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Spotify held its ‘Stream On’ event in Los Angeles tonight, and while one of the big announcements leaked out early – its new TikTok-esque swipeable homepage – there was plenty of other news from the streaming service.

There was a big emphasis on tools for artists, including something we tipped in our prediction feature earlier this week: an expansion of short-form video on Spotify.

A new feature called Spotify Clips will see artists able to add 30-second videos to their profiles and album pages, to talk about their new music and offer behind-the-scenes footage.

Spotify is also launching a feature called Countdown Pages that will be promoted within artists’ profiles as well as in its homepage feed. They’ll be hubs where fans can pre-save albums – yes, native pre-saves on Spotify – as well as watch videos, pre-order merch, and preview tracklists.

The company also talked about its latest advertising tools for artists and labels. It’s expanding its full-screen ‘Marquee’ ad units from the US to the UK and Australia, meaning artists and their teams in those countries will be able to use it.

Spotify’s controversial Discovery Mode is also expanding: being made “directly available for artists on select distributors” within its Spotify for Artists dashboard.

This is the tool that lets artists and their teams choose tracks to be promoted in Spotify’s radio and autoplay modes, in exchange for a lower royalty rate. It’s been criticised as feeling a bit too much like radio payola, but the expansion is a strong signal from Spotify that it’s sticking with the idea.

Something else we tipped in our predictions piece: an ad unit that will sit within Spotify’s new homepage feed. It’s called Showcase, and will “introduce an artist’s music – whether a new release or catalog – to likely listeners”. Spotify is testing it with artists and labels for now.

Also announced today: a welcome expansion in prominence for concert tickets and merchandise within Spotify’s service.

They’ve been largely restricted to artists’ profiles in the past, but now they’ll appear more widely in Spotify’s app – including on its ‘Now Playing’ screen (i.e. when people are actually listening to the artist who has tickets and/or merch available).

Spotify also said that it is expanding its Fans First program – the one that sends emails and notifications to the keenest fans of an artist offering ticket presales and exclusive merch – to more artists.

Finally, today’s event also saw an update for Spotify’s ‘Loud & Clear’ website, which offers figures on the company’s payouts to rightsholders, and the royalties being generated by artists. You can read about the key new stats from that in our separate story.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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