August 29, 2016:Spotify playlists could be a competitive weapon

Spotify playlists could be a competitive weapon

Shock horror: artists granting exclusives to Spotify’s rivals may not see as many of their songs getting prime placements on the streaming service’s key playlists.

That’s the key uncontested (by Spotify) assertion in Bloomberg’s latest news story about the rivalry between Spotify and Apple Music, although the former company has firmly denied a separate suggestion that it is “burying” artists in its search results if they take their exclusives elsewhere.

Spotify’s spokesperson has said that the latter claim is “unequivocally false”, but the suggestion that elsewhere-exclusives will not be supported on major Spotify playlists has been left un-denied.

There are arguments on both sides of this point: it could be said to be penalising listeners as well as artists, for example.

Yet Spotify could make a case for songs that have been out for a couple of weeks (if not on its platform) losing some of their topicality, and thus their playlist appeal.

Meanwhile, its recently-launched Release Radar playlist arguably ensures that fans of an artist won’t miss out on new tracks, regardless of when they reach Spotify or whether they’re on its big curated playlists.

Stuart Dredge
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