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Spotify's Latest: What's Their Relationship with Artists Now?
July 24, 2023

Spotify's Latest: What's Their Relationship with Artists Now?

Spotify—with millions of users globally—has transformed how humans listen to music. It has provided a platform for artists to reach a vast audience, but it hasn’t stayed away from controversy (especially with artists). 

Currently, Spotify is making various changes to grow its business, build relationships with artists, and keep customers happy. It’s also starting to adopt AI technology to improve its service. 

Here are some of the biggest news Spotify updates so far in 2023:

1. Vertical TikTok Style Homepage

Have you used TikTok before? The booming social media application has a vertical scrolling homepage, and it’s highly popular with users. Spotify has been working on adding a similar style homepage for some time. They showed an early preview at Investor Day in June 2022. 

When asked about the new feature by Bloomberg, Spotify said it continually conducts “a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time,”

For the most part, Spotify is aiming to attract the younger 18-24 crowd—many of whom use TikTok daily. However, one in three Spotify users match that demographic, so it’s critical that they appeal to them. 

2. Fewer Podcasts—More Music 

Spotify is also shaking its focus away from podcasts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify focused on pushing podcasts due to the rise in podcast popularity. However, there has been a major downturn in the last 18 months, forcing the company to scrap 11 podcasts and lay off 40 people.

Data from Listen Notes data shows new podcast creation has declined by around 80% in 2022 as the format evolves. In turn, Spotify is likely to ramp up its focus on music artists as podcasting decreases. 

3. New User-Card Style Profiles 

Spotify is also testing new-user card-style profiles. The new style will enable users to form more of a social identity, including easier access to Spotify’s unique features like personalized recommendations, Blend playlists, co-listening experiences, etc. 

Chris Messina first noticed the changes when he shared a screenshot of the tests on Twitter. He also talked about the additional cards on profiles, and how the new layout encouraged users to engage more with Spotify’s additional features.

However, Spotify is yet to commit whether it would make the user card feature available for everyone. The company often tests products in public, awaits feedback based on user engagement, and conducts a full global rollout. 

In some cases, like many tech companies, they scrap an idea completely if feedback isn’t generally positive. 

4. No More Spotify HiFi

Many people in the music industry were excited about the idea of Spotify HiFi, but it appears that Spotify is no longer going ahead with the plan. After a tonne of speculation, Spotify's Co-President has revealed more about the infinite delay. 

In February 2021, Spotify declared it would release a HiFi tier. Since then, the public hasn’t seen or heard anything about it. Moreover, users have vented frustration online about the lack of progress. 

But Spotify hadn’t made a statement until this year. A transcript from AlphaStreet shows the Co-President, Gustav Söderström, saying: “We announced it, but then the industry changed for a bunch of reasons. We are going to do it, but we’re going to do it in a way where it makes sense for us and for our listeners. The industry changed and we had to adapt.”

He also said he wanted to introduce the HiFi tier in the most cost-efficient manner. However, the current delay is indefinite. Therefore, you shouldn’t hold your breath about Spotify HiFi; there’s a strong chance it may never happen.

5. R&B First Nights Concert Series in the United States 

Spotify will launch the R&B First Nights concert series in the US. The series will focus on emerging R&B artists playing their first gigs in the United States. Spotify’s Creator Equity Fund is backing the series that will include musicians and podcasters from diverse communities. 

Spotify came under question for spending less than 10% of the $100 million investment in the first year. In turn, Spotify is hoping its R&B First Night Concert Series will show its focus and commitment to the cause. 

6. Spotify AI DJ Wants to be Your Favorite Radio Station 

Spotify has revealed its new beta feature called DJ. The new feature will enable music fans to listen to their own radio station with announcements from an artificial intelligence-generated host. 

Spotify’s head of personalization, Ziad Sultan, told CNET the DJ personalization features will take the platform to the next level. The mobile-only feature will roll out to Spotify Premium users in North America. 

7. New Potential Spotify Royalty Payout Models 

Royalties have long been a sticking point for Spotify. Although some people in the music industry like how Spotify handles royalties—many others loathe it. The CEO of Universal Music, Sir Lucian Grainge, issued an internal memo criticizing the payout model commonly known as the pro-rata

He lambasted three aspects: Fraudulent actors, functional music, and fake artists. So what’s the future after such a high-profile music executive has criticized the model? It’s challenging to say. 

Universal Music dislikes the common alternative, the user-centric model, so there’s likely going to be a new one, such as the Active Engagement Model, the Pro-Rata Temporis Model, or the Artist Growth Model for better artist remuneration. 

Final Thoughts 

The music industry is changing and the streaming industry, including Spotify, is changing with it. Stay tuned for more updates on the future of Spotify! With the introduction of AI in the music business, we’re likely to see some major changes in the digital streaming business. 

At Reprtoir, we can assist you with the tools you need to develop your music business—including catalog management, release building, royalty accounting, music sharing, and much more. 

Chat with us today to find out more about how our service can help your music business!

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