In October, Spotify announced that it would be testing sponsorship of its full-screen ‘marquee’ album recommendations, allowing artist teams in the US to buy these spots – but only for people who’d already listened to their artist. What Spotify didn’t say at the time was how much this would cost. Enter Rolling Stone, which has got its hands on a pitch-deck from Spotify outlining the prices.

“Every time a Spotify user clicks on one of those advertisements, the artist or label will fork over $.55,” it explained. “In Spotify’s pitch deck, which was sent to a distribution company, the platform advises artists and labels to spend at least $5,000 on these campaigns. If an artist pays that minimum amount at $.55 a click, the smallest campaign should bring in more than 9,000 potential listeners over a seven-day period.” There’s an important word in that sentence, which is ‘advises’. This *isn’t* a minimum spend requirement for marquee campaigns, but rather an advised spend.

Spotify will surely be sensitive about any suggestions that one of the first tests of paid-for artist-marketing tools in its ‘two-sided marketplace’ strategy might be out of the reach of smaller indie labels and self-releasing artists. Spotify is also pushing back at any ‘pay-for-play’ suggestions. “You’re not paying for streams. Every listener has the choice to either engage or not,” said senior product marketing manager Charleton Lamb.

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