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Spotify unveils new feed and stats aplenty at second Stream On event

By | Published on Thursday 9 March 2023


Spotify pushed out some stat brags, unveiled a bunch of changes to its app and platform, and bigged up its role as an enabler of creators across the world during its second ever Stream On event yesterday.

A flurry of Spotify execs took to the stage as part of the big event, which was all about streaming and was itself livestreamed, so Stream On I guess. Though it was more of a Waffle On really. Because, boy did they waffle on. And on and on and on and on and on and on.

To be fair, the whole presentation came in at just under 90 minutes. It just felt like 90 hours. But hey, what stats and statements among the waffle were worthy of note?

That all-time Spotify payouts to the music industry are now approaching $40 billion? That, according to Spotify’s maths, “the number of artists generating $1 millions plus, as well as those generating $10,000+, has more than doubled over the past five years”. That even the “50,000th highest-earning artist on Spotify generated more than $50,000 across all recorded revenue sources” last year?

You can take your pick from those facts and figures. There are even more on the now updated Loud & Clear website which Spotify runs to provide artists and their teams with info about how the Spotify and wider music streaming business works.

After some champion stat bragging, the Stream On proceedings quickly moved on to announcing the thing everyone was expecting to be announced, the streaming service’s “new, dynamic mobile interface built for deeper discovery and more meaningful connections between artists and fans”.

Having been tested since early last year, that new interface is – of course – more TikTokky in style. To use the technical term. Although – unlike with TikTok – the new vertical visual feed is ultimately about sign-posting and previewing content elsewhere on the Spotify platform, rather than being the experience in itself.

“We’ve found that the next generation of listeners craves better ways to sample audio before fully diving in”, says Spotify about the new feed. “So get ready for a more active experience with advanced recommendations, a spotlight on visual canvases, and a completely new and interactive design – all to make discovering new audio easier than ever before and help introduce users to their next favourite artist, podcast or book”.

Spotify reckons that the new feed will better help users discover new content and, therefore, better help musicians and other creators connect with new audiences. And there were other new tools previewed which aim to help music-makers connect and engage with new and existing fans.

That includes Countdown Pages – “dedicated spaces for artists to build anticipation for new albums” – and Spotify Clips – so that “artists can add under-30-second videos to their album pages or their artist profiles”.

“With Clips, new listeners will be able to get to know an artist and their music better”, Spotify reckons, “while loyal fans will be able to dive even deeper into an artist’s music, forging even stronger connections”.

“The possibilities are expansive”, they waffle on, “with Clips enabling artists to build excitement for an unreleased song, promote a new album or single, tell the story behind a song, and much more. We’re unlocking this feature for thousands of artists this week, and we’ll be opening it up to more and more artists in waves throughout the spring”.

Other existing promo tools within Spotify – some free, some paid-for – are also being rolled out to more creators, including the still pretty controversial Discovery Mode, where artists and labels can inform the streaming service’s algorithm about priority releases in return for accepting a lower royalty rate on any subsequent streams.

And beyond promo, Spotify also says it will be enhancing its efforts to help artists generate more revenue through ticket and merch sales. Although when it comes to direct-to-fan type activity within the Spotify ecosystem, the more interesting developments still seem to be on the podcasting side where, among other things, a new Patreon partnership was discussed.

Audiobooks also got plenty of mentions, of course, with that being the third strand of audio content where Spotify is now busy dabbling.

Because, boss man Daniel Ek is keen for everyone to know, Spotify remains the key platform for creators looking to find an audience and make some money out of their audio creations, whatever those audio creations might be. And even if promoting that audio content within the app increasingly needs some visuals and video too.

“Today, there are more than ten million creators on Spotify, with over half a billion listeners across 184 countries and markets”, Ek declared yesterday, with some extra stats to hand.

“Think about the massive potential that represents for creators. No matter where you are on your own creative journey within music, podcasts, or audiobooks. The potential to reach half a billion people. And that reach is about to become more powerful with what we’ve introduced today”.

Yeah, maybe. Thanks Dan. And here ends my waffle on all the Stream On waffle.