Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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How Is Spotify Helping Musicians?

Since it made its debut in the music industry in 2008, Spotify has been a dominant player in the streaming space. Whether it comes to emerging talent, established pop stars or bedroom artists, it has almost become impossible not to have music released on Spotify. Spotify has become one of the world’s most popular music streaming subscription services, available across 184 markets boasting a total of 406m users and 180 subscribers.

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

Developments and New Rollouts

The worldwide pandemic that wreaked havoc across global shores at the start of 2020 only accentuated the focus on digital streaming platforms. With live shows forced to a complete halt, festivals and concerts facing inevitable postponements, artists’ sources of revenue drastically plummeted. Musicians turned to Spotify to release music, connect with fans, and continue to have their creative outlets shared with their community of fans. With the mission to “give a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art”, Spotify rolled out notable developments on their platform, helping musicians level up their music. Here, we look at some of these highlights.

Spotify Loud & Clear

As a crucial platform that artists turn to for sharing music and earning their remunerations, Spotify has rolled out “Loud & Clear”, a site to increase transparency and break down the economics of music. According to Daniel Ek in an official launch note, “the focus is to continue to create more opportunities for artists to reach more fans”. Having a clear understanding of how artists themselves are getting to keep their earnings as they put out their craft is essential for Spotify to help musicians in their careers. Especially as payouts and royalties have become an unmissable topic when it comes to the music industry today, Spotify Loud & Clear signals the acknowledgement that the streaming giant has heard genuine grievances from songwriters. This new website is a straightforward initiative to acquaint artists with economic knowledge and equip them with complete control of knowing where they stand regarding the streaming numbers.

Credit // Spotify

Direct to Fans Relationship

Another development that Spotify made to enhance the direct artist-to-fan relationship and facilitate monetization is through their merch bar. In October 2021, they announced a new partnership with the popular e-commerce platform Shopify to allow artists to connect their Spotify accounts to the online store. This new development comes upon the recognition that artists are now owning their own brands and are entrepreneurs themselves. With a more integrated platform that combines music and shopping, these new developments help musicians be empowered to reach their fans and experiment with their brands through commerce.

The Rise of South African music – Case Study

As a music news platform that is committed to bridging the gap between established and emerging talent, we spotlight new artists all the time, from Muni Long to Abby RobertsCRÈME, Arcando and even the talented singer-songwriter who found viral success on TikTok, Tom Rosenthal. For these artists, Spotify has undeniably propelled their music to the masses and given them a platform to have their creativity heard by fans outside of their home market. With our recent article published spotlighting Amapiano, Spotify has also recognized the growing genre that is gaining momentum outside of South Africa.

With that, they have created exclusive flagship playlists such as African HeatAmaPiano GroovesRADAR Africa and Gengeton Fire, featuring the biggest tracks in the genre waves in South Africa and beyond. These initiatives help to deepen the discovery of African influence. Musicians looking to find a wider audience outside this once niche genre are now being exposed to the possibility of new collaborations with more prominent artists.

Credit // CRACK Magazine

A notable case study would be the rise of Burna Boy as a talent coming out of Africa. As a GRAMMY Award winner for Best Global Music Album for Twice As Tall, the Nigerian musician now has over 9 million Spotify listeners every month, making him one of Africa’s most successful musicians to date. On top of his incredible talent in making music that fuses the dancehall sound, reggae and afro-pop, Burna Boy’s rise to success could largely be attributed to the attention he got through Spotify. According to Spotify Wrapped Data, released in 2021, he ranked in the Top 10 streamed artists in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. Head of Music (Sub Saharan Africa), Phiona Okumu, shared “we will continue to use the power of the platform to amplify African creators to a global audience. This serves to offer artists even more opportunities to further strengthen their connection to their audiences as well as drive the discovery of their music to new audiences. “

Through the Spotify RADAR program, the global streaming platform also commits to supporting artists at every step of their musical journey. Giving listeners worldwide the opportunity to stream music outside of their market, Spotify, together with the artists, thus become instrumental as a vehicle to help musicians in their career.

Moving Forward – The Future of Spotify 

As we look into the future of Spotify, they will inevitably continue to strive in their mission to provide artists with more opportunities to reach their fans through novel rollouts, valuable features, and artists-friendly tools. Whether it is an established artist, up and coming talent or rising bedroom producer, we look forward to an expanded platform for all musicians to thrive and find their fans globally.

Words by Sheila Lim

Posted On 4 October, 2022