Spotify tests ‘What’s New’ section to highlight new releases

Spotify has a few ways to let its listeners know about new releases by artists that they like, including the Release Radar playlist (for individual tracks); its ‘marquee’ tool that pops up sometimes to alert them to new albums; and a ‘New Releases’ section that isn’t that personalised. Now the streaming service is trying something […]

Could RapCaviar ‘cash in’ as an independent entity from Spotify?

We’ll be honest: the likelihood of Spotify spinning out its RapCaviar playlist rather than keeping the brand to itself is slim. Yet writer Dan Runcie’s Trapital blog has published a thought-provoking post on how and why RapCaviar might work as a standalone company that still collaborates closely with its parent. “Both Spotify and RapCaviar would thrive with […]

Wear Where? Spotify app coming to Google Wear OS

Apple Music has full integration with the Apple Watch and now its biggest rival wants in on the smart device action. Spotify has announced that from next month its app for Wear OS, the Google-owned operating system for smartwatches and other wearable devices (previously known as Android Wear), will go live. In short, this will allow […]

Spotify invests in DistroKid as part of new distribution partnership

Spotify recently announced that it would be testing a direct-uploads tool with some artists, enabling them to get their music onto its service without a distributor or label. Now the company has expanded the initiative to help those artists distribute to rival services, via a partnership with distributor DistroKid – including Spotify making a “passive […]

Spookify: YouTube ad for Spotify pulled after being deemed too distressing for children

The Advertising Standards Authority has taken issue with an ad run by Spotify in June this year on YouTube that drew on the tropes of horror films, claiming that the tone, the setting and the narrative events were “particularly likely” to scare younger viewers. In short, the ad showed a spooky doll menacing children if […]

Tencent Music IPO on hold amid market turbulence?

There has been growing excitement and anticipation around the planned IPO of Chinese mega-company Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TMEG). At the start of the month it even filed its IPO documents which gave a revealing insight into the company, its business models and its growth targets (as well as confirming that Sony and WMG have […]

Albums in the streaming era: ‘Just think of it as a blank canvas for telling stories’

Streaming is a world of tracks and playlists rather than albums, right? An event in London last night organised by British industry bodies the BPI and ERA promised to explore the role of the album in the streaming era, including some stats and views pushing back on the assumption that it doesn’t have one. Added […]

Spotify now pays music rightsholders $288m every month

Spotify is ten years old today as a consumer service, having launched on 10 October 2008. Among the stats being put out to celebrate the anniversary is a new figure for payouts. “As of August 31, 2018, we have paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch,” announced Spotify this morning. That’s up €2bn […]

Spotify UK financials reveal growth in advertising revenues

Spotify’s UK subsidiary has published its financial results for 2017, and at first glance there’s a shock: revenues *down* by 55% year-on-year to £107.1m ($140.1m). However, that’s because Spotify started processing British listeners’ subscription payments through Spotify AB in Sweden – hence only £1.7m of subscription income is included in the 2017 UK results, compared to […]

Facebook Portal smart speakers include Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio partnerships

Facebook has finally unveiled its first two smart speakers: the Portal and Portal+. Well, we say smart ‘speakers’ – like Amazon’s Echo Show, these devices have screens built in too. Facebook’s new devices are available initially in the US, pre-orderable from today and shipping in November. They use Amazon’s Alexa for their voice-control features, while […]

Sandbox Issue 213: Single-Minded. What Actually is a Single in 2018?

Lead: what exactly is a single in 2018? When any song can technically take on a life of its own now, there is a dizzying diversification in what could count as a single. We work through the main 14 (14!) types of “single” we have identified, explain how they work and also how they can […]

Yoko Ono to hold ‘Imagine Global Listening Event’ with Spotify

Tomorrow (9 October) would have been John Lennon’s 78th birthday if he was still alive. Yoko Ono is set to mark the anniversary of her late husband and musical collaborator with a ‘global listening event’ based on the album ‘Imagine’. Or, to be specific, ‘Imagine – The Ultimate Collection’ – a new remastered version of […]

Confirmed: Ministry of Sound shifts its playlists to Apple Music

We alluded to this in yesterday’s story about Sony Music boss Rob Stringer’s comments about Spotify and streaming, but it’s worth a standalone piece. The post Confirmed: Ministry of Sound shifts its playlists to Apple Music appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

$321.3m copyright infringement case against Spotify continues

Bluewater Music Services Corp. has been given the go-ahead to continue its copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify, despite the streaming service’s attempt to get the case struck down. A Tennessee federal court denied that, according to Law360. “Spotify said that under the language of the administrator agreements involving the songs, Bluewater has not obtained either exclusive […]

Spotify Co.Lab events will teach musicians about the industry

First direct-licensing deals, then a direct-uploads tool in testing. Now there’s another way Spotify is working with artists directly, although this is focused more on education. The company has launched a new series of events branded as Co.Lab. It’s described thus: “A new Spotify for Artists event series designed to connect you with experts from across […]

Spotify creates pop-up exhibition for Ariana Grande in New York

From shoppable Snapchat lenses to location-based treasure hunts to ticketing/album bundles, the campaign for Ariana Grande’s latest album ‘Sweetener’ has been pulling out plenty of digital stops. Now it’s doing something else interesting in the real world, backed by Spotify. The streaming service is building an “immersive exhibit” inspired by the album, which will be […]

Spotify and Deezer lobby for EU ‘platform-to-business’ law

The new European copyright directive has a few steps to go before becoming law yet, but there’s another piece of in-progress European legislation to keep an eye on. It’s called the ‘platform-to-business’ law (P2B for short) and will focus on fair treatment for European businesses that operate on large internet / technology platforms. Such as […]

Distributors start to respond to Spotify’s direct-uploads tool

You’ll hopefully have seen our story yesterday on Spotify’s new tests of a tool for artists to directly upload their music to its platform – including our thoughts on why it’s less a distributor-killer, and more just the latest reason why those companies need to focus on added-value services for their artist clients. The post […]

Spotify tests tool for artists to upload their music directly

Spotify is testing a tool that will enable independent artists and labels to upload their music directly to the streaming service, without having to go through a distributor. The company has quietly been testing this tool with a few DIY artists and small labels, but is now opening it up to “a few hundred” US-based […]

Sandbox Issue 212: Packaged Goods. Bulking Up The Music Bundle

Lead: the recent spat between Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott over who should have been number 1 in the US is arguably less about ego (although there was some of that at stake) and more about the role bundling plays in boosting and maintaining album sales. Once a rare thing reserved for a few big […]

Spotify facing gender-discrimination lawsuit in the US

For a company that prides itself on its initiatives focused on diversity and gender-equality, Spotify won’t have enjoyed the overnight headlines about a lawsuit filed against the firm in New York. The lawsuit comes from Hong Perez, who worked as a sales executive for Spotify between 2015 and 2017, and accuses the company of gender […]

Spotify releases 17 tracks and 34 videos of Paul McCartney’s Abbey Road gig

Sir Paul McCartney is on track for his latest number-one album, and a carefully-planned promotional campaign has been playing its part. We wrote last week about plans for a livestreamed McCartney concert on YouTube, but then on Friday Spotify unveiled its own partnership with Sir Paul. It’s under the streaming service’s Spotify Singles brand, but went much […]

Spotify says non-US country streaming-share is up 21% since 2015

One of the themes Music Ally explored in our recent report on country music was how streaming is helping the genre and its emerging artists find new audiences abroad. Now Spotify has published a blog post on the trend to celebrate International Country Music Day. “While the bulk of country listening takes place in the US, we’ve […]

Spotify CFO on Apple: ‘It’s not a software culture: it’s a hardware culture’

Spotify’s chief financial officer Barry McCarthy delivered a blunt rejoinder to a question about the threat posed by big-tech rivals like Apple, during his interview at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference on Friday. “I don’t think anybody is making a bigger investment in tech required to be successful in our business than we are,” he said, […]

Duelling billboards as Apple and Spotify promote Nina Nesbitt

We’ve seen a few stories in recent years about artists being penalised (promotion-wise) on one streaming service because they’ve done a deal with another – Apple Music and Spotify usually being the cited services. Nicki Minaj’s recent criticism of Spotify for allegedly reining in its promotion for her new album ‘Queen’ after it debuted (slightly) […]

Camila Cabello hits 1bn Spotify streams for ‘Havana’

Congratulations to Camila Cabello, whose track ‘Havana’ has just reached the milestone of one billion Spotify streams. A landmark in itself, but what surprised us was that it’s the first time any woman has hit that number. The post Camila Cabello hits 1bn Spotify streams for ‘Havana’ appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Netflix joins Spotify in bypassing Apple in-app subscriptions

Netflix is testing changes to the way it charges iOS users for its monthly subscriptions – and that’s a move that will be of intense interest to the music-streaming world in the coming days and weeks. TechCrunch has the details, reporting that Netflix is testing a new subscription method in 33 countries where, instead of […]

Nicki Minaj hits out at Spotify after Queen album misses #1 in the US

Nicki Minaj isn’t happy with Spotify at all. But this isn’t an argument about royalties: it’s about her new album ‘Queen’ only getting to number two in the US chart in its week of release, with Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’ holding on to the top spot. According to Billboard, Scott’s album recorded 205k equivalent-album units last week […]

Can acts on direct deals with Spotify out-perform those on major labels?

There has been a lot of bellyaching, handwringing and bluster spoken about Spotify recently doing direct deals with artists. Is it a stealth move by Spotify to cut out labels entirely? If it is, it’s the biggest kamikaze play in history. Is it a tactical bartering chip for when Spotify has to renew its licensing […]

Spotify could overtake Pandora in the US by 2022; but is a ceiling being hit?

The latest forecast from eMarketer claims that a sharp growth in adoption of Spotify and a slowdown in the adoption of Pandora will see the former overtake the latter in the US within the next five years. The research company suggests that Pandora will have 75.9m users this year compared to 58.4m for Spotify (split […]

Sandbox Issue 210: Bounty Hunters. The Buried Treasure of Affiliate Marketing

Lead: Affiliate marketing in music used to mean taking a few pennies from download sales that you drove on iTunes or CDs that you pushed on Amazon. But with Apple Music offering significant bounties for driving subscriptions – one factor behind its reported overtaking of paying Spotify users in the US – the stakes have […]

UMG goes deeper with Apple on Deutsche Grammophon playlist initiative

  It is not quite picking favourites between Spotify and Apple Music, especially when it has equity in the former, but Universal Music Group has certainly been getting a lot closer with Apple Music in recent months. Its latest move is around classical, a genre that has been dramatically underserved by streaming to date. As […]

What is Social Music in the Streaming Age?

Music IS social, and it always has been. We talk (and argue!) about it; we watch concerts together; go clubbing together; experience it as a communal soundtrack for birthday parties and religious worship and much, much more… Any over-confident tech startup promising to ‘make music social’ is drunk on their own disruption. But of course, […]

Spotify is now Samsung’s ‘go-to’ music partner on its devices

Spotify has made its latest move in its battle with Apple, striking a partnership with the latter company’s fiercest rival in the smartphone space: Samsung. Spotify is now the “go-to music service provider” for Samsung, across its various devices, from smartphones and TVs to smart speakers. “Users can get excited about Spotify becoming part of […]

Drake hits 50bn streams milestone: here’s how that breaks down for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube

Universal Music’s Republic Records has announced the latest digital milestone for Drake: he’s “the first artist to surpass 50 billion streams across all global streaming platforms”. The news comes just a month after his latest album ‘Scorpion’ became the first album to rack up more than one billion streams in a single week. “Additional details […]

Amazon Prime Music may have overtaken Apple Music in UK

It’s been clear for some time that in terms of music subscribers, Amazon is now the third player globally behind Spotify and Apple Music. Could it have vaulted Apple Music into second place in the UK however? That’s the conclusion of the latest report from research firm Kantar Worldpanel as reported by Music Week. Its Entertainment Retail […]

New for Spotify: Google Clock deal and Archie motion-comics

Spotify already has a pretty close relationship with Google for integration into its Google Home family of smart speakers. Now the companies are collaborating on one of the most well-used apps on Android devices: its clock app. “Starting today, you’ll be able to wake up to your favourite music on Spotify with the Google Clock […]

Spotify flew Stormzy’s biggest UK fans to his birthday party

British artist Stormzy turned 25 last week, and celebrated with a birthday party on the island of Menorca. And, this being 2018, he celebrated by teaming up with Spotify to take some of his fans along. The streaming service identified the grime star’s top streamers in the UK on its premium tier and invited them […]

Troy Carter leaves Spotify – ‘It was the right time to move out’

Spotify’s global head of creator services Troy Carter is leaving the company in September, although he will be taking up an advisory role for the music-streaming service after he departs.  Music Ally understands that Spotify’s global head of shows and editorial, Nick Holmstén, will be assuming Carter’s duties in addition to his existing job, reporting […]

Spotify talks direct artist deals: ‘Licensing content doesn’t make us a label’

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has taken pains to reassure labels that the company’s direct-licensing deals with independent artists should not be seen as a threat to labels, tying it back to Spotify’s ‘two-sided marketplace’ strategy. “As a platform, we’ve always licensed music from rightsholders both large and small, and we will continue to license music […]

Spotify Q2 financials: 83m subscribers, revenues up 26% and a €394m net loss

Spotify has just published its financial results for the second quarter of 2018. The music-streaming service ended June with 180 million monthly active users, including 83 million subscribers. Those figures were up 30.4% and 40.7% respectively year-on-year, and up 5.9% and 10.7% respectively quarter-on-quarter. Spotify generated revenues of €1.27bn (around $1.49bn) in Q2 this year, […]

India seen as new point of leverage for labels over Spotify

Spotify has made it clear that India is one of its key priorities for global expansion, post going public. Yet reports that some of its rightsholder partners are holding off on the necessary licensing agreements won’t go away. This time it’s the Financial Times claiming that “the large record labels that control the music industry have not […]

Spotify falls foul of BTS Army with chopsticks-emoji tweet

And *that* is certainly a headline we couldn’t have envisaged writing when this bulletin started life 15 years ago, folks… Spotify probably thought it was having some light-hearted fun when it published a blog post called Five Artists That Can Help Us Decipher The Curious Language of Emoji last week. But a tweet promoting the piece saw the streaming […]

Motive Unknown boss talks marketing, merch and Spotify

In 2011, PIAS Group’s head of digital marketing Darren Hemmings left to set up his own consultancy, Motive Unknown. Originally conceived as a solo freelance affair, seven years on the company has expanded to six people, working with a range of artist, label and non-music clients. Hemmings talked to Music Ally about how music marketing […]

Spotify adds feature for pitching unreleased music to its playlist curators

Spotify has added a new feature to its back-end: the ability for artists and labels to submit unreleased songs for “playlist consideration” by its in-house team of curators. The feature goes live today in beta, as part of the company’s Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics tools. Spotify says that any artist, label, manager or […]

Sandbox Issue 208: Making Micro Waves

Lead: In an age of constant digital distractions, sometimes it is better to play the short game. We trace the rise of the micro ad and how it is being tailored to stand out when users are rapidly hopping and grazing across a variety of platforms. Can the “three-second rule” help advertising and marketing make its impact felt in a time of constant distractions? We look […]

Drake Scorpion takeover risks reminding Spotify users of Apple’s U2 overreach

“Drake’s new album Scorpion is currently being streamed over 10 million times per hour,” chirped Spotify’s official Twitter account on Friday. There hasn’t been an updated-stats tweet since, which is possibly explained by the announcement on the Twitter feed of Spotify’s greatest rival. “#Scorpion x Apple Music. The most streams in a single day, on any streaming […]

Spotify’s Danielle Lee talks brands, audio and diverse recruitment

“Music data, I think, is really unique. We really believe that we can extract unique insights based on how you stream. You can understand habits. You can understand moods, mindsets, tastes. And you can start to predict behaviour.” Danielle Lee is Spotify’s global head of partner solutions, charged with helping big brands tap in to […]

Study: Spotify Today’s Top Hits placement ‘worth up to $163k’

The latest study of Spotify claims that placement on the streaming service’s Today’s Top Hits playlist can be worth between $116k and $163k to an artist. The study was carried out by Luis Aguiar and Joel Waldfogel of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some highlights: “Appearing on Today’s Top Hits, a […]

Spotify on political resistance: ‘You have to choose what side of history you want to be on’

When Spotify launched its ‘I’m With The Banned’ campaign in July 2017, it was a surprising sign that the music-streaming service was willing to take political stands – in this case, against the Trump administration’s efforts to introduce a travel ban covering six predominantly-Muslim countries. Spotify’s chief marketing officer Seth Farbman hosted a panel at […]

Report claims Spotify will restore XXXTentacion to playlists

The last few weeks has seen the term ‘de-playlisted’ used regularly by Music Ally, thanks to Spotify’s new policy on hateful conduct. Now it seems we may have to add ‘re-playlisted’ into the mix. Bloomberg claims that rapper XXXTentacion could be on his way back to Spotify’s programmed and algorithmic playlists in the future, even if fellow […]

Should Spotify windfall lead majors to cancel unrecouped debts for legacy artists?

Musician Tom Gray of British band Gomez – currently firing up crowds on the 20th anniversary tour celebrating their ‘Bring It On’ album – has an idea for major labels about how to follow up their windfalls from Spotify’s public listing. In short: he thinks they should cancel the unrecouped debts of the legacy artists […]

Spotify gets exclusive videos from Taylor Swift and The Weeknd

We reported last Thursday on Apple Music adding a dedicated music-videos category. Just after we clocked off for Easter, Spotify launched its own salvo in what’s shaping up as a new battle for ‘exclusives’ between the two companies (not to mention YouTube and Vevo). Taylor Swift debuted a new vertical-orientation video for her track ‘Delicate’ […]

Report claims Apple’s music app has 49.5m users in the US

Research firm Verto Analytics has put out some new numbers comparing Apple Music and Spotify in the US, but it’s important to understand exactly what it’s measuring. And what it isn’t. “This month’s Verto Index looks at the top streaming music properties, from Apple Music to TuneIn Radio, among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above)” […]

Spotify and Genius team up for Déjà Vu music podcast

Spotify’s latest podcasts move is a partnership with lyrics-focused firm Genius. The companies have collaborated on a podcast called Déjà Vu, which launched yesterday. It’s a panel-based podcast discussing “the ways that modern hitmakers connect to the iconic musicians from the past who paved the way”, focusing on a different current star each episode. “Does […]

Spotify ‘super trials’ boost its quarterly subscriber gains

It’s hardly a shock to suggest that Spotify’s $1-for-three-months premium trials increase its subscribers. But Midia Research has calculated how much this boost is worth. “On average, Spotify’s global subscriber base grew by a net total of 2.8 million each quarter between Q4 2015 and Q4 2017 in the quarters that these ‘super trials’ were […]

Spotify expects to have up to 96m subscribers by Christmas

Spotify has published some guidance on its financial outlook for 2018, including predicting that it will have 92-96 million premium subscribers by the end of the year. That would represent annual growth of between 30% and 36% from the 71 million subscribers that Spotify ended 2017 with. The new guidance also suggests that Spotify is […]

Spotify gets a new in-car integration with Cadillac

I love you for your pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, riding in the back, streaming Discover Weekly down the street… Spotify’s latest partnership will put its service onto the dashboards of Cadillacs (not just pink ones) through their ‘infotainment’ systems. Spotify and Cadillac have designed the app with a car-friendly interface, as well as prioritising […]

Spotify and Deezer reveal latest artist partnerships

Spotify and Deezer have announced their latest artist-focused partnerships. For Spotify, that’s an initiative called ‘Louder Together’ which is an extension of its Spotify Singles program. The new thing isn’t just about getting artists in the studio to record covers, but rather about organising collaborations between different artists on original songs. Artists Sasha Sloan, Nina […]

10 key talking points from the Spotify investor day

Spotify held its ‘investor day’ event earlier this evening, revealing that it will go public on 3 April in the process. You can read our liveblog of the event here. But what did we learn from the nearly-three-hour series of presentations from Spotify’s management? Here are some takeaways to chew on. The post 10 key […]

Classical streaming service Grammofy returns – using Spotify

Grammofy was a classical music-focused subscription-streaming service that launched in May 2016 in the UK and Germany, but then shut down in November 2017. At the time, the company said that despite “continued growth and vigorous efforts” it hadn’t been able to “build the necessary mid-term financial solidity to fund the man-hours needed to continue […]

Humble Angel boss wants self-serve artist ads on Spotify

As the founder of Playlists.net and subsequently a playlists/streaming-focused executive at Warner Music, Kieron Donoghue knows a thing or two about the streaming ecosystem. Now running indie label Humble Angel Records, he’s published a blog post calling for Spotify to offer better and more-affordable self-serve advertising options for artists on its platform. Donoghue compares Spotify […]

Spotify and Smirnoff launch ‘unconscious gender bias’ campaign

Like us, you’ve probably been wondering when a prominent vodka brand would weigh in to 2018’s music-industry debates around diversity and inclusion. Congrats if you had ‘early March’ in the sweepstake: Smirnoff has teamed up with Spotify on a marketing campaign called the Smirnoff Equaliser. It’s based on the fact that the top 10 tracks […]

New study explores impact of user-centric music-streaming payouts

‘User-centric’ streaming payouts refers to a proposed system where the royalties generated by someone’s subscription would be divided only between the artists that they listen to, rather than going into a central pool divided by market-share on the platform as a whole. ‘If you only listen to Ed Sheeran, your money only goes to Ed […]

How would user-centric payouts affect the music-streaming world?

‘User-centric’ licensing is where the royalties from a streaming subscription only go to the artists who that subscriber listens to, rather than into a bigger pool split by overall share of all the streams on the platform. There have been calls for streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to switch to user-centric systems, partly […]

Spotify files for its DPO: so what do you need to know?

“Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust,” tweeted Spotify CEO Daniel Ek last night. The cat in this instance being Spotify’s long-awaited filing for its direct public offering (DPO), which was published last night. The document offers the most detailed insight yet into Spotify’s current business and future prospects. […]

Brit Awards: Stormzy and Dua Lipa triumph as host shades Spotify

Apple Music and YouTube may have been the key digital and sponsorship partners for last night’s Brit Awards, but it was Spotify that got an (admittedly-unwanted) shout-out from the event’s host, comedian Jack Whitehall. Speaking about two-gong winner Dua Lipa: “If she had a pound for every time someone listened to her on Spotify, they […]

Expansion on the agenda for YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify

Three separate stories this morning come together into a strand illustrating 2018’s status as a continued landgrab for new music-streaming subscribers. YouTube is finally readying a global push for its YouTube Red tier; Apple Music is launching its student membership plan much more widely across the world; and Spotify is offering lovebirds a Valentine’s-themed two-month […]

Nelson lets people play with Spotify recommendation engine

Nelson: not just the chap whose statue stands on a column in Trafalgar Square seething at pigeons. Nelson is also the name of a “friendly in-browser Spotify jukebox” that’s gone live this week. Using Spotify’s recommendations API and web playback SDK, it’s a nifty way to play with Spotify’s recommendations engine. After logging in with […]

Spotify adds songwriting and production credits to its desktop app

Spotify is adding credits for songwriters and producers to songs on its service, although for now they’ll only appear within its desktop app. From today, listeners can right-click on a track and choose a ‘Show Credits’ option to see the credited performers, songwriters and producers in a pop-up window. The post Spotify adds songwriting and […]

Sony Music launches dance label with Tencent Music

Fresh from its stock-swap with Spotify, Tencent Music has another interesting partnership with a western firm: Sony Music. The pair have teamed up to launch Liquid State, a label that will focus on dance music from Asian artists, as well as live events. “Liquid State has been created to support and enhance the discovery and development […]

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard talks streaming, Hysteria and label rows

When you have sold over 100m albums and shift more tickets today than you did in your supposed peak in the 1980s, you are “not exactly hurting” for money and can therefore afford to take your time when considering the leap into new, digital revenue streams. This, according to Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliott, […]

CMO Seth Farbman on Spotify: ‘It’s maybe more like a republic than a democracy’

Seth Farbman used to be chief marketing officer at clothing retailer The Gap. Now he’s marketing a music-streaming service, as CMO of Spotify. Farbman joined Music Biz and Music Ally’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York this morning for a fireside chat on how he sees the world. The moderator was Music Ally’s head of […]

Spotify debuts ‘Spotlight’ format for podcasts, audiobooks and news

Spotify’s latest announcement focuses less on music, and more on the other kinds of audio content available on the streaming service: podcasts, audiobooks and news. The company is launching a new ‘multimedia format’ called Spotlight, which will show photos, video and text as people listen to spoken-word content. The post Spotify debuts ‘Spotlight’ format for […]

David Lowery publishes 2018 ‘streaming price bible’

Musician David Lowery has published the latest data on payouts from a range of streaming services, sourced from “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 200+ album catalog now generating over 200m+ streams annually”. It’s a very interesting snapshot as ever: both of average per-stream payouts and of the market shares of the various services. […]

Huffington Post pulls artist’s report of Spotify meeting

An article by musician Blake Morgan about an artists meeting held by Spotify has been ‘unpublished’ by Huffington Post, in a move that’s already giving the piece a wider airing on other sites. “If anyone were to dispute your account of the meeting in question, we wouldn’t be able to verify or stand behind the […]

Reports claim Spotify has already filed to go public

Spotify may go public in the first quarter of this year, according to several reports citing the company’s confidential filing of documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December. “All indications are that Spotify wants to list in Q1, and timing of the confidential F-1 filing would support such a calendar,” claimed Axios. […]

Publisher Wixen hits Spotify with a $1.6bn lawsuit

If Spotify was hoping 2018 would see its publishing woes die down… well, Wixen Music Publishing has put those hopes to rest. The publisher has filed a lawsuit seeking damages of at least $1.6bn for Spotify’s use of songs written by Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and other artists/songwriters. The […]

Spotify and Deezer lobby EC (again) over big-tech gatekeepers

Spotify and Deezer’s CEOs have both signed a letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker calling for the EC to ensure they get a “level playing field” on platforms owned by large US technology companies including Apple and Amazon. The pair – along with a group of European games companies – are calling for “clear […]

Sandbox 193: Playlisten without prejudice

Lead: Labels and artists spent 2017 getting their heads around how playlists have created a new centre of gravity for the record business. The old ways of promoting a record (discounting at retail, plugging at radio, pitching to the specialist music press) have all gone and now playlists are the conundrum everyone wants – and […]

BTS included: Spotify hails its 6.6bn K-Pop streams since 2015

Spotify users have streamed 6.6bn songs from K-Pop artists since the company launched its K-Pop hub in 2015, racking up more than 14.4bn minutes of listening. That’s according to a blog post published by Spotify yesterday hailing the growth of streams for South Korean pop artists on its service since its hub went live in […]

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’

We’re big fans of the recent album by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, and we’re also impressed by the inventive Spotify-fuelled marketing campaign around it. So is Spotify: the streaming service has featured the campaign as a case study on its Spotify for Artists blog. The post Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’ […]

Epidemic Sound gives its side of the Spotify ‘fake artists’ controversy

“We were on our summer break, because we’re Swedes and nobody works for two months in July and August. But that’s when the whole fake-artists thing hit, so we were surprised, but mostly offended. Granted, we hadn’t been telling the story that much, but there was nothing fake about this…” The summer of 2017 is […]

Spotify correcting data glitch that saw label playlists’ follower counts fall

A technical error has led to a sharp drop in the follower counts for a number of Spotify playlists, but the streaming service says it is working to correct the problem. Several labels have contacted Music Ally this week saying that follower counts on some of their playlists had dropped suddenly, in some cases by […]

Domino turns Franz Ferdinand Spotify pre-save into a fan club

The ability for fans to ‘pre-save’ an album on Spotify has become an increasingly-common marketing tactic since Kobalt pioneered the idea last year with Laura Marling. Now independent label Domino Records is trying something a bit different with the idea: its pre-save campaign for Franz Ferdinand’s new album is structured as a “fan club”. “Subscribe […]

Spotify data shows ‘listening diversity’ is up 40%

Spotify says it’s experiencing “an explosion in listening diversity” on its service, by which it means the number of artists the average listener streams in a week. “Since 2014, the average number of artists each listener streams per week has increased 37 percent, from just under 30 to about 41 artists per week so far […]

Ducktails albums pulled from several streaming services

Several albums by Ducktails – the project for American independent musician Matt Mondanile, formerly of Real Estate – have been pulled from streaming services. Pitchfork claimed that distributor The Orchard was responsible for the takedowns on Spotify and Tidal, with three albums – two released through Domino and one through his own label – affected. […]

Lessons from Kobalt’s Laura Marling pre-save campaign

At our recent Sandbox Summit conference, Kobalt Music Recordings’ David Emery outlined three lessons learned from running a Spotify pre-save campaign for Laura Marling. Now he’s turned the talk into a blog post, which makes good reading for any music marketer. We reported on his thoughts about getting away from your desk and inbox to […]

Apple HomePod keeps Siri voice commands for Apple Music

Business Insider has chosen its words carefully in an article about Apple’s new smart speaker: ‘Spotify won’t work with Siri on Apple’s HomePod’. It’s sparked by a message published by Apple for app developers about the SiriKit tools for HomePod: “With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, […]

CD Baby joins the pre-saves party on Spotify

In December 2016, Kobalt launched a campaign for Laura Marling that enabled fans to ‘pre-save’ her next album, automatically adding it (and its advance tracks) to their Spotify playlists as soon as they were available. Since then, other labels and distributors have developed similar tools, capitalising on a feature in Spotify’s API that hadn’t previously […]

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