Spotify introduces new growth and discovery tools for artists, merchandise and live events

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At Spotify’s Stream On event today, the company introduced new tools to help artists on the streaming service build and grow an audience. Spotify showcased a range of tools to help artists find fans who would enjoy their music the most, as well as announcing new features designed to create buzz around their content, merchandise and live events.

Spotify has unveiled a new feature called “Marquee”, a sponsored full-screen recommendation of a new release. The purpose of the feature is to reach listeners who have expressed an interest in an artist’s music. Spotify notes that Marquee is, on average, 10 times more cost-effective at getting listeners to stream music on Spotify than ads on the most popular social media platforms.

A new “Discovery Mode” tool will allow artists and their teams to identify songs they want to prioritize on the streaming service, after which Spotify will add that signal to the algorithms that shape personalized listening sessions. Spotify says that if an artist’s song resonates with listeners, Discovery mode increases the chances of it being recommended in both radio and autoplay. Each month, artists can view reports to understand how many new listeners have been reached.

Image Credits: AapkaDost/Sarah Perez

The company noted that algorithmic recommendations are critical on audio and video streaming platforms, and that on Spotify, a third of all new artist discoveries happen that way. Discovery Mode is immediately available in Spotify for Artists.

Spotify also unveiled “Showcase,” a new mobile card on the streaming service’s revamped home feed that will introduce an artist’s music, be it a new release or catalog, to users likely to listen to their music. The company says it has begun testing Showcase with selected artists and labels, and will make it more widely available in the future. Artists can reach people as they decide what to listen to, while also targeting listeners based on their streaming history.

Spotify shared more details about helping artists monetize through merchandise and live events. The streaming service is adding new tools for discovering concerts and merchandise, and users will see merchandise offers and concert listings in many more places in the app. If a user is interested in a live event, they can tap a new “interested” button to save the event to their own calendar in the live events feed. Users have the option to customize their location and browse concerts around the world. Spotify notes that the events users see are personalized to their tastes.

Image Credits: Spotify

“In 2022, we’ve listed more than 840,000 concerts on Spotify,” Sulinna Ong, Spotify’s global head of Editorial, said at the event. “In the future, Spotify listeners will begin to see personal, constant mentions more prominently in the app’s home page.”

The company is also expanding its “Fans First” program, a Spotify email marketing program that allows artists to sell unique or exclusive offers, to include more artists. Spotify says more artists can ensure their top listeners receive emails and notifications that give them access to concert presales and exclusive merchandise.

In addition, Spotify has announced new features designed to enable artists to create buzz among fans. There’s a new Story-like “Spotify Clips” feature that allows artists to add 30-second videos to their artist profiles and album pages. The feature is designed to allow fans to go deeper into an artist’s music when listening to their content.

Image Credits: Spotify

Spotify is also launching “Countdown Pages”, a dedicated space on an artist’s profile and Spotify’s home feed. The space allows fans to save albums, watch exclusive videos, pre-order merchandise, view track lists, and watch the timer count down to a new release. Spotify has tested Countdown Pages with Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith and more.

The new tools come as Spotify revealed that the number of artists generating more than $1 million, as well as the number of artists generating more than $10,000, has more than doubled over the past five years. Spotify also revealed that its payouts to the music industry are approaching $40 billion since its inception.

At today’s event, Spotify also introduced a significant redesign of its app, which capitalizes on its investments in personalization technology while using a similar short video feed to the one popularized by TikTok. The updated Spotify mobile app gives users access to several new features, including the vertically scrolling “discovery” feeds, a new “Smart Shuffle” mode for playlist recommendations, a new auto-play podcast feature, and more.

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