Spotify is currently facing a renewal of hostilities in its longstanding issues around mechanical-licensing in the US, with National Music Publishers Association boss David Israelite recently describing the situation as “a state of war”.
That’s an awkward backdrop for Spotify’s latest initiative to court songwriters: its first Secret Genius Awards, which will be held on 1 November in Los Angeles.
The streaming service says that the awards are “designed to celebrate people within the songwriting community that contribute to the creative work behind some of the most streamed songs on Spotify” with categories including overall songwriter and producer of the year, as well as genre-based categories for songwriters in the pop, hip-hop, R&B, dance, latin, rock and country worlds.
The awards follow Spotify’s recent ‘Songwriter Camp’ event in London, which gathered a group of artists, songwriters and producers, as well as the original Secret Genius podcast, which focused on interviews with songwriters.
The awards are an interesting next step in those initiatives, but there’ll definitely be a mechanicals elephant in the room come 1 November.