Kelsie Herzog on Getting Paid to Craft the Perfect Playlist

Creating an awesome playlist is an art – and those who can do it are using that skill to make money. An independent podcast curator joins The Business of Sound to explain how she taps into this unique market.


Remember when you made a sappy mix CD for your high school crush? It probably started soft with James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” and ended strong with “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey. And you just KNEW the right mix of songs would make your (hopefully) boo-to-be fall head over heels for you and say yes to your prom-posal.

Putting together the perfect collection of songs is a lot like driving – everyone thinks they’re great at it, but few actually are. Turns out, it’s such a valued skill that people are getting PAID to make playlists.

Independent playlist curators like Kelsie Herzog use their vast knowledge and understanding of music to assemble song collections on Spotify just for you – based on your favorite bands and genres, the mood you want, and your relationship with music in general. Or you can get a playlist made as a gift for someone special – a modern-day mix CD.

Kelsie joined Decibel CEO Jeromy Sonne on The Business of Sound podcast to talk about how she got into making playlists – and how she turned it from a hobby into a money-maker.


How did Kelsie go from simply loving music and hitting up shows, to selling out Patreon tiers for custom playlists each month? The answer is simple: TikTok.

Kelsie had a modest following talking about some of the niche indie genres she loves. Then, one of those videos blew up – taking her from 6,000 followers to more than 50,000 in two days!

Kelsie had no idea what to do with her new-found following – would you?

She breaks down how that sudden influx of fans led her to discover that she could get paid for making playlists.


Ever hear someone say, “I like all music but country and rap?” And you have to fight the urge to go, “Oh really? You like EVERYTHING but those genres? So you get down to things like sludge metal, psychedelic soul, progressive jazz AND operatic pop?”

Kelsie DOES get down with dozens of niche genres just like those – and she likes rap and country, too. Her head is packed full of up-and-coming artists, the bands who influenced them, and the sub-genres they belong to. And she has a long list of resources that helps her musical knowledge keep growing.

She lists the places you can look to find your next favorite band, and the trends she’s seeing in music today.


Kelsie makes her playlists on Spotify, and has quite a following there. But the listens she helps generate for the platform don’t help her pay the bills. She’s not really making money from TikTok, either.

She explains why it can be tough for her and other creators to make a living doing what they love, and why it needs to change.

You can listen to the full episode of The Business of Sound featuring Kelsie Herzog here:


Connect with Kelsie

Kelsie’s Patreon Page
Learn more about her and her photography business here.
Follow her on TikTok | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

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