In April this year, a group of US Congress politicians wrote to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek with some more questions about the streaming service’s ‘Discovery Mode’ feature.
That’s the one where artists and labels can choose tracks for promotion in Spotify’s autoplay and radio modes in return for lower royalty rates. They asked for more transparency about which tracks are using the program, and for Spotify to clearly label those tracks as paid promotion on its service, for listeners to see.
Now Billboard has seen Spotify’s response: a letter claiming that artists using Discover Mode see “an average of more than 40% growth in listeners”, while pointing to its blog post about the feature and its terms and conditions as examples of its transparency for listeners.
Are the politicians satisfied? Not quite.
“The response we received from Spotify regarding consumer disclosure points to a blog post and vague language about commercial considerations that are buried in their terms of service and several clicks deep on their application,” said representatives Yvette D. Clarke, Judy Chu and Tony Cardenas in a statement to Billboard.
“We will welcome a constructive dialogue with Spotify but won’t back down from our belief that they can do better to abide by the clear rules of the road for online disclosures.”