Music Business

Spotify Lets Artists, Labels Influence Recommend Tracks In Exchange For Lower Royalties

UPDATED: Spotify will let artists and labels have input on how their music is recommended to users of the streaming platform. But the new feature comes with a catch.

Rather than giving artists input into recommendations at no cost, as Spotify For Artists does with most features, or charging as part of its ‘two-sided marketplace,’ Spotify will pay artists the opt-in a lower royalty for recommended ‘promotional’ streams.

Here is how it works:

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 personalized 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.

‘Discovery Mode’ influence will be exerted in two places: autoplay tracks that play after a user is finished listening to an album or playlist, and Spotify Radio where the streamer’s algorithm picks music for the listener.

Who’s paying for it?

Artists and labels are in the form of lower royalty rates. From Spotify:

“labels or rights holders agree to be paid a promotional recording royalty rate for streams in personalized 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. 

Spotify has not yet revealed exactly how much lower these royalty payments will be.

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