Last week, metal label Earache Records launched an official Earache Metalizer Spotify app. Now the label has shared some figures on how it’s been doing.
More than 23k playlists were generated on the first day of the app’s release – it lets people move sliders to determine levels of Metal, Death, Thrash and Grind before generating a playlist for them – with more than 180k during the first week – more than 9m tracks in total.
Founder Digby Pearson tells Music Ally that Earache is “chuffed” with the app’s first week. “It’s currently a Top 10 app on Spotify; mostly we see this as a vindication that the streaming music world doesn’t just revolve around X-Factor pop artists or the Indie scene so beloved of hipsters,” he says.
“Metal might be under the radar of the mainstream radio & TV, but 10 Million metal songs have been playlisted in a week and a half on the Earache Metalizer, proving its wide appeal.”
Pearson hopes that fans are responding to the idea that they are their own curator thanks to the slider UI, rather than relying on playlists created by other people.
It’s part of Earache’s wider excitement about digital distribution for its music. “I’m a big believer in digital music; digital sales in the near future will eventually dwarf those of the ‘golden’ CD era which labels enjoyed 10-15 years ago,” says Pearson.
“Even the world’s biggest metal band, Metallica, relented and signed on to Spotify recently. Actually we had to re-jig our app at the last minute to add them to it – I’m sure their presence bolstered our app’s success quite a bit.”
Talk to independent labels and you’ll encounter a large range of views on Spotify, from wild enthusiasm through to caution and even outright opposition. It’s fair to say Earache is at the more positive end of the scale.
“I love Spotify from every angle- as a fan, plus as a label/rights holder with thousands of songs on the platform,” says Pearson.
“We’ve seen Spotify income steadily rise each month. We see no obvious dent in iTunes income by Spotify’s rise either, which is remarkable and this lack of cannibalisation is an un-reported quirk of the digital music space I think.”
He continues: “Our catalogue receives millions of streams per month but comparing the income to what the equivalent might be if those numbers were downloads, which is seemingly what a few artists complain about, is unrealistic. People speculate that if and when Spotify reaches a critical mass of 20m premium users (currently 5m) the income from Spotify could restore the entire music biz to former glories. Bring it on.”