A few years ago, Spotify had an initiative called ‘Spotlight’ which picked out its new acts to watch, promoting them in its local markets. Hozier, Tove Lo and Jack Garratt were among the beneficiaries.
But Spotlight didn’t happen at the start of 2017: we were told at the time that the plan was to replace it with something more ambitious. On Friday, that was announced: Rise will choose 16 emerging artists a year, initially in the US, Canada and UK, and give them a boost through playlists, online and offline advertising, ‘experiential events’ and other original content.
The first four artists chosen are Kim Petas (a pop artist); Lauv (pop/rock); Russell Dickerson (country) and Trippie Redd (hip-hop). The programme will sit alongside Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’, Vevo’s ‘Lift’ and Deezer’s ‘Next’, and bar Dickerson (who puts out music through Sony) the emphasis is seemingly on independent artists.
“Rise is a powerful platform and an investment towards the future of emerging artists and the fans who discovered them first,” said Spotify’s Troy Carter in a statement. The streaming service also says this isn’t about creeping onto label territory: it won’t be signing music rights as part of ‘Rise’ for example.