What annual early-Christmas signal comes first: an uptick in Mariah Carey streams, or chatter around Spotify’s end-of-year Wrapped promotion? Let’s just say they both start in October. This week Spotify is starting its outreach to artists with ‘Get ready for Wrapped’ messaging on how they can prepare.

That preparation involves four main steps. First, artists can now record a video message for the fans who they’re a top artist for to say thank you. The 30-second clips must be submitted by 15 November to be part of the promotion. Second, merch. Artists in the US and Canada will have the option this year to “reward top fans with a special merch discount on select items”. This too must be set up by 15 November.

However, artists outside those two countries are being encouraged to update their merch stores on Spotify by that date too, for inclusion in Wrapped. The third and fourth steps are also about housekeeping: artists making sure their tour dates are correct, and that their profiles have social handles, fan support links and playlists in place ready for the promotion.

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