeks ago, the song was still optimal Spotify’s Valentine’s Day playlist, but it suddenly disappeared. “I think Spotify is just trying to freshen up from last year’s situation,” Keewell said. )

According to MRC Data, “True Love Baby” is being streamed nearly 129 million times today on Spotify, with a total streaming volume of 21 million in 2021, making it a V-Day phenomenon. Data from Sub Pop shows that the song averages about 80,000 daily plays, but hit 133,000 on Valentine’s Day last year; the year before, it averaged 60,000 daily plays and reached 104,000 on February 14. “Maybe people have their own love playlists that they’ve built over time that include ‘true love baby’,” Kiewel said.

In the pre-streaming era, some artists were known for timing CD releases for Valentine’s Day—Norah Jones launched 2004’s feel like at home Just before the holiday, 1 million copies were sold in the first week.More recently, labels have coordinated everything from singles (like Michael BublĂ©) to anniversary editions (like Natalie Cole’s vinyl records) memorable Due February 4th) to the holiday. But they mostly focused on holiday-themed streaming playlists — Concord’s Craft Recordings put Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me” on Spotify’s Valentine’s Day Love — until this song, like John Meath Like Father Ti’s songs, it has disappeared in recent weeks — and its catalog of classic jazz is all over Apple Music’s “Romantic” playlists and radio stations.

“It’s mostly just [streaming] partner. We’re just asking them to think about it,” Craig Hammond, Craft’s VP of Business Development. “For a label, ‘This song belongs to this playlist’ might be a bit over the top, but we do that from time to time,” he said.

Warner Records Mike Chester Saying the process of breaking a Valentine’s Day song is more nuanced than identifying romance standards in a label catalog and pushing them back to a streaming service. His team focuses on “anti-programming,” keeping in mind frustrated teens who might be open to Gayle’s blasphemous “abcdefu,” Lauren Spencer-Smith’s breakup ballad “Finger’s Crossed,” or Saweetie and HER’s love song “Closer,” Expires Friday (February 11). Warner’s team communicated with the artist’s fan base to discern their V-Day sentiment, and attempted to target the song in this case to influencers on TikTok, Instagram and other social media.

“That’s where you have to go,” said Chester, the brand’s executive vice president of promotions and commerce. “That’s when people would listen to shit over and over and then scream loudly in the shower. That’s the ‘what to say’ moment and the stereo is right over your head.”

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