Published Wednesday 2nd December 2020
This update below from the Spotify team includes the latest on product updates, marketing campaigns and playlist launches, alongside pro tips and best practices. Have a read!
NEW MUSIC HOLIDAY
As thoughts turn towards the festive season, please note that the final New Music Friday UK of 2020 is Friday 18th December. We’ll take a break on the 25th, and start 2021 the right way on Friday 1st January with a roundup of what’s come out in the previous two weeks.
Our Christmas hub is already live, as is New Music Holiday – a festive version of NMF. As with previous years, this playlist is personalised, and relevant releases will be considered for inclusion.
And we’re not alone in getting into the holiday spirit. Spotify data suggests that listeners may be seeking comfort from holiday music earlier than usual in 2020; while festive playlists usually snowball in December, listeners have already streamed more than 6.5 billion minutes of Christmas tracks this year.
If you could do with some festive feels, check out the brand new episode of our podcast, Spotify: For the Record, in which we look at which songs are making it to the top of our listeners’ Christmas lists. And not only that; we also chat to some iconic artists about their holiday hits, including the one and only Dolly Parton! Press that play button…
MEET THE ARTISTS OF OUR GENERATION
Since 2019, Spotify’s Our Generation playlist has surfaced the new wave of artists emerging across the British and Irish musical landscape to young, engaged music fans whose tastes aren’t restricted by genre.
Such has been its success that we recently rebranded the playlist with a new look and guest takeovers from the most exciting acts of the next-gen music scene. First up, 21-year-old indie singer-songwriter Thomas Headon selected the tracks he loves alongside his friends in the music community. Next, Irish breakout singer and rapper Biig Piig took her turn as guest curator. And right now, you can hear from alternative rock musician and UK RADAR artist beabadoobee. Each artist has created a truly unique listening experience, complete with playlist videos and track selections from multiple artists within the scene. Find out more here.
HOW SPOTIFY IS SUPPORTING ROCK
In Music Week’s recent rock issue, James Foley, UK Editorial Lead at Spotify, and Annika Walsh, UK Artist & Label Partnerships Lead, discussed how Spotify is supporting rock. Read all about it for insights into how we’re supporting the genre via a robust playlist ecosystem, artist partnerships, artist marketing and our emerging artist programme, RADAR – plus opportunities for further growth.
A NEW WAY TO CONNECT WITH CANVAS DESIGNERS
We’re expanding access to Canvas and adding a new SoundBetter category to connect musicians with a curated community of visual artists.
SoundBetter is the world’s premier music production marketplace. It’s where singers, producers, songwriters, session musicians, and mixing and mastering engineers go to buy and sell the collaborative services that make music come to life.
Now, as Spotify for Artists expands access to Canvas – enabling even more artists to add mesmerizing looping visuals to their tracks – we’re also expanding SoundBetter’s offering to include a Canvas designer category. So, instead of scouring the internet for a graphic designer to work with, now you can go to SoundBetter to find the right designer for your Canvas creation needs. Our curated marketplace features visual artists such as WEWRKWKNDS (Billie Eilish, Zedd, Katy Perry), Ian Eager (Lil Tecca, Pop Smoke), and Blunt Action Studios (Bad Bunny, Blackbear) – designers we’ve chosen because of their unique talents and how well their previous creative has performed on Spotify.
To learn more about Canvas, its specs, our content policy, and to get inspiration for what your Canvases can look like, go to the Canvas site. To browse our curated marketplace of designers head to the SoundBetter category.
AMPLIFYING ARTIST INPUT IN PERSONALISED RECOMMENDATIONS
Artists tell us they want more opportunities to connect with new listeners, and we believe our recommendations should also be informed by artists – their priorities and what they have to say about their music. That’s why we are rolling out a test of a service that gives artists a say in how their music is discovered.
In this new experiment, artists and labels can identify music that’s a priority for them, and our system will add that signal to the algorithm that determines personalised listening sessions. This allows our algorithms to account for what’s important to the artist – perhaps a song they’re particularly excited about, an album anniversary they’re celebrating, a viral cultural moment they’re experiencing, or other factors they care about.
To ensure the tool is accessible to artists at any stage of their careers, it won’t require any upfront budget. Instead, labels or rights holders agree to be paid a promotional recording royalty rate for streams in personalised listening sessions where we provided this service. If the songs resonate with listeners, we’ll keep trying them in similar sessions. If the songs don’t perform well, they’ll quickly be pulled back. Listener satisfaction is our priority – we won’t guarantee placement to labels or artists, and we only ever recommend music we think listeners will want to hear.
We’re testing this to make sure it’s a great experience for both listeners and artists. To start, we’ll focus on applying this service to our Radio and Autoplay formats, where we know listeners are looking to discover new music. As we learn from this experiment, we’ll carefully test expanding to other personalised areas of Spotify.
CARIBBEAN MUSIC HUB
We recently launched a brand new Caribbean hub, showcasing the wide range of talent, genres and releases coming from the Caribbean, including Reggae, Dancehall, Soca and more. As part of the new hub, we also launched a new playlist called Island Pop, which includes the amazing pop music coming from the region, and blends Caribbean sounds together.
NEW PLAYLIST, WHO DIS?
The Drop: a playlist full of high-energy club-leaning tracks (with BIG drops) breaking into the commercial dance world across multiple sub-genres including Tech House, Bass House, and UK Garage. The playlist will focus on frontline releases from creators from the UK & Ireland. You can expect to hear the likes of Eli Brown, Holy Goof and Majestic alongside emerging artists including Maur and Emily Nash.
Noize.: an eccentric offering at the intersection of industrial electronic, hyperpop and alternative, a sound which is becoming more popular globally. The playlist will create a space for artists whose sound is often too challenging to place in genre spaces such as The Other List and Altar due to the raucous nature of the music. You can expect to hear artists including 100 gecs, Shygirl and Grimes.
Halo: the new home for experimental, otherworldly electronic music (or ‘IDM’), a blend of tracks beyond the borders of tradition within the genre and highlighting artists that continuously reinvent their production style. Think of Halo as the slightly more sophisticated older sibling of Altar, and expect a glitchy, ethereal and avant-garde mix. You can expect to hear artists including Autechre, Zora Jones and Khotin.
Family Party: a mix of all the classic tracks which soundtrack family events throughout the UK and Ireland. The playlist is catalogue focused and will be surfaced to our listeners throughout the party season and around major cultural moments like New Year’s Eve. You can expect to hear the likes of Madness, Blondie and Neil Diamond (so good, so good).
ok whatevs: a laid-back offering to zone out to. It’s a versatile outfit for many occasions; watching the world go by, laying on the floor, relieving angst, hanging at the skatepark, etc. The content is reflective of the new wave of indie grunge that broadens across a spectrum of slacker tracks and lo-fi, with an aim to connect this space with a wider audience. You can expect to hear beabadoobee, Cherry Glazerr, Chappaqua Wrestling, Avril Lavigne, Bully, DMA’s and Fall Out Boy.
Wash Day: a new addition to the Black History Is Now hub, soundtracking the day that many people with Afro & curly hair can relate to: Wash Day. This can take the whole day for many people, so this 100-track playlist fuses together neo soul, 90s R&B and hip hop with recurrent R&B and crossover reggae and hip hop tracks. It also has songs about body and hair positivity and features artists that are known for championing natural hair and black beauty, such as Solange, Ari Lennox and Common.
Love & Hip-Hop: a new mood playlist with a focus on UK rap love songs which don’t always get to be at the forefront. This playlist mixes old and new with classics from Plan B and Wretch 32 but also new school hits from Headie One and Stormzy.
No Signal: the No Signal playlist is a collaboration between the Spotify and No Signal editorial teams, and the official destination to hear the tracks No Signal are championing as a station. The playlist cover will reflect new artists that No Signal are championing in their Class of 2020 campaign. Artists you can expect to hear include M1llionz, Gaidea, Teezandos and Abra Cadabra.
Solid Gold: a new addition to the Hip-Hop hub, focussing on mature UK rap. You can expect to hear influential artists including Stormzy, Maxsta, Tion Wayne, Krept & Konan and Dave.