Spotify has created a new website called ‘Made to Be Found‘ as the latest salvo in its efforts to show musicians how it can help their careers.
It follows the launch of its ‘Loud & Clear’ site in March 2021, which offered data and case studies on the money being earned by artists from their Spotify streams.
This time round, the focus is more on the audiences they are building, and specifically on how their music is discovered by those listeners.
The ‘Made to Be Found’ launch is backed by a new section in the Spotify for Artists analytics dashboard, where artists and their teams will be able to see how three discovery methods break down across their catalogue.
The three sources are defined as ‘Made by Editors’ (streams from Spotify’s range of curated playlists); ‘Made for You’ (streams from the personalised playlists, autoplay and radio features on the service); and ‘Made by You’ streams from listeners actively searching for an artist or track, or playing music from “fan-made or artist playlists”.
This will be helpful data for artists and their teams, as they work to understand what’s driving their streams, and how the marketing campaigns and other activities they’re running are helping them to grow.
However, there’s also a policy angle here too, particularly in the UK where there is an ongoing debate about whether ‘equitable remuneration‘ (ER) should be introduced in the music streaming market.
Without rehashing that entire debate again, essentially it’s the suggestion that streaming could adopt the model used for broadcasting, where recordings royalties for radio and TV usage are split 50/50 between artists and labels/distributors.
Pro-ER campaigners are unlikely to push for this model to apply across all music streams, but more likely to call for it to be used for the most ‘radio-like’ streams.
The sight of Spotify breaking out editorial, personalised and active streams at an individual artist level may thus encourage those campaigners to press the company (and its rivals) to break them out at a service-wide level too, as fuel for that debate.
We’ll watch the reactions to today’s news closely, but Spotify’s emphasis is understandably on the individual artists, and how they can use this data and the ‘Made to Be Found’ site to increase their streams, followings and thus their royalties.
(“This site gives you the tools and tips you need to understand how tracks travel and to make the most of our new music,” as the pitch goes.)
The site includes information about distribution (including Spotify’s directory of preferred companies), playlist pitching and promotion, as well as explanations of those three different sources of streams: editorial, personalised and active.
Various stats are dropped in along the way. Spotify says that more than 150,000 artists were added to an editorial playlist for the first time across 2020 and 2021, and that 33% of ‘new artist discoveries’ come from personalised streams.
Spotify also says that “the majority of streams” on its service come from active sessions: the third category, where listeners are actively seeking out music and artists rather than being passively served music by editors or algorithms.
The company is not getting more specific than that on the percentage breakdown of editorial, personalised and active streams across its service as a whole.
However, we suspect that question may come up again during the music streaming market study being conducted by the UK’s competition regulator the CMA, and the ‘working groups’ created by the government to consider whether ER should be introduced for streaming, among other issues.