Welcome to the July edition of MMF Associate Spotify’s newsletter. Designed to keep you up to date with everything Spotify is doing for artists and their teams, it includes the latest on product updates, marketing campaigns and playlist launches, alongside pro tips and best practices.
Q2 Earnings Results
This week, Spotify announced their second quarter earnings results for 2021. Spotify now has 365 million monthly active users and 165 million paying subscribers, which exceeded expectations. Several other metrics also exceeded expectations, including revenue, gross margin and operating income. In addition, Spotify continues to focus on innovating and improving the experience for users and creators, with enhancements to the platform and the launches of features such as Spotify Greenroom.
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the webcast Q&A on the Spotify Investor Relations site here, and an earnings results discussion between Spotify’s founder and CEO Daniel Ek and CFO Paul Vogel on our For the Record podcast.
What’s New Now?
On Spotify, every day brings the chance to discover something new, or tune into your tried-and-true favourites. And we know that it can be difficult to keep track of the latest releases from your favourite creators. That’s why Spotify have launched another way to discover new music and podcasts you love with What’s New – a feed that gathers all the new releases from the artists and shows you follow on Spotify.
What’s New means you’ll never miss the latest releases from the artists and shows that you follow on Spotify, and makes it easier than ever to catch all the latest music and podcasts you love. Plus, it’s even updated in real time, so you know you’ll get to listen to new content just as it’s released.
And it means that it’s more important than ever for your artists to encourage fans to follow them on Spotify! Check out Spotify For Artists blog, videos and help section for tips, best practices, guides, FAQs and more on building your audience on Spotify – and you’ll definitely want to watch Spotify’s Masterclass below!
Watch Our Global Masterclass
In May, Spotify broadcast the first in a series of Global Masterclasses, with an aim to educate and inspire the artist and wider creator community. In this initial session, Bryan Johnson – Spotify’s Head of Artist & Industry Partnerships, International – provides a personal guide to Spotify For Artists tools and features. He also shares best practices to help artists and their teams find and develop their audiences on Spotify. And now the Masterclass is available to watch at your convenience via the Videos section on Spotify for Artists!
More Masterclass episodes are in the works, so stay tuned…
Back To Live, Back To Reality
It’s impossible to overstate the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world, and the live music industry in particular. For artists, no in-person shows and no touring meant no ticket sales, no on-the-spot merch purchases and no opportunities to have IRL interactions with fans.
But now, with increasing vaccination rates, social distancing, and other COVID-era precautions like rapid testing and masks, things are gradually opening back up in markets like the UK, and shows are starting to get booked again. As some artists do choose to return to the stage, Spotify want to help them promote their shows to fans, learn from industry leaders, plan their tours, and encourage safe concert-going as they navigate the journey Back to Live.
With that in mind, check out some of Spotify’s first Back to Live resources, initiatives, and tools, and watch this space for more to come.
Dance Music According To Spotify Editors
Spotify’s mint playlist is home to the world’s biggest dance hits, with songs that fall under the genre’s many subcategories, including house, techno, electronica, EDM, UK garage, disco and more. But as established as dance music is, this vast genre changes fast, and listening trends and subgenres are constantly emerging and shifting. The best people to break down the lowdown? Spotify’s global team of dance music editors.
Spotify’s editors make up their Global Curation Groups, or GCGs. As the name suggests, they’re based in different countries around the world, and they’re Spotify’s experts on what listeners are streaming the most, the new tracks that are about to break, and the trends that come out of these listening habits.
Spotify spoke to their Dance GCG about the trends they’re seeing and some of their predictions for dance and electronic music in 2021. Catch the drop here!
How Youth Audiences Are Redefining Digital Audio
Every year, Spotify embarks on a journey to learn more about some of their most influential listeners and creators: Gen Zs and millennials. The result is Culture Next, Spotify Advertising’s annual study into the listening habits and preferences of these groups, aged 15-25 and 26-40, respectively.
This year, Spotify learned that Gen Z and millennial creators and listeners are as obsessed with digital audio (and Spotify, of course) as we are with them. But how does digital audio fit into their lives, and how do they use it to drive culture forward? Find out here.
Are You A Top Fan?
Ever wondered just how many hours of Harry Styles you listened to during lockdown, or what percent superfan you are of your favourite artist?
Then you’ll want to check out Today’s Top Fans, a new feature which lets you find out your most streamed artist and songs. Simply head to the Today’s Top Fans website, click ‘Sign In’ in the top right hand corner, and get started!
From Concept To Canvas
Canvas allows artists to showcase their creative vision in an engaging way on Spotify, and it’s been a big hit since they opened up access for creators last year. But not all Canvases are created equal – Spotify have seen some artists and their teams go above and beyond to use the feature in innovative and engaging ways.
Teenage synth pop sensation Alfie Templeman and his team at AWAL UK are well aware of the power of visuals and fan interaction. Find out how Alfie and his team used fan-generated Canvas content to make meaningful connections with fans, celebrate them, and include them in his story.
Up Your Gif Game
No matter how you pronounce it, a GIF is the ultimate visual metaphor. And now, thanks to a partnership with Spotify and GIPHY, music can be part of the equation. Spotify are teaming up with GIPHY to enable new Spotify-linked artist GIFs. When users click the GIF on the verified GIPHY artists’ pages, they’ll be taken directly to the featured artist’s Spotify page for a listening session. Here’s how it works!
New Playlist, Who Dis!
Summer has arrived and it’s time to crack on! Alongside Sounds of Love Island, this year Spotify have launched three new playlists as part of our Love Island partnership.
Love Island: Pool Party: the first of two new mood playlists to be added to the Love Island partnership, Pool Party is aimed at the show’s core audience of social fans. Artists you can expect to find in this playlist include Joel Corry, Sigala, Galantis, Becky Hill and Tom Zanetti.
Love Island: Coupled Up: Spotify’s second mood playlist to be added to the partnership, Coupled Up will be added to the Summer Hub, and our Romance and Pop hubs. Artists you can expect to find in this list include James Arthur, Hamzaa, Lily Moore, Samm Henshaw and Honne. Perfect for when you’re catching feelings!
Love Island: Greatest Hits: it is what it is! Spotify’s final addition is aimed at Love Island’s core audience, and should particularly resonate with the show’s biggest and most loyal fans. You’ll find the playlist in their Summer and Throwback hubs, and artists you can expect to hear include Freya Ridings, Dermot Kennedy, Ella Eyre, Tom Walker and Grace Grundy.
Party Starters: a new artist-focused playlist which will support emerging artists in commercial dance. The playlist contains frontline and recurrent tracks, and artists who have already had their breakthrough moment but are still in the early stages of their career alongside emerging artists. Acts you can expect to hear include Shane Codd, 220 Kid and Obskür.
House Workout: a new personalised-editorial playlist programmed in Spotify’s workout hub and a high-energy gym soundtrack. It will feature the most popular frontline and recurrent house tracks alongside tracks from emerging artists, with a focus on tech house and progressive house which perform very well in mood/workout spaces. You can expect to hear artists including Redfield, Cloonee and Jess Bays.
dear diary: a mood playlist that represents the emo resurgence in 2021, transcending genres through a plethora of sounds from pop punk and indie punk to alt rock and grunge. This is a personalised-editorial playlist featuring frontline and catalogue tracks from both emerging and established artists, including relevant viral and trending hits. Artists you can expect to find include YUNGBLUD, My Chemical Romance, carolesdaughter, Paramore, Lauran Hibberd, Machine Gun Kelly and KID BRUNSWICK.
Protect Your Energy: an uplifting mood playlist targeted at digital natives who have a passion for nature, self care, spirituality, lifestyle hacks, astrology and similar practices. This is a personalised-editorial playlist with a focus on recurrents and catalogue tracks which will be updated on a monthly basis. Artists you can expect to find include Lorde, Fleetwood Mac, Florence & The Machine, Kate Bush and Wolf Alice.
planet rave: a new editorial playlist in the Dance/Electronic hub targeting Spotify’s younger audience of social fans. This playlist has been inspired by a revival of the aesthetic, style and sounds of 90s rave culture amongst a new generation of young DIY artists and their audience. The playlist contains both frontline and recurrent tracks, and artists you can expect to find include Doss, Yaeji, BABii, TAAHLIAH and Shygirl.
poppin’ off: an editorial playlist that will focus on emerging and viral tracks (frontline, recurrent and catalogue) in the commercial dance space. The playlist will be regularly updated with viral tracks sustaining momentum both in the UK and Ireland and other markets. Artists you can expect to hear include Majestic, RAYE, Goodboys and Nathan Evans.