Music Industry

What did we learn at Spotify’s “Stream On” event yesterday? Quite a bit, actually.

Spotify holds an event called Stream On, which is roughly equivalent to Apple’s WWDC. The company outlines its vision for the future and also introduces new features. Here’s what they announced yesterday (March 8).

  • A new TikTok-like home page that is swipeable. This works for music, podcasts, and audiobooks offered on the platform.
  • Spotify Clips: The ability for artists to add 30 second videos to their profiles and album pages. They can talk about whatever they want during those 30 seconds.
  • Countdown Pages: Hubs where fans can pre-save albums. The pages will also have videos, a place to pre-order merch, and preview tracklistings.
  • Marquee: A new ad tool that I don’t quite understand yet.
  • Discovery Mode is expanding so that it’s “directly available for artists on select distributors.” This, as far as I can tell, will now allow artists/labels to choose which tracks they want promoted in Spotify’s radio and autoplay modes–for a fee, apparently. Again, we’ll see how that works out since many people have pointed out that this smells a lot like old-school radio payola.
  • Smart Shuffle: This is the new version of Enhance, a curated playlist organizer.
  • Podcast Autoplay: Once you finish a podcast, the next episode from that podcaster will automatically play.
  • Showcase: a new way to introduce an artist’s music to “likely listeners.” It’s still in the testing phase.
  • More concert ticket sales opportunities within the Spotify universe. This will come with an expanded “Fans First” feature which will send notifications to people who might be interested in specific gigs. This means shots at pre-sales and exclusive merch.
  • DJ: That AI-powered DJ feature that greatly annoys me.

Spotify also announce that they’ve paid out US$40 billion since 2008. That money went to labels, publishers, artists, distributors, and performing rights societies. And as per Spotify’s licensing deals, nearly 70% of the money the company takes in is paid back out.

When it comes to paying artists, about 200,000 of them receive 95% of the payouts.

  • Exactly 1,060 of them received more than US$1 million in 2022.
  • More than 10,000 generated more than US$100,000 in royalties. This includes artists from more than 100 countries.
  • Another 57,000 made US$10K
  • From the press release: “Spotify estimates that the 50,000th highest-earning artist on Spotify generated more than $50,000 across all recorded revenue sources.”

More analysis can be found here and here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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