Spotify launched a songwriters hub on its service last December, gathering playlists and podcasts by or about the songwriting community. Now it’s launching a dedicated site, called Noteable, for those songwriters.
The site, which comes with its own newsletter and social accounts, is being pitched as a place for writers and composers to “get the latest news — whether it’s updates on relevant products and services, new programs or video resources, or just chances to connect”.
The streaming service sees the site as a way to tie together the various strands of work its songwriter and publishing relations team has been doing over the last couple of years, from publishing analytics and songwriter profile pages to its songwriter-focused video series on Instagram.
There are more video plans as part of Noteable: a series for students called ‘How I Started, How It’s Going’ featuring famous producers, and an educational show called ‘Song Start’.
“It’s all the things we’ve been doing: collectively we’ve had more and more products, tools, ways of interacting with us, opportunities for songwriters, producers and publishers. All those different things. We need a thread to run through them, and have a home and a destination where people can access information about it,” Jules Parker, Spotify’s global head of songwriter and publishing relations, told Music Ally.
“It’s a specific space for the publishing side of the industry, but deeply interconnected with everything we’re doing at Spotify.”
Noteable is a digital thing at this point in time, but it will extend to physical, in-person events once they become possible again.
Spotify’s head of songwriter relations Paris Kirk told Music Ally that this will include the studios that Spotify has built in Nashville and Toronto for songwriters to use.
“With the site, we will have this phase two when we open back up from Covid: a resource for people to be able to book sessions there,” said Kirk.
Spotify plans to translate the Noteable site’s content into 18 languages over the next year, with Parker citing South Korea – where Spotify has just launched – as an example of an important streaming market not just for artists and recordings, but for songwriters and songs.
From its studios to its songwriter camps, and the new ‘The Beat Drop’ newsletter, Spotify is interacting with songwriters directly in various ways – although as Kirk made clear: “Our position is not to be an actual publisher ourselves. We are in a unique space as a DSP, talking globally to writers and producers and publishers.”
As for some of the initiatives that now sit within Noteable, Parker said that the songwriter pages and ‘written by’ playlists are rolling out to a growing number of musicians – “it’s really a question of scaling systems on the industry side and our side” – while some of those playlists are now being promoted on the Home screen on Spotify’s service.
“They’re really popular. They get served to people who have an affinity with the music in them. The more we scale this stuff, the more we roll things out, the more writers get exposed to listeners. As we do it, it creates more demand,” he said.
Whenever Spotify launches something new for songwriters, there’s a chorus of ‘pay more royalties!’ from some observers in the songwriting world.
It’s an understandable response: promotion and tools for songwriters are good, but they’d receive a more rapturous reception if (for example) the CRB royalties appeal in the US wasn’t still rumbling on.
Parker, Kirk and their colleagues’ work is separate to those higher-level policy decisions, but Parker does suggest that this work is about more than just profile for songwriters. For example, in his talk at the recent NY:LON Connect conference, he suggested that writer playlists on Spotify can help them win (or increase the value of) sync projects.
“Our job in this team is to create more opportunities for songwriters, publishers and producers. That’s what we’re trying to do. We see everything we’re doing as real business development for them,” he said, before returning to the global nature of the work, and how he hopes Noteable will help Spotify to emphasise that.
“I keep referencing the fact that our most listened to ‘written by’ playlist is an Indonesian playlist – for Yovie Widianto,” said Parker, before pointing to the reasons that’s the case.
“It’s a big market, a lot of people! But also we went out to Jakarta, talked to the music publishers association there about things like publishing analytics and interacting with the tools that we have that allow them to do more. And then we worked with them to set them up.”
Noteable, he and Kirk hope, could spur more of these stories in the future.