Spotify will now promote select tracks from artists for free, but that might not be a good thing
The feature is currently being tested on the music streaming platform.
Basically, it works like this. Artists and labels that control a Spotify profile will be able to list a number of their songs as “priority.” Then, when Spotify’s algorithm starts working through data in an effort to provide listeners with music to listen to, it will look for these songs to see if they match the other signals Spotify uses to deliver curated music to listeners.
The addition of these priority tracks makes sense from an artist’s point of view. This will allow musicians to nudge track recommendations towards songs that have resonated well with listeners, or songs that they feel represents their brand better. Then, hopefully, that leads to more followers and listeners.
While you’d be justified for thinking that this new service will cost money, it will actually be free for all musicians. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all great. Artists that decide to use this new feature will be subject to “promotional royalty rates,” which would be lower than standard payouts for streams.
Payola, except the bribes go to startup investors instead of local DJs. https://t.co/3H3JSuWrFB
— matt blaze (@mattblaze) November 2, 2020
The music streaming giant has yet to say what this new rate will be, but a lot of people are skeptical of the service. Spotify also notes that the promotional rates are not set in stone, and could change as the service expands.
Spotify is currently testing the feature and notes it will “focus on applying this service to our Radio and Autoplay formats, where we know listeners are looking to discover new music.” The blog post goes on to note that the service could expand to other areas of Spotify, as well.
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