Indie Labels

Major Labels Demand More Slots On Spotify Playlists

WewantmoreAll three major labels are unhappy with the number of song placement they receive on key Spotify playlists and demanding preferential treatment, according to a new report.  

The displeasure with Spotify is directed at two very different kinds of Spotify playlists, that together drive manyt listening hours, according to the report. First, the major labels want more slots on top official hand-curated playlists like Rap Caviar (99.93 million followers). Second, the labels are concerned that they are not getting more slots on algorithmically driven playlists like Daily Mix, Release Radar and Discover Weekly.

"Algotorial playlists on Spotify have a lower share of major label content," an unnamed 25-year music industry veteran told Deutsche Bank analysts, according to Business Insider. "As this grows in the listening mix the major labels stand to marginally lose share. Our featured speaker noted this as a major thorn in labels' sides."

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While playlists slots could be a powerful bargaining chip for Spotify, cashing them in could cause major subscriber backlash.

Top official playlisters in all genres keep subscribers coming back precisely because they are seen as autonomous and mix known with undiscovered music. Guaranteeing the major labels playlist placements  – as MTV once did with music videos – would lead to the kind of boring homogenization that helped kill broadcast radio, and drive users to the unofficial playlisters that the labels and Spotify have far ess influence over.

Even more problematic are algorithmically driven playlists. They were designed to treat major label and independent music more or less the same. It's a key reason that your Discover Weekly playlist always delivers unexpected gems alongside forgotten favorites. Control that formula and the playlist stops being a truly personalized experience.  

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2 Comments

  1. Heck no!
    There are 3 labels representing a few hundred artists.
    Besides that, there are about 3 million other artists.
    Why should labels get an unearned disproportional share?

  2. Sadly, Tim, because they have power. Although I am a HUGE advocate of Indie music, even I realize that if any one of the major labels pulls their music from Spotify at the end of their contractual agreement, Spotify subscribers will flock en masse to another platform. Spotify only has value to a music listener IF they can access everything they want, when they want it, at that one site.

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