Spotify launches ‘Day 1 Club’ for its RapCaviar playlist

“Have you been listening to your favorite rappers since Day 1?” asks Spotify’s latest spin-off website, complete with a big red button tagged ‘Prove It’. Proving it involves signing in to Spotify to be told which hip-hop stars you were listening to early. “An exclusive group of fans that have been riding with an artist the […]

NMPA hopeful of keeping songwriters’ top line rate increase

We reported yesterday on the ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the appeal by Amazon, Google, Pandora and Spotify against new songwriter royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalty Board. The decision was seen as backing the streaming services in ruling against the procedure used to set the new rates. Now […]

10 talking points around kids, music and technology in 2020

Last month, Music Ally took part in the BPI and ERA’s New Kids on the Block online event, looking at children’s digital habits and what they mean for music. Research company Kids Insights produced a report for the event too, which has been published today. We contributed a section on some of the interesting stories […]

More speakers for Sandbox Summit Global including mxmtoon, Spotify & Twitch

Music Ally is excited to announce more speakers and networking details for our forthcoming Sandbox Summit Global event.    New Speakers mxmtoon, Artist (US) The Future of Playlists Lizzy Szabo, Editor, North America, Spotify (US) Genreless Playlists, The Future of Playlists Tracy Patrick Chan, Head of Music Product & Engineering, Twitch (US) Focus on Twitch […]

Spotify teams up with DJs for ‘track IDs’ dance playlists

“Do you ever dance to your favorite DJ and wonder what track they’re mixing?” begins Spotify’s latest blog post, seemingly blithely unaware that the Shazam app was ever invented. Sorry, we’ll stop snarking: Spotify is actually doing something interesting around this question. It’s a new range of playlists under the brand ‘track IDs’ which are […]

Google launches tools for audio ads on Spotify and Pandora

Is there more money to be squeezed out of the ad-supported music market? Google hopes so. But for once, we’re not talking about YouTube in this context. Google’s advertising business is also putting some more effort into ad-supported music, with the launch of some audio-focused tools in its Google Ad Manager service, and an audio […]

WMG boss: ‘We’re very happy that Spotify is investing in podcasting’

Having published its latest financial results this morning, Warner Music Group held its quarterly earnings call this afternoon, with CEO Steve Cooper and CFO Eric Levin fielding questions from analysis. One of those questions focused on Spotify’s podcasts expansion, and whether it’s causing tensions around the potential impact on royalties paid out to companies like […]

Spotify CEO talks Covid-19, artist incomes and podcasting (interview)

Spotify announced its latest financial results yesterday, with growth in listeners and subscribers at the top end of its forecasts, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. CEO Daniel Ek talked to Music Ally after the financials were announced, starting with his view on the growth. “It’s very encouraging. Already last earnings call we were seeing a lot […]

Spotify Q2 2020 financial results reveal Covid-19 impact

The early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic’s global spread didn’t hamper Spotify’s growth in the first quarter of this year. But how about Q2, the first full quarter (near enough) of lockdowns, furloughs and financial uncertainties across much of the world? Today we have our answer, with Spotify’s latest quarterly financial results. The post Spotify […]

TV Girl shine spotlight on Spotify fake music problem

‘Fake music’ on streaming services is an ongoing challenge for labels and artist teams to tackle. That’s the case whether the music is really by a star but uploaded without their permission under a different artist name, or the flipside of that: music by an unknown artist uploaded in a way that makes it appear […]

Spotify answers some questions about playlisting policies

This should be received wisdom by now, but still isn’t: getting on streaming playlists isn’t a marketing strategy. It’s certainly part of a wider plan, but putting your faith entirely in getting a prominent slot on a playlist is a big eggs-in-one-basket mistake. And besides, in 2020, it’s all the other activity and your story […]

Lianne La Havas campaign wants fans to grow virtual flowers

British artist Lianne La Havas has just released her latest, self-titled album, and one of the marketing elements for it wants to encourage fans to get planting… virtually. The ‘Flowerbed’ website is exactly that: a digital flowerbed where fans can plant a new flower every day. They make those flowers bloom by signing in to Spotify […]

TikTok star Addison Rae is launching a podcast on Spotify

Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Obama… and now Addison Rae. Spotify’s lineup of podcast exclusives continues to swell, with Rae the latest to join its roster. She’s currently the second most popular star on TikTok with 51.4 million followers – behind only Charli D’Amelio’s 72.6 million – and now she has a deal with Spotify’s […]

Spotify research explores dearth of UK podcast diversity

We reported recently on production company Broccoli Content’s launch of an ‘Equality in Audio’ pact to change the lack of diversity in the podcasting industry. Spotify was one of the companies signing up – admittedly after a bit of public nudging from Broccoli Content boss Renay Richardson – and now the streaming service has published some research that shows […]

Apple News updates show how Apple and Spotify’s audio strategies differ

Spotify’s ‘audio-first’ strategy – as originally outlined here – is about one audio app to rule them all, currently focused on music and podcasts, with an eye to other kinds of content in the future. All delivered through the same app. Apple’s strategy is markedly different: its audio is split between three different apps. Music in Apple […]

Spotify Russia launch is part of eastern Europe expansion

Last week’s reports of an imminent Spotify launch in Russia were correct, but it’s part of a wider expansion in eastern Europe for the streaming service. Yesterday, it launched in 13 new countries in the region: Russia plus Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The […]

Spotify launches top and trending podcasts charts in 26 countries

More than 15 million people follow Spotify’s ‘Global Top 50’ music chart, making it an important discovery channel on the service. Now it’s looking to do the same thing for podcasts, albeit locally. This afternoon, Spotify is launching podcast charts in 26 countries, including the US and UK. The format mirrors its music rankings: the […]

Facebook SDK, not Juice Wrld album, crashed Spotify

Music Ally is long enough in the tooth to remember the days when big music stars really could cause traffic spikes that might crash big digital services. That’s rarely the case nowadays, which is why we were extremely sceptical on Friday when we saw the headline ‘Juice Wrld’s fans crash Spotify as posthumous third album […]

Spotify’s Discover Weekly has driven 2.3bn hours of listening

Spotify’s algorithm tried to make us stream R3HAB and we said… yes, yes, yes! The streaming service is celebrating the fifth birthday of its algo-personalised ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist by revealing that Moroccan-Dutch DJ R3HAB is the ‘most discovered’ artist from the playlist in the most countries – 16 – since its launch in 2015. There’s also a big […]

Report: Amazon Music subscriptions grew by 104% in last year

Research firm Counterpoint Research has published its latest estimates for the size of the music streaming market globally. It claims that by the end of March there were 394m music subscriptions globally, representing year-on-year growth of 35%. Counterpoint also offered its estimates for some of the biggest players, suggesting that Spotify accounted for 33% of […]

Spotify’s new site creates personalised workout playlists

Spotify’s latest campaign to create personalised playlists for listeners is called Soundtrack Your Workout, aimed at people who are exercising. On the new website, they choose a workout length (from 15 minutes to two hours); choose to include only music, only podcasts, or a mix of the two; explain what exercise they’re doing (yoga, running, […]

Spotify snags $20m podcast advertising deal with Omnicom

Podcasts have sent Spotify’s valuation soaring in recent weeks, but they’re also starting to generate income for the company. Yesterday, it announced a ‘strategic podcast advertising partnership’ with advertising giant Omnicom Media Group, which sees the latter committing a $20m spend for the remainder of 2020. Note, this is a drop in the ocean of […]

Spotify sees more labels and distributors crediting songwriters

Spotify’s head of songwriter and publishing relations Jules Parker says that the streaming service’s addition of songwriter credits had a knock-on effect for labels and distributors. “Since we began publicly displaying song credits on Spotify in 2018, we’ve seen a 60% increase in how often labels and distributors credit songwriters on their new releases, allowing […]

The Rise and Rise of Music Podcasts

Podcasts are firmly part of our media diet – with some turning into huge brands and others happy to cater to the most niche of interests.  The podcast economy boom is now so great that not only did Spotify pay $100m to secure the exclusive licensing deal for the enormously popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, […]

Spotify Premium Duo couples’ subscription expands globally

Spotify started testing its Premium Duo subscription plan in March 2019 in five countries: it was a $12.99-a-month Spotify subscription for couples, complete with a ‘Duo Mix’ playlist blending their tastes. It expanded to 14 more countries in Latin America in September last year, but now it’s going more global, launching in 55 markets. The idea is to tempt […]

Spotify pulled into debate over ownership of ‘The Nod’ podcast

In the music industry, arguments over creators and ownership tend to focus on master recordings and publishing rights: how musicians can retain them from the start, or get them back later in their careers. Interestingly, there’s a similar debate starting in the podcasting industry.  As The Verge explains, it’s not just about the rights, but […]

Spotify releases Marquee stats including 20% conversion rate

‘Marquee’ is Spotify’s tool that pops up in its mobile app suggesting that people listen to a new release by an artist that they like. In the US and Canada, it’s currently being beta-tested as a paid advertising slot. Now Spotify has launched a new web page promoting the feature itself, including some stats on those […]

Report claims Apple could face an antitrust probe in the US

The debate about how Apple runs its App Store continues to rumble, and politics website Politico suggests that there could be a significant development in the US soon. “The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are taking the first steps toward launching an antitrust probe of Apple,” it claimed, adding that the probe may […]

Spotify to promote Artist Fundraising Picks with emails

Spotify launched its ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ feature in mid-April, enabling artists to raise money from their Spotify profiles either for themselves and their teams, or for one of the charitable funds and organisations taking part in the streaming service’s Covid-19 Music Relief project. By the end of that month, around 50,000 artists were using the new feature. […]

Report: there were 400m music subscribers globally at end of Q1 2020

There were 341 million people using paid music subscriptions at the end of 2019, according to global music industry body the IFPI. Now we’ve got an update on that figure, albeit from a different source. Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its music subscriber market share figures for Q1 2020, claiming that by the end of March […]

Spotify steps up podcast monetisation with in-app offers

Spotify is trying something new around podcast advertising: ‘in-app offers’. It means that when someone’s listening to a podcast and hears an ad from a sponsor with a particular offer, they’ll also be able to tap on a link to redeem that offer from within the podcast’s episode page in Spotify’s mobile app. “Most podcast […]

Pacemaker DJ app secures extension to Spotify API shutdown

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Spotify was ending its support for DJ apps, meaning that they’d be unable to use its API to provide music for their users. One of the main DJ app makers, Algoriddim, is switching to Tidal and SoundCloud, while another, Pacemaker, recently told Music Ally that it would be striking its own […]

Spotify reveals its playlist plans for Black Music Month 2020

June is Black Music Month in the US (or African-American Music Appreciation Month if you prefer: it was renamed by President Barack Obama in 2009, but its previous name is still often used). Spotify has revealed its plans for the month, including its previously-announced plan to devote its entire ‘New Music Friday’ playlist to Black artists for […]

Spotify talks Apple complaint as Hey email app sparks row

We reported yesterday on the news that the European Commission is launching two formal investigations of Apple, including one sparked by anticompetition complaints from Spotify and an e-books / audiobooks firm (not Amazon, but Rakuten subsidiary Kobo). Yesterday afternoon, Spotify held a Zoom call with journalists to offer its views on the news. You can read our […]

Notes from Spotify’s Zoom call to discuss Apple antitrust investigation

Earlier today, the European Commission launched two formal antitrust investigations of Apple, including one spurred in part by Spotify’s complaint to the EC last year. This afternoon, Spotify held a Zoom call for journalists where its head of global affairs and chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez discussed the investigation, with added comments from external counsel […]

EC launches formal antitrust investigations of Apple – one sparked by Spotify complaint

In March 2019, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the latter company of anticompetitive behaviour in the way it managed its App Store and in-app purchases. 15 months on, the EC has now launched a formal antitrust investigation of Apple. In fact, it has launched two, although they’re not just […]

#TheShowMustBePaused: next steps, Stormzy, YouTube and more

One of the key points about the #TheShowMustBePaused campaign last week was that it was not a single day of action, but rather the springboard for much, much more. Today, there’s a lot to report on in that regard, within both the music and tech worlds. Start by reading Billboard’s interview with Brianna Agyemang and Jamila […]

Spotify now lets people share Canvas videos to social media

Canvas is the feature on Spotify where artists can upload eight-second looping videos to accompany their tracks when played in the streaming service’s mobile app. It’s been growing steadily in popularity, and earlier this year Spotify started letting artists share their Canvas videos out to Instagram stories. Now that ability is being extended to listeners as well. […]

Spotify ‘Sound Up’ podcast program returns for third year

Spotify’s ‘Sound Up’ program aims to help people from underrepresented backgrounds take their first steps into the podcasting world. 60 people have so far gone through its program in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, with more than 20,000 having applied over the first two years of the scheme. Now Spotify is launching the third […]

Streaming’s latest challenge is ‘fake features’ on tracks

Spotify’s management team must quiver every time they see the word ‘fake’ deployed in a headline, given past controversies around ‘fake artists‘, ‘fake albums‘ and ‘fake streams‘ on the service. But here we are with another one for the list: fake features. OneZero has a story about how “scammers are gaming Spotify by faking collaborations […]

Spotify and Kobalt fall out over Eminem copyright lawsuit

In August last year, we reported on a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Spotify by Eminem’s publisher Eight Mile Style, based on around 250 songs from the company’s catalogue. The latest development in that case is a surprise: Spotify is dragging Kobalt Music Publishing into the lawsuit, claiming that the latter company is at fault. Spotify’s legal […]

Spotify pays $100m+ for Joe Rogan podcast, adds $1bn+ to market cap

People often ask how the economics of podcasting work. Well, here’s how they worked for Spotify yesterday. The streaming service announced an exclusive licensing deal with one of the biggest podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience. The Wall Street Journal claimed the deal was worth “more than $100 million”, but the ensuing spike in Spotify’s share price added […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Radiant’s Spotify-powered DJ is an AI

Squeezing new uses from existing technology sparks creative revolutions. Dancing to recorded music was weird until someone who understood the crowd started to link the right songs together in the right place, and created the nightclub. (It’s probably best not to dwell on one of the main claimants of that innovation, mind…) Fast forward to […]

Spotify for Artists is now for their labels too

The Spotify for Artists dashboard is no longer just for artists. “We’re bringing artist teams, labels and distributors to Spotify for Artists so you can manage your profile, see and analyze your data and pitch to playlists, together,” announced the streaming service on Friday, in what it described as “an effort to empower artists, managers, and labels […]

Bad Bunny’s ‘Safaera’ returns to Spotify after sample dispute

Fans of Puerto Rican star Bad Bunny had been raging last week after his ‘Safaera’ song was removed from Spotify. Now it’s back, along with an explanation from the streaming service about why it had been rendered unplayable for a few days. “We are happy to report to Bad Bunny fans that Safaera is once […]

Sofar Sounds launches ‘Keep Listening’ playlist on Spotify

Unsurprisingly, Sofar Sounds isn’t hosting any physical gigs at the current time. It has, however, launched an online ‘Listening Room’ for livestream performances by artists, which it says is earning them an average of $500 in donations from fans, as well as a performance fee from the company itself. Now Sofar has launched a Spotify playlist based […]

The power of smaller playlists. Why big is not always best.

*This topic was discussed in-depth on Music Ally TV. Watch the show in full here   In a world where the playlist is king, it is hardly surprising that getting on New Music Friday (NMF) has become the be-all and end-all of music streaming marketing, an opportunity to get your track in front of 8m people worldwide, […]

Spotify tests video podcasts with YouTubers Zane and Heath

Spotify’s next move in podcasts will be letting people watch as well as listen. The Verge reports that Spotify is running tests with YouTube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar for their ‘Zane and Heath: Unfiltered’ show. “The global test, which allows the creators to upload their recorded video footage to the app, will show up for […]

Is Harry Potter exclusive a sign of Spotify audiobook plans?

Spotify doesn’t think exclusives are good… for music. Spoken-word content? That’s a different story: the streaming service has been eagerly striking exclusive deals with podcasters and investing heavily in its own original shows. Now audiobooks are joining the party. Well, a new all-star reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone isn’t strictly exclusive to […]

Spotify CEO: ‘Long term, we do expect Apple to open up’

It’s all gone a bit quiet on the antitrust complaint front regarding Spotify versus Apple. Spotify filed a complaint in Europe against Apple more than a year ago, sparking a sharp rebuttal from the tech giant. We’re still waiting to see what action, if any, the European Commission takes over the complaint. However, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek […]

Spotify should pay musicians more? Let’s talk more about how

Earlier this week, we covered the IFPI’s latest figures for global recorded music revenues, which grew by 8.2% in 2019. Artist rights group the Future of Music Coalition made an important point when it shared our story on Twitter. It’s true. In 2019 the recorded music industry enjoyed its fifth consecutive year of growth, taking […]

Canadian firm VoxTonePro files lawsuit over Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify is facing another lawsuit, although this one isn’t focusing on licensing or royalties. Instead, a Canadian company called VoxTonePro is accusing the streaming service of stealing its trade secrets, and using them to build its Spotify Ad Studio – that’s the tool that brands and businesses can use to create their own audio ads to […]

Spotify’s mantra for radio vs on-demand streaming: ‘Everything linear dies’

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and CFO Paul Vogel have been fielding questions from analysts following the company’s publication of its Q1 2020 financial results earlier today, and their interview with Music Ally shortly afterwards. There were not many surprises, but Ek’s desire to (as he described it several times) “uplevel” the conversation around Spotify and […]

Spotify’s Daniel Ek talks churn, fan funding and why Covid-19 ‘might be a much better time to release music’

The Covid-19 pandemic is leading some labels to postpone big album releases, especially those for which tours were a big part of the marketing plans. Some big artists, like Dua Lipa and The Weeknd, have put out their albums as planned. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek thinks they may offer encouragement to other artists and labels […]

Despite Covid-19 Spotify grew its subscribers to 130m in Q1 2020

With recent reports that audio music streams had fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been waiting for Spotify’s Q1 2020 financial results with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. Would they reveal a decline in listening, but more importantly, about an impact on paid subscriptions? The figures are out, and it’s good news – for now […]

Spotify launches ‘Daily Wellness’ music and podcasts playlist

Spotify unveiled its latest personalised playlist yesterday, although for now ‘Daily Wellness’ is only available in the US and UK. Like ‘Your Daily Drive’ which launched in June 2019, the new playlist blends music and podcasts, except the focus now is on helping listeners find “positivity, mindfulness, or peace” throughout the day. Also new: ‘Daily Wellness’ […]

Spotify’s music podcast Dissect returns with Beyoncé focus

Remember the days when you couldn’t stream Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album anywhere except on Tidal? The album eventually made it to other streaming services (including Spotify) in April 2019, three years after its initial release. More evidence of times having changed: ‘Lemonade’ is the subject for the latest season of Spotify’s music podcast ‘Dissect’, with two episodes […]

Spotify ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ tool is going live today

Last month, we reported on Spotify’s announcement that artists would soon be able to “link out to a verified funding page for themselves, for another artist in need, or for a separate initiative of their choice” from their profiles on the streaming service. The new feature – named ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ – goes live today, […]

Spotify rolls its podcast ad-insertion tech out in Germany

In January, we reported on Spotify’s announcement in the US of its ‘Streaming Ad Insertion’ [SAI] technology: a system to boost advertising within its original and exclusive shows by giving brands and podcast makers alike more data on listeners and ad performance. Now SAI is rolling out elsewhere in the world, starting in Germany. The location is no […]

Spotify launches its own set of curated podcast playlists

Spotify has a new plan to get people listening to podcasts, and it follows the blueprint of its music service in its focus on human curation. The company has launched three podcast playlists initially in six countries: the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Mexico and Brazil. ‘Brain Snacks’ will focus on the educational side of things […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (21 April)

Spotify has added more partners to its Covid-19 Music Relief project. Having started with donations to MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians, it is now also donating to funds and charities in France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, Brazil and Canada. Meanwhile, David Guetta’s livestreamed concert at the weekend generated 9m views on Facebook and nearly […]

Sandbox Issue 250: The power of smaller playlists

Lead: The likes of New Music Friday and Today’s Top Hits might theoretically get your music in front of the most people; but if they are not listening, then what’s the point? In a business that has long run on the assumption that “big is best”, the opposite is proving true when it comes to […]

Trolls World Tour film’s marketing includes Spotify and Pandora

“Is Trolls World Tour the most important film of 2020?” wondered a piece in the Guardian earlier this week. That may sound like hyperbole, but the main point was that it’s the first big movie of the year that’s going straight to streaming (due to cinemas being closed). If parents aren’t willing to shell out up to […]

How Does Music Marketing Personalisation look like in 2020?

Marketing used to be based around demographic categories or social archetypes, but the more marketers and digital platforms know about you, the more personalised they can become in terms of both messaging and products. There are enormous opportunities here but also a growing need to tread carefully around just how deep and tailored marketing can […]

Spotify app now works with Siri voice assistant on Apple Watch

We haven’t heard that much about Spotify’s European anti-competition complaint against Apple for a while, despite rumblings last year about a potential investigation. However, there have been some moves by Apple to open up its ecosystem in ways that address some of the complaints that Spotify had. One concerns access to its Siri voice assistant, […]

Spotify and WMG seal their deal – including ‘additional markets’

The coronavirus pandemic appeared to have put the long-running soap opera of Spotify’s licensing renewals with major labels on hiatus. Now it’s returning: with concrete progress. “Warner Music Group and Spotify are pleased to announce a renewed global licensing partnership. This expanded deal covers countries where Spotify is available today, as well as additional markets,” […]

Spotify Kids expands again, as country playlist Indigo launches

With parents across the world still getting to grips with home-schooling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and associated social-distancing measures, digital services aimed at children are having a big moment in the spotlight. Spotify had already launched its Spotify Kids app in a range of countries, but yesterday it expanded to the world’s biggest music […]

Spotify coronavirus response includes letting artists add fundraising links to their profiles

Spotify has just announced some of the things it’s doing in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. They include launching a music relief project where the streaming service will match donations up to a total Spotify contribution of $10m, and a feature enabling artists to fundraise from fans via their Spotify profiles. The Spotify COVID-19 […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (24 March)

Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities. Start today with Bandcamp’s update on how last Friday’s big music sale went. “On a typical Friday, […]

Spotify is testing photo-based music recommendations

Have you ever been using a music streaming service and thought: ‘Yes playlists and suchlike are good, but what I really need is the ability to take a photo and have that used to recommend music to me’? Nope, us neither. Still, Spotify clearly sees some potential in the idea: it appears to be testing […]

Spotify launches a new podcast API for developers

Spotify may be booting DJ apps off its music API, but the company is also launching a new API for another part of its business: podcasts. “Today, we launched a new podcast API for developers. This will allow developers to explore and build unique experiences to help your shows reach new listeners in new ways,” explained Spotify […]

There really is a robot releasing music on Spotify

Wait! Drop the pitchforks! Shimon isn’t one of these fake artists you’ve been hearing about (we’re still trying to get to the bottom of who Jan Thiel is, by the way). No, Shimon is proudly, unashamedly an actual robot, and he plays the marimba. He’s one of the robotics projects at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music […]

Spotify’s dance playlist Mint spawns its own ‘singles’

We’re well used now to ‘Spotify Singles’, the streaming service’s series of original live recordings from artists, where they re-record one of their own songs plus a cover version – with their label retaining all the rights. Well, now one of Spotify’s big playlists is spawning its own line of similar releases. The playlist is dance-focused […]

The Weeknd sets Apple Music record, holds Spotify listening session

It’s fair to say that The Weeknd’s new album ‘After Hours’ is expected to have a big debut this weekend. The streaming services are certainly throwing their weight behind it. Apple announced yesterday that the album has broken its record for Apple Music pre-adds (people pre-saving it to their libraries). MBW reported that by yesterday, […]

Bootleg podcasts hint at how Spotify could shake up audio shows

What to call them. Podboots? Notcasts? Vice has run a fascinating piece on the Trojan horse world of podcasts on Spotify that are smuggling unlicensed music onto the platform. Vice has trawled Spotify’s music podcasts category and found a range of shows, with names like idk im high, boyband nostalgia and the less i know the circle […]

Kesha taps Spotify for Blessed Mess room-wrecking promo game

“You can’t get to heaven without raising a little hell darlin’,” is how the website for Kesha’s new promotional game Blessed Mess greets fans, before inviting them to “connect to Spotify, wreck Kesha’s room and unlock exclusive content”. As with other Spotify-linked campaigns, connecting the streaming service means the label (Sony Music in this case) will get […]

Liz Pelly talks Spotify, independence and ‘big music tech criticism’

Over a series of articles for US journal The Baffler, journalist and critic Liz Pelly has examined the culture and dynamics of music streaming in general and Spotify in particular. In Discover Weakly, Unfree Agents, Streambait Pop and Big Mood Machine, she offered some of the sharpest criticism of Spotify’s business, its impact on musicians […]

Killer clown Pennywise pops up in a Spotify lullabies playlist

We’ve heard some weak excuses in our time, but suggesting that you “did not believe the playlist was designed primarily for children” when the playlist is called ‘Classical Lullabies’ and has several tracks mentioning children in their title? It’s not the strongest of defences, and especially not when what you’re defending is the appearance of […]

Love ISN’T in the air as DSPs’ US royalty-rates appeal kicks off

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association in the US, has never been a man to pull his verbal punches when taking digital services to task. “Songwriters: This week, Spotify and Amazon are quite literally taking you to court,” is how his latest guest column for Billboard begins, and it doesn’t get any less […]

Radar is Spotify’s new program to promote emerging artists

Spotify is launching a new program called Radar to promote emerging artists. Actually, it’s 19 ‘sister’ programs across the world, which in 2020 will feature 36 artists. Those musicians will get slots on Spotify’s programmed playlists – including a dedicated ‘On Our Radar’ playlist – as well as other types of marketing support and editorial content […]

Spotify gets former HuffPost exec as head of content at Gimlet

Spotify acquired podcast production studio Gimlet Media for €172m in February 2019. Now it has hired a suitably high-powered media executive to be the company’s head of content. Lydia Polgreen has been poached from her role as editor-in-chief at HuffPost, a title she’d held for the past three years. Variety reports that Polgreen will be in charge […]

Bad Bunny is the big winner at Spotify’s first awards

Last night, Spotify held its first awards event, in Mexico City. The focus was mainly on Latin American artists, with most of the categories’ nominees and winner based on data from Spotify listeners in Mexico, rather than globally. Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny was the night’s biggest winner, taking home the Spotify Artist of the Year […]

‘Hey Spotify’ – streaming service’s work on voice tech continues

App-cracker Jane Manchun Wong has been poking around in Spotify’s innards again, and has uncovered more signs of the streaming service’s work on voice controls. It’s a toggle to enable a feature called ‘Hey Spotify’, which will have the app “listen for Hey Spotify when the app is open and on your screen”. Note, Spotify has […]

Music streaming services support International Women’s Day

This Sunday (8 March) is International Women’s Day, and as has become traditional, the big music streaming services are all celebrating the occasion. Spotify will be launching a new ‘Women’s History Month’ hub on Sunday, with all-women playlists and podcasts, as well as IWD-themed takeovers of some of its popular playlists. Apple is hosting a […]

The Trichordist publishes per-stream royalties data for 2019

Every year, artist-rights blog The Trichordist publishes an updated ‘streaming price bible’ comparing the per-stream payouts of the major music streaming services. The latest version, for 2019, was published overnight, and as ever is based on “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 350+ album catalog now generating over 1.5b streams annually”. Among its findings: Spotify’s […]

Sandbox Issue 247: All Triller, No Filler: Music’s next big launchpad?

Lead: Triller is not a TikTok killer – but it is certainly proving to be a hearty contender. At the moment, it is strongest in the US and it skews heavily towards hip-hop as its in-built soundtrack. Its ambitions are, however, more global and the genres it covers will naturally expand as it grows internationally. […]

Spotify co-head of music slams playlist promotion ‘scams’

Spotify’s co-head of music Jeremy Erlich has come out strongly against agencies charging labels or artists to pitch their music to the streaming service’s playlists. “I hate it. They’re just scamming artists. There’s absolutely no promo in the streaming world. We don’t talk to any of these people at all. They’re scams,” he told Forbes. “If […]

Bad Bunny hops onto Spotify with his own ‘lookbook’

It’s not quite a ‘visual album’ on the scale of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ or Frank Ocean’s ‘Endless’, but Latin American star Bad Bunny has partnered with Spotify to create what is being termed a “lookbook” for his third album, ‘Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana’ (translating as I Do What I Want). The Puerto Rican artist […]

Spotify teams up with MBC’s Shahid for six-month MENA promotion

Spotify is part of a new bundle in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but rather than a telco contract, this partnership involves a video streaming service. Specifically, it’s a video streaming service called Shahid, which is owned by broadcasting group MBC Group. Shahid’s ‘VIP’ (premium) subscribers will be able to get six months […]

‘Who are you Jan Thiel?’ Zola Jesus uncovers new Spotify mystery

Musician Zola Jesus posed a question this weekend. “I opened Spotify for the first time in months. Clicked on a random playlist. Played a random song that has 1.5 million streams. The album said it was released Jan 31 2020. Searched off Spotify for artist: nothing comes up. FAKE F**KING MUSIC. WHO ARE YOU JAN THIEL?” […]

New appointments for Spotify and Songtrust in the US

Spotify has a new head of editorial in Nashville: Rachel Whitney, who joins from YouTube, where she led strategy and programming for country and roots music. Whitney will work with head of artist and label services Brittany Schaffer in Spotify’s Nashville office. “I’m proud to further the mission of sharing all of Nashville’s amazing talent […]

Spotify refreshes its mobile app design on iOS

Spotify has given its mobile app a spring clean, for now on Apple’s iOS, although we’d imagine that Android will follow in due course. Spotify is pitching the app’s new design as “a more streamlined, easy-to-use interface with fresh designs to actionable icons”. That includes a big, green ‘shuffle play’ icon; and grouping actions (like, […]

Spotify reveals trends (not user numbers) from first year in India

“It’s been exactly 12 months since Spotify launched in India, and my, how we’ve grown,” is how the streaming service began a birthday blog post this morning. Unfortunately, what follows are NOT any figures showing how it’s grown in user numbers there since reporting two million in April last year. Instead, the blog post focuses on the […]

Spotify revamps the brand of its New Music Friday playlist

Spotify hasn’t exactly talked down its ‘New Music Friday’ playlist in recent times: it’s more that the streaming service has been keen to steer artists and labels away from making a slot on the playlist their main marketing goal. Messages coming out of Spotify both in public and in private have included: that artists need […]

Cash Money docuseries to debut on Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist

It’s fair to say that Cash Money Records, whose roster has included Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj among others, likes exclusive documentaries about its history. ‘Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story’ launched on Apple Music in 2018. Two years on, and there’s a new docu-series on the way, but this time Spotify is the […]

Spotify says it’s dealing with bootleg music podcasts

In October last year, we wrote about an 89-episode podcast that suddenly appeared on Spotify, with every episode consisting simply of a demo, remix or rarity from Britney Spears – clearly NOT an official project. It was quickly removed from the platform. Now Pitchfork has published an investigation suggesting that ‘bootleg podcasts’ are a wider problem that Spotify is […]

Dance artists get live boost with Resident Advisor Spotify deal

Spotify has a new partner to point its listeners in the direction of local music concerts: Resident Advisor. The electronic-music brand’s event listings will now be incorporated into Spotify, ensuring that the streaming service has a bigger database of concerts from independent dance acts playing in local venues. As with its other live-music partnerships, Spotify […]

How many users do Spotify, Apple Music and other big music streaming services have?

Sometimes the statistics around how many people are streaming music – and how many are paying for it – can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Recently, for example, we’ve seen one story suggesting that Amazon was “on course to overtake Apple Music” based on comparing an Amazon figure from January 2020 with one from Apple […]

The Ringer launches a Spotify-exclusive music podcast

A Spotify regulatory filing has confirmed how much it’s paying for media and podcasts group The Ringer: “Cash consideration totaling approximately €130 to €180 million, a portion of which is deferred, subject to closing adjustments”. That’s between $141m and $196m. The filing, which is a more detailed version of the shareholders letter in which Spotify announced its […]

Spotify launches ‘songwriter pages’ feature in beta

Spotify is launching a new feature aimed at songwriters, giving them their own profile pages on the streaming service, complete with playlists of recordings of their songs. ‘Songwriter Pages’ launches in beta today, accompanied by a tweak to Spotify’s existing track credits feature to make the names of songwriters taking part in the beta clickable, […]

KFC took over artist profiles to get ads on Spotify Premium

Who said Spotify’s premium tier is advertising-free? KFC Arabia has found a way around that, taking over the profiles of three artists in a campaign run by advertising agency Memac Ogilvy. “KFC teamed up with three major artists from the region—Flipperachi, Moh Flow, and Shébani—to place imagery of Kentucky Burgers in their cover photos, bios, […]

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek: ‘With The Ringer, I think we bought the next ESPN’

Spotify published its latest quarterly financial results earlier today, followed by an earnings call with analysts in which CEO Daniel Ek talked about its just-announced acquisition of media and podcasts firm The Ringer. “If you up-level this conversation and think 10 years out, the trend we’re investing in is that radio is moving online, because […]

Spotify ended 2019 with 271m listeners and 124m subscribers

Spotify has published its latest financial results, for the final quarter of 2019, and thus the entire year too. The music streaming service ended 2019 with 271 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 31% year-on-year, having added 23 million in Q4, and 64 million over the year as a whole. 124 million of those active users […]

Spotify ‘Discovered On’ listener count is now for artists’ eyes only

Spotify has made a small change to its desktop application that is causing some ripples of discontent among its community of playlist creators. The change is on the ‘Discovered On’ section within artists’ profiles on Spotify, which shows which playlists are the top sources of people discovering those artists’ music. Until now, the playlists were […]

Pro Music Rights extends streaming lawsuits beyond Spotify

In November 2019, we reported on the latest lawsuit filed against Spotify by music rightsholders: Sosa Entertainment and its sister firm Pro Music Rights. Sosa was claiming that it had not been paid the full royalties for more than 550m streams of its catalogue. Now Pro Music Rights is targeting Spotify’s rivals too, with copyright infringement lawsuits […]

Artists can now share Spotify Canvas to their Instagram story

A growing number of artists have been taking advantage of Spotify’s Canvas feature, with its eight-second video loops accompanying tracks instead of static artwork. Now Spotify is encouraging artists to spread those videos on social media. “Starting today, artists in the Canvas beta can share Canvases to their Instagram Stories, broadening the reach of their […]

Global music streaming: ‘We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become’

“I think it’s good that we have a lot of players in the market, because it means we all get better… The streaming landscape, and particularly for us the audio landscape, will continue to grow. We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become.” Cecilia Qvist is global head of […]

PRS for Music and Spotify team up for songwriting documentary

British collecting society PRS for Music teamed up with Spotify for a three-day songwriting camp called Who We Be Songwriting Sessions, using the brand of the streaming service’s popular playlist. Now they’ve released an eight-minute mini-documentary about the event, which saw more than 30 grime, rap, R&B and afrobeat musicians collaborating in London’s RAK Studios. […]

‘Grab your iguana’ – Spotify launches a playlist for pets

Good news for cats, dogs, hamsters, birds and iguanas this morning, but less so for stick insects, micro pigs and goats. Spotify’s latest algorithmically-generated playlist is aimed at pets, but only those in the first list above. And while this may sound like an April Fool’s story, it’s not: Spotify says it surveyed 5,000 pet owners […]

Sandbox Issue 243: The Last 10 Years and The Next 10 Years of Music Marketing

Welcome to the first Sandbox of 2020. Lead: It is now 10 years since we published the very first edition of Sandbox, so to start a new decade we speak to marketers from around the world about the tools and trends that shaped the past decade of music marketing as well as the ones they believe […]

Spotify criticised over Nazi-glorifying playlist titles

Spotify made a well-documented misstep with its attempt to introduce a policy on ‘hateful conduct’ of artists, but the streaming service has won more praise for its uncompromising approach to keeping hateful content – neo-Nazi music etc – off its platform. Now, however, Spotify is facing criticism after extremists found a way to promote their views on its […]

Music Ally Report 426: Trends of 2019

This year we’ve picked 42 (also the answer to life, the universe and everything as fans of Douglas Adams will know) of the trends and moments we found most significant in 2019. What are they? *takes deep breath* industry growth; the European Copyright Directive and Music Modernization Act; Spotify’s two-sided marketplace; Apple Music’s bundled future; […]

French Montana track’s Spotify revival sparks controversy

To use the standard industry language, there’s been an almighty hoo-ha around the reappearance of a track by artist French Montana on Spotify’s US chart. ‘Writing on the Wall’ features Post Malone, Cardi B and Rvssian, but wasn’t a smash hit when it was originally released last September. Now a dramatic rise up Spotify’s chart, […]

Post Malone gets a ‘dual-phone’ music video on Spotify

As Drake never sang: you used to call me on my cell phone, late night when you need my… cell phone too, to watch the new video from Post Malone. Yes, fans will need two phones to watch the latter artist’s new video, which is exclusive to Spotify. Essentially it’s the story of a couple breaking […]

Spotify plans Tekashi 6ix9ine podcast for new year

Another day, another new music-podcast announcement. Spotify in particular has been throwing a lot of money, time and marketing effort at original podcasts this year. The latest example is a show focusing on the rise (and recent fall) of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. It has been created in partnership with Complex. Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story […]

Netflix to distribute TV series based on ‘Spotify Untold’ book

Earlier this year, we reported on the publication of a book, ‘Spotify Inifrån’ (‘Spotify Untold‘), which claimed to tell the inside story of Spotify’s rise. Then, in August we reported on the news that TV production company Yellow Bird UK, part of the much-bigger Banijay Group, had optioned the screen rights to the book and was developing […]

Hype Machine connects Spotify Wrapped playlists with Bandcamp

Streaming music doesn’t mean you don’t also want to buy it sometimes. Music Ally has always argued that there could be more links between streaming services like Spotify and D2C platforms like Bandcamp, beyond a few items of merch on artist profiles. Now music website Hype Machine has stepped in to create a new link […]

Spotify Wrapped 2019 sparks new discussion about artist income

As Spotify launched the artist-focused element of its Wrapped 2019 promotion yesterday, the streaming service also offered some new statistics. More than 1.2 million artists were listened to for more than 100 hours on Spotify this year during the period covered by Wrapped (January to the end of October, which isn’t a widely-known fact – Mariah Carey must […]

Spotify’s annual Wrapped feature for fans and artists goes live

Expect to see a LOT of Spotify-branded social posts from artists and fans alike today, due to the launch of the streaming service’s annual ‘Wrapped’ promotion. Fans can log in to see data on their listening not just from 2019, but also from the last decade. It’s the first time Wrapped has been available within Spotify’s […]

Ministry of Sound playlists back on Apple Music rivals

Cast your minds back to October 2018, and a story we wrote about a playlists partnership between Apple Music and Ministry of Sound. The gist being, as Ministry’s profile on that streaming service explained it: “All Ministry of Sound playlists and the monthly Ministry Mix – only on Apple Music.” At the time, we noted that Ministry […]

Spotify advises $5k minimum spend for its new ‘marquee’ ads

In October, Spotify announced that it would be testing sponsorship of its full-screen ‘marquee’ album recommendations, allowing artist teams in the US to buy these spots – but only for people who’d already listened to their artist. What Spotify didn’t say at the time was how much this would cost. Enter Rolling Stone, which has got its hands […]

Billie Eilish wins big in Apple awards and Spotify 2019 stats

What we need, said almost nobody in the music industry, are a few more awards ceremonies. But now we have two, from the world’s biggest subscription music-streaming services. Spotify’s first awards will take place in Mexico City next March, driven entirely by its data, but Apple Music’s first event took place overnight, chosen purely by the company’s […]

Spotify offers half-price annual subscription in India

Spotify’s annual subscription promotions are of and running in the western world, but the streaming service also has a discount for one of its newest markets: India. The company has halved the price of its annual subscription there from 1,189 rupees (around $16.57) to 699 rupees. The Hindustan Times reported that the offer lasts until 31 December, […]

Spotify faces another digital royalties-related lawsuit

Will Spotify’s lawyers ever be able to enjoy their Christmas dinners without a looming royalties lawsuit? The latest comes from independent music company Sosa Entertainment and its sister firm Pro Music Rights. MBW reports that Sosa claims that it has not been paid the full royalties for more than 550m streams of its catalogue on Spotify. There […]

Spotify commissions its latest crop of Christmas cover songs

It’s that time of year again, when artists eye Mariah Carey’s annual Christmas royalties-boom with envy, and hope to follow suit with their own original festive songs – and cover versions of classics. But music-streaming services are also on the Christmas bandwagon: Amazon’s program for commissioning new Christmas songs is well known, but Spotify has also […]

Tic Tac and Spotify team up for minty-fresh concerts series

We have several favourite sentences from the announcement of Spotify’s latest brand partnership, with Tic Tac. “The unique event series employs Spotify’s streaming intelligence to target consumers who exemplify the fun and refreshing Tic Tac brand personality,” is one of them. “The interactive concert will intertwine music with the spirit of the Tic Tac brand […]

Mariah Carey launches enhanced Christmas album with Spotify

At the time of writing, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is the 41st most-streamed Spotify track in the UK, which tells you something about we Brits’ eagerness to embrace Christmas rather than think about Brexit and/or our upcoming general election. The rest of the world will be catching up (on Mariah, […]

Spotify launches its own awards and talks up podcast ambitions

The Grammy nominations and Taylor Swift’s AMAs row aren’t the only awards stories making headlines this week. This morning, Spotify announced plans for its first ever ‘Spotify Awards’, which will be held in Mexico City on 5 March 2020. Turner Latin America is on board as the broadcast partner, and Spotify says that the awards will […]

Spotify launches its first original podcasts for India

Spotify India has announced its first batch of platform-exclusive podcasts: cricket-themed 22 Yards hosted by popular television anchor Gaurav Kapur, dating and relationship advice-focused Love Aaj Kal (Love Today and Tomorrow) from journalists Aastha and Ankit and fictional detective series Bhaskar Bose narrated by radio host and actor Mantra. Each of the podcasts, which are […]

Spotify and Netflix team up for Christmas-music playlists

The notion of ‘exclusive Christmas playlists’ may seem a bit strange: with a relatively-small pool of tracks to choose from in the grand scheme of things, unless you’re commissioning original tracks Amazon-style, differentiation is hard. But Spotify has a new spin on the idea: it has partnered with Netflix to launch eight playlists from the cast members […]

Spotify launches a new app for AR platform Magic Leap

Magic Leap has linked up with Spotify to make the latter the first music service available for its One Creator Edition augmented-reality headset. And it certainly has some AR bells and whistles. “The app is spatially aware, so you can pin recently played artists, albums or tracks to specific locations in your home. And because content builds […]

Localify aims to put more local music in Spotify users’ playlists

Teams of researchers and students at Ithaca College and Cornell University have been working on a tool to inject more local music into people’s Spotify playlists. It’s called Localify, and works by getting people to choose their location and a selection of their favourite artists. “We’ll create playlists that mix your favorites with local artists while […]

Spotify for Kids app launches in beta, starting in Ireland

Spotify now has 248 million monthly active users, but how many of them are children? We don’t know, and neither does Spotify: its minimum age varies across the world, but the lowest is 13 years old with parent or guardian consent. Anecdotally, though, plenty of parents have ignored this stipulation and added under-13s to their […]

Spotify now has 248m listeners including 113m premium subscribers

Spotify has announced its latest financial results, for the third quarter of 2019. The streaming service now has 248 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 30% year-on-year, having added 16 million in Q3. 113 million of those users are premium subscribers: 31% growth in the last year, with five million having been added during last quarter. […]

Spotify tests sponsorship of full-screen album recommendations

For some time now, Spotify has been showing its mobile listeners full-screen recommendations of new albums from the artists that they like – ‘Brand new music for you!’ pop-ups with a ‘Go to Album’ button to tap. Thus far, this has been a purely-editorial feature, but today Spotify is launching a test in the US to […]

Spotify expands US Google Home Mini giveaway to Premium subs

Last year, Spotify debuted its Google Home Mini smart-speaker giveaway, offering the device to its Spotify Premium for Family subscribers. Now the deal has returned in the US, but considerably expanded: now it’s any Spotify Premium Individual subscriber who can bag a free speaker. It’s the latest salvo in the now-traditional scramble for end-of-year signups among […]

Sandbox Issue 238: Remixes Hit Saturation Point

Lead: Lil Nas X might have broken on TikTok but it was his deft use of multiple remixes (and collaborations) that kept ‘Old Town Road’ in the air throughout most of 2019. He claims he has 25 remixes of follow-up track ‘Panini’ ready to go, although this might prove to be the most high-profile case […]

Spotify teams up with Snapchat for Diwali promotion in India

Snap and Spotify have teamed up in an interesting way for a promotion in India around the Diwali festive season. The Snapchat app has a new augmented-reality lens designed to be used in a specific location: the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai. “The Spotify lens adds some unique AR experiences with special 3D effects, […]

Spotify trumpets its role in global success of Tones and I

Australian artist Toni Watson – aka Tones and I – is riding high with her track ‘Dance Monkey’, which started as a viral buzz track but has flowered into a bona-fide global hit. In fact, at the time of writing it’s top of Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart, with 5.6m daily plays. Spotify is keen […]

Bring Me The Horizon create “Spotify-powered T-shirts”

Sony Music/RCA Records UK act Bring Me The Horizon are using their fans’ Spotify listening data to shape the T-shirt design that they can then buy – all as part of the promotion for their amo album from January. By going to a dedicated web page, they log in with their Spotify details and then […]

SuperM create UGC-powered Canvases on Spotify

On Friday, we covered Spotify starting to slowly open up its Canvas feature to more acts and posting a related blog that gives tips on how those using it can get the most out of its assorted features. One of the tips was “try creating a theme or narrative that crosses an entire album” such as […]

Spotify makes Canvas less blank

The Canvas feature on Spotify (where a short video loops on the mobile app instead of just having the single or album artwork) is opening up to more users via the Spotify for Artists tool. Music Ally first spotted the feature at the start of last year – back when it didn’t even have an official […]

Even after Siri integration, Spotify jabs at Apple again

This week, Spotify launched an Apple TV app as well as integrating with Apple’s Siri voice assistant on iPhone, which you might think represented a rapprochement of sorts between the two companies, following their longstanding anti-competition disputes. You’d be wrong. Spotify has updated its ‘Time to Play Fair’ lobbying website’s timeline of “Apple’s behaviour” down the years, […]

Spotify launches its ‘Daily Drive’ playlist in Germany

Spotify launched its ‘Daily Drive’ playlist in the US in June. Aimed at commuters, it was the company’s first algo-personalised playlist to combine music and ‘short-form podcast news updates’, with the aim of offering a more radio-like experience. Now Spotify has launched ‘Daily Drive’ in Germany too. As in the US, it offers a combination of “your favourite […]

Britney Spears rarities appear on Spotify as podcast episodes

“It’s Britney Bitch!” is all the blurb you get in the ‘About’ section of a new podcast that launched on Spotify on 7 October – all 89 episodes of it. And each episode lasts for less than five minutes… because they’re songs: demos, remixes and other rarities from Spears’ career. Oh, and there’s been no official announcement, […]

Spotify finally gets an Apple TV app and Siri integration

Big news from Spotify’s drive to be on as many devices as possible: it’s now available on… Armani smartwatches! Okay, that’s not *the* big news from Spotify’s drive. Yesterday saw the company finally integrate with Apple’s Siri voice assistant, meaning that Spotify listeners can now use ‘Hey Siri…’ commands to use the app – if their iPhone […]

Entertainment bundles are coming: the question is the terms

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Apple wants to launch a new model of paying for music, and major labels are ‘wary’ of the implications. No, you haven’t time-travelled back to the early 2000s and the negotiations ahead of the launch of the iTunes Store, album-unbundling included. What’s causing the wariness in 2019 […]

Spotify says ‘global cultures’ initiative is growing, not stagnating

Spotify has been facing some questions about what’s happening with the ‘global cultures initiative’ that it announced in September 2018, promising that it “promotes and advances culturally diverse music, surfacing hits from different countries around the world and spotlighting popular songs that cross cultures”. Head of global cultures Rocio Guerrero, who launched the initiative, has since left […]

US congress quizzes Spotify over Apple antitrust complaints

Things had gone a bit quiet in Spotify’s anti-competition battle with Apple: we’re still waiting for official word from the European Commission on any plans for a formal investigation into Apple’s stewardship of its App Store and devices, following Spotify’s complaint in March and Apple’s response in June. Now attention is quickly shifting across the Atlantic, to the […]

Cardioid app offers context for Spotify’s algo-personalised playlists

In March this year, Music Ally wrote about a new music app called Crush, which aimed to bring together Spotify with artists’ own social-media feeds, to help listeners find out more about the musicians they were listening to – while listening. Seven months on, Crush is relaunching today with a new name, Cardioid, and a revamped iPhone app. […]

Spotify-developed tool used for Skygge’s AI-powered ‘American Folk Songs’ EP

There’s plenty of new music out today: Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, Halsey, Travis Scott, K-Pop supergroup SuperM, Juice Wrld and Skygge are among the artists dropping new tracks. Wait, Skygge? Who’s that? An avatar blending AI-powered music with a cappella recordings by legendary US folk singers like Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger […]

Spotify opens a studio in Brazil for female artists only

Spotify has opened a new recording studio in São Paulo, Brazil, with a very specific focus: women. It’s called Casa de Música – Escuta as Minas (translation: House of Music – Listen to Women) and has already been used by artists including Bibi Caetano, The Mönic, Souto MC, and Luana Marques. Here’s how Spotify described the new […]

Analysts have opinions on Spotify’s declining share price

Here’s a bracing headline for Spotify and its partners within the music industry, from financial-news website Barron’s: “Spotify Stock Has Dropped So Much, Two Analysts Ditched Their Sell Ratings”. The story is paywalled, but appears to focus on recent announcements by analyst firms Evercore and Credit Suisse. The former upgraded its rating of Spotify from […]

Spotify’s family plan launches in India for $2.50 a month

When Spotify launched in India earlier this year, its family plan wasn’t part of the offering. Now it is. The plan launched yesterday for INR 179 a month (around $2.50) covering up to six people in a household as in other markets. “Spotify’s Premium Family plan has been loved across markets, and we know that […]

Spotify’s ‘Dissect’ podcast returns with Kendrick Lamar focus

Spotify has launched the fifth season of its music-focused podcast ‘Dissect’, which focuses on a single album every series. It has previously covered albums by Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Lauryn Hill and Tyler, the Creator (Lauryn Hill’s was a ‘special mini-series’, by the way, which is why the new season is the fifth […]

30% of the Beatles’ Spotify streams are from 18-24 year-olds

Happy 50th birthday to the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album: we’ve been enjoying the ‘updated artwork’ meme from earlier this year getting plenty of re-shares. Streaming services have been celebrating the anniversary too, with Spotify putting out some stats on the Beatles more generally. The band’s music has been streamed nearly 1.7bn times on Spotify in 2019 alone, […]

‘Fan-made’ Taylor Swift tracks pulled down from Spotify

After a few months of quiet, there’s another ‘fake music’ farrago in the air. The Fader reported that “dozens” of Taylor Swift bootlegs had been uploaded to Spotify as individual ‘podcast’ files. “many of the songs themselves appear to be isolated vocals ripped from Swift’s Lover that have been placed over newly-made acoustic instrumentals,” it reported, describing […]

Amazon’s ‘voice interoperability initiative’ includes Spotify

“Voice services should work seamlessly alongside one another on a single device, and… voice-enabled products should be designed to support multiple simultaneous wake words.” That’s the key sentence in the announcement of the Voice Interoperability Initiative, which has been created by one of the prime movers in voice technology: Amazon. It has mustered more than 30 companies […]

Martina McBride criticises Spotify again over playlist algorithm (and Spotify agrees)

Earlier this month, we reported on country star Martina McBride’s anger at Spotify’s recommendation algorithm, after its first 135 suggestions of tracks for a ‘country music’ playlist she was making were all by men. Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Nashville, Brittany Schaffer, seemed to have smoothed over the waters with a coffee […]

US politician Tim Ryan reveals his policies… as a Spotify album

Democrat congressman Tim Ryan is one of the runners in the race to take on Donald Trump in the next US presidential election. Not one of the front-runners, or even a mid-runner in fairness: he didn’t clear the bar of fundraising and polling to qualify for this week’s televised debate between candidates. However, Ryan is […]

Lucy Dacus is spending 2019 releasing ‘slow music’ holiday songs

Artist Lucy Dacus is stepping out of the traditional album-release cycle in 2019, choosing instead to release a series of tracks tied to public holidays and other notable dates. She covered ‘La Vie En Rose’ for Valentine’s Day; released ‘My Mother & I’ for Mother’s Day; and then a track called ‘Forever Half Mast’ for […]

Spotify launches a podcast about musician mxmtoon

Oakland-based singer/songwriter mxmtoon has built an audience of 3.6 million listeners on Spotify – aided by slots on playlists including New Music Friday, Lorem and Alone Again. Now she’s getting a different kind of support from the streaming service: its Spotify Studios division is making an eight-episode podcast all about her. It’s called ’21 Days […]

Spotify takes flak for location-tracking family-plan move

Spotify knows where you live… but it would like to check that you’re still living there, every so often, if that’s okay? This is part of the new terms and conditions for the company’s much-discussed Premium Family plan. An August update to the t’s and c’s included this clause: “We may from time to time […]

Esthero interrupts her own track to protest streaming royalties

Canadian artist Esthero has found a novel way to make her views known about streaming royalties: within a track that she’s released on streaming services. One minute and 37 seconds in to ‘Gimme Some Time’, she interrupts the music. “Hello there, sweet listener. So, I really hope you’re enjoying my song. This is Esthero by […]

Sandbox Issue 235: Talking TikTok Triumphs

Lead: TikTok is  an essential consideration for artist marketing in 2019, particularly for pop acts. But for all the strategies and careful coordination, the best things on the app are often those that blindside everyone. We spotlight the best recent uses of music (and surprise catalogue reappearances) on TikTok in recent months and also look […]

Spotify subsidiaries launch new business and horoscopes podcasts

The production lines are rolling for Spotify’s recently-acquired podcast studios, Gimlet and Parcast. Yesterday each had a brand new podcast to announce. Gimlet’s is called ‘The Journal’, and is a partnership with the Wall Street Journal for a daily show about “money, business and power”. That daily cycle could be important: it’ll generate useful content that […]

Taylor Swift’s ‘Enhanced Album’ Spotify playlist has 1m followers

According to Republic Records, Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ has whizzed past the mark of 3m ‘album equivalent units’ worldwide since its release a week and a half ago. Interesting, since a third of that consumption came from China alone. But we’re also interested in the role played by Swift’s ‘Love Taylor, Lover Enhanced Album’ playlist on […]

Spotify commissioned an Instagram AR effect for artist Headie One

British artist Headie One is the latest musician to experiment with an augmented-reality (AR) camera effect in a social app – in his case, Instagram. It’s based on the artwork from his new mixtape ‘Music x Road’: a reflective mask and chest-tattoo that fans can superimpose on themselves for the purpose of Insta amusement. What’s […]

Spotify can now share 15-second music clips to Facebook stories

The ability to share songs to ‘stories’ posts on Instagram has become a regular announcement by the various streaming services. Now Spotify is improving its integration with Facebook’s stories feature, by adding the actual music. “Today, we’re rolling out a more powerful way to connect with fans on Facebook Stories — with 15-second song previews,” announced Spotify […]

Spotify and YouTube Music top latest music-apps downloads chart

App-analytics firm SensorTower has been casting its eye over the music world again: publishing its estimates for the most-downloaded music apps globally in July. Its stats come from analysis of Apple and Google’s app stores, although not other third-party Android app stores (notably in China, where those stores are extremely popular). Spotify tops the chart covering overall […]

Spotify surveys artists on how to expand its provider directory

Spotify’s ‘Provider Directory’ is its list of “preferred” and “recommended” artist and label distribution services: something we’ve reported on in the past as new companies have been added. Spotify appears to be mulling an expansion of that section of its website to include other kinds of services, however. A survey linked to from the directory asks people […]

Spotify creates its own daily-news podcast in Colombia

We reported yesterday on the launch of a new, daily true-crime podcast by Spotify’s recently-acquired Parcast studio. Now Spotify is launching another daily podcast – in Colombia. It’s called ‘El Primer Café‘, and the show is a collaboration with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. Co-hosted by broadcast journalist María Beatriz Echandía and DJ / podcaster Félix […]

Taylor Swift to reveal new lyrics through her Spotify playlist

When we wrote last week about YouTube’s plans to host a live online event with Taylor Swift for the release of her new album ‘Lover’, we pointed out that other streaming services would be doing their own activations around the release. Spotify revealed its plans yesterday: a playlist called ‘Love, Taylor: The Lover Enhanced Album’. It’s starting […]

Spotify Untold book may become a TV show after screen rights optioned

Swedish authors Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud have made a splash with their book ‘Spotify Inifrån’ (‘Spotify Untold’), which promised to tell the inside story of Spotify’s rise to power. Now that book could be heading to the small screen. TV firm Yellow Bird UK, which is part of production giant Banijay Group, has optioned the […]

Spotify appears to be testing ‘stories’ for its playlists

Independent researcher Jane Manchun Wong has an excellent job: digging around in the code of smartphone apps to root out as-yet-unannounced new features. Her latest blog post is the result of a furtle within Spotify’s Android app. “Spotify is working on bringing Stories to Playlists, providing artists a way to connect with listeners through storytelling,” wrote Wong. […]

Spotify’s Parcast launches a daily true-crime podcast

Spotify paid around $56m to acquire podcast production firm Parcast earlier this year, so what is the streaming service getting for its money? This week, it’s getting a brand new podcast called ‘Today In True Crime’, which as the name implies, will be a daily show. “Crime never takes a day off, and neither do we,” as […]

The mysterious tale of disappearing viral hit ‘Omae Wa Mou’

It’s not entirely accurate to describe deadman死人’s track ‘Omae Wa Mou’ as having disappeared: you can still easily find it on YouTube. But Rolling Stone has published an excellent analysis of the track’s TikTok-fuelled surge to top spot on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart, before being abruptly removed from the streaming service after a copyright-infringement claim. It’s a […]

Spotify upgrades family plan with new features (but same price… for now)

Last week, it was reported that Spotify will test a price increase for its family-plan subscription in Scandinavia. This morning, the company is announcing that it is launching an “upgraded” version of the plan globally, although the press release sent out by Spotify made it clear in the very first paragraph that this is “for […]

YouTube to host ‘Lover’s Lounge’ live event for Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ drops on 23 August, and she has teamed up with YouTube for a live-streamed event the day before called ‘Lover’s Lounge (Live)’. It’ll see Swift performing a new track from the album, taking part in a Q&A, and plugging her collaboration with Stella McCartney on a new clothing range. At […]

Report: Spotify to test 13% rise in family-plan subscription

Spotify will launch another test of a subscription price-increase in Scandinavia, according to a Bloomberg report published yesterday. While the company hasn’t itself announced the plans, Bloomberg cited several ‘people familiar with the matter’ as suggesting that the test will see the cost of a family plan rising by around 13% – so from €14.99 a month […]

Spotify brings its podcast analytics out of beta

In early October 2018, Spotify launched a version of its analytics for podcasters, offering data on their listeners, ‘starts’ and streams – in beta. Now the tool is coming out of beta, and is thus available to anyone distributing their podcast through Spotify. More than 100k podcasts are already accessing the data through its beta, Spotify […]

Spotify reportedly in talks with Apple over Siri support

The Siri voice assistant is one of the points of contention in Spotify’s anticompetition complaint against Apple: “‘Siri, can you play that awesome Spotify playlist?’ Siri says no,” as Spotify’s ‘Time to Play Fair’ website put it. Yet Apple’s soon-to-launch iOS 13 software *will* allow non-Apple music-streaming services to properly work with Siri, and thus […]

While She Sleeps launch t-shirt based on Spotify royalties

British rock band While She Sleeps aren’t just a dab hand at this metalcore business: they also have a new sideline as open-source merchandise activists. The band have created a new t-shirt design displaying this message: “One t-shirt is the equivalent to 5000 streams on Spotify. 76% of all music in 2019 is streamed and […]

Spotify’s latest telco-bundle partnership is with AT&T

Spotify has announced its latest partnership with a telco, and it’s a big one: AT&T in the US. Subscribers to the network’s ‘AT&T Unlimited & More Premium’ contract can choose to include Spotify Premium in their bundle for no extra cost. Spotify is one of seven ‘premium entertainment’ options in the bundle alongside Pandora, HBO, […]

Spotify filing reveals it paid €49m for podcasting firm Parcast

Music Ally reported on Spotify’s latest financial results last week, but the official filing has revealed a bit more information on the company’s recent acquisition of podcasts producer Parcast. Spotify paid €36m in cash and €13m ‘related to the estimated fair value of contingent consideration’ – €49m (around $55m) in total. However, Spotify also said that “the […]

New podcasts on the way for Gregory Porter and Dolly Parton

In Spotify’s earnings call with analysts last week, CEO Daniel Ek said that listening to music-focused podcasts has been growing fast on the platform: “If you look historically at podcasting that’s not been a big category, but it’s becoming a bigger one,” he said. It’s no surprise, then, to see the steady flow of new music-podcast announcements […]

Spotify beefs up its advertising-targeting features

Spotify’s advertising revenues grew by 34% to €165m in the second quarter of this year, and while that’s less than 10% of the company’s overall turnover, ads and the free tier ‘funnel’ continue to be of high strategic importance for Spotify. Hence its continued investment in new features, including the launch yesterday of ‘Interest Targeting […]

Notes of interest from Spotify’s Q2 2019 earnings call

It’s no secret: Spotify’s earnings calls aren’t meant to be interesting. They’re an exercise in repeating key corporate messages; parrying tricky questions; and striving not to say anything that will spook the Wall Street or music-industry horses. CEO Daniel Ek isn’t the kind of executive who lurches off-piste with controversial, off-the-cuff opinions, and CFO Barry […]

Spotify’s Q2 2019: 108m subscribers, €1.67bn revenues, and a €76m net loss

Spotify has published its financial results for the second quarter of 2019, revealing that the streaming service added 15 million new listeners including eight million paid subscribers during Q2. Spotify ended June 2019 with 232 million listeners, up 29% year-on-year from the 180 million it had a year ago, and up 7% quarter-on-quarter from the […]

Spotify India marketing tweet sparks online game of Antakshari

If you’re not Indian, there’s a strong chance you haven’t played Antakshari. It’s a game played at parties where someone sings the first verse of a song. Whatever the last syllable is, the next person has to sing the first verse of another song beginning with that syllable. And so on. Anyway, the reason we’re […]

Spotify’s next chief economist will be based in New York

Last week, it was reported that Spotify’s chief economist Will Page is leaving the company this summer. “A contributing factor in Page’s exit from Spotify is that he has been offered a book deal. He will be writing a consumer-facing title which explains and examines disruption in various industries,” reported MBW. Page joined Spotify from collecting […]

Independent artist Aaron Smith gets push from Spotify and Apple

Congratulations are due to independent artist Aaron Smith, whose debut track ‘Unspoken’ has (as MBW noticed on Friday) gone in with a bang at the top of Spotify and Apple Music’s flagship new-music playlists in the UK. ‘Unspoken’ was the very first track in New Music Friday UK on Spotify and Best Of The Week on […]

FIMI boss urges Spotify to ‘do more’ to persuade Italians to subscribe

Something you won’t hear very much at a music-industry conference in 2019: people talking about piracy. Something you will hear a fair bit: people talking about how streaming has successfully seen off piracy as an existential worry for the industry. No wonder the ‘value gap’ has been a much more prominent debate among rightsholders and […]

Spotify launches a dedicated Disney hub in certain countries

A whole new world! You’ve got a friend in me! Under the sea! Can you feel the love tonight?! LET IT GOOOOOOO….. Okay, having dealt with your earworms for the rest of the week, we’ll get to the actual news here: Spotify has launched a dedicated Disney hub on its service in certain countries. It’ll feature playlists […]

800+ playlist-adds took Ed Sheeran to 69m listeners (and 46.5m first-day streams) on Spotify

Spotify is putting out some stats around the latest Ed Sheeran album. According to its announcement this morning, Sheeran has set a new record for monthly listeners on Spotify: he’s on 69.1 million at the time of writing, with the 70 million milestone in his sights. That means nearly 32% of Spotify’s active users (based […]

Could Spotify make the next Dirty John-style podcast-to-TV hit?

‘Are you ready for Spotify: The Game Show?’ asked a report on MBW earlier this week. Insert your own jokes based on ‘Jeopardy’, ‘The Price Is Right’ and/or ‘Deal Or No Deal’ here, obviously. The story is based on a job ad for a ‘Reality Formats Lead’ at Spotify, working on reality podcast development for […]

Spotify criticised for ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Paying’ advert

Spotify’s latest ad campaign, highlighting the 30-day free trial  of its premium tier, is generating some heat on Twitter. “Dance like nobody’s paying,” is the main slogan. Musician and artist-rights campaigner Blake Morgan was quick to voice his unhappiness with the concept. “Here’s @Spotify’s new tone-deaf ad campaign. Keep in mind that it takes 380,000 […]

Spotify officially launches its ‘Lite’ app in 36 countries

‘Introducing Spotify Lite’ is the title of the streaming service’s latest announcement, although its new app won’t need much introduction to anyone who’s been following Spotify’s business in the last year. The company began testing its data-saving app in Brazil in July 2018; it launched in Malaysia in April 2019; and then in India in May, still described by […]

Spotify’s ‘Are & Be’ R&B playlist hits 5m followers milestone

The R&B-focused ‘Are & Be’ has become the latest Spotify-owned playlist to reach a notable milestone: five million followers. Spotify is celebrating by taking over a six-floor building in New Orleans for the Essence Fest music festival, and designating it ‘The House of Are & Be’ as a “multi-storied tribute to Black women in R&B and podcasts […]

Spotify closes its direct-upload test for artists

In September 2018, Spotify started testing a new tool for artists to upload their music to its platform directly, without needing a distributor, let alone a label. At the time, the test was with “a few hundred” US-based artists, with plans to expand it in the future. Or not. Today, Spotify has announced that it’s […]

Spotify’s Soundtrap relaunches free tier with unlimited storage

Soundtrap is the online music-creation software that Spotify acquired in November 2017. Now the company is relaunching its free tier, with the big change being unlimited storage for people’s music or podcast recordings. Until now, that feature was only available for people paying for a subscription. Soundtrap has also bumped up the number of music […]

Guggenheim analysts hail Spotify’s push into podcasts

Spotify’s big podcasts push is eliciting mixed feelings within the music industry, as our recent survey showed: some people worry that it will draw attention (and revenues) away from music, while others think it will help Spotify grow as a platform and thus grow for its music partners. Analysts, meanwhile, are welcoming the development. Business […]

Chartmetric explores the ‘trigger cities’ of south-east Asia

Earlier this year we wrote about music-analytics firm Chartmetrics’ theory of ‘trigger cities’ capable of propelling tracks to become global hits. Now the company has published a second in its series of blog posts focusing on the region of south-east Asia in this regard. There’s some good data on how Spotify is functioning as a platform in […]

Apple says only 680k Spotify subscribers use in-app purchases

Apple has officially responded to the European Commission, as the latter weighs up whether to launch an investigation based on Spotify’s anti-competition complaint earlier this year. It’s interesting to see the different takes on Apple’s response from different publications. “Spotify boss Daniel Ek might have some explaining to do,” is how MBW introduced its article on the […]

Spotify explains how its ‘Fans Also Like’ feature works

Artists’ profile pages on Spotify include a ‘Fans Also Like’ tab, showing a range of artists considered to be similar to them. How does it work? Well, yes, it’s based on who fans of that artist also like, but Spotify has published a blog post outlining its methodology in a little more detail. “The more fans two […]

Spotify’s relationship with publishers hits the rocks – again

A new Spotify / music publishing story broke on Friday, but there’s a bigger picture here: the increasingly-dispiriting story of the streaming service’s approach towards the publishing community, as well as the perception of Spotify by those publishers and songwriters. At a time when recorded-music revenues are going from strength to strength, what’s happening around […]

Spotify CEO says Libra currency could help listeners ‘pay artists directly’

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a new blockchain-powered currency called Libra, and a digital wallet for it called Calibra. Spotify was among the companies backing the plans by becoming a founder member of the independent Libra Association. Now Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has been talking about his hopes for Libra, including the suggestion that it […]

Spotify explains why it’s backing Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

The recent leaks were correct: music-streaming Spotify is on board as one of the first backers of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency. The social network will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020, complete with a wallet developed by the company’s new Calibra subsidiary. And backing all this is The Libra Association, which Facebook says will […]

Spotify will now help advertisers target podcast listeners

Spotify’s latest feature for brands advertising on its service is ‘podcast listener targeting’. It launched in 10 countries on Friday: the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. “With this feature, enterprise brand marketers will be able to reach Spotify Free users who have listened to podcasts on Spotify, verified by […]

Report claims Spotify is backing Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Facebook has quietly (bar the odd leak) been working on its own cryptocurrency initiative for some time now. Reports suggest it will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 17 June), complete with a consortium of partners offering governance for Facebook’s new coin, called The Libra Association. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that financial firms including […]

Spotify rolls out its new Library design to premium users

Some Spotify subscribers have had its mobile app’s redesigned ‘Your Library’ screen for a while now, but as of yesterday it began rolling out to all of the service’s premium users. As we reported before, the screen now has two main tabs, ‘Music’ and ‘Podcasts’, with the latter providing an easier way for people to […]

Spotify targets US commuters with playlist of podcasts and music

Spotify has unveiled its latest algo-personalised playlist, Your Daily Drive, which is aimed at commuters in the US. “Music and news” is its thing: a mixture of familiar and new songs based on the tastes of each listener, but also “short-form podcast news updates” from outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NPR and PRI. Spotify says […]

Swedish data-protection authority launches Spotify GDPR investigation

There may be trouble brewing for Spotify in its home country, with the Swedish data-protection authority (Datainspektionen) launching a review of how Spotify handles requests for people to see what information it holds about them. “The authority has become aware that there may be some shortcomings in how the company handles registry extracts, including that […]

Spotify criticised for its ‘big mood machine’ business

Journalist Liz Pelly has emerged as one of the more thoughtful (without pulling any punches) critics of Spotify: for example her examination of the gender skews of its big playlists last June, or her look at the ‘streambait pop’ sound last December. Her latest article takes aim at Spotify’s “Big Mood Machine” – the service’s ecosystem of mood-focused playlists – and […]

Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam on board for Spotify Viva Latino gig

Spotify’s efforts to take its big playlist brands into the physical world continue. On 30 August, it will hold the latest in its ‘¡Viva Latino! Live’ series of concerts, based on its flagship Latin playlist. Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam will headline the concert in Miami. It’s also the first time that ‘superfans’ of the […]

Spotify repeats ‘Sound Up’ podcasts program for women of colour

Last year, Spotify ran a New York accelerator program called ‘SoundUp’ for women of colour with ambitions to launch their own podcasts. It has since been repeated elsewhere in the world. Now it’s heading back to New York for its second year. 10 women will be chosen for the five-day program, with a panel of […]

Goldman Sachs: annual streaming revenues will be $37.2bn in 2030

When Goldman Sachs published its ‘Music In The Air’ report in 2017, predicting trade revenues from paid streaming of $28bn by 2030, it sparked excitement and controversy in equal measure – the latter once people wondered which Goldman Sachs clients would most benefit from sky-high predictions. Keep your pinch of salt handy, then, for the […]

Dina LaPolt gives Spotify a roasting over songwriter royalties appeal

The ears of senior Spotify execs will surely have been burning this afternoon, as veteran lawyer Dina LaPolt took the company to task in her Midem keynote over its appeal against new songwriter royalty rates in the US. Spotify was not the only streaming service to appeal: Pandora, Amazon and Google are too. But LaPolt, […]

Are Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube the new record labels?

Spotify is signing direct licensing deals with some artists and testing the ability to allow others to upload directly to its platform. YouTube and Apple Music are creating content and putting marketing budget behind artists. And Apple Music has also acquired Platoon, the British startup which helped a number of emerging artists to develop, including […]

Music streaming in 2019: radio rivalry, Spotify sustainability and ‘west versus east’

Streaming was the big driver behind the recorded-music industry’s 9.7% growth in 2018, according to the IFPI. In fact, streaming revenues grew by 34% to $8.9bn, accounting for 47% of the global total. At the end of 2018, there were 255 million users of paid streaming subscriptions, up from 176 million at the end of 2017. […]

Spotify / Hulu bundle signups end in the US for everyone except students

Spotify launched its first bundled subscription with video-streaming service Hulu in the US in September 2017, for $4.99 a month. The company later rolled it out as a $12.99-a-month option for all American customers in April 2018, then dropped the price to $9.99 a month in March this year. Now a surprise: Spotify has ended […]

Old Town Road takes top spot in YouTube’s global songs chart

Remember when Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ was very much a US thing, with the controversy over whether it qualified for the country-music charts? Now it’s absolutely a global thing: last week, it dislodged K-Pop stars Blackpink from the top of YouTube’s global top-songs chart. ‘Old Town Road’ generated 73.6m views on YouTube in the […]

Spotify Car Thing hardware streams music and podcasts to drivers

Spotify has unveiled its first hardware: a voice-controlled speaker for cars that will stream music and podcasts. However, ‘Car Thing’ isn’t a commercial product… yet. Instead, the speaker is being used for a test in the US with “a small group of invited Spotify Premium users” according to the streaming service. Those people will install […]

Spotify encourages artists to create their own podcasts

“Do You Need Your Own Podcast?” asks Spotify’s latest blog post aimed at artists. The tone of the article is clearly encouraging them to give it a go, ideally via Spotify’s own Anchor podcast-creation app, which it acquired earlier this year. “A podcast is a great way to establish your personality as an artist and expand […]

Spotify in India: ‘Our job is to grow the market’

It isn’t easy being Spotify. It’s harder being Spotify in India, a country where the launch of the world’s number one audio-streaming service has been the subject of much speculation and controversy. Now that’s it here, without most of the Warner Music Group catalogue and that of Saregama, India’s oldest record label that owns the […]

Spotify’s Soundtrap cloud-studio moves into podcast creation

Soundtrap is the cloud music-studio startup that Spotify acquired in November 2017. Since then, the tool has continued to develop, including partnerships with schools and collaborations between emerging artists. Now it’s also part of Spotify’s push into podcasts, with the launch of something called Soundtrap for Storytellers. Spotify is describing it as “a cloud-based one-stop shop […]

Spotify tests ‘Storyline’ feature for artists’ stories

There’s a flurry of headlines along the lines of ‘Spotify tests its own version of stories’ today, referring to the ephemeral posts that have become the driving force for apps like Instagram and Snapchat. That’s not quite the case: Spotify *is* testing a new feature called ‘Storyline’, but it’s not about the company’s 217 million […]

Spotify launches its stripped-down ‘Lite’ app in India

Having signed up more than two million users in India after its recent launch there, Spotify has now made its Spotify Lite app available in the country too. It’s a stripped-down version of Spotify’s smartphone app which is just 11MB in file-size, and is designed to be used in “slow network conditions”. The app has been […]

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber break Spotify daily-streams record

This is one of those figures we’re slightly cautious about, as it doesn’t come directly from the streaming service in question. But it does seem as if ‘I Don’t Care’, the new track from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, has set a new record for single-day streams on Spotify. That’s based on a figure shown this […]

NMPA boss fires new shot at Spotify by comparing it to Uber

Uber went public on Friday, and the event spurred David Israelite, the boss of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US, to voice his latest criticism of Spotify. “Question: what are the differences between Uber and Spotify? Both are tech cos (not transportation/music cos). Both lose money. Both went public and enriched owners […]

Spotify tests making podcasts more prominent in mobile app

Spotify is testing a design tweak to its mobile app that gives podcasts more prominence in the ‘library’ screen for its listeners. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the new layout involves two main tabs at the top of the screen to switch between ‘Music’ and ‘Podcasts’, with sections for new episodes of shows that you follow; shows that […]

How music companies are gaming streaming with “playlist stuffing”

Kieron Donoghue – founder of Humble Angel Records and former VP of global playlists strategy and curation at Warner Music – has been blogging about the trend of “playlist stuffing” that he has been spotting on streaming services. As songs qualify as a stream and, therefore, a payment after 30 seconds, he says a key tactic has […]

Music service Wynk loses statutory licensing case in India

A judge in the Bombay High Court in India has ruled against streaming and download service Wynk in its long-running licensing dispute with record company Tips Industries. It is a protracted story but, in brief, Tips and Wynk had failed to agree licensing terms back in 2017 and this saw Tips requesting that its catalogue of […]

EU to formally investigate Apple following Spotify’s anti-trust complaint

It is a dispute that has been brewing for a long time and which went public in recent months. Now, according to the FT, the European Union is preparing to formally investigate Spotify-led anti-trust complaints about Apple and its App Store. In brief, Spotify is arguing that Apple is “tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors” […]

Spotify is testing voice-enabled ads in the US

When we think about smart speakers and voice control, we tend to think about people controlling music. But there’s also potential for them to be interacting with advertisements too. Spotify has announced that it is testing ‘voice-enabled’ ads in the US for some of its free listeners. For now, the ads are for content on […]

Research project compares Spotify and radio for breaking hits

A few years ago, Spotify UK was urging labels to adopt an ‘on air, on stream’ policy with new tracks – meaning that as soon as they were played on the radio, they should be available on streaming services too. In 2019, the notion that this was ever even a debate may seem bizarre, but […]

PRS for Music boss Robert Ashcroft talks growth, YouTube and Fortnite

“Maybe what I’ll say is this: I’ve done 10 years of this. I’m going to let someone else take on the internecine warfare that seems to be endemic to the music industry!” Even when he’s playing a straight bat to a sensitive question – in this case, one about whether songwriters deserve a bigger slice of […]

Spotify now has 100 million premium subscribers

Spotify has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2019, including a significant milestone: 100 million premium subscribers. That’s up from 96 million at the end of 2018. and 75 million a year ago. Spotify now has 217 million monthly active users overall, so its ‘conversion rate’ is now just over 46%, up […]

Paramore star complains about Spotify / Genius lyrics feature

Spotify’s partnership with Genius to provide ‘Behind the Lyrics’ information for tracks is pretty cool, eh? Well, not so much if you’re an artist who disagrees with the information that’s being presented. Hayley Williams of Paramore is one example: she took to Twitter this week to complain about the notes for the band’s track ‘Hard Times’. @spotify […]

Blood on the Dance Floor music is removed from Spotify

Electro band Blood on the Dance Floor’s music has been removed from Spotify, after the streaming service decided that it flouted the company’s policies on hate content. That’s an important point, as the news comes as the band’s frontman Dahvie Vanity (real name: Jesus David Torres) is facing accusations of sexual assault from at least […]

European Parliament approves new ‘platform-to-business’ rules

The European Parliament has voted to approve its *other* big piece of new legislation that has significant implications for the music industry. That would be new regulations “to improve fairness and transparency of online platforms” – referred to as ‘platform-to-business’ legislation for short. The rules will apply to technology companies running online platforms of all kinds: search […]

Sandbox Issue 226: What people just don’t “get” about digital marketing

Lead: what digital marketing trends are most underrated or simply misunderstood in 2019? That’s the question we put to the music marketing community and got them to hold forth on the subject. This resulted in a lot of ideas and a lot of new paths for marketing this year and beyond. Campaigns: TikTok goes all […]

Fuga joins preferred-distributor lists of Spotify and Apple Music

Spotify and Apple Music have both updated their lists of ‘preferred’ music distributors in recent weeks, with Fuga the prominent new addition to both. The company is now listed alongside The Orchard as a “preferred label distributor” for Spotify, which (in the company’s words) “meet our highest standards for providing quality metadata and protecting against infringement”. Meanwhile, […]

Julian Casablancas discards Spotify and Apple Music utterly, begrudgingly praises YouTube

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Cult Records has been speaking to Billboard about his various music projects, his record label and dealing with the creative process. But buried in the middle of the interview he talks about his dislike and distrust of most streaming services – and what their rise means for artists and labels. “In […]

“The music industry has always been excluding the vast majority of its potential”: Daniel Ek on Spotify’s past, present and future

Speaking on the Freakonomics Podcast (which handily also transcribed the interview), Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder and CEO, spoke at length about the streaming service’s history, its future plans and its relationship with both musicians and music industry. He talked about his past and why growing up in Sweden in the 1990s – and the country’s […]

Spotify Ad Studio adds advanced streaming conversion metrics

A new post on the Spotify for Artists blog outlines updates to the Spotify Ad Studio feature where clients will get access to a new set of streaming conversion metrics that can show how users on the service’s free tier respond to their audio ads. “How many people who heard your ad checked out your music on […]

The Chris Bevington Foundation aims to transform lives through music

Two years ago, Chris Bevington – Spotify’s director of global partnerships and business development – was one of four people tragically killed in a terrorist attack in Stockholm city centre. A further 15 people were injured in the incident. The Chris Bevington Foundation has been set up in memory of Chris with the aim of […]

Polyglot marketing: streaming’s many and varied global battle lines

The IFPI’s global sales figures for 2018 were, once again, all about streaming driving the industry’s recovery. The overall market was up 9.7% (both downloads and physical declined sharply), while streaming jumped 34% and now makes up 46.9% of revenues globally. The jostling for dominance in this booming market is something that will continue apace, […]

Spotify’s Austin Daboh says playlists need more diversity

Should some of Spotify’s big playlists be more diverse in terms of the artists featured on them? Yes… says Spotify’s head of music, culture and editorial in the UK, Austin Daboh. He was talking at radio DJ Annie Mac’s London conference on Friday about diversity. “I think it starts from the team. On my team […]

The Battle of Billie Eilish: Spotify, Apple and YouTube scrap it out

Original content is a big strategic focus for the major streaming services in 2019, as is ‘claiming’ as many rapidly-emerging artists as possible, in terms of creating said original-content for and with them. Billie Eilish, whose debut album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is out today, looks set to become one […]

BBC hopes to compete with Apple and Spotify for UK podcast listening

British broadcaster the BBC has just published its ‘annual plan’ for the next year, outlining its strategic priorities. One of them is its BBC Sounds app, which the corporation says has now been downloaded more than 1.8m times in the UK, and attracts a weekly audience of more than one million listeners. “A major part of our […]

Report 422: Playlisting’s next leap forward

Playlists have been referred to as everything from the new album, the new compilation, the new greatest hits, through to the new radio, the new MTV and more. Whether you’re a pop act trying to build a truly global audience or just trying to make a living from making mood music, if you’re not on […]

Spotify’s EMEA comms director Alison Bonny is leaving

The latest executive to depart Spotify is its comms director for EMEA, Alison Bonny, after nearly eight years at the streaming service. Bonny joined the company shortly before it launched in the US in 2011, and has since been a prominent figure on the communications and PR side of the business, as it launched in […]

Publishers planning own ‘town hall’ event on CRB rates appeals

Spotify is rumoured (although not, as yet, confirmed) to be holding some ‘town-hall’ events to explain to songwriters why it’s appealing against new royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalties Board (CRB). Now publishing/songwriting bodies the NMPA and NSAI are planning their own event to tackle the topic from their perspective. It’ll take place […]

Some of Spotify’s programmed playlists will now be personalised

Until now, there’s been a clear split within Spotify’s own playlists: some are programmed by humans – the streaming service’s editorial team – and others by algorithms: its personalised playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix. Now those boundaries are blurring: some of Spotify’s human-curated playlists will now be getting a dash of […]

Report: JioSaavn slashes annual subscription price by 75%

Will Spotify’s launch in India trigger a price war among competing music-subscription services? It’s possible: JioSaavn has just slashed the price of its annual JioSaavn Pro subscription by as much as 75%. That’s according to a report on the website NewsBytes. “Previously, the plan was available at Rs. 999/year, but now, you can get the same […]

eMarketer claims Spotify US will overtake Pandora by 2021

Last August, research firm eMarketer predicted that Spotify would overtake Pandora to become the most popular (audio) music-streaming service in the US by 2022. Now that company has revised its prediction, in Spotify’s favour. “According to our latest forecast on digital music listeners, Spotify will surpass Pandora in terms of users by 2021—one year sooner than we predicted […]

Apple Music hails Billie Eilish, throws more shade at Spotify

There’s a really interesting stat in the latest profile of Apple Music’s work with artists: more than 800,000 of its users have already pre-added Billie Eilish’s new album, which comes out next week. Pre-adds being Apple Music’s version of ‘pre-saves’ on other streaming services – and which unlike those rivals, is built in to its […]

Apple hits back at ‘misleading rhetoric’ of Spotify anti-trust complaint

Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission over Apple’s stewardship of its App Store earlier this week, but now Apple has hit back with a statement criticising Spotify’s “misleading rhetoric” – including jabs at the streaming service’s recent appeal against new songwriter-royalty rates in the US. “At its core, the App Store is a […]

Gimlet Media staff plan to unionise after Spotify acquisition

Fresh from being bought by Spotify, the staff of podcasting firm Gimlet Media have announced plans to unionise – which would make them the first US podcasting company to do so. “As Spotify’s reported $230 million acquisition of Gimlet makes clear, however, Gimlet is no longer the small, scrappy operation memorably documented on the first […]

Spotify files complaint with European Commission against Apple

Spotify is filing a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the latter company of anticompetitive behaviour in the way it manages its App Store, and thus gives its own Apple Music streaming service an advantage over rivals. “In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and […]

Spotify sees label-relations and editorial teams working closer

Spotify wants its editorial and artist and label-relations teams to work “more in alignment” in the future, at least in the Nordic territories: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. That’s according to Johan Seidefors, head of content, Nordic, at Spotify. He was talking in the streaming service’s session at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last […]

US publishers slam streaming services over CRB rates appeal

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US has given Amazon and Spotify both barrels over their decision to appeal against the recent songwriter royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Yet it seems other companies are also appealing. Spotify, Google and Pandora have confirmed that they have asked the US Court of […]

Western artists prove popular in Spotify’s early days in India

Spotify had more than one million people using its service in India a week after launch, but what were they listening to? The company shed some light on that last night in a blog post. “What we found is that Indians are starting off strong by listening to musicians and tracks from around the globe, with […]

Spotify talks pitching, artists and podcasts in the Nordics

Spotify wants its editorial and artist and label-relations teams to work “more in alignment” in the future, at least in the Nordic territories: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. That’s according to Johan Seidefors, head of content, Nordic, at Spotify. He was talking in the streaming service’s session at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last […]

Spotify podcast plans: discovery, experiments and ‘superpowers’

We know Spotify is splashing up to $500m on podcast acquisitions this year, but the company’s wider strategy around spoken-word content is also coming together. The Verge has done a good job of bringing together the various strands of Spotify’s plans, including recent comments from various executives. It includes the company’s determination to bring its music-discovery algorithms […]

Publishing body ICMP backs WMG over Spotify India dispute

Spotify is live in India, but its dispute with Warner Music Group continues, over the way it sought a statutory licence for works owned (partially or wholly) by publisher Warner/Chappell. Now the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) has weighed in to the row, firmly on the side of Warner/Chappell. “Music publishers worldwide work in […]

Spotify has 1m users in India one week after launch

Spotify launched in India last week, amid a controversy surrounding its licensing – and a legal injunction filed by Warner Music Group. That row continues, but how is the Indian launch going otherwise? Spotify has confirmed to Music Ally that a week after launch, it now has more than one million users in India. That’s […]

Spotify publishes diversity stats for Norwegian popular music

As part of the by:Larm festival last week, Spotify published some stats on the gender diversity of the 50 most-streamed songs in Norway last year. Spoiler: the stats were pretty discouraging. “Of 203 songwriters behind the 50 most streamed songs of 2018, only 11,3% were women, and only one of the 83 producers behind the […]

Another TV veteran joins Spotify to focus on original content

Spotify continues to look towards the television industry for executives capable of supercharging its push into podcasts and other non-music content. Having Dawn Ostroff from TV network Lifetime to be its chief content officer, Spotify has now returned to that company to recruit programming executive Liz Gately. Billboard reports that she’ll take a role as head of […]

In India ‘the scale opportunity is telco bundles’

Reading a report about India earlier this week, we spotted a reference to the music-streaming market there needing to go beyond subscriptions and advertising for its revenues. How, though? Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its answer: telcos. “To unlock the scale opportunity, streaming has to look beyond subscriptions, and also beyond ad supported,” claimed founder […]

Podcasts app Pocket Casts is launching an Amazon Alexa skill

For people who aren’t using iTunes or Spotify to get their podcasts, Pocket Casts is one of the better independent podcast apps. Now it’s making an interesting leap from smartphones to smart speakers, courtesy of its new Alexa skill. “You can play any of your podcasts by name, ‘Alexa, ask Pocket Casts to play the latest […]

Spotify cites Conner Youngblood as playlist-submission success

Spotify was recently under fire for the way playlist-pitching works for labels on its platform, but the company sees the playlists-submission tool it launched in July 2018 as a positive for artists. Its latest blog post outlines how the tool has worked for one artist, Nashville-based Conner Youngblood. After submitting his track ‘The Birds of Finland’ using Spotify’s tool, it […]

Lost Girls open by:Larm with ‘Chill List’ critique of music-streaming culture

Lost Girls is the musical duo formed by artists Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden. They opened the by:Larm conference in Oslo today with an original commission, ‘Chill List’, which zeroed in on the impact streaming-playlist culture is having on artists and their music. The piece blended music with Hval’s (spoken) words, which were also shown […]

Court ruling emerges as Warner Music calls Spotify’s comments ‘appalling’

An Indian court has made its ruling on Warner Music Group’s application for an injunction as part of its dispute with Spotify over publishing licensing in the country. Does the ruling settle the matter one way or the other? Unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. Here’s Spotify’s statement, sent out to journalists this morning: “We’re pleased with today’s […]

Around 91m Americans may be listening to podcasts every week

“We’re entering the Golden Age of Podcasts” claims a headline on a blog post by Chartable, a company that focuses on podcast analytics. This is based on an online survey conducted by the company recently, which aims to track some trends in the US podcasting market. Among them: 10.8% of respondents report listening to podcasts every […]

Spotify launches exclusive black-history merchandise line

Spotify is launching a line of merchandise around its Black History is Happening Now initiative. “Rooted in modern music merch culture, the line is made up of a hoodie, jogger, pin, messenger bag, and several t-shirts,” explained the announcement of the limited-edition collection. It’ll be shown off this weekend at a pop-up exhibition in New York, with […]

Spotify’s ‘Word’ category highlights spoken-word content

Spotify has made it clear that podcasts are just its first push into non-music content, so what’s next? A blog post by the company highlighting its ‘Word’ category offers some hints. “A category home to recordings of everything from poetry to guided meditation, audiobooks, and short stories,” as the post puts it.  We floated the idea of […]

Spotify paid €300m for Gimlet Media and Anchor acquisitions

When Spotify announced that it was buying podcast companies Gimlet Media and Anchor, it declined to say how much it was paying, other than that they were part of a wider $400m-$500m earmarked for podcast acquisitions. “We’re not commenting on that today, because we have other transactions in the works, and I don’t want transactions […]

Pitch imperfect: ‘This process of trying to get on playlists is becoming borderline farcical’

Playlists continue to grow in prominence (within the music-streaming world) and importance (for artists looking for their breakout moment). So what are the latest trends that artists, managers and labels should be thinking about and responding to? A panel at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam today explored them. The panelists included Aditi Arora, director of […]

Study: Spotify is now installed on 33% of Dutch smartphones

Mobile-industry research site Telecompaper has published some new figures on the popularity of music-streaming apps in the Netherlands. It pegs Spotify as the leader, with its app now installed on 33% of Dutch smartphones, according to the company’s latest Dutch Apps Market report. It suggests that Apple Music, on 5%, is some way behind. Telecompaper also […]

Spotify Teardown authors call for Facebook-style scrutiny

The team of Swedish researchers behind new book ‘Spotify Teardown’ have already roused the ire of the streaming service, which criticised their methods of digging in to its system. But with the book on the verge of release, the authors have given an interview to Rolling Stone that puts forward their view. “The issue became: How does one […]

Spotify and Deezer attack ‘unfair practices’ of tech firms’

Much of the limelight in terms of European policy is being hogged by the new copyright directive and Article 13 this week. However, a group of European tech firms and industry bodies want to remind policymakers of another area for modernisation: that covering ‘platform-to-business’ – how large internet platform-owners like Google, Apple and Amazon treat European businesses […]

Spotify gets Chuck D for eight-part podcast about The Clash

It was clear last week just how much welly Spotify is willing to put behind podcasts in the year ahead, with up to $500m earmarked for acquisitions of tech and content – including its deals for Gimlet Media and Anchor. Now Spotify has announced details of its next original, exclusive podcast: an eight-part documentary called […]

Vodafone Idea mulls new music-streaming strategy in India

We’ve written a lot about Indian streaming services Gaana, Saavn (now JioSaavn) and Wynk Music over the last couple of years. Their next source of competition may come from telco Vodafone, which recently merged with another Indian mobile operator, Idea Cellular. The latter company already has its Idea Music app, which combines streaming, downloading, playlists […]

Spotify to crack down on listeners using ad-blocking tools

Spotify’s latest update to its terms and conditions of use was published yesterday (7 February), and one of the new clauses is picking up some interest from tech-news sites. New to the list of forbidden activities for Spotify users: “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in […]

Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?

Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016. Investor interest […]

Spotify buys podcasting firms Gimlet Media and Anchor

Rumours that Spotify was about to shell out $200m-plus on podcast production company Gimlet Media were correct: the acquisition was announced today. But Spotify is also buying a second company, Anchor, which makes an app that people can use to create their own podcasts. The value of the acquisitions has not yet been announced (Spotify […]

Spotify financial results: revenues up by 30% as premium subs reach 96m

Spotify has published its latest quarterly financial results, covering the final quarter of 2018. The post Spotify financial results: revenues up by 30% as premium subs reach 96m appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Research firm predicts Spotify added 2m US subscribers in Q4

Spotify announces its latest quarterly financial results on 6 February, but research firm CIRP has got in early with some predictions – based on (caveat alert!) a survey of 500 Spotify listeners in the US. It reckons that Spotify added two million paying premium subscribers in the US during the final quarter of 2018, while […]

Spotify’s Ad Studio is its fastest-growing advertising channel

Spotify has been banging the drum this week for Spotify Ad Studio, its self-serve advertising platform that launched in September 2017, and is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The company now says it’s Spotify’s “fastest-growing advertising channel” (based on quarterly revenue and advertiser growth). “We’ve already seen success with a variety of […]

Spotify CEO joins protest against EU digital-revenues tax

It’s not just Article 13 and new copyright legislation causing controversy within the European Union. The EU could also be in line for a new law involving a 3% tax on the European revenues of technology companies, although as Bloomberg reports, several countries are resisting the idea. As is Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, according to […]

Spotify bars ads from right-wing organisation PragerU

Thought for the day: “Women want real men, men they can count on and yes, look up to. No amount of feminist theory will change that.” Or here’s another one: “Intersectionality is a form of identity politics, in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to.” And just […]

The curious tale of Spotify, ‘mysterycore’ artists and (possibly) fake streams

Spotify’s ‘2018 Wrapped’ promotion had plenty of people boasting about how much time they’d spent listening to their favourite artists last year. But for some Spotify users, the Wrapped microsite was more baffling: if some of their ‘favourite’ artists were acts they had no memory of listening to. An investigation by the BBC Trending team […]

Spotify’s artist-block feature isn’t just about R. Kelly

When news emerged that Sony’s RCA label had parted ways with R. Kelly, campaigning group UltraViolet called on Spotify and other streaming services to (once again) take action against this particular star. Yet the memory of last year’s controversy when Spotify *did* de-playlist Kelly (and rapper XXXTentacion) for ‘hateful conduct’ outside their music remains fresh. […]

Ariana Grande takes Spotify single-day streams record

It ain’t Christmas any more, Mariah! Ariana Grande has seized the Spotify 24-hour-streams record that Mariah Carey snaffled in December. The latter’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ was streamed 10.8m times on Christmas Eve, but now Grande’s new track ‘7 Rings’ has the record, after nearly 15m streams in the 24 hours after […]

Podcast listening on Spotify grew by 175% in 2018

Spotify’s push around podcasts at the CES technology show last week included the release of some new figures about how people are listening to this content on its service. “On Spotify, we saw listening increase by 175% over the last year,” explained the company in a post on its Spotify for Brands blog. And yes, […]

Report claims Spotify could launch in India this month

We’ve been expecting Spotify to launch in India sometime in the spring, based on previous gossip from industry sources. However, Variety reckons the streaming service could go live even earlier than that – as soon as this month. “Spotify is rumored to be hosting a launch party in Mumbai on January 31, which means they’re […]

Spotify India launch plans heat up with T-Series… and Samsung?

Indian music company T-Series still hasn’t managed to knock gamer PewDiePie off his perch as YouTube’s most-subscribed-to channel: it’s on 80.5 million subs at the time of writing, compared to PewDiePie’s 80.9 million. Given their respective growth over the past year, it seems only a matter of time before T-Series is top dog – but […]

Spotify reveals more about its podcast plans in 2019

Besides having a party with posh food and Rita Ora, Spotify’s presence at the CES technology show in Las Vegas this week has seen podcasts loom large. We reported earlier this week on its announcement of a new, exclusive deal with journalist and broadcaster Jemele Hill to launch a new podcast on Spotify. Now the […]

Spotify signs former ESPN host Jemele Hill for new podcast

Jemele Hill used to be a host on sports TV network ESPN, and was in the news herself last year when she tweeted that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists”. Hill left ESPN in September and subsequently joined The Atlantic, but now she’s also signed a […]

Spotify opens Discover Weekly playlist up to brand sponsorship

Spotify has a new way for brands to spend money with the company: by sponsoring its Discover Weekly algo-personalised playlist on the streaming service’s free tier. “For the first time, we are unlocking Discover Weekly for brands to sponsor this personalised moment end-to-end,” is how Spotify described the move. Microsoft is one of the first […]

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